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3 Ebola vaccines variants to arrive Uganda next week – WHO’s DG, Tedros Ghebreyesus

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The World Health Organization, Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that three Ebola vaccine candidates would arrive next week for a planned clinical trial.

Tedros added that the expert committee had selected two investigational therapeutics for Ebola and a planned trial design, which was being submitted for approval.

Another WHO official, Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, reiterated that the organization ” has received confirmation from the developers that the sufficient number of vaccine doses will be available for the trial and beyond, if necessary.”

Although WHO did not disclose details about the number of doses expected to be shipped or used in the planned trial the trial candidates are however clear, they include vaccines under development by the University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India, Sabin Vaccine Institute, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and Merck & Co Inc.

Ugandan health authorities earlier in the month revealed that the government does not yet have a date for the receipt of Ebola vaccines that are being paid for by WHO.

Ebola is an infectious and frequently fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus) whose normal host species is unknown.

Uganda has recorded six more Ebola cases and two deaths in the last week, leaving a new total number of 141 cases and 55 deaths. The development has forced its neighbour Kenya, to tighten up borders with Uganda.

Metro

Somali forces storm hotel held hostage by al-Shabaab militants, free 60

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Somali federal forces have stormed the Villa Rose Hotel in capital Mogadishu, where al-Shabaab militants had held hostage since Sunday, killing eight civilians and trapping dozens in the building, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The police spokesperson, Sadik Dodishe, said 60 hostages were rescued while all six extremists who held the people hostage were killed during the operation, with one member of the security forces killed in an exchange of fire.

“About 60 people who had been trapped in the hotel were freed and none of them were injured,” Dodishe said in the statement.

“Five of the attackers were killed by security forces, and one blew himself up,” the police spokesman added.

The al-Qaeda sponsored Islamist extremist group had on Sunday, claimed responsibility for the attack in a broadcast on its own radio frequency.

The broadcast said that its :fighters attacked the hotel which has a restaurant popular with government and security officials.”

The Villa Rose Hotel is not far from the presidential palace, Villa Somalia, in one of the most protected parts of central Mogadishu, and has a tradition of hosting top government officials.

The attack had forced the Somali parliament to postpone its session which was scheduled for Monday as there were fears the attacks were targeted at the parliamentarians.

Last month, not less than 500 people were killed in two car bombings that targeted the Somali ministry of education complex in Mogadishu, which also houses many government offices.

The al-Shabaab terrorists had also claimed responsibility for the attack as it continues its battle against the federal government in its quest to overthrow the government and enforce a strict version of the Sharia law.

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Nigerian stowaways rescued in Spain’s Canary Islands after 11 days on ship’s rudder

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Three Nigerian stowaways who spent 11 days on a ship’s rudder were rescued by the Spanish coastguard and hospitalised on arrival at the Canary Islands, Spanish authorities said on Tuesday.

The ship, according to ship-tracking website Marine Traffic, had departed from Lagos, Nigeria, on November 17, and arrived the Island on Monday when the men were rescued.

The stowaways who were discovered on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port, “appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia after spending about eleven days clinging to the rubber of the oil tanker, and were transferred to hospitals on the island for medical attention,” Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo said.

“Throughout the journey, the three migrants and refugees had been hanging onto the narrow metallic rudder, with their feet dangling just a few feet above the Atlantic Ocean,” the report said.

Spain’s coastguard also showed a picture of the three men perched on the rudder of the oil tanker, saying they were rescued after the tanker had docked.

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