IOC says COVID-safe Tokyo Olympics are ready to go

IOC says COVID-safe Tokyo Olympics are ready to go

With just 65 days to go before the opening ceremony of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it is prepared to hold the games despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the organizational challenges. John Coates, head of the IOC Coordination Commission, issued a…

Tanzania implements new COVID measures

Tanzania implements new COVID measures

Tanzania is implementing new pandemic restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, according to an announcement from health minister Abel Makubi. The new rules include a ban on all flights to or from India, where the coronavirus is spreading at an alarming pace and emerging variants are adding…

Uganda reports first case of Indian COVID variant

Ugandan officials say they’ve confirmed the first case of a COVID-19 variant that emerged in India and has contributed to that nation’s overwhelming coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry of Health confirmed the presence of the B.1.617 variant on Thursday, noting that it was identified in travelers who returned from India to Kampala…

Africa’s need for a dedicated Covid-19 vaccine supply

As with so many other facets of global wealth (and health) inequality, the rollout of the four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Western pharmaceutical companies and approved by American and European health officials – the “Big Four” of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson – has quickly became yet another…

WHO calls for fair access to vaccines for Africans

Top African health officials are calling for more equitable vaccine distribution, noting that less than 2 percent of the vaccines delivered to date have been for people on the continent and most of that is in just 10 nations. “Although progress is being made, many African countries have barely moved…

COVID vaccine needed to enter Grand Mosque at Ramadan

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says it will issue permits for some visits to Muslim holy sites during the upcoming month of Ramadan, but only if applicants comply with COVID pandemic restrictions. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced earlier this week that only people who are fully vaccinated for…

Africa CDC worries over Astra Zeneca vaccine availability

The head of Africa’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that ongoing delays in receiving Astra Zeneca vaccines from India pose a threat to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in the face of emerging variants. John Nkengasong says any interruption would definitely impact the ability to continue vaccinating people….

Kenya sees troubling spike in COVID cases

Health officials in Kenya say they’re seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections that is placing a strain on resources, even as the country continues to roll out its vaccination plans. “The Ministry of Health Kenya is extremely concerned with the number of rising cases of those contracting the coronavirus disease…

COVID threatens Africa’s conservation efforts

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a sobering impact on global nature conservation, with Africa and Asia the most severely affected, according to new research papers published in PARKS, the journal of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. More than half of protected areas in Africa reported that they were…

First vaccines through COVAX arrive in Ghana

Ghana on Wednesday became the first nation to receive coronavirus vaccines through the global COVAX initiative, a partnership supported by UNICEF in West Africa. “The shipments also represent the beginning of what should be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history,” said UNICEF in a statement. “The COVAX…

New Ebola cases suspected in West Africa’s Guinea

New cases of the Ebola virus are now suspected in the West African nation of Guinea, according to the World Health Organization. “WHO has been informed of two suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea-Conakry,” said WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus late Saturday. “Confirmatory testing underway. WHOAFRO and WHO country office…

WHO works to trace 70+ contacts of new Ebola case in DR Congo

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that officials in Democratic Republic of Congo have identified more than 70 contacts of a woman with confirmed Ebola virus who has already died. “WHO is supporting local and national authorities to trace them and provide care where needed,” said Tedros…

COVAX forecast gives country-by-country breakdown on COVID vaccines

African nations may have a better idea of what COVID-19 vaccination products to expect with an update from the global COVAX Facility issued Wednesday. COVAX, led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization, provided a country-by-country breakdown in a detailed…