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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

Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

Mali’s new interim president Bah Nda`w has been sworn into office today, Friday at a ceremony in the nation`s capital, Bamako.  The former defence minister and retired army colonel was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held. Colonel Assimi Goita, will serve as deputy president.

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Nda`w said, in his inauguration speech, that he will end militant insurgency in the country’s north and stop organized crime.

The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

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Ethiopia Charges 2,000 Over Violence After Musician’s Murder

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Haacaaluu Hundeessaa

In Ethiopia, nearly 2,000 persons have been charged over deadly violence that followed the killing of a popular singer in June.

More than three months ago, at least 166 persons were killed when violent protests erupted following the murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, some in protests against authorities and some in ethnically-targeted attacks.

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Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the country’s attorney general, Gideon Timothewos said the arrested persons are being charged for their conduct that resulted in the death of hundreds of citizens.

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He did not give details on the charges or on whether any prisoners had been released without charge.

On June 29, Haacaaluu was shot dead while driving in the capital Addis Ababa. He was one of Ethiopia’s biggest musical stars and a powerful political voice, with many of his songs speaking out on behalf of his Oromo ethnic group and calling for more freedoms.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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