Medical Oxygen Scarce in Africa, Latin America Amid Virus

DAKAR, SENEGAL – A crisis over the supply of medical oxygen for coronavirus patients has struck nations in Africa and Latin America, where warnings went unheeded at the start of the pandemic and doctors say the shortage has led to unnecessary deaths. It takes about 12 weeks to install a hospital oxygen plant and even less time to convert industrial oxygen manufacturing systems into a medical-grade network. But in Brazil and Nigeria, as well as in less-populous nations, decisions to fully address inadequate supplies only started being made last month,…

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Update: Ebola infects 14 people, kills 9 in Guinea, DRC – Africa CDC

and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have reported 14 Ebola virus cases and nine deaths so far, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The Africa CDC, the specialised healthcare agency of the 55-member African Union, reported a fatality rate of 64.3 percent in the two countries. Since the last report, one new confirmed case, two new deaths and no new recoveries have been reported in the DRC, the Africa CDC said, adding that three new suspected cases were reported in N’zerekore, Guinea. The…

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Covid-19: At least 4 African countries are ‘uninterested’ in coronavirus vaccines

ADDIS ABABA, Feb 23 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A number of African countries have either openly rejected vaccines amid spread of the coronavirus pandemic while one has yet to make a pronouncement on whether or not it is interested. Two of these countries are in the East African Community – they are Burundi and Tanzania. The regional bloc is expected to receive some 39 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the African Union, which has secured a deal to procure 270 million doses for all member states. The 270 million doses…

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Guinea Receives Ebola Vaccine, Neighbors Prepare

BAMAKO – West African countries are taking steps to prevent a regional outbreak of Ebola after the deadly virus killed at least five people in Guinea. As Guinea launched an Ebola vaccination drive Tuesday, after an outbreak in the West African nation’s southern Nzérékoré region, its neighbors were also preparing. The last Ebola outbreak in 2013 also started in Guinea and killed 11,300 people over three years as it spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were also cases in Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal and as far away as Europe and…

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Ebola Expert Calls for Vigilance Amid Outbreaks

With the Ebola virus flaring in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a new outbreak in Guinea, Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum is worried. “This is a great concern for us, especially since the COVID and Ebola crises are occurring” simultaneously, said Muyembe, who manages DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research and is coordinating his country’s responses to both infectious diseases. A renowned expert on the Ebola virus, the 78-year-old microbiologist sees it as a more urgent threat than COVID-19 in his country. Meanwhile, the pandemic’s official death toll in Africa…

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Israel Unveils Real-world Pfizer Data, ‘Green Badge’

Israelis who have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine saw their risk of illness from the coronavirus drop 98.5% and their risk of hospitalization drop 98.9%, the country’s Health Ministry said Saturday. The ministry’s findings came from data collected February 13 from a pool of about 1.7 million people who had received both shots by January 30, meaning their bodies had time to build up antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. Nearly half of Israel’s 9.3 million people have been inoculated, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday…

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Covid-19: French Pres Macron suggests West sets aside 3-5% of vaccines for Africa

PARIS, Feb 19 (NNN-AGENCIES) — French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed that rich Western countries transfer 3-5 percent of their stock of Covid-19 vaccines to Africa. With developing countries struggling in the race to vaccinate their populations against the coronavirus, Macron argued that failure to share the vaccine would exacerbate global inequality. Transferring “3-5 per cent of the vaccines we have in stock to Africa… won’t delay it by a single day given the way we use our doses,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. His comments…

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Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, DR Congo stoke new fears in Africa

CONAKRY, New outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus disease in the two African countries of Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are sending new jitters to Africa as the continent is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the West African country Guinea, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the west, health authorities have confirmed more than a dozen Ebola cases in the N’Zerekore administrative region, Southeast Guinea. Adama Kaba, director of the N’Zerekore Provincial Hospital said that Ebola cases in the country had climbed to 15, including five…

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