Infection

Zimbabwe loses two more ministers to coronavirus

Two ministers serving in the Zimbabwean government died of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within a matter of days, prompting the country to announce on Saturday plans to further tighten lockdown measures. Late on Friday, the government announced that Transport Minister Joel Matiza had died after falling ill with COVID-19, less than two days after the country lost Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo to the same disease. Four government ministers have succumbed to the coronavirus in Zimbabwe so far. According to unconfirmed media reports, several other cabinet ministers are fighting for their lives in a private hospital. “We are in a dark cloud that we have to clear very soon,” deputy health minister John Mangwiro told dpa. Mangwiro revealed plans to intensify the current lockdown, which has been in ...

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Coronavirus: Concern grows over potential superspreader event during US Capitol riot

Concerns are mounting about the health of lawmakers and other people in the Capitol last week, after the first member to test positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Wednesday’s chaos, said she believed she was exposed in a crowded hiding place with hundreds of other legislators. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., tested positive on Monday while experiencing mild symptoms, and said in a statement that she believes she caught the virus from her fellow lawmakers while hunkering down as Capitol Police struggled for hours to contain a Trump-inspired mob attack on the Capitol. Lawmakers were trapped in a room near the Capitol with hundreds of others, in some cases for hours, where at least one person who later tested positive for the coronavirus was present. The Office of the Attending P...

Joe Biden receives second dose of coronavirus vaccine on camera

Joe Biden on Monday received the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on camera, as part of an effort by the President-elect’s incoming administration to reassure the country of the safety of the vaccines. Biden was administered the shot in his left arm by Ric Cuming, chief nurse executive at ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, according to Biden’s transition team. The President-elect said he would be announcing his plan to “get the entire Covid operation up and running,” including the necessary costs, on Thursday. Biden said he had a meeting with members of his team later Monday afternoon. Biden said he was “not afraid of taking the oath outside,” and that his team has been getting briefed, when asked if he had any fears about taking the oath of office...

Minister: Tests on NYSC members confirm coronavirus is everywhere in Nigeria

The Federal Government says it has further confirmed from results of tests conducted on prospective National Youth Service Corps members confirmed that no part of the country was free of COVID-19. The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja at a briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19. “We safely and comfortably drew this conclusion because corps members are mobilised from all the states of the country for each of the orientation camps,”the Minister said while warning that increasing cases of COVID-19 are imposing enormous burden on the nation’s health facilities. He said that the 18,699 active COVID-19 cases were stretching health facilities. “With the increased number of confirmed cases, the number of active cases ha...

#EndSARS: It’ll take long to rebuild destroyed property – Governor Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said, yesterday, that it would take the state time to rebuild the properties destroyed during the EndSARS protests. This came on a day the Lagos State government disclosed that the 2021 budget of N1.164 trillion would be funded from a revenue estimate of N971.028 billion in the fiscal year, with a target on the expansion of tax nets. Governor Sanwo-Olu stated this while briefing State House correspondents, after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said the meeting dwelt more on the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, security situation and the impact of the #EndSARS protests in the state. On rebuilding Lagos after the EndSARS protests, he said: “It is also some of the things I dis...

Lagos governor recovers from coronavirus, urges precautions

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday announced his recovery from COVID-19 infection, having tested negative, following 14 days of treatment. Addressing State House correspondents at ‘Lagos House’, Marina, Sanwo-Olu said that he experienced moderate symptoms like headache, cough, among other COVID-19 symptoms. He thanked the people of Lagos and the medical team for their care, prayers, and concern throughout his isolation. “I was fortunate to have had a relatively moderate COVID-19 experience. About one in every 10 persons who contracted the disease in Lagos State were not so lucky; they have to go into intensive care, and some of them did not make it out alive. “For this reason, my gratitude is deep and profuse. And it is also for this reason, that I am here to app...

Governor Sanwo-Olu still recovering from coronavirus infection

Over one week after testing positive for COVID-19, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is yet to make a complete recovery. The governor tested positive for the novel disease on December 11, 2020 after he was in close contact with an infected aide. The Lagos government reported that the governor was displaying mild symptoms and fatigue and was receiving treatment at home. While providing an update on the governor’s health on Monday, December 21, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said Sanwo-Olu is doing much better. However, he said the 55-year-old remains in isolation and receiving home based care. “We are waiting for a complete clearance of the virus so that Mr Governor can resume public activities,” he said. Abayomi urged members of the public to adhere to safety measures...

Akwa Ibom bans large gatherings as coronavirus surges

As a precautionary measure against the second wave of COVID-19, the Akwa Ibom State government has announced the cancellation of “all state government events requiring large crowds”. The Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, who disclosed in a statement on Friday, said “test results from our PCR laboratory clearly indicate a sharp increase in the number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state”. The statement said Governor Udom Emmanuel has directed strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at the Christmas village in Uyo, the state capital. The government said large political meetings are to be discouraged until the current spike of COVID-19 infections is reduced. It said the use of face mask and adherence to other COVID-19 guidelines and proto...

Vietnam begins human trial of home-grown coronavirus vaccine

Human trials began on Thursday for Nanocovax, Vietnam’s first home-grown COVID-19 vaccine, a Director of a National Medical Research Centre said. “In the first phase, we will choose a group of 60 volunteers. This morning, we have finished vaccinating three people. “They will be monitored for three days, and if they remain in good condition, we will continue to vaccinate the rest.’’ Ho Anh Son, Deputy Director of the Military Medical Research Institute, told dpa. The trial is the first of three phases of testing for the vaccine. The second phase will involve testing on between 400 and 600 volunteers, according to the Health Ministry’s reports. Researchers told local media that an independent monitoring organisation will be hired to ensure the safety of volunteer participants and guarantee t...

South Korea coronavirus outbreak adds new stress to gruelling, eight-hour exam

From avoiding family members to skipping extra study at “cram schools”, the coronavirus has forced nearly half a million South Korean test-takers and proctors to rethink their strategies ahead of a hyper-competitive university entrance exam this week. The gruelling, almost eight-hour test on Thursday is seen as a life-defining event for high school seniors. A degree from a prestigious university is seen as a minimum requirement for securing one of the coveted but limited corporate jobs in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. This year teachers, proctors and students drastically changed their study and teaching practices to try to ensure those taking the test don’t ruin their chances by getting sick. “We take caution not just in classes but also during lunch, sitting facing the walls, eating alon...

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