DR Congo declares end to Ebola epidemic in east

KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — DR Congo’s government on Thursday officially declared an end to an Ebola epidemic that broke out in the east of the troubled country in August 2018 and went on to claim 2,277 lives. The outbreak was “the longest, most complex and deadliest” in the 60-year history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Health Minister Eteni Longondo said. It has only been surpassed by the 2013-16 Ebola epidemic in West Africa […]

S. Africa to start Africa’s first coronavirus vaccine pilot

by Sofia CHRISTENSEN JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa will roll out the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial this week, the university leading the pilot said Tuesday, as the country grapples with the highest number of cases in Africa. The vaccine, developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute, is already being evaluated in Britain, where 4,000 participants have signed up for the trial. South Africa has set out to vaccinate 2,000 people with the vaccine […]

UN urges Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to ‘work together’ in Nile dam dispute

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — The UN on Monday urged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to “work together” to resolve differences over Addis Ababa’s Nile River mega-dam which has been a long-running source of regional tension. At Egypt’s request, the Security Council was scheduled to hold an informal videoconference Monday afternoon to address the dispute. Recent talks failed to produce a deal on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will […]

Malawi braces for historic presidential election re-run

by Jack McBRAMS LILONGWE, Malawi (AFP) — Malawi goes to the polls on Tuesday in a historic presidential re-run after a court overturned last year’s elections and ordered a fresh vote. Citing “grave” and “widespread” rigging, the country’s constitutional court ruled in February that President Peter Mutharika had not been duly elected, and mandated a new poll within 150 days. The landmark verdict, which reverberated across African politics, made Malawi the second country south of […]

Morocco opens field hospital after spike in virus cases

MOULAY BOUSSELHAM, Morocco (AFP) — A new field hospital in eastern Morocco will from Sunday receive around 700 COVID-19 patients following a sharp spike in infections in the kingdom, the government said. Morocco reported a record single-day rise in novel coronavirus cases on Friday after an outbreak was detected in fruit packing plants in eastern Kenitra province, prompting Rabat to tighten restrictions in the region. The North African kingdom reported more than 500 cases on […]

Morocco reports record spike in virus infections

RABAT, Morocco (AFP)  — Morocco reported on Friday its highest number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections in a single day since recording its first case in March, according to the health ministry. Over 450 of the infections were recorded in the western Rabat-Kenitra region, the health ministry said, noting the cases were “asymptomatic”. Local media reported the source of the outbreak was a strawberry packing plant in the town of Kenitra. Morocco, with a population […]

In midst of pandemic, E. Africa braces for another locust invasion

by Marion DOUET Agence France Presse NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) — East Africa is bracing for a third outbreak of desert locusts, with billions of the destructive insects about to hatch and threaten food supplies in a region already reeling from damaging rains and the coronavirus pandemic. Spurred by favourable weather conditions, the migratory pests have descended on East Africa in record numbers since late 2019 and another wave is about to take to the skies […]

Al-Qaeda North Africa confirms chief is dead: SITE

BAMAKO, Mali (AFP) — Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing has confirmed that its Algerian chief Abdelmalek Droukdel is dead, according to SITE, the US watchdog for extremist groups. France said early this month that its forces killed Droukdel in northern Mali near the Algerian border, where it says the group has bases it uses to carry out bombings and abductions of Westerners. “After nearly two weeks, AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) has officially acknowledged the […]

South Africa’s virus cases jump by 10,000 in five days

  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus infections have jumped by more than 10,000 in five days to 61,927 on Friday, official statistics showed. Positive cases stood at 50,879 on Monday, just a week after the continent’s worst-hit country further eased lockdown restrictions. South Africa accounts for nearly 25 percent of the continent’s total cases, according to the World Health Organization. The latest figures released by the health ministry showed that the […]

Ebola vaccinations underway in new DR Congo outbreak

KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — Health workers in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo have begun administering vaccinations after the country’s 11th known outbreak of Ebola erupted last week, the authorities said Monday. Six people have died of the much-feared haemorrhagic virus since June 1, when the first cases came to light in Mbandaka, capital of Equateur province. The outbreak coincides with a waning epidemic in the east of the country where 2,280 have died since […]

Mali teachers strike over virus concerns as schools reopen

BAMAKO, Mali (AFP) — Teachers in the West African state of Mali went on strike Tuesday, the first day schools reopened after being closed for two months, over fears of inadequate protection against coronavirus. Details of the number of students affected were unavailable, but seven teachers’ unions are striking, officials said, in a move that will hit public primary and secondary schools, as well as teacher-training colleges. The government shut schools to curb coronavirus in […]

DR Congo reports fresh Ebola outbreak

KINSHASA, DR CONGO (AFP) — DR Congo on Monday reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the country’s northwest, just weeks before it hoped to declare the end of another epidemic in the east. The appearance of the deadly disease on the other side of the vast central African country comes as an added blow as it attempts to also battle the coronavirus pandemic. Health Minister Eteni Longondo said that “four people have already died” from […]