Latest reports suggest that interstate and intertown travels might be suspended in the country. This is coming on the heels of a statement from the Federal Government, who has hinted that they are considering stopping interstate and intertown travels as part of the measure to curtail the spread of coronavirus disease.
This is coming after the country recorded 5 new cases to bring the total number to 51.
This was announced by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, through a statement on Thursday in Abuja. The Minister admitted that the nation’s strategy at containing the pandemic is working, although the country still has a long way to go.
Mohammed pointed out that bold and more measures will be taken by the Federal Government to ensure that Nigeria contains and eradicate this disease. He said this is not to create panic amongst Nigerians.
Part of Lai Mohammed’s statement goes:
“Gentlemen, I don’t intend to sound apocalyptic. But the truth is that time is running out. If we don’t urgently and more aggressively enforce the measures I have just listed, we have a short window within which to stop this pandemic or face an explosion in terms of the
cases. We cannot afford to be complacent.
“In view of this, we are considering tougher measures to enforce compliance, stop the exportation of the disease to states that do not have it and minimize spread. Possible measures include:
“Stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services.
“Closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations. Already, all
train movements nationwide have been stopped.
“Using fire fighting and other adaptable vehicles and personnel to fumigate
cities and towns”.
The minister who a couple of days ago, asked Nigerians to brace up for tougher measures in the efforts to curtail the spread of the covid-19, told newsmen that the government is aware of its priorities and challenges.
He was full of praises for state governments that have taken bold measures to ensure that people are safe, including the closure of markets and the prohibition of large congregations.
Mr Mohammed, however, noted that the Federal Government is determined to be more aggressive in enforcing the measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 26th of November 2020, 169 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 66,974 confirmed cases.
On the 26th of November 2020, 169 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 66,974 cases have been confirmed, 62,585 cases have been discharged and 1,169 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 26th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 26th November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 66,974
- Total Number Discharged – 62,585
- Total Deaths – 1,169
- Total Tests Carried out – 756,237
According to the NCDC, the 169 new cases were reported from 12 states- Kaduna (74), FCT (42), Lagos (17), Kano (8), Ogun (6), Oyo (6), Rivers (6), Ekiti (3), Bauchi (3), Katsina (2), Delta (1) and Ondo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,083, followed by Abuja (6,671), Plateau (3,813), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,019), Rivers (2,969), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,202), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,789), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,014), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (765), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (488), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (357), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (157), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine
The AU and Africa CDC have revealed that they have reached out to both China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union announced they have been in talks with China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships to ensure that Africa is not left behind when vaccines become available.
This was disclosed by John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Chief, at the Bloomberg Invest Africa online conference.
“We are not limiting ourselves to any particular partner. As a continent of 1.2 billion people, we are willing to work with any partner who adheres to our strategic plan for vaccine development and access in Africa.
He said that the WHO Covax programme only covers 20% of the population, but Africa will need 60% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
“There are multiple avenues being explored now to make sure Africa has the appropriate doses of vaccines and also that we have that in a timely fashion, not in a delayed manner,” Nkengasong said.
He revealed that the AFREXIM Bank agreed to finance vaccine procurement with $5 billion and is waiting to see how much it will receive from World Bank’s $12 billion vaccine procurement fund for developing nations.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc. disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study in the ongoing phase 3 trials.
Last week, a pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., stated that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
The G-20 nations also announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that could not afford it. The leaders also unveiled a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
The Federal Government of Nigeria also announced through the Ministry of Health, that it would inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.
Covid-19: EU considers skipping vaccine patents to boost vaccine access
The EU has disclosed plans to increase its access to Covid-19 vaccines by offering financial incentives to vaccine production companies.
The European Union (EU) says its planning emergency measures to increase its access to Covid-19 vaccines including sidestepping patent rights and offering financial incentives to vaccine production companies to move production to Europe.
This was revealed in an EU document on Wednesday and reported by Reuters. The Document says the EU may create an emergency coordination mechanism to be issued at short notice when the EU needs a vaccine license, which is different from fully patent waivers, discussed in the WTO last week.
The EU says the new move will ensure faster procedures during a pandemic, which will enable generic production in the EU without the consent of patent holders.
“The Commission sees the need to ensure that effective systems for issuing compulsory licenses are in place, to be used as a means of last resort and a safety net, when all other efforts to make IP (intellectual property) available have failed,” the EU’s document said.
The EU’s actions may be triggered by its inability to access the antiviral drug, remdesivir, during the pandemic, as the United States ordered most of the stock.
The EU also disclosed that it will begin a consultation process with pharmaceutical companies next year to address issues in its pharmaceutical value chains. They added that measures could be imposed to encourage manufacturers to move pharmaceutical production to Europe from China and India.
“The Commission calls on member states to ensure that the tools they have are as effective as possible; for instance, by putting in place fast-track procedures for issuing compulsory licenses in emergency situations,” the EU said.
They added that it is urgent “to assess whether manufacturing capacity for certain critical medicines may be required in the EU.”
“We need to be able to rely on ourselves, not on others,” the Commission’s Vice President, Margaritis Schinas said. He disclosed that the EU is working on more compliance with drug supply need and increased stock levels by 2022.
What you should know
This comes as surprise considering the EU rejected a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal last week to waive the intellectual property rights needed for the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines. The waiver would have made the vaccine access cheaper for developing nations.