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Coronavirus

COVID-19: President imposes lockdown on Lagos, Ogun, FCT

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the lockdown of three states (FCT, Lagos and Ogun) in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19.

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June 12 public holiday, COVID-19: President imposes lockdown on three states, Africa day 2020: Buhari urges economic groups, CSOs and private sectors to drive peace for economic development

In a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the lockdown of Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown, which took effect at 11 pm yesterday, will last for an initial period of 14 days.

According to the President, his decision was based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The decision of the President comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country increased to 111 as of 29th March, even as more prominent public officials tested positive for the disease.

Furthermore, the President noted that an initial intervention of N15 billion had been set aside to support the national response while a Presidential Task Force (PTF) had been inaugurated to develop a workable national response strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. The strategy is expected to align international best practices to the peculiarities of local circumstances.

The decision of the President did not come as a surprise to us considering the fast increase in the number of confirmed cases since the country confirmed its first case on 27 February. In our view, the fact that Lagos with 68 cases accounts for more than half (61%) of the total confirmed cases makes the decision for a total lockdown inevitable.

[READ MORE: Exchange Rate: CBN suspends sale of FX to BDCs)

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Although we think the directive of the President will halt economic activities in the nation’s commercial hub with its attendant negative impact on GDP, we believe the gains associated with the prevention of a nationwide wide breakout outweigh the economic costs, more so that the nation’s health care system appears ill-equipped to deal with a widespread outbreak.

Startups groan losses due to COVID-19, may shutdown in months

Beyond the lockdown imposed on the states, it is pertinent that relief packages should be made available for poor households and the vulnerable members of the society whose source of livelihood will be cut short, being daily wage earners. More importantly, the government needs a well thought out strategy to identify this segment of the society in order to ensure that the palliatives reach the right people.

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In our view, asides imposing a lockdown, the government needs to ensure full compliance and ensure adequate and efficient contact tracing. Finally, to effectively contain the spread of the virus and prevent a nationwide outbreak, we think the government needs to enhance healthcare capacity and improve facilities at the quarantine centres. We enjoin all our clients to continue to stay safe.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,460 confirmed cases.

On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,450 samples across the country.

To date, 58,460 cases have been confirmed, 49,895 cases have been discharged and 1,111 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 507,006  tests have been carried out as of September 28th, 2020 compared to 505,556 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 58,460
  • Total Number Discharged – 49,895
  • Total Deaths – 1,111
  • Total Tests Carried out – 507,006

According to the NCDC, the 136 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (71), Rivers (23), Plateau (12), Adamawa (6), Oyo (6), Kaduna (5), Abia (3), FCT (3), Katsina (2), Kwara (2), Bauchi (1), Borno (1), Edo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,310, followed by Abuja (5,677), Plateau (3,400), Oyo (3,260), Edo (2,625), Kaduna (2,402), Rivers (2,370), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,034), Abia (894), Gombe (864). Katsina (859), Osun (827),  Borno (742), and Bauchi (699).

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Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398),  Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (240), Anambra (237), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Coronavirus

Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools

The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

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Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.

This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.

READ: N4.16 billion unpaid lottery revenue recovered by EFCC

According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.

He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”

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READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

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“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.

The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”

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Coronavirus

WHO endorses emergency use of China’s COVID-19 vaccine

China says WHO has approved the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.

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WHO endorses emergency use of China’s Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the plans by China to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials are still underway.

This disclosure was made by a Chinese Health Commission official, Zheng Zhongwei, during a news conference on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Zheng recalled that China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June. Hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed.

Zheng at the news conference said, “At End-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of COVID-19 vaccine emergency use program. After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO.’’

Nairametrics had reported that Chinese Pharmaceutical firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine with the likes of Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: European regulator ready to approve first successful vaccine this year)

It was pointed out that China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program just as a fourth COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

The WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, while describing it as a temporary solution, said earlier this month in Geneva that national regulatory authorities could approve use of medical products within their own jurisdictions in the current emergency situation.

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He emphasized that the long-term solution in the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine, lay in completion of Phase 3 trials, this is as China has not publicly released full details of its emergency use programme.

Zheng disclosed that China’s annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to reach 610 million doses by end-2020 and 1 billion doses by 2021. He said that the price of the vaccine will be affordable for the general public.

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