The WHO declared that the strain was linked to one that has been spreading in Pakistan, where it is still endemic.
As of Thursday, Madagascar has reported 41 dead, with 18 others killed in Mozambique and 11 in Malawi. Rescue workers and authorities are still assessing the full extent of the losses.
South Africa's President Ramaphosa says "prohibition of travel is not informed by science," urging countries urgently reverse their travel bans that were triggered by the discovery of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
South Africa received one million AstraZeneca doses last week and had hoped to start vaccinating health workers soon but results that are yet to be peer-reviewed show minimal protection against mild or moderate infection from the B.1.351 variant.
Opposition leader Chakwera has been pronounced the winner with 2.6 million votes, while incumbent president Mutharika has taken 1.75 million and underdog candidate Kuwani over 32,400.
The judiciary cancelled President Peter Mutharika's narrow win in February over "systematic and grave" irregularities. Mutharika, who has been in power since 2014, called the ruling a "coup".
Hundreds fled quarantine centres in both countries, officials say, with some escapees saying they had bribed police.
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition argued that the government had failed to announce any measures to cushion the poor during the lockdown.
Malawi President Peter Mutharika said he ordered the treasury to cut his own salary and the wages of his ministers and deputy ministers by 10 percent for three months and direct the money towards the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Health officials plead for global solidarity for helping the poor continent at a time when even some of the world’s richest countries are scrambling for basic medical needs, including face masks.
In Africa, authorities claim they have been "spared by God" or have simply been saved by the low volume of air traffic to their countries. However, some fear it is simply a lack of testing.
A joint effort will be required to overcome the potential spread of the pandemic on the African continent.
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