Wednesday, 1st December 2021
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1 day ago
The Omicron variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November. The WHO has listed it as a ‘variant of concern’ and said it could take several weeks to know if there are significant changes in transmissibility, severity, or implications for Covid vaccines, tests, and treatments. Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada are countries where the new COVID-19 variant has also been detected.
2 days ago
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday (November 28) he was "deeply disappointed" after rich Western countries for their knee-jerk imposition of travel bans after hearing about the new variant. Ramaphosa also said the country faced a fourth wave of COVID-19 within weeks, as the new omicron variant was driving a rise in infections in the most populated province of Gauteng. He said authorities would not be considering economic lockdown restrictions for the time being, due to the availability of vaccines for those aged 12 and over.
4 days ago
The UN health body has given the new variant a name and said it is a variant of concern. The WHO urged against hasty travel curbs while it gathers more data.
26 Nov
South Africa's health minister has said a newly identified coronavirus variant is of "serious concern." Scientists said the variant could be behind a major spike in cases in the country.
18 Sep
The Syrian province of Idlib, one of the last remaining rebel strongholds in the country's north, is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections, driven by the more contagious Delta variant. This comes as the regime intensifies bombings in the region, putting local hospitals under even greater pressure. We take a closer look.
5 Sep
Experts in South Africa are testing a new coronavirus variant to determine if it poses a threat. Germany's infection rate has fallen for the first time since early July.
1 Sep
South African researchers are keeping a close eye on the infection rates of a new coronavirus variant, C.1.2. It is only present at low levels in the country, but its mutations are similar to hyper-transmissible strains such as Delta. Also, three months after the Nyiragongo volcanic eruption in DR Congo, thousands are still stranded in makeshift shelters, struggling to find enough food and clean drinking water.
19 Aug
New Zealanders say they are "gutted" by the announcement of the government of a snap lockdown. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed New Zealand is dealing with the highly transmissible Delta variant linked to the outbreak in Australia that authorities have so far been unable to contain.
23 May
Researchers say more countries need to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome. It would help speed up spotting and tracking of new variants like the Central African B.1.620.
12 May
The global body says the variant may be more contagious than the original form and perhaps resistant to vaccines. India has seen massive infection and death rates, though observers say actual numbers are far higher.
1 May
The B.1.617 variant raised alarms after it was identified as a double mutant. But the fact that both mutations occur together does not necessarily mean that this variant is also twice as infectious or dangerous.
4 Apr
Brazilian health officials have detected a new coronavirus variant in Sao Paulo state, as the country faces a dire health crisis.

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The World Bank is backing Nigeria’s quest to get rid of fuel subsidy. The Country Director of the World Bank Shubham Chaudhuri, who led his team on a courtesy visit to The Guardian Group on Tuesday, November 30, explained why fuel subsidy is not sustainable. Chaudhuri, nevertheless, advised the Nigerian government to build consensus before its scheduled removal of the controversial subsidy policy.
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More than 2,500 cases of forged health documents have been reported to state police departments, with the majority created recently, according to a recent investigation by a German newspaper.
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By imposing new restrictions on the media and female actors, the Taliban have once again reaffirmed their misogynistic ideology, rights advocates have said.
3 hours ago
Following the drowning of 27 people in the English Channel, France says it is preparing a new post-Brexit deal on migration. But Paris also asked the UK to stop "double speak."
3 hours ago
A new chapter of the Covid-19 pandemic opens with a new variant emerging from southern Africa. It has been named Omicron by the World Health Organization. The WHO's director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the issue of vaccine equity will be key to getting through this new wave. Our guests discuss the threat and what to do about it.