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COVID-19 Third Wave: Lagos Records 135 Deaths As Pandemic Cases Spike In The State

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has confirmed that the state have recorded a total of 135 fatalities in the current third wave of the pandemic, highlighting the havoc being wreaked by deadly strains of the virus spreading in the country.

The Governor during a briefing on Monday at the State house, Ikeja revealed that the State has taken the delivery of Moderna vaccine from the Federal Government.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed the State received a little above 300,000 doses of Moderna vaccine to boost the State drive towards achieving herd immunity.

The test positivity rate, the Governor added, has also increased to 12.1 per cent in the past weeks, compared to seven per cent recorded at the end of July, 2021. This, he said, resulted from non-adherence to the laid-down health protocols designed to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu said the situation called for more responsibility, urging the residents to adhere to the preventive protocols put in place by the Government.

He said: “We are now clearly in the middle of third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and Lagos has remained the epicenter of the disease in Nigeria. Test positivity rate currently stands at 12.1 per cent, compared to 1.1 per cent at the end of June, and seven per cent at end of July. As at August 21, 4,387 positive cases are currently being managed actively in-community.

“Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5,551 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos, with 506 registered fatalities. Of these deaths, 135 have sadly, happened in this current third wave. I commiserate with all residents who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. We share in your pain and grief. As a society and as a Government, it is for us to redouble our efforts to defeat this devastating pandemic.”

The increment in positive cases, Sanwo-Olu said, has also shot up oxygen demand at the Government-controlled isolation centres, with the State supplying 400 cylinders daily to patients with severe cases.

At the beginning of the third wave, it was learnt that 75 cylinders were consumed per day at the isolation centres.

Sanwo-Olu said the State would be ramping up its oxygen plants in the coming days, as he projected that the demand for oxygen may shoot up in the next few weeks.

From next Wednesday, the Governor said Lagos would start the distribution of the first dose of Moderna vaccine across 150 centres set up in the State for the exercise. Increasing vaccination, the Governor said, will stem cases of fatalities, urging residents to get the vaccine.

He said: “In terms of treatment of severe cases, we have seen a gradual increase in the uptake of oxygen during the current wave. Utilization has increased from 75 cylinders per day at the beginning of this third wave, to over 400 cylinders per day, currently. With our modelling suggesting that we may be requiring even more oxygen supply over the next few weeks, we are exploring several ways of increasing our oxygen capacity.

“One of the major pillars of our mitigation strategy for the third wave is vaccination. We are seeing that countries that have vaccinated a large percentage of their population are recording drastic reductions in the numbers of COVID-19 related deaths. This is one of the reasons why we have not spared any cost to ensure that the vaccines that have been provided by the Federal Government are made available to every resident that meets the requirements for the vaccination programme.”

As part of the strategy to stem the cases, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government identified 5,998 Persons of Interest and had successfully isolated 4,500 of them, most of whom arrived from red-listed countries.

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3 million children at risk in Sudan as civil war engulfs – U.N

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The war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed 12,190 people, according to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data project. It has displaced 5.4 million people inside the country, according to the UN, and sent over 1.3 million fleeing abroad.

Sudan’s raging civil war threatens the lives of almost 3 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Thursday, as fighting imperils what had become a haven for hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

Fighting in the huge northeastern African nation has now reached Jazeera state, the country’s breadbasket with a population of 5.9 million people — half of whom are children, UNICEF said.

« This new wave of violence could leave children and families trapped between fighting lines or caught in the crossfire, with fatal consequences, » the organization’s executive director, Catherine Russell, said in a statement Thursday.

The latest about of violence broke out on April 15, as Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary force vied for power. Since then, heavy fighting has left hundreds of thousands of people facing the agonizing decision of whether to flee their homes or stay and risk injury or death in the violence. Cease-fires have failed to halt the power struggle and fueled the growing humanitarian crisis.

Civilians are often caught up in the crossfire as neighborhoods are divided between the armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

Some 9,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to the U.N., but local doctors groups and activists say the death toll is likely far higher.

Almost 300,000 people have fled Jazeera state, moving to the nearby Sennar state, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Wednesday.

 

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‘Nothing for me in Cameroon’: Waiting in Tunisia, one eye on Europe

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Having lost everything and everyone precious to him, Joseph tries to hold things together, waiting to leave Africa.

Joseph Afumbom is a big man who has faced unimaginable tragedy.

The conflict in Cameroon between Anglophone separatists and the government killed the 27-year-old’s mother, father and siblings. It also took his home in Bamenda in the country’s northwest.

“I was there when the war started. The war took everyone,” he said, “It was three years ago. My brothers and sisters are all gone.”

With his home and family destroyed and no jobs available, Joseph felt he had no option but to gather his fiancee, Esther, and their three-year-old daughter and travel the 5,000km (more than 3,000 miles) overland to the Mediterranean coast. They arrived in Algeria, where they considered crossing into Tunisia and from there to Europe.

However, both Joseph’s fiancee and daughter died in El Menia. “They are all gone because of the cold,” he says. “That was last month.”

“I’m just trying to act normal, you know,” he tells Al Jazeera. “See, I’m smoking. I’m whiling away my thinking, trying to act like a normal person, but I’m not.”

He paused, allowing his thoughts to drift back. “We had been together for years. My daughter was three. I called her ‘Little Joy’.”

Eventually, Joseph crossed into Tunisia, making his way to the coastal city of Sfax before travelling by shared taxis to the capital, Tunis. He didn’t eat for two days.

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“There is nothing left for me in Cameroon,” he says. “I will continue to Europe if I have the opportunity.”

This article is the third of a five-part series of portraits of refugees from different countries, with diverse backgrounds, bound by shared fears and hopes as they enter 2024. Read the first and second parts here.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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Chad: Supreme court approves ‘yes’ referendum vote

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Chad’s Supreme Court definitively validated the results of the referendum for a new constitution organized by the military junta that has been in power for the past two and a half years, a key step intended to pave the way for elections in the country at the end of 2024.

According to the final results, the « yes » side won with 85.90% of the vote, while the « no » side won 14.10%, with a turnout of 62.8%, the president of the Supreme Court told a press conference.

For some members of the opposition and civil society, the result of this ballots a plebiscite resembles designed to pave the way for the election of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Bloc Fédéral, an opposition coalition which had called for the results to be annulled on the grounds of several irregularities in the voting process.

The opposition, which had widely called for a boycott, denounced, in the words of Max Kemkoye, president of the Groupe de concertation des actors politiques (GCAP), « a second coup d’état by Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno », in the face of results which, in his view, were not credible.

The new constitutional text is not very different from the one already in force, and still gives great power to the Head of State.

Mahamat Déby, 37, was proclaimed transitional president by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed by rebels on his way to the front. Idriss Déby Itno had ruled the country with an iron fist for over 30 years.

The young general immediately promised elections after an 18-month transition period, and made a commitment to the African Union not to run. Eighteen months later, his regime extended the transition by two years and authorized him to stand in the presidential elections scheduled for late 2024.

On the anniversary of the 18-month transition, October 20, 2022, between 100 and more than 300 young men and teenagers were shot dead in N’Djamena by police and military, according to the opposition and national and international NGOs.

They were demonstrating against the two-year extension of the presidential term.

More than a thousand were imprisoned before being pardoned, but dozens were tortured or disappeared, according to NGOs and the opposition.

 

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