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Zimbabwe Delays Reopening of Schools over COVID-19 Surge

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Zimbabwe has Postponed the reopening of schools and other learning institutions by two weeks following a surge in new Covid-19 cases.

The schools were set to reopen on Monday. Teachers’ unions and health professionals had called for a postponement to prevent the spread of the virus.

This is the second time Zimbabwe has deferred the reopening of schools this year.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa also announced a lockdown in the south-western city of Bulawayo, with security forces being deployed to enforce the regulations.

The country has been recording an increase in virus cases and the government has blamed complacency.

Zimbabwe has so far recorded 42,714 confirmed cases, including 37,288 recoveries and 1,691 deaths. A total of 706,158 people have been vaccinated, according to data from the health ministry.

Africa is in the middle of a full-blown third COVID wave and there is need for more vaccination, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

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The total infections have crossed the five million mark and at least seven African countries have run out of vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines running out in poorer nations
Meanwhile A large number of poorer countries receiving COVID-19 vaccines through a global sharing scheme do not have enough doses to continue programmes, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO senior adviser said the Covax programme had delivered 90 million doses to 131 countries. But he said this was nowhere near enough to protect populations from a virus still spreading worldwide. The shortages come as some nations in Africa see a third wave of infections.

On Monday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for an end to vaccine hoarding by wealthier countries as his government scrambled to curb a steep rise in cases.

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On a continental level, only 40 million doses have been administered so far in Africa – less than 2% of the population, Ramaphosa said.

To address this, he said his government was working with Covax to create a regional hub to produce more vaccines in South Africa. Covax was created last year to ensure COVID-19 doses were made available around the world, with richer countries subsidizing costs for poorer nations.

Africa is in full-blown third COVID wave
Africa is in the middle of a full-blown third COVID wave and there is need for more vaccination, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

The total infections have crossed the five million mark and at least seven African countries have run out of vaccines.

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Africa needs millions more doses here and now,” WHO’s Africa Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti said. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt have recorded the most virus cases in the continent.

Uganda and Namibia are experiencing a deadly third wave, with dozens of fatalities recorded daily. A total of 136,030 people have succumbed to the virus in different African countries, according to WHO.

The Delta variant is in 14 African countries while the Beta variant, first detected in South Africa, is in 25 countries. The WHO says there’s no clear timeline on when more vaccines will be available but there is an urgent need for them.

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