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Kenyan Doctor, Owed Five Months Salary, Dies of COVID-19



The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union – KMPDU is mourning the death of a 28-year-old doctor, Stephen Mogusu.

Mogusu, a frontline worker in the battle against the coronavirus – COVID-19, was to have contracted the virus and succumbed to it.

As of the time of his death, Mogusu had not been paid for five months, KMPDU said.

Stephen Mogusu did not have health insurance and his family had started an online fundraiser while he was being treated in the intensive care unit.

In a Twitter post announcing Mogusu’s death and its condolence mesaage, KMPDUsaid, “Devastating to announce the demise of 28 year old Dr. Stephen Mogusu who has succumbed to COVID-19 complications.

“At the time of his death, he had not received his salary for 5 months, had no insurance and his young family left with no compensation. Too steep a price for Patriotism.

“KMPDU mourns with the family and friends. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

The governor for Machakos county, where Dr Mogusu worked, said he was employed under the national government’s universal health programme.

“Improper that his employer, the national government, had not paid him for months. Doctors employed by my government have no salary arrears, receive allowances & all have insurance cover,” Governor Alfred Mutua tweeted.false

A doctor, Mercy Korir, tweeted that Dr Mogusu’s last words to colleagues were, “bail out when you can because the mistreatment by government is not worth your life”.

Doctors in Kenya have complained about poor payment, lack of protective gear and lack of a comprehensive medical cover.

They had issued a strike notice that expired on Monday but was extended for two weeks to allow for more discussions.

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Africa’s COVID-19 Death Rate Now Higher Than Global Average – CDC



The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) says the coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate on the continent is now greater than the global average.

John N. Nkengasong – a Cameroonian virologist and Africa CDC’s Director – disclosed this in the health agency’s weekly video briefing shared on Facebook on Thursday.

Describing the situation as “worrying and concerning”, Nkengasong told reporters that the continent’s death rate stands at 2.5% against a global average of 2.2%.

He added that the number of nations recording higher rates is growing.

Earlier during the pandemic, Africa recorded lower death rates than the global average, Nkengasong said.

But in the “second wave” 21 African nations had a death rate above 3%. They are Sudan, Egypt, Liberia, Mali, Chad, Niger, The Gambia, Tunisia, Eswatini, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased 10%, according to Africa CDC data.

The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases, Nkengasong said.

The continent has so far confirmed 3.3 million Covid-19 cases with 2.7 million recoveries and 81,000 deaths.

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South African Minister Dies of COVID-19



President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the death of Jackson Mthembu, the Minister in the Presidency of South Africa’s government. Mthembu died of coronavirus (COVID-19), aged 62.

Mthembu, who since 2019 had been serving as the minister in the presidency, was a parliamentarian and long-serving member of the governing African National Congress (ANC).

He had worked his way up the ranks over many years and has been described as a man of integrity.

In his tribute, President Ramaphosa said the 62-year-old was “an exemplary leader” and “life-long champion of democracy”.

He said the deceased “was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.”

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends.”

Ten days ago, Mthembu shared the news in a tweet that he had abdominal pain and had tested positive for coronavirus. His last tweet on that same day read: “I want to thank the many South Africans who have wished me a speedy recovery. As a people, we must overcome Covid-19.”

Mthembu was the fourth cabinet member to be confirmed infected with the coronavirus.

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COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s First Lady Calls for Prayers, Fasting



The Zimbabwean First Lady has invited women in the country to join her for three days of prayer and fasting over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Auxillia Mnangagwa stated she would fast and pray from Thursday till Saturday for Zimbabwe to be “spared from further calamity”.

She urged women to ensure their families observe Covid-19 safety guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading further.

“We need a plan at the household level for regularly using any means at our disposal to clean and sanitise our homes, to ensure that everyone in the home knows the importance of having a mask and masking up properly, more importantly to organise sharp, safe errands for our requirements to get going whilst enforcing the family to stay at home,” she said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has lost 879 people to coronavirus, including top government officials with the most recent death being that of Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo.

On Wednesday, January 20, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo, died after contracting COVID-19.

Moyo, a former army general who announced the military coup that led to the removal of the late long-serving leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

Moyo died at a local hospital early on Wednesday,.

Moyo was one of several generals who, after helping plot the coup, were rewarded with senior positions in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet and the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Another cabinet minister, retired general and agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, died of the virus in July 2020.

Zimbabwe has suffered a surge in COVID-19 infections, with more than half of the 28,675 total cases and 825 deaths being recorded since New Year’s Day.

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