World Eswatini king recovers from COVID, thanks Taiwan for sending drug
South Africa scraps AstraZeneca COVID vaccine
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa will launch inoculation campaign with Johnson & Johnson shots instead.The country, worst-hit by the pandemic in Africa, has suspended its vaccine roll-out that was due to begin with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week after a study found the jab failed to prevent mild and moderate illness caused by a variant discovered in South Africa dubbed 501Y.V2.
The king of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has said he recovered from COVID-19 and thanked Taiwan’s president for sending antiviral medication to help him.
The small southern African country, an absolute monarchy, is Taiwan’s only remaining diplomatic ally on the continent, and Taipei has provided large amounts of economic and other aid.
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In November, as Reno County, Kansas, weathered its worst-yet wave of COVID-19, an unusual guest took the lectern at a county commission meeting. The woman, dressed in sunny yellow, described herself as a local mother there to discuss health in the pandemic era. “I’m also privileged to represent the top two percent of the world’s largest essential oil company, doTERRA, which means ‘gift of the earth,’” she said in a presentation previously reported by the Kansas Reflector. “My job is to empower people to use safe, natural, 100 percent pure essential oils to manage their families’ needs proactively.”She began to continue, only to be cut off.
In a speech on Friday, King Mswati III said while the country awaited the arrival of vaccines, there was an antiviral drug, which he did not name, that could be used to treat the illness.
He said he had tested positive “for a couple of days” in the first week of January, but was now negative.
“I am grateful to the president of the Republic of China on Taiwan for sending through this medication to treat me,” he said, using the island’s formal name in the speech posted on the eSwatini government’s officialaccount.
The 52-year-old king had not previously reported his coronavirus infection. He said the drug, which was administered through a drip, had allowed him to recover before he even had time to announce his hospitalisation.
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King, 87, died on January 23, and his death was not directly related to his hospitalization for COVID-19 in December, according to his death certificate obtained by People. The death certificate lists King's primary cause of death as sepsis, a deadly systemic shock that occurs when the body's immune system goes haywire, often in response to a minor bacterial infection. Old age and a weakened immune system are risk factors for sepsis.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said that upon hearing the king was infected, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arranged medical assistance for him.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gratified to hear of the eSwatini king’s successful recovery under the joint care of Taiwanese and eSwatini medical staff,” she said.
The king could have been referring to Gilead Sciences, Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir, which was conditionally approved in Europe in July for treating COVID-19 in adults and adolescents with pneumonia requiring oxygen support.
Taiwan also provisionally approved its use last year.
Using the slogan “Taiwan can help,” the government has been keen to showcase its assistance to other countries during the pandemic, donating face masks and other supplies.
The kingdom of eSwatini has recorded almost 17,000 coronavirus infections and 644 related deaths.
Its Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini died in December after four weeks of treatment for COVID-19 in neighbouring South Africa.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory with no right to state-to-state ties. Only 14 countries now officially recognise the island’s government.
Burkina Faso was the last African country to switch to China in May 2018, leaving eSwatini alone in the continent to have diplomatic relations with Taipei.
Spain's tainted former king settles tax debts .
Spain's former king Juan Carlos, who moved to the UAE last year under a cloud of scandal, has settled a debt of nearly 4.4 million euros ($5.3 million) with the Spanish tax authorities to try to avoid an embarrassing lawsuit. In December Juan Carlos, who has since August lived in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates, settled another tax debt of nearly 680,000 euros. That settlement is linked to a probe made public last month by Spain's attorney general.It is investigating whether he used credit cards linked to accounts not registered in his name -- which could constitute a possible money-laundering offence.