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All Nations Should Join Global COVID-19 Vaccine Effort – Africa CDC

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Health Chief Hails African Leadership In COVID-19 Fight

The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has on Thursday said all countries should join hands in a global effort to procure and distribute potential vaccines against the Coronavirus across the globe.

John Nkengasong, the head of the Addis Ababa-based continental body, told an online news conference “we are in this together. No country will be safe if any other country in the world still has cases of COVID”.

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Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said 76 rich nations were now committed to joining a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the WHO that aims to help buy and fairly distribute the shots.

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On Tuesday, the United States said it would not join the effort, called COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), due to President Donald Trump’s administration’s objection to WHO involvement, a move described by some critics as “disappointing.”

Trump’s administration had said it will stop paying its dues to the UN’s health body, a day after it said it would not participate in COVAX, a global vaccine development and distribution project.

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According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 26 million persons globally have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and nearly 863,028 have died. While some 17.3 million persons have recovered.

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African News

Burundi Opposition Condemns ‘Mass Arrests’

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Burundi’s main opposition party, the National Freedom Council (CNL), has condemned what it calls the mass arrest of its members who are accused of being linked to rebel attacks in the west of the country.

The party said nearly 100 of its members have been arrested in less than two weeks and most of them have not been taken to court.

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Party leader Agathon Rwasa told the BBC, that CNL members are being arrested while we have nothing to do with the rebels. CNL was the main challenger in may’s general election that saw the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, retain the presidency.

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He said his party’s representatives in the south-western Bururi province have been arrested for holding an “illegal meeting”. Rwasa added that there was “nothing illegal in a regular meeting of a political. The ministries of justice and security have not responded to the media`s request for comment.

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Rwasa finished second with 24% of the vote.

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African News

Niger Postpones Reopening Of Schools After Floods

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Niger Postpones Reopening Of Schools After Floods

The Niger authorities have postponed the reopening of schools across the country following heavy floods that have reportedly killed more than 70 persons and displaced hundreds of thousands. Schools were due to reopen on October first, but the government has said they will now reopen on the fifteenth for the new academic year.

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Large parts of Niger have been affected by the floods following torrential rains and rivers bursting their banks. The capital, Niamey, and its surroundings has been the worst hit.

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Most of the flood victims are sheltered in schools and the authorities say they need time to relocate them to other shelters.

Earlier this year, students lost several months of learning when schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Schools reopened briefly in early June and later closed for holidays but floods have now forced them to remain shut.

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COVID-19: Kenya Relaxes Burial Restrictions

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COVID-19: Kenya Relaxes Burial Restrictions

The Kenyan government has lifted restriction on burials that would now allow families to attend funerals of their loved ones.  Authorities have relaxed restrictions on funeral gatherings for those who died from COVID-19.

Previously, families watched from a distance as health officials in full protective gear took over burials. Protocols have been updated to allow families to give their loved ones decent burial. Chief administrative secretary Mercy Mwangangi told journalists on Tuesday “they will also allow any safe religious or cultural burial rites.

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Kenya health officials say bodies of COVID-19 victims do not transmit the virus. The world health organization and Africa CDC have not stated whether a corpse can transmit covid-19.

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Under Kenya’s revised measures, health officials will only be present in burials to guide the process and ensure safety.

The Kenyan government said last month previous burial restrictions were extreme.

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