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WHO confirms second Ebola casualty in one week at Democratic Republic of Congo

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Days after a fresh outbreak of deadly Ebola disease emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization on Tuesday said a second Ebola patient has died in the north-western of the country.

The reported case is of a 31-year-old male, detected in the city of Mbandaka, the capital of Congo’s Equateur province was announced last week by WHO which prompted health authorities to enforce urgent containment measures just four months after the previous outbreak came to an end.

Genetic testing showed an infection confirmed last week was a new “spillover event”, a transmission from an infected animal, and not linked to the last outbreak, which was declared over in December, the World Health Organization said on Monday on Twitter.

An unnamed WHO official told newsmen that the second recent fatality was a female relative of the first case.

Before the case last week, the last Ebola outbreak in DRC was also in the east and infected 11 people between October and December and killed six of them. In December 2021, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared the end of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak that affected Beni Health Zone (HZ) in North Kivu Province, DRC.

 

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Tragedy as 22 die in South African night club

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At least 22 people have died from exposure to poisonous substances in a popular nightclub in East London, South Africa.

Bodies of the victims were said to have been found on chairs early on Sunday morning at the scene occurred at Enyobeni Tavern in the city.

Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department, told Reuters: “We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death. We are talking 22 bodies right now.”

Police spokesperson, Tembinkosi Kinana, said “the incident is still under investigation, we do not want to make any speculations at this stage.”

Meanwhile, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the families affected.

The president in a statement said he was worried about the circumstances under which young people, potentially under the age of 18 years, were allowed to gather at the tavern but said the law must take its course once investigations conclude.

Night life is a big part of South Africa’s entertainment industry with is the largest market for food and drink in sub-Saharan Africa, and a large and competitive hospitality industry.  According to a study by Statistics, South Africa, spending on alcoholic drinks such as Wine and Beer trumps that on other beverages such as Tea and Coffee.

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Gabon, Togo become newest members of Commonwealth group of nations

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Gabon and Togo have become the latest countries to be admitted into the Commonwealth Group of Nations following their acceptance at the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The two African Francophone nations were formally admitted to the group after years of trying to join the 54 nations bloc, bringing the number to 56, the first since Rwanda joined in 2009.

The admission of Gabon and Togo by the Commonwealth on Saturday, which was the highlight of the summit as it drew to a close, sees a continuing expansion of the group of nations beyond ex-British colonies as smaller states seek to benefit from the group which is projected to bring $2 trillion in trade by 2030.

While welcoming the new nations in his closing remarks at the summit, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said:

“We have admitted Gabon and Togo as new members, and we all welcome them to the Commonwealth family.”

Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey said the membership of the country has opened the door to 2.5 billion consumers in the Commonwealth realm, offered new education opportunities, and tapped a craze for English among his countrymen.

“Togo’s membership is motivated by the desire to expand its diplomatic, political, and economic network… as well as to get closer to the English-speaking world,” he told a news conference.

On his part, Gabonese President Ali Bongo said his country was “making history” by joining the group after 62 years of its independence.

“Sixty-two years after its Independence, our country is getting ready to breakthrough with a new chapter. It’s a world of opportunities for Gabon on the economic, diplomatic & cultural levels,” Bongo said in a statement on Twitter.

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