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S’ Africa, country with highest Covid-19 cases in Africa, lifts restrictions on travellers, others

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As new Covid-19 infection rates slowed and deaths are fewer, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on Tuesday announced that the country has relaxed mandatory negative results for inbound fully-vaccinated travellers, a move expected to boost tourists attraction.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement to withdraw some restrictions that were imposed when the coronavirus arrived in the country in March 2020.

“Travellers entering South Africa will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours,” said Ramaphosa.

Previously all travellers entering the country were required to produce a costly negative PCR test.

“With these changes, almost all restrictions on social and economic activity will have been lifted,” said Ramaphosa.

Worldometers reports that South Africa ranks 20 in the global ratings of death cases amongst 226 countries it collected data. That puts the country at the top on the list of cases and casualties in African countries

As of Tuesday, South Africa had recorded a total of 3,705,696 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 99,893 fatalities out of a population of 59 million while there has been Three Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-One, and Thirty -Nine (3,551,039) recovered cases.

“Both indoor and outdoor venues can now take up to 50 percent of their capacity provided that the criteria for entrance are proof of vaccination or a Covid test not older than 72 hours,” he said in an address broadcast live on local television stations.

The mandatory wearing of face masks when outdoors has been scrapped, but will remain mandatory in public indoor spaces.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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