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Rwanda to Ease COVID-19 Restriction from February 23

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Rwandan workers’ trade union appeals for minimum wage review

Rwanda will from Tuesday, 23 February 2021 ease the current coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions with the reduction of curfew hours and the resumption of public offices in the capital, Kigali, a government communique has said.

According to the government, from February 23 to March 15 movements will be prohibited between 8pm to 4am nationwide, and shortened from current 7pm to 4am.

Public offices in Kigali, which have been required to be closed, will resume with essential staff at no more than 30 per cent capacity, and all schools across Rwanda will be allowed to open.

Meanwhile, movements between Kigali and other places remain banned, except for essential services, medical reasons and tourism.

It also allowed the reopening of restaurants and cafes, with a 30 percent occupancy limit.

A lockdown was imposed in Kigali from Jan. 18 through Feb. 7 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. The government has gradually lifted restrictive measures against COVID-19 in and outside the city since then.

As of Friday, Rwanda has recorded a total of 17,929 cases with 16,387 recoveries and 245 deaths.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records Additional 600 Cases, Total Now 155, 076

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Nigeria’s health agency on Friday night announced the country recorded additional 600 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 155, 076.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in a tweet, added that 11 COVID-19 deaths were also recorded, raising the total number of fatality in the country to 1,902

NCDC stated that the new infections were registered across 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the past 24 hours.

It stated that the 600 new cases were reported from 21 states,namely: Lagos (169), Taraba (92), Ogun (65), Cross River (57), FCT (38), Rivers (28), Kwara (26), Akwa Ibom (25), Osun (21), Plateau (12), Borno and Gombe (nine each).

Abia and Ebonyi recorded eight each, while Ekiti and Kano confirmed seven each, just as Delta reported six, and Oyo- eight.

Bauchi and Nasarawa states rcorded three cases each, and Sokoto had one.

According to the centre, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, continues to coordinate the national response activities in the country.

The NCDC’s discharge for Friday include 204 community recoveries in Lagos state, 124 in Kwara state, 121 in Osun state, and 73 in Rivers state managed in line with its guidelines.

The health agency also added data registered from Taraba State over the past two days.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country currently stands at 20,608 in the past 24 hours.

It will be recalled that the country recorded its first COVID-19 case, an imported case from Italy on Feb. 27, 2021 through an Italian man who travelled to Lagos state, the country’s largest city and one of the continent’s biggest metropolises.

Nigeria registered its first death from COVID-19 on March 23, 2021 – the case of a 67-year male who returned home following medical treatment in the United Kingdom.

Till date, the country has confirmed 155,076 cases, out of which 132, 544 cases have been discharged after successful treatment, and 1, 902 deaths have sadly been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

So far, the country has tested 1,489,103 people since the first confirmed case relating to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced a year ago.

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Nurses in Ondo, Southwest Nigeria Declare 3 Days Warning Strike

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Nurses in Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria will embark on a three-day warning strike from Monday, March 1, 2021 over percentage payment of their salaries by the state government.

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in the state gave the directive in a letter dated Feb. 26, signed by its State Secretary, Aina Oluwasegun, and addressed to members of the State Executive Council (SEC).

NANNM directed that the strike commences from 12 a.m. on Monday, March 1 to March 3 at first instance, following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the government.

The decision was taken sequel to the meeting the SEC, NANNM held on Feb. 16, which resolved that state government should pay 100 per cent salary of January 2017, December 2020, January 2021, 20 per cent balance of December 2016 and 50 per cent November 2020.

The union, at the meeting, also demanded an immediate commencement of New Salary Adjustment for local government nurses in seven working days.

The association also laments shortage of nurses in government hospitals, obsolete nursing tools to work with, leading to brain drain in nursing service of the Hospitals Management Board.

Medical doctors in the state already embarked on an indefinite strike over percentage salaries payment.

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COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s President Not Having Health Workers Reluctance to Take China Vaccines

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Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has warned citizens they may find it difficult to get a job if they don’t take the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.

According to the president, nobody would be forced to take the jabs but even something as simple as taking a local bus will be forbidden for those who aren’t vaccinated.

Mnangagwa anger comes on the heels of news that medical workers in Zimbabwe are reluctant to take Covid-19 vaccinations received from China.

Zimbabwe had begun vaccination last week after it received 200,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine on Monday, 15 February 2021. A further 600,000 doses are expected to arrive in the country by early March. The country is also expected to receive over 1.1 million doses as part of the Covax program.

Enock Dongo, the president of the 12,000-member Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZNA), said the number of health workers – who are first in line for the vaccination – getting the jabs since the programme began is low.

Dongo blamed the lack of clarity over whether China’s Sinopharm vaccine protects against the virus variant that emerged in neighbouring South Africa.

Mnangagwa, addressing supporters in Matabeleland Province, called such concerns unfounded and noted that after the nation’s vice president had the first jab, “he is still here.”

Developers of the Sinopharm vaccine say it is 79% effective against coronavirus.

But its efficacy against the more contagious variant, now dominant in Zimbabwe, is still unclear.

Mnangagwa’s threats have been criticised by observers who argued that they would increase fears that the Zimbabwean government has “weaponized Covid-19”.

They noted that the threats may further undermine confidence in vaccines that have been proven to be safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death.

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