Funeral parlours in South Africa have embarked on a nationwide strike on Monday. About 3,000 undertakers have joined the strike action in demand for what they call `better working conditions and pay.”
A union called- the Unification Task Team (UTT) also staged a protest in Soweto as they gathered outside an academic hospital.
UTT funeral associations said it had instructed its members to call the police in case of emergencies during the three-day strike. They say, they are refusing to collect bodies from homes and hospitals – and to hold burials.
The protest comes as a result of an unanswered letter from the National Funeral Practitioners of South Africa (NAFUPA) to the government for mortuaries outsourcing to be recognized and legalized.
Their union is also calling for the government to set up a coronavirus relief fund.
The cost of burials and cremations has increased by up to 25% since the beginning of the pandemic because of the need for personal protective equipment, sanitizer and other items.
Authorities say they are worried that the strike will cause significant risk to public health.
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Uganda ‘To Begin Human Trials’ Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Uganda is set to start human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine starting in November as the country continues to fight against the pandemic.
The vaccine trials are a partnership exercise between Uganda’s Virus Research Institute and the United Kingdom’s Imperial College.
Uganda has recorded more than 7,000 coronavirus cases and 75 fatalies so far.
According to BBC, Monica Musenero who is the head of a presidential taskforce on epidemics is quoted as saying the first trial will be conducted on 10 Ugandans.
She added that if successful, a second trial will involve about 100 to 200 persons followed by a final trial of between 1,000 and 3,000 persons.
WFP Seeks Aid For South Sudan Flood Relief
Heavy seasonal rainfall, followed by devastating floods in South Sudan since June, have impacted more than 700,000 persons across the country. A large part of the nation is reported to be under water with the Nile River at its highest level in 50 years.
South Sudan was already in a precarious situation due to food shortages from an overwhelming locust infestation and a health crisis from the global coronavirus pandemic.
The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has been providing food assistance to more than half a million persons in South Sudan’s flood-affected areas as the threat of famine increases within the country.
A flood-displaced victim from Mathiang village says rains have destroyed everything, including houses, cattle, crops and sources of livelihood.
WFP spokesperson, Peter Smerdon says they are already under pressure in South Sudan because of conflict, high levels of displacement and, the added burden from flooding.
World Food Programme is now seeking to raise 58 million dollars to continue providing relief.
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