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Coronavirus

Focus on private sector response to COVID-19 pandemic in Africa

We know you are probably sick of turning on your TV only to see the horrific statistics of people around the world who have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the situation is not all gloomy as you may think. Let’s show you…

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Covid-19

I know by now you are probably sick of turning on your television and seeing the horrific statistics of people all around the globe affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, it is not all gloom and doom as you think. As a matter of fact, there are certain individuals and even private sector companies that have joined in the fight against COVID-19 on the African continent.

In Nigeria, banks are at the forefront of the fight against the spread of COVID-19. According to KABC, United Bank for Africa (UBA) donated a sum of N5 Billion ($13 Million) to provide beds for isolation centres, intensive care unit facilities, and also direct access to medical advice for up to 450,000 citizens daily.

UBA is additionally offering skeletal banking services to curb COVID-19 pandemic alongside other banks. According to Premium Times, Sam Nwakohu, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), announced that banks would provide skeletal services at the Apapa ports in Lagos.

The banks operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily to facilitate the payments of duty on cargo.

READ MORE: List of 70 COVID-19 Vaccines currently being tested

Apart from banks, LifeBank, a Nigerian health tech logistics setup, has also made efforts to curb the pandemic. According to Technext, the health tech startup, in partnership with the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), established a mobile testing centre. The goal of this platform is to support the increase of testing efforts in Nigeria.

Private sector response to COVID-19 pandemic in Africa

American multinational companies based in Nigeria have also pledged support in ending the pandemic. An American Business Council press release stated that Procter & Gamble had supplied its hygiene products to people in Ogun, Oyo, and Ekiti State. In addition, the company started a media campaign in the country to promote handwashing.

Kimberly Clark, in partnership with Tolaran Group, has supplied its products to the Lagos State Government to provide essentials for isolation centres.

In Kenya, the country has sought out ways to adopt digital payment methods amidst the coronavirus epidemic. According to TechCrunch, Safaricom implemented a fee-waiver on East Africa’s mobile money product, M-Pesa, in order to limit the physical exchange of money.

In addition, Safaricom announced that all person to person transactions on the app that fall under 100 Kenyan shillings would be free of charge for three months.

As for South Africa, private sector companies, such as Standard Bank, have introduced payment relief methods that would be beneficial for students and small business owners.

According to Yahoo News, Standard Bank would instate payment holidays for students and small business owners in order to ease the financial pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected South Africa massively. In other words, the bank has rescheduled loan repayments to a later date to give customers some breathing space.

Representatives from Standard Bank stated that payment relief for small businesses with turnover of less than 20 million rand ($1.1 million) would take effect as from April 1. As for students, Yahoo News reported that full-time students would also receive a payment holiday for their loans at 0% interest with zero fees effective from April 1 as well.

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READ ALSO: Robots controlling spread of virus: A potential game changer

Although we are still stuck and confined to our homes for an indefinite period, it is important to call out and praise the companies that are making efforts to curb the pandemic with the resources they have in place. Private sector companies are definitely working to combat the problem and hopefully, their efforts will not be in vain, as we all grapple with this pandemic that has led to multiple casualties globally.

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The Coronavirus may be working hard to destroy our planet, but the private sector is working harder to ensure that our world is in a safer and healthier place.


Paul Olele Jnr writes from Washington DC. He is a 2019 graduate of George Washington University and currently works as social media and research intern at the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington, D.C.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 158,506 confirmed cases.

On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 158,506 cases have been confirmed, 137,875 cases have been discharged and 1,969 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 7th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 7th March 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 158,506
  • Total Number Discharged – 137,890
  • Total Deaths – 1,969
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008

According to the NCDC, the 269 new cases are reported from 19 states- Enugu (78), Bauchi (37), Rivers (22), Imo (18), Ogun (16), FCT (15), Akwa Ibom (13), Kaduna (13), Kebbi (11), Kwara (9), Edo(7), Ekiti (6), Borno (5), Yobe(5), Kano (4) Nasarawa (3), Osun (3), Anambra (2) and Plateau (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,444, followed by Abuja (19,350), Plateau (8,944), Kaduna (8,658),  Oyo (6,766), Rivers (6,680), Edo (4,670), Ogun (4,437), Kano (3,844), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,962), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,457), Nasarawa (2,251), Enugu (2,156), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,813), Akwa Ibom (1,610), and Abia (1,588).

Imo State has recorded 1,569 cases, Borno (1,308), Bauchi (1,274), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (919), Taraba (863), Ekiti (834), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (412), Cross River (334), Yobe (293), Zamfara (222), 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.

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.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

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On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

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

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Coronavirus

Update: Health Minister states side effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed the side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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Nigeria to vaccinate 20 million people against Covid-19. Chinese Engineering firm donates medical supplies to Nigeria

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has stated the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, which he said is mild.

The minister disclosed this during the live broadcast when President Muhammadu Buhari took his vaccine shot on Saturday.

According to the Minister, the reactions are usually mild and only few people had complained of mild pain in the part of the body they got the shot.

READ: COVID-19: Moderna set to launch a new vaccine for virus strain found in South Africa

He said, “It is not everybody that complained of reactions/side effects but few had complained of mild pain at the part of the body they got the shot.

”Usually manufacturing vaccines take not less than 4 years but this only took about 1 year, which is the reason some people are apprehensive about the vaccines. This was manufactured in the United Kingdom and has been certified.”

READ: How to register for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria

Ehanire, explained that the jab is painless as a narrow gauge syringe was used with a small quantity injected in the upper arm.

He added that the after-effects are mild but accompanied by little discomfort in the area that was injected.

Present at the brief ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and other members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.

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