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The new Omicron variant, what you need to know

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A new variant of the Covid-19 emerged last week from South Africa and poses a possible global threat.

Last week Kenya announced it will not ban flights to and from nations where Omicron has been reported.

The government has promised to step up its surveillance in airports and other entry points by conducting intensive screening to contain the virus.

On November 26. new variant B.1.1.529 was labelled a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation .

The omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, where it has become the dominant strain of the virus.

It is yet to be determined where the virus originated from.

“It is not yet clear whether omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants, including delta,” the WHO says.

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The South African scientists have noted that the variant has a high number of mutations.

Studies are being conducted to see if the Omicron is spreading fast in South Africa due to increased contagiousness or other factors.

WHO noted that it is coordinating with researchers around the world to better understand Omicron.

No cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in Kenya.

However, the Ministry of Health has encouraged  Kenyans to turn up at health facilities for vaccination as well as observe the Covid-19 protocols.

With most cases being travel-related, multiple nations have announced either travel restrictions for non-citizens or outright travel bans.

“The government is keen on ensuring that other economic activities are not affected .

That is why we are not supporting severe containment measures being reintroduced,” Mochache said last week.

“Until more is known on this variant, let’s observe the normal Covid-19 protections,” she said.

The variant has however been detected in over a dozen countries already including

Australia.

Austria.

Belgium.

Botswana.

Canada.

The Czech Republic.

Denmark.

Germany.

Hong Kong.

Israel.

Italy.

The Netherlands.

Portugal.

Spain.

South Africa.

The United Kingdom.

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Earthquake in Afghanistan kills at least 22 people.

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Two earthquakes rattled western Afghanistan on Monday killing more than 20 people and destroying hundreds of homes, a local official said.

The US Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 pm and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 pm local time.

Unfortunately, our initial reports show that 22 people, including women and children, have been killed and four others injured,” said Baz Mohammad Sarwari

The Mujahideen have reached to some of the affected areas, but Badghis is a mountainous province, the number of casualties might go up,” he added

According to the head of the Emergency Operations Center of the Ministry of State for Emergency Affairs, more than 700 houses had been damaged.

the earthquakes struck 41 kilometers (25 miles) east and 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital

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Kenya orders 31 items that Google should remove from the internet

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Summary;Kenya orders google to remove 31 items from the internet

From 2020 Kenya made 14 requests to Google. This included one content they found to be a copyright infringement, one takedown for fraud, two items bordering around hate speech, and seven requests for violations the government found were not listed by Google.

The reasons for the takedowns ranged from national security, fraud, and copyright 

According to a report released by Surfshark, Kenya submitted 31 requests to Google for the content.

YouTube received 101,015 tаkedown requests in the lаst decаde, compаred to 60,898 for Google Seаrch. Google Docs, Gmаil, аnd Google Photos also received tаkedown requests.

“We receive content removal requests through a variety of avenues and from all levels of government — court orders, written requests from national and local government agencies, and requests from law enforcement professionals. 

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“Sometimes users will forward us government removal requests, such as when someone attaches a court order showing certain content to be illegal.

But the tech giant stated that it always evaluates the legitimacy and completeness of a government request which must be in writing.

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Ex-Prisons boss Mwenda dies after bathroom accident

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Mwenda, who was in charge of Naivasha prison before retiring, was instrumental in introducing reforms in the facility, including an education program that now benefits more than 2,000 inmates.

Mwenda suffered head surgery after falling in his bathroom. He died at a private hospital in Mombasa two days after being admitted.

Meanwhile, one person died on the spot and two others were seriously injured on Monday night after a road accident along Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road.

The car they were travelling in rammed into an oncoming trailer near Chechnia centre.

The injured were admitted to Naivasha Subcounty Hospital.

Naivasha police boss Samuel Waweru said the car was heading to Mai Mahiu when it rammed into the trailer.

Occupants of the trailer escaped with minor injuries.

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