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Israel eases restrictions following vaccine success

BBC

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Israel is easing lockdown restrictions as studies there reveal the Pfizer vaccine is 95.8% effective in preventing hospitalisations and death.

From Sunday, shops, libraries and museums can open but social distancing and masks are still required.

The health ministry says it is the first stage of returning to normal life.

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Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 49% of people have received at least one dose.

The country entered its third lockdown on 27 December after a resurgence of the virus.

Under the easing measures, people are now able to enter shopping malls and tourist attractions such as zoos.

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A number of other facilities are now able to reopen including gyms, hotels and synagogues. However they require a “green passport”, a certificate that can only be obtained once you have been vaccinated. A small number of people who have recovered from the virus and are not currently eligible for the vaccine are also able to obtain the certificate.

The passport, which is contained in an app, is issued by the health ministry and will be valid for six months, one week after the second dose.

Crowds are now allowed back at concerts and sporting events have reopened at 75% capacity but they have a cap of no more than 300 people inside and 500 outside.

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Despite the easing of restrictions, Israel’s airport will remain closed for another two weeks.

On Saturday, the health ministry said studies revealed the risk of illness from the virus has dropped 95.8% among people who have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

It also found that the vaccine was 98% effective in preventing fever or breathing problems.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he expects 95% of Israelis over 50 to be vaccinated over the next two weeks.

Earlier this week, the Gaza Strip received its first doses of the vaccine after Israel approved the transfer through its border. The shipment included 2,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine which will be used on patients who have had organ transplants and those with kidney failure, an official told Reuters news agency.

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It comes as the Palestinian Health Ministry struck a deal with Israel’s Health Ministry to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who work in the country.

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Al Shabaab Suicide Bomber Kills Six At Somali Cafe In Baidoa

The Debrief Reporter

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Six civilians died and seven more were injured on Saturday when an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber blew himself up outside a cafe in Somalia, police and witnesses said.

The attack happened in the central town of Baidoa, 250 kilometres (190 miles) northwest of the capital Mogadishu and police said the target was the regional governor, who was inside the cafe taking tea.

“A terrorist suicide bomber blew up himself at Suweys cafeteria and killed six people, he was targeting the governor Ali Wardheere but he survived the attack,” local police officer Mohamud Adan told AFP by phone.

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Uhuru contributes Ksh. 1 Million towards rugby icon Ayimba’s medical expenses

The Debrief Reporter

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IN SUMMARY:
– President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged Ksh. 1 million towards rugby legend Benjamin Ayimba’s medical expenses
– Senator Sakaja disclosed Uhuru’s contribution in a message posted on his Twitter account
– Kenya Rugby union had disclosed that Ayimba was critically ill
– Ayimba is a former Kenya Sevens and 15s captain, who was first appointed Shujaa Head coach in 2006

President Uhuru Kenyatta through Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja has contributed a sum of Ksh. 1 million towards the medical expenses of ailing rugby legend, Benjamin Ayimba.

On a Tweet posted on his Twitter handle, Senator Sakaja disclosed that the head of state had promised Ksh. 1 million that will go into Ayimba’s medical expenses.

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“Let’s keep at it #TurnUpforBenja. Thank you H.E Uhuru for the KES 1m. Kindly @RailaOdinga @WilliamsRuto @MusaliaMudavadi join in,” said Sakaja in the Tweet.

Kenya Rugby union had disclosed that Ayimba was critically ill and that his condition had drastically deteriorated. The union called on Kenyans to make their contributions via the Paybill number 8021673 with the name BENJAMIN OTIENO AYIMBA MEDICAL towards the rugby icon’s medical bills.

Ayimba is a former Kenya Sevens and 15s captain, who was first appointed Shujaa Head coach in 2006. He went on to guide Kenya to her first ever World Series Cup Final in Adelaide, Australia losing 26-7 to South Africa.

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In 2011, he left the job under controversial circumstances after he openly opposed the fielding of Kenya’s main players at the Safaricom Sevens.

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Kirinyaga: Middle-aged man found dead inside a lodging in Ndia

The Debrief Reporter

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IN SUMMARY:
– The middle-aged man was found dead inside a lodging in Ndia area, Kirinyaga
– Police are in pursuit of an unidentified woman who was in the company of the deceased
– His body was moved to Kutus Funeral home, Kutus

Police in Kirinyaga are investigating the death of a middle-aged man who was found dead inside a lodging in Ndia area.

According to the lodging caretaker, the man  booked a room at around 1pm in the company of unidentified woman who latter went missing.

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The incident was confirmed by agio town’s Nyumba Kumi Chairman, Daniel Kangangi who is also a brother to the caretaker.

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The caretaker is my brother. When he called me I informed officers based at Kagio Police station,”  said Kangangi.

Police are now in pursuit of the unidentified woman asking people in the hotel business to ensure that they take details of their customers.

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The body has been moved to the Kutus Funeral home Kutus pending further investigations.

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