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CORONA VIRUS

Rwanda Closes All Schools In Capital Kigali Due To Surging COVID-19 Infections

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With immediate effect, all Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools (public and private) will be
closed in the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Education announced on Sunday evening, January 18, 2021.

The Ministry said that remote learning
is highly encouraged and boarding students will remain in their respective schools and will
continue to receive essential services.

The directive, the Ministry said, is meant to further contain the spread of Covid-19, especially in the City of Kigali.

“All other schools outside of the city of Kigali will continue teaching and learning activities, respecting Covid-19 prevention measures,” a communique signed by the minister said.

The above guidelines will be reviewed in two weeks upon health assessment.

Cases of new Covid-19 infections have continued to rise in Rwanda as the country recorded 277 confirmed positive cases on Saturday, January 16.

For a second consecutive day, the number of cases reported has been above 250.

CORONA VIRUS

Good News To See COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive In Africa- Kagame

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President Paul Kagame has expressed gratitude that Africa has finally received the first jabs of COVID-19 Vaccines from the Global Access (COVAX), a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and others.

Kagame made the remark on Wednesday afternoon hours after Rwanda received 240,000 shots. The second consignment with 102,960 jabs of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive in the evening.

Kenya and Rwanda have received their first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX initiative. Kenya has received 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines.

“It’s been long wait, some better prepared and more ready,” Kagame said on twitter, adding that, ” … not to mention some ‘more equal than others’ BUT certainly all of us in urgent NEED.”

He said that “Now good news to see #COVID19 Vaccines arrive in Africa starting with Ghana…this morning in Rwanda and more. Thanks, COVAX.’

According to the Rwanda government, a vaccination plan scheduled for rollout on Friday will see target risk groups across the country receive their first of two vaccine doses.

The target is to vaccinate 30% of the population by the end of 2021, and 60% by the end of 2022,” the government said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Uganda government said, it is scheduled to receive its first Covid-19 vaccine consignment on Friday and will start vaccinating people against  Covid-19  next Wednesday on March 10.

Uganda’s first batch of the COVID-19 jabs will comprise of 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday became the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine through the scheme.

Akufo-Addo urged people to get inoculated and not to believe conspiracy theories casting doubt on the programme, which will see some 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rolled out nationwide on Tuesday.

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CORONA VIRUS

Kenya, Rwanda Receive First Batch of Covid -19 Vaccine

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Kenya and Rwanda have received their first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines trough the COVAX initiative. The package was delivered by Qatar Airways to both countries.

According to details from Kenya, 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi on Tuesday night. The vaccines arrived on Qatar Airways flight QR1341.

On March 3rd, Kigali also received its package of 240,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

According to Rwanda government, a vaccination plan scheduled for rollout on Friday will see target risk groups across the country receive their first of two vaccine doses.

“The target is to vaccinate 30% of the population by the end of 2021, and 60% by the end of 2022,” the government said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Uganda government said, it is scheduled to receive its first Covid-19 vaccine consignment on Friday and will start vaccinating people against  Covid-19  next Wednesday on the 10th March.

Uganda’s first batch of the COVID-19 jabs will comprise of 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s Health minister said, “all persons eligible for vaccination will be required to provide a National ID in the case of Ugandan citizens or a passport in the case of non-Ugandans.”

For Tanzania, vaccination against covid-19 remains a controversial issue because the government considers these jabs unsafe.

“We are not yet satisfied that those vaccines have been clinically proven safe”, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima said last month.

Gwajima and the health officials drank a herbal concoction including ginger, garlic, and lemons, and inhaled steam from herbs, promoting them as natural means of killing the virus. 

“You should stand firm. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the White man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for AIDS by now; he would have found a vaccination [for] tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now”, President John Magufuli said at the end of January, 2021.

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CHOGM

Commonwealth SG Predicts More Deaths From Covid-19 In Poorer Countries

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Poorer countries will most likely ‘bear the brunt of hundreds of thousands of needles deaths’ from inequality in access to COVID-19 vaccines, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland warned.

This dire warning was given in a video address to the High Level Segment at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 23 February.

Scotland said COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on health inequalities within and between countries and nowhere is this more evident that in access t vaccines.

“Although vaccines are a vital lifeline, they remain out of the grasp of far too many and crucially this means that citizens of the poorest nations may bear the brunt of hundreds of thousands of needles deaths, therefore we must not allow this and leaders of our world must come together to ensure that this does not happen,” she added.

She warned inequitable vaccine access could derail the global economic recovery and make wealthier nations lose money and we have learned that in order for us to be safe, we must work together.

She stated that the past year has enhanced lingering existential threats, including the climate emergency and reaffirmed that the Commonwealth’s resolve to support small states and other vulnerable countries to protect the environment and tackle climate change.

She called for inclusive development and multilateral co-operation, stressing that re-commitment to human rights must be central to Covid-19 recovery efforts.

“Human rights are not the panacea to all challenges brought about by the pandemic, by climate change or by the never ending list of conflicts across the world, but the last 12 months have taught a painful less to humanity therefore we must learn from experience,” she emphasised.

“We have to make human rights central to building back better, without human rights, humanity is not a sustainable project and we cannot afford to fail,” she concluded.

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