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WHO, Africa CDC Launch Virus Laboratories Network

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WHO, Africa CDC Launch Virus Laboratories Network

In order to better develop Coronavirus vaccines and treatment tailored to Africans and eventually bring the virus under control, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has on Thursday launched a network of laboratories to reinforce genome sequencing of the novel Coronavirus in Africa.

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In a statement by WHO regional director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti states that 12 specialized and regional reference laboratories in the network will provide sequencing, data analysis, and technical support to the countries.

Moeti said “as we continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, being able to not only track its evolution, but also assess the possible mutation of the virus is crucial to mounting an effective response.”

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Dr. John Nkengasong, the director of Africa CDC said “with genomic sequencing we can have a better understanding of the pandemic through more precise identification of transmission clusters.”

Africa CDC on Thursday said the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across the African continent reached 1,321,736 while more than one million persons have so far recovered.

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The continental disease control and prevention agency said nearly 32,000 deaths related to the virus have been recorded in Africa.

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African News

Uganda ‘To Begin Human Trials’ Of COVID-19 Vaccine

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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.

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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.

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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.

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WFP Seeks Aid For South Sudan Flood Relief

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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.

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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.

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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.

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World Food Programme is now seeking to raise 58 million dollars to continue providing relief.

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Libyans Protest Armed Militias In Tajoura City

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Libyans Protest Armed Militias In Tajoura City

Libyans have taken to the streets in the southeast of the capital Tripoli to protest against the presence of armed militias in the city of Tajoura.

Clashes broke out on Thursday between two militias loyal to the Tripoli-based and UN-recognized government of national accord. Militias used heavy weapons in a residential suburb that consequently resulted in the death of at least three persons. Several others were reported injured from the two camps and some private properties were damaged.

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The United Nations support mission in the country had called for an urgent security reform on Friday as they reminded both parties of international humanitarian law obligations.

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