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China corona virus report card

After the outbreak of corona virus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, efforts to manage and control the virus have been hard albeit successful.

 

Since the February report from the Chinese Embassy in Botswana, Ambassador Zhao Yanbo confirms a decline in daily new cases of the virus.

 

China has put stern measures in place to ensure treatment and care is given to the victims, according to Yanbo.

 

In a press conference held today at the Chinese Embassy, Yanbo noted that on the 17th of February, there were 1,886 new cases of infections confirmed; 1,432 new cases of suspected infections; 1,097 new serious cases and 98 deaths were reported, and 1,701 patients were released from hospitals after being cured.

 

As of 17th Feb, they had received 72,436 reports of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland, among which there were 1,868 deaths and 12,552 cured and discharged from hospital.

 

There still remained 58,016 confirmed cases and 6,242 suspected cases.

 

 So far, 92 confirmed infections had been reported in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan province.

 

With China making all-out efforts to prevent the virus from spreading and treating patients, their efforts bore fruit as they have seen someprogress since the beginning of this month.

 

Since February 1st, the number of cured cases began to outnumber deaths, and by the end of 17th February, a total of 12,552 patients were cured and discharged, that’s over six times as many as those who died of the virus (1,868).

 

The number of daily new confirmed cases has also been declining since the 3rd of this month.

 

To date, confirmed cases outside China account for less than one percent of the world's total.

 

“The situation is also improving even when we include the figures of Hubei. These positive results have not come easy. Since the onset of the outbreak, China has taken unprecedentedly strict prevention and control measures, many of which have far exceeded WHO recommendations and the International Health Regulations requirements,” Yanbo said.

 

“In addition to the engineers and construction workers, Chinese scientists worked all day and isolated the first virus strain and developed the test reagent in less than seven days. Medical workers treat patients around the clock despite the risk of infection and exhaustion from overwork. Tens of thousands of volunteers are working non-stop to help deliver supplies and assistance to the affected regions.”

 

Yanbo also expressed his gratitude to the international community in helping fight novel corona virus.

 

“China is not fighting alone. The vast majority of countries and international organizations such as WHO have expressed appreciation for China’s prevention and control measures and provided support through various means,” he said.

 

Regarding Batswana students who were inthe epi-centre, Yanbo explain that the students have received care and sufficient supply of food and basic necessities from their various universities.

 

 “I personally called some of them and learned about their status. Those at the heart of the epidemic are told not to go outside. They understand this is to prevent them from being exposed to the virus,” he said.

 

“Based on what we have learned, all Botswana students in Wuhan are healthy and safe. They have received care and help from their universities. They have sufficient supply of food, life necessities and medical materials. They also have internet, WeChat app and WhatsApp for accessing the latest information and keeping in touch with family and friends.”

 

 

 

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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