South African scientists say they are working with the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) To investigate a new variant of coronavirus, currently surging in many parts of the country.
Local scientists say the new variant appears to be unrelated to the one found in the UK. But it does share one important mutation. The shared mutation affects the way the virus attaches to human cells – and scientists speculate, that is what is behind the faster transmission of the virus.
The new variant known as 501.v2 identified by a genomics team led by the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.
It was discovered earlier this month, when scientists noticed a number of mutations during routine surveillance of the virus.
Researchers in the UK say the mutated virus there is 70% more transmissible. But experts in South Africa say they are still gathering data on this, but expect this may be the case.
South Africa has entered a second wave of infections, which has led to new regulations to try to slow the spread of the disease. Some countries have now banned flights from South Africa and the UK including Germany and Switzerland.
Ghana Opposition Condemns Election Tribunal Timeline
Ghana opposition leader John Mahama’s lawyers say the court’s timeline is unfair for the case addressing their concerns over December’s election.
Ghana’s supreme court had set the date on Wednesday, for the hearing next Tuesday of an election petition filed by the opposition seeking to annul the results over irregularities.
The court ruled that all parties must file their witness statements by Thursday afternoon and the supreme court will begin the main hearing on Tuesday. The supreme court says the strict timeline was to enable the hearing of the petition within 42 days of the election as prescribed by law.
Mahama’s lawyers say justice should not be sacrificed for speed.
They had applied for a review of the court’s decision to dismiss their request for the electoral commission to answer questions about the process of declaring results.
They had also applied for original copies of the statement of polls which contains constituency results.
43 Africans Drown Off Libya In First Mediterranean Shipwreck Of 2021- UN
The first migrant ship wreck in the Mediterranean this year has seen at least 43 African migrants drowned off the coast of Libya on Tuesday while trying to reach Europe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said in a joint statement ten survivors were rescued and brought to shore by coastal security in Zuwahra after their boat capsized in rough seas.
Libya is the major route for migrants seeking to reach Europe from Africa. The U.N. Agencies called for reactivating state-led search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and for a halt to returning migrants to “unsafe ports.”
Britain Helps Kenya Prepare For Roll-Out Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Kenya says it is expecting from next month 24 million Astrazeneca and oxford university vaccine doses.
Health minister Mutahi Kagwe says the vaccines were ordered through an African Union (AU) initiative.
UK foreign minister, Dominic Raab, who is on a one-day visit to Kenya, is quoted as saying Britain was helping the country to prepare to roll out the vaccine.
Raab is quoted as saying it was not just a moral duty, but in the British national interest, to see Kenyans vaccinated as soon as physically, and logistically possible.
Kenya has confirmed nearly one hundred thousand coronavirus cases and has tested more than one million of its 48 million people. There have been eighty-two and a half thousand recoveries and seventeen hundred thirty-four deaths.