Africa

Cyclone Eloise leaves hundreds homeless in Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AFP) — A tropical cyclone that hit central Mozambique on the weekend has displaced thousands of people and caused severe flooding in an area battered by two deadly cyclones in 2019, response teams and aid agencies said. Cyclone Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday, bringing high-speed winds of up to 150 km/h followed by torrential rain over the port city of Beira, the capital of Mozambique’s Sofala province, and the […]

African Union secures 270 million vaccine doses for continent

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The African Union said on Wednesday it had secured 270 million doses of anti-Covid vaccine for the continent, in a deal that will benefit countries unable to finance their own immunization campaigns. Under the deal, the vaccines will be supplied by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The doses will complement the vaccines secured via Covax, the globally-pooled vaccine procurement and distribution effort which has struck agreements to secure two […]

UN seeks $35 million in emergency aid for Madagascar amid pandemic, drought

  ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AFP) — The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) appealed on Tuesday for emergency aid of $35 million to fight hunger in southern Madagascar, hit by the coronavirus pandemic and a third consecutive year of drought. “Some 1.35 million people are projected to be food insecure — 35 percent of the region’s population,” the WFP said in a statement. “With severe malnutrition rates continuing to spiral and many children forced to beg in […]

Egypt approves Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

CAIRO, Egypt (AFP) — Egypt has approved the use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharma giant Sinopharm with its rollout to start later in January, the health minister said. “The Egyptian pharmaceutical authority approved on Saturday the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine,” Hala Zayed said late Saturday, on the local MBC Masr channel. The first batch of the vaccine was delivered in December, with further doses expected this month. “The second shipment of this vaccine […]

SAfrica counts more than one million virus cases

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa has become the first African nation to record one million coronavirus cases, according to new data published by the country’s health ministry on Sunday. Currently suffering a second wave of infections, of which the majority are a new variant of the coronavirus, South Africa is the hardest hit country on the African continent, with 1,004,413 infections and 26,735 deaths, the data showed. As of 1900 GMT, a total […]

S.Africa rejects claim its Covid variant more dangerous than UK strain

  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa’s health minister has rejected his British counterpart’s claim that a new coronavirus variant in the country is more contagious or dangerous than a similar one in spreading the UK. “At present, there is no evidence that the 501.V2 (variant) is more transmissible than the United Kingdom variant — as suggested by the British Health Secretary,” Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement published late Thursday. “There is also […]

Morocco orders 65 million vaccine doses

  RABAT, Morocco (AFP) — Morocco said Thursday it had ordered 65 million doses of novel coronavirus vaccine, as the North African kingdom prepared to launch a vaccination campaign targeting 25 million people. “Preparations have reached very advanced stages,” Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb said in a statement on the roll-out plans. “Field exercises covering all stages of the process of vaccinating citizens have been put in place.” A government source confirmed to AFP that […]

Burundi ex-president Buyoya dies from Covid-19

  NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) — Burundi’s former president Pierre Buyoya has died in Paris of Covid-19 at the age of 71, relatives said Friday, just weeks after he resigned as the African Union’s special envoy to Mali and the Sahel. Buyoya, who was credited with helping push democracy in the small African country but was accused of involvement in his successor’s assassination, was hospitalised in Mali’s capital Bamako on Wednesday, a family member told AFP. […]

Africa confronts a second wave of Covid-19

by Claire Doyen with AFP bureaus in Africa JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — After being relatively spared by coronavirus, Africa is bracing for the pandemic’s second wave, noting how the microbe has once more cut a swathe through rich countries in Europe and North Africa. The continent’s most-hit nations are again having to contemplate stringent public health measures as they await the arrival of the vaccine cavalry. In South Africa, the start of summer has […]

Africa lacks preparedness for virus vaccine roll-out : WHO

  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The World Health Organization on Thursday urged African countries to improve their capacity to vaccinate populations against Covid-19, warning the continent was still “far from ready” for mass immunisation. With three coronavirus vaccines now showing efficacy rates of 70 percent or more, the UN body called on Africa to “ramp up” preparations for “the continent’s largest ever immunisation drive”. The African region is so far only 33 percent ready […]

Africa lacks preparedness for virus vaccine roll-out : WHO

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The World Health Organization on Thursday urged African countries to improve their capacity to vaccinate populations against Covid-19, warning the continent was still “far from ready” for mass immunization. With three coronavirus vaccines now showing efficacy rates of 70 percent or more, the UN body called on Africa to “ramp up” preparations for “the continent’s largest ever immunization drive”. The African region is so far only 33 percent ready to […]

DR Congo announces end of latest Ebola epidemic

  KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — The Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday declared the end of the country’s latest Ebola epidemic, after the outbreak killed 55 people over the past five months. “I am happy to solemnly declare the end of the 11th epidemic of the Ebola virus in Equateur province” in the vast country’s northwest, Health Minister Eteni Longondo told journalists. The World Health Organization said the latest outbreak had killed 55 people […]