The World Health Organization (W.H.O) says it’s aiming to secure initial 20 per cent, or 230 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the continent. Officials said on Thursday, any available COVID-19 vaccine for Africa will be obtained, while emphasizing that any vaccine in development should also be tested on the continent.
The global vaccine allocation plan, called COVAX, aims to help buy and fairly distribute 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021.
W.H.O.’s Africa programme area manager, Richard Mihigo, told an online news conference that, the initial batch will cover one fifth of the African population, initially prioritizing front line, health care workers, then expanding to cover vulnerable groups.
The scheme has nine covid-19 vaccine candidates covering a range of technologies and scientific approaches. Some are in late-stage clinical trials and could have data available by year-end.
It is reported that only two of the potential covid-19 vaccines are being tested in Africa. Head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and prevention, John Nkengasong, told an online news conference that talks with COVAX would supplement other negotiations with nations such as China, Canada and the united states over securing access to shots.
Nkengasong said the continent has fared better than expected. The number of new cases fell 11% in the past four weeks.
Tunisian Leader Proposes Death Sentence For Murderers
Tunisian president Kais Saied has said murderers should be sentenced to death following the rape and killing of a young woman in the north African country.
President Saied told a national security council meeting on Tuesday, “those who commit murder should be sentenced to death.
The public outrage over the woman’s murder –a 29-year-old Rahma Lahmar, sparked calls for executions to restart. Lahmar, went missing for a few days and her mutilated body was found north of the capital, Tunis, on Friday last week after she had been raped.
Police say they have arrested a suspect who has since confessed to the killing. Many in the country are calling for the killer to be hanged. Tunisia abolished the death penalty in 1991.
South African Airways Suspends Operations Over Funding
South Africa`s national carrier, South African Airways’ operations have been suspended with immediate effect.
SAA administrators said they were putting the struggling state-owned carrier under “care and maintenance” until funding for a restructuring plan was found.
Some media reports say, this means the airline will not schedule any further flights after completing repatriation flights that have already been scheduled.
The airline was put in bankruptcy protection in December after heavy financial losses in the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.
Ivory Coast Lifts Ban On Protests Ahead Of Polls
Ivory Coast has lifted a ban on protests. The ban on public demonstrations in the country ends today, Wednesday just as the opposition plans to begin a campaign of civil disobedience against president Alassane Ouattara’s third term bid.
President Ouattara’s candidacy has caused tension in the country and led to protests. At least 10 persons have been killed since riots broke out last month.
The opposition is demanding changes to the constitutional court, the electoral commission, and the withdrawal of Ouattara’s candidacy. President Ouattara has accused the opposition of scaring the public in order to disrupt the electoral process.
Ivory coast authorities have barred political candidates including former president Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister Guillaume Soro from running because of previous convictions. Their supporters have condemned the government for excluding them from the presidential election and threatened to hold protests.
International crisis group has urged the Ivorian authorities to allow former president Laurent Gbagbo and exiled ex-speaker Guillaume Soro to return to the country.
The United Nations special envoy for west Africa -Mohamed Ibn Chambas during a visit to Abidjan last week, urged peaceful elections in ivory coast as the nation prepares to head to the poll in October.
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