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South Africa Concerned Over Holiday COVID-19 Spike

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South Africa Concerned Over Holiday COVID-19 Spike

The South African government says it is concerned about a new surge of COVID-19 cases during the holiday period and as cooler weather arrives.

The pandemic in the country has been relatively stable in the past two weeks, with an average of about twelve hundred new cases reported per day, and hospitalization and mortality rates declining.

To prevent potential infection risk inherent in travel during the four-day holiday this past weekend, the South African government announced strict restrictions on the number of indoor and outdoor gatherings, and discouraged people from traveling across provinces.

South African police also set up road blocks and check sites on the country’s major roads.

This as experts say the current speed of vaccination in the country is slow.  Only about 250,000 medical workers have been vaccinated since the exercise began nearly two months ago.  They say it is important to speed up vaccinations.

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Nigeria Heightens Security On Border With Chad

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Nigeria’s minister of defence Bashir Magashi says the country has heightened security on its border with chad following president Idris Deby’s killing by rebels.

The minister says this is because of external threats that would come from the influx of refugees. Magashi says only Nigerians living in Chad will be allowed back into the country.

Nigeria borders Chad in the north-east where Boko Haram militants have been active recently. Chadian soldiers have been part of the troops battling insecurity in west Africa.

Chad is seen as an important country to the international efforts to combat insecurity in the west African region.

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Ghana: NCA To Shut Down 49 TV Stations For Operating Without License

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Ghana has shut down what it called 49 illegal television stations. The National Communications Authority says broadcasting by too many stations would affect signals. Authorities say the TV stations were being shut down because they were unlicensed. They say the action will ensure efficient use of the country’s broadcasting spectrum.

At least 146 TV channels are currently authorized to operate.

The process of shutting down unlicensed stations is being done in collaboration with the police and intelligence agents.

The NCA says it continuously monitors satellite free-to-air television platforms.

More than 50 radio stations were shut down in a similar exercise in 2017.

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WHO, Africa CDC Urge African Nations To Keep Expired COVID Vaccines

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Africa CDC

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) have urged African countries not to destroy COVID-19 vaccines that have expired.  Many countries on the continent got AstraZeneca vaccines through the U.N. facilitated Covax scheme for their campaigns.

Now, the W.H.O. says countries whose stocks might have expired should hold on to the stock and wait for further guidance. The Africa CDC says it has spoken to the manufacturer and has been reassured that the vaccines are still safe.

Reports say many vaccines can be used up to 36 months after manufacture, but because COVID-19 jabs are new, there is not enough data to prove their effectiveness over longer periods.

The call came after Malawi and South Sudan said they would discard more than 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jabs that were out of date.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa has been slow, partly because of supply issues and skepticism about the jab.

Out of 55 African countries, 41 have benefitted from the delivery of vaccines via the global-sharing scheme Covax. Seven are yet to receive their first batch.

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