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Equatorial Guinea Marburg virus death toll rises to 20



The Marburg virus epidemic in Equatorial Guinea has left 20 people dead over the past two months, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

The outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever, which is almost as deadly as Ebola, has now spread beyond the province of Kie-Ntem, where it caused the first known deaths in January, and has reached Bata, the economic capital of the small central African country, according to the government.

The spread of Marburg “is a critical signal to scale up response efforts to quickly stop the chain of transmission and avert a potential large-scale outbreak and loss of life,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa.

Between March 11-20, eight new cases were identified, six of which proved fatal, the Equatorial Guinea government said on its website, without giving a total toll since the beginning of the epidemic.

The last official death toll, on February 28, was 11 victims.

The WHO said that “so far, there are 20 probable cases and 20 deaths” in the country.

The new cases have been reported from Kie-Ntem in the east, Litoral in the west and the Centro Sur provinces, all of which have borders with Cameroon and Gabon.

The epidemic is therefore now a serious problem in three of Equatorial Guinea’s four mainland provinces.

In eastern Africa, Tanzania said Tuesday that five people had died from the virus, while neighbouring Uganda, which had its last outbreak in 2017, said it was on “high alert”.

The WHO said additional experts in epidemiology, logistics, health operations and infection prevention and control would be deployed in the coming days.

The agency is also supporting the health authorities in neighbouring Cameroon and Gabon to ramp up outbreak readiness and response capabilities.

The Marburg virus causes severe fever, often accompanied by bleeding and organ failure.

It is part of the so-called filovirus family that also includes Ebola, which has wreaked havoc in several previous outbreaks in Africa.

The suspected natural source of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, which carries the pathogen but does not fall sick from it.

The virus takes its name from the German city of Marburg, where it was first identified in 1967, in a lab where workers had been in contact with infected green monkeys imported from Uganda.

The animals can pass the virus to primates in close proximity, including humans, and human-to-human transmission then occurs through contact with blood or other body fluids.

Fatality rates in confirmed cases have ranged from 24 per cent to 88 per cent in previous outbreaks, depending on the virus strain and case management, according to WHO.

There are currently no vaccines or antiviral treatments, but potential treatments, including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies, as well as early candidate vaccines, are being evaluated, the WHO says.


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Court admits USA documents of proceedings on Tinubu’s $460,000 forfeiture for drug related offence



The Presidential Election Petition Court on Tuesday in Abuja admitted in evidence, a United States of America (USA) District Court judgment which reportedly indicted Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ordered his forfeiture of $460,000 in drug related offences.

The certified true copy of the judgment was tendered by a witness, Barrister Lawrence Uchechukwu Nnana Nwakaeti at the commencement of hearing of a petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP,) Mr Peter Gregory Obi against the election of Tinubu.

Led in evidence by Mr Jibrin Okutepa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, the witness tendered the Court’s judgment as part of requests by Obi and Labour Party to get Tinubu’s declaration as winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election nullified and set aside.

However, Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) announced that they have objections against admission of the judgment but reserved the objections to final address stage.

Under cross examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN who stood for President Tinubu, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.

The Anambra based legal practitioner who was Obi’s first witness also admitted that there was no certificate from any Consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment but insisted that “the judgment speaks for itself”.

He claimed to have been to the United States of America and read the judgment in its entirety adding that he would be surprised if no mention was made of $460,000 forfeiture.

Also under cross examination by counsel to the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, the witness said that the American Court judgment had no certificate given under the hand of any American Police Officer.

He denied knowledge of a February 4, 2003 Formal Clearance Report by Legal Attachee from American Embassy in respect of the alleged indictment and forfeiture.

When asked by Fagbemi SAN to produce a copy of the charges against Tinubu, the witness admitted not having any but maintained that the indictment and forfeiture are from civil proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has shifted further hearing in the petition till May 31.

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Mbappe wins French best player award for fourth successive time



Kylian Mbappe has won Ligue 1 player of the season for the fourth successive time. He achieved the feat after helping Paris Saint-Germain win a record 11th French title. The France star has scored 28 goals in the league this term and is on course to finish as the division’s top scorer for the fifth season running. “It’s a pleasure, I always wanted to win, to write my name into the league’s history. But even with all the ambition I have I didn’t expect to win so quickly,” said Mbappe on receiving his award. Mbappe, scorer of 40 goals this campaign, snubbed Real Madrid at the end of last season and signed a new three-year contract to stay with PSG. According to reports, the 24-year-old’s contract will run out next year unless he exercises an option to stay until 2025. Asked about his future at the awards ceremony, Mbappe replied: “I will be here again next season.” He is the first four-time winner of a prize first awarded in 1994, surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimovic who won the accolade on three occasions with PSG. Franck Haise of Lens was named coach of the season after leading the club to second place and a return to Champions League football for the first time in two decades. Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba was also honoured while Paris Saint-Germain left-back Nuno Mendes earned the best young player award. He was one of four PSG players in the team of the season alongside Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Achraf Hakimi.

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I am blessed and grateful for MFR National Honour – Osimhen



Nigerian forward and Napoli star, Victor Osimhen has expressed delight after he was honoured with the prestigious Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR)In an Instagram post, Osimhen stated that he is most blessed and grateful for the honour.He wrote:”Today, I feel so blessed and grateful as I announce that I have been awarded the prestigious Member of the order of the Federal Republic (MFR) award by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Today also marked my 100th game for Napoli and I was fortunate to score 2 goals for my club, it is an amazing moment and feeling for me to be able to achieve this feat for this great club. This MFR recognition also means a lot to me, as it symbolizes the appreciation and support of the great Nigerian people for the dedication and hard work they have always put into their individual career to make Nigeria Proud. My deepest gratitude goes to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for recognising me at such a national level, and I am so humbled and grateful. I am proud to be a Nigerian and represent Her.I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their continuous efforts in promoting and developing sports in our country. Their support has contributed to the growth of myself and every other athletes in the country. To my amazing family, who have been my rock and source of inspiration throughout my journey, I am forever indebted to your love and support. I love you all and this award is as much yours as it is mine. And to my fans and supporters, both in Nigeria and around the world, you all are super amazing and I am so grateful for all you do for me. Your constant support, well wishes and cheers have uplifted me in moments of triumph and provided solace during challenging times. I am immensely honored to achieve this feat for Napoli and I’m also honored to receive this MFR award, and I consider it a responsibility to continue striving for excellence, more records and making meaningful contributions to people’s live with the sport I love.Thank you everyone. GOD IS THE GREATEST 🙏🏽🇳🇬❤️”

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