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South Africa COVID-19 Cases Surpass Half A Million

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South Africa Drops To Seventh In COVID-19 Cases Globally

South Africa has confirmed 511,000 cases of covid-19 surpassing half a million.

The health ministry says more than 3 million persons have so far been tested for the virus in South Africa, which confirmed its first case five months ago. More than 8,300 deaths have been recorded since then.

South Africa imposed a nationwide lockdown at the end of march to curb the spread of the virus, but it has now eased many restrictions to boost economic activity.

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South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a separate statement, the lockdown succeeded in delaying the spread of the virus by more than two months, preventing a sudden and uncontrolled increase in infections in late march.

But as restrictions have eased, infections have spiked over the last two months, particularly in the worst-hit western cape, Gauteng and eastern cape provinces.

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The World Health Organization’s top emergencies expert Micheal Ryan warned last week that South Africa’s experience was a precursor for what was likely to happen across the African continent.

South Africa, is the fifth highest total in the world. The healthcare system already stretched is said to be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, final year students in secondary schools in South Africa have resumed classes on Monday after a one-week break.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa closed all schools last week to limit the spread of coronavirus after a surge in cases among students, but said they will be gradually reopened over a three-week period.

Final year students in primary schools, are scheduled to resume on august tenth while, other pupils will resume classes on August 24.

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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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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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