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A security guard checks the body temperature of a student at school in Kampala, capital of Uganda, on Jan. 19, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent reached 3,551,956 as of Sunday morning, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

According to the continental disease control and prevention agency's COVID-19 dashboard, the death toll related to the pandemic in Africa stood at 90,454.

A total of 3,033,621 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered across the continent so far, the African Union (AU) Commission's healthcare agency disclosed.

The Southern Africa region is the most affected area in Africa in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases, followed by the Northern Africa region, according to the agency.

The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, said the Africa CDC.

South Africa has reported the highest COVID-19-inflicted deaths in Africa, at 43,951 as of Sunday, according to the Africa CDC.

Meanwhile, the Africa CDC on Saturday said the ongoing second wave COVID-19 infections could be associated with the emergence of variants that are more transmissible.

"Africa is currently experiencing an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases," the African Union (AU) Commission's specialized healthcare agency said in its latest publication on Saturday.

At least 40 African countries have experienced a second wave of the pandemic as of January 27, including all countries in the Southern Africa region, the Africa CDC said.

"This new wave of infections is thought to be associated with the emergence of variants that are more transmissible," the Africa CDC said. Xinhua

NAIROBI, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Ministry of Health said on Friday that 1.25 million people will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of June. Mercy Mwangangi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health said the government has prioritized the vaccination that will start in February to June. "The people to be covered in this period include frontline health workers and all staff working in health facilities both in public and private sector," Mwangangi told journalists in Nairobi. She noted that workers undertaking essential services in priority sectors like security and immigration will also be vaccinated during the period. The official further revealed that 9.7 million Kenyans, including persons above 18 years of age with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated from July to June 2022. "It is important to note that if vaccines become available sooner than expected and resources are available, the targets may change," she added. Mwangangi observed that the government is working towards a smooth introduction of the vaccine by ensuring that all logistical arrangements are in place for the expected delivery of vaccines before the end of February. "Kenya has resolved to adopt a vaccine whose emergency use authorization has the approval of a stringent regulatory authority like the World Health Organization," Mwangangi added. She said that through COVID-19 vaccines global access facility (COVAX), Kenya will receive 24 million doses of vaccines and also procure 11 million doses from other mechanisms to vaccinate nearly 16 million people, about 30 percent of the population, over a period of 18 months. She added that the government has set up a safety monitoring system to investigate and take up immediate measures in consultation with the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) in case of any reported adverse effects from the vaccine. Mwangangi said that modeling teams are currently assessing the situation in all parts of the country to determine whether the country has flattened the COVID-19 infection curve. "Our positivity rate has been fluctuating between three and 10 percent in recent times," she revealed, noting that the government has established vaccination infrastructure with central storage facilities in Nairobi for vaccines requiring cold chains of up to minus 20 Celsius and some limited capacity for minus 70 Celsius in the major urban areas. Kenya has registered 100,563 positive cases since the outbreak of the disease in March 2020 after testing a cumulative figure of 1.177 million people as of Friday. So far, 1,753 people have died from the disease while a total of 83,821 patients have recovered from the disease. - Xinhua
Photo Anadolu Agency The Tanzanian president’s remarks that COVID-19 vaccines are “dangerous” have outraged people, who are criticizing him for contradicting the global scientific consensus. “John Magufuli is spreading misinformation and wild conspiracy theories that put Tanzanian lives at risk,” said Rainer Ebert, a research fellow at the University of Montreal, who has lived and taught in the East African country. As the world banks on vaccines to overcome a pandemic that has killed more than 2.1 million people, President Magufuli questioned their efficacy and urged Tanzanians to use domestic measures such as steam inhalation, which he claims can instantly kill the virus. Magufuli also raised doubts over the global push for developing COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that similar efforts have failed to cure other diseases. “Vaccinations are dangerous. If white people were able to come up with vaccinations, a vaccination for HIV/AIDS would have been found, a vaccination for tuberculosis could have eliminated it by now,” he said on Wednesday. He warned Tanzania’s health authorities against blindly procuring vaccines developed abroad. President Magufuli has previously mocked people for wearing masks and following social distancing rules. The country also halted COVID-19 testing last year after he derided kits made in China that allegedly returned positive results on goat and pawpaw fruit samples. Following his latest comments, Matshidiso Moeti, Africa regional director for the World Health Organization (WHO), called on Tanzanian authorities to ramp up public health measures, such as wearing masks, to curb the spread of COVID-19. “Vaccines work and I encourage the government to prepare for COVID-19 vaccination campaign. WHO is here to support the government and people of Tanzania,” she said on Twitter. - Kizito Makoye, Anadolu Agency

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