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Somali president tests positive for COVID-19

Somali president tests positive for COVID-19

SOMALI President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in self-isolation. Abdikarim Ali Kaar, Mohamud's spokesperson, said the president had returned to Somalia on Friday from a trip to the United Arab Emirates. The official Somali president's Twitter account shows a video of him meeting the president of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, with both men wearing masks, dated June 22. He also met Somalis based in the UAE. "My fellow citizens, I would like to inform you that today I tested positive for COVID-19. So far, I have no symptoms but I…
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South Africa repeals COVID rules as fifth wave fades

South Africa repeals COVID rules as fifth wave fades

SOUTH AFRICA has repealed COVID-19 rules that made masks mandatory in indoor public spaces, limited the size of gatherings and imposed entry requirements at its borders, the health minister said on Thursday. South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent, with over 3.9 million confirmed infections and more than 101,000 deaths. Minister Joe Phaahla said authorities had noted a decline in cases, hospitalisations and reported deaths and concluded that a limited fifth wave was dissipating. "The COVID-19 virus is not yet gone, ... we are just stronger than before especially with vaccination," he told…
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Has COVID affected your sleep? Here’s how viruses can change our sleeping patterns

Has COVID affected your sleep? Here’s how viruses can change our sleeping patterns

DURING the early phases of the pandemic, and especially during lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many people reported disruptions to sleep and their sleeping patterns. As COVID infections have increased, we’re again seeing reports of people experiencing poor sleep during and following COVID infection. Some people report insomnia symptoms, where they struggle to fall or stay asleep, with this commonly being referred to as “coronasomnia” or “COVID insomnia”. Others report feeling constantly fatigued, and seemingly can’t get enough sleep, with this sometimes being referred to as “long COVID”. Author GEMMA PAECH, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine and Public Health, University…
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Morocco’s king tests positive for COVID

Morocco’s king tests positive for COVID

KING Mohammed VI of Morocco has tested positive for COVID-19 but has exhibited no symptoms, his doctor said on Thursday. The king will be on sick leave for a couple of days, his doctor Lahcen Belyamani said in a statement carried by state media. King Mohammed, who holds sweeping powers, has headed the Muslim world's longest-serving dynasty since 1999.
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U.S. drops COVID testing for incoming international air travellers

U.S. drops COVID testing for incoming international air travellers

DAVID SHEPARDSON THE United States rescinded a 17-month-old requirement that people arriving in the country by air test negative for COVID-19, a move that follows intense lobbying by airlines and the travel industry. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky issued a four-page order lifting the mandate, effective at 12:01 a.m. ET (0400 GMT) Sunday, saying it is "not currently necessary."Advertisement · Scroll to continue The requirement had been one of the last major U.S. COVID-19 travel requirements. Its end comes as the summer travel season kicks off, and airlines were already preparing for record demand. Airlines have said…
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BioNTech to soon start mRNA vaccine factory construction in Rwanda

BioNTech to soon start mRNA vaccine factory construction in Rwanda

COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech said construction of an mRNA vaccine factory to enable African nations to jump-start their own manufacturing network would start on June 23 in Rwanda. The groundbreaking ceremony in the capital city of Kigali is to be attended by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, further heads of African states, as well as representatives from the European Union and the World Health Organization, the biotech firm said in a statement on Thursday. The German company's modular factory elements, to be assembled in Africa to so-called BioNTainers, would be delivered to the Kigali construction site by the end of 2022, it…
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No COVID-19 apocalypse in Africa, as WHO expects a steep drop in fatalities

No COVID-19 apocalypse in Africa, as WHO expects a steep drop in fatalities

SETH ONYANGO, BIRD STORY AGENCY TALES of the coronavirus apocalypse in Africa will not be told after all, with the WHO now predicting a dramatic drop in fatalities, from an average of 970 fatalities each day last year, to around 60 a day by the end of 2022. This is in sharp contrast to the grim predictions about COVID-19 in Africa. Comments from health organisations and aid agencies were at the time criticised for pandering to stereotypes about Africa. Some, including philanthropist Melinda Gates, warned that dead bodies from COVID-19 would litter the continent. "My first thought was Africa. How…
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COVID left South African pupils far behind in maths and language skills

COVID left South African pupils far behind in maths and language skills

LEARNING to read, write, count and calculate forms the basis for all other learning in school and beyond. Pupils start to learn these basic skills in the first three years of schooling. Their learning continues throughout their time in school as the content becomes more complex. In 2020 and 2021, learners across South Africa missed at least a quarter of a school year due to COVID-related lockdowns and rotational timetabling. Many learners lost much more school time. Author URSULA HOADLEY, Professor, University of Cape Town Given these disruptions, how much learning was lost across the schooling system? The systemic tests…
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Africa’s Covid-19 deaths fall by 94%

Africa’s Covid-19 deaths fall by 94%

BHARGAV ACHARYA and ALEXANDER WINNING DEATHS on the African continent from COVID-19 are expected to fall by nearly 94 percent in 2022 compared to last year, modelling by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed. 2021 was the pandemic's most deadly year in Africa, with COVID-19 the seventh major cause of death, just below malaria. "Our latest analysis suggests that estimated deaths in the African region will shrink to around 60 a day in 2022. ... Last year, we lost an average of 970 people every day," WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti told a virtual news conference. The gulf in the…
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Unvaccinated South Africans told us why they weren’t interested in having COVID jabs

Unvaccinated South Africans told us why they weren’t interested in having COVID jabs

SOUTH AFRICA is currently facing a new wave of infections related to the much higher transmissibility of the omicron COVID variant and its sub-variants. The most recent spike has had similar characteristics as the fourth wave in January 2022: increases in infections have not been accompanied by similar increases spikes in hospitalisations and deaths. Author KATHERINE EYAL, Research Associate, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town These changes present a challenge to policy makers trying to improve vaccine take-up, particularly in vulnerable groups. People more vulnerable to severe illness with COVID include the elderly and…
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