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As COVID hit Kenya and South Africa, race and class fears were amplified on Twitter

As COVID hit Kenya and South Africa, race and class fears were amplified on Twitter

IT'S common in both Kenya and South Africa for there to be everyday conversations about inequalities in power relations and between “races”, classes and ethnic groups. Kenya, in East Africa, and South Africa, in southern Africa, share a history of British colonial divisions. In both countries, social movements and protests have sought to address these social injustices – like #FeesMustFall, #MenAreTrash, #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives, #OccupyParliamentKE. Authors JOB MWAURA, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cape TownUFUOMA AKPOJIVI, Associate Professor in Media Studies, University of the Witwatersrand Socio-economic and political divides were further exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the responses of the…
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WHO says global rise in COVID cases is ‘tip of the iceberg’

WHO says global rise in COVID cases is ‘tip of the iceberg’

JENNIFER RIGBY and MANAS MISHRA FIGURES showing a global rise in COVID-19 cases could herald a much bigger problem as some countries also report a drop in testing rates, the WHO said, warning nations to remain vigilant against the virus. After more than a month of decline, COVID cases started to increase around the world last week, the WHO said, with lockdowns in Asia and China's Jilin province battling to contain an outbreak. A combination of factors was causing the increases, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its BA.2 sublineage, and the lifting of public health and social measures,…
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The coronavirus in Nigeria has its own family history: keeping track is vital

The coronavirus in Nigeria has its own family history: keeping track is vital

NIGERIA recorded its first case of SARS-CoV-2 on 27 February 2020, and within five months at least one case had been reported in all states across the country. Author OLUBUSUYI MOSES ADEWUMI, Virologist , University of Ibadan By 11 March 2020, SARS-CoV-2 had infected over 100,000 people in at least 100 countries. The World Health Organisation consequently declared it a pandemic. Building on the success of Nigeria’s response to Ebola, the Nigerian government immediately activated a national Incident Control Centre. This was to enable routine surveillance, diagnosis, and prompt reporting of COVID-19 cases. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control swiftly…
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Masks, PCR tests no longer needed in Namibia as COVID cases fall

Masks, PCR tests no longer needed in Namibia as COVID cases fall

THE wearing of masks in public in Namibia and negative PCR tests for vaccinated visitors are no longer required, President Hage Geingob said on Tuesday, as active COVID-19 cases fall to just a couple of hundred. Infections peaked at more than 30,000 per month in June 2021 but the southern African country has averaged 14 cases per day during the last seven days, with the total active cases at 222. "Wearing of masks in public places is no longer mandatory," Geingob said in a televised briefing. People in closed spaces such as on public transport or in indoor public meetings…
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U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

LISA SHUMAKER THE United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing. The previous record was 1.03 million cases on January 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day. The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the…
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S.Africa reports record daily COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads

S.Africa reports record daily COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads

SOUTH Africa reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections on Wednesday in a fourth wave believed to be largely caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 26,976 new cases in the past 24 hours, surpassing a peak of 26,485 in early July during a third wave driven by the then-dominant Delta strain. The NICD also reported another 54 COVID-19 related deaths and an additional 620 hospital admissions. South Africa, the country worst affected by the pandemic on the African continent in terms of confirmed infections and deaths, alerted the world to…
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Zimbabwe delays new school term due to rising COVID-19 cases, cyclone

Zimbabwe delays new school term due to rising COVID-19 cases, cyclone

ZIMBABWE has postponed the re-opening of schools planned for next week, due to a surge in coronavirus infections and a tropical storm sweeping through the region, the government has announced. The government had set January 4 as the date to re-open primary and secondary schools, after many students missed class for much of last year as the country tried to curb the spread of COVID-19. Zimbabwe has recorded more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 and 359 deaths. Daily cases have averaged more than 100 this week, compared to less than 50 last month. A teachers' union earlier petitioned the courts…
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Olympics: First stress test for “Covid Games”

Olympics: First stress test for “Covid Games”

THE first major test of how an Olympics can be held in the midst of a pandemic may well come this week in the men's soccer tournament when Japan face a South Africa side that could struggle to field 11 players due to the novel coronavirus. South Africa's squad was severely depleted by COVID-19 infections and withdrawals before they left for the Games and was then hit with the news that two players and a video analyst had tested positive on arrival in Tokyo. Organisers said late on Monday that 21 members of the delegation were close contacts, leaving South…
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Morocco to send aid to Tunisia

Morocco to send aid to Tunisia

MOROCCO plans to send 100 intensive care beds and a similar number of ventilators to help Tunisia tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases, Rabat's foreign ministry has announced. Morocco joins other Arab states which promised to help the North African country as it struggles to contain its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began, putting its health care system under severe stress and depleting oxygen supplies. Intensive care units are full and there is a severe shortage of oxygen, officials said. The total number of coronavirus cases so far in Tunisia has climbed to 497,613, including 16,388 deaths.
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Tunisian parliament speaker contracts COVID-19

Tunisian parliament speaker contracts COVID-19

THE speaker of Tunisia's parliament and the leader of the Islamist Ennahda Party, Rached Ghannouchi, has contracted COVID-19, an advisor to Ghannouchi has told Reuters. Ghannouchi, 80, is at home and will work remotely, the advisor said. Ghannouchi, the leader of the biggest party in the parliament, received two doses of an anti-COVID vaccine this year. Tunisia is seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, with intensive care wards almost full, health authorities said, after successfully containing the virus in the first wave last year. In total, Tunisia has recorded more than 500,000 coronavirus cases and about 16,500 deaths.
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