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Coronavirus

Covid-19: CBN wants to fund research for Nigerian Made vaccines

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it is developing a framework to provide financial support to aid the fight against Coronavirus Disease in the country.

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CBN health intervention fund gets new interest rate by March 2012, Nigerian banks’ non-performing loans drop significantly by 41% in 2019, External reserves decline by over 8% in 3 months, Nigeria’s external reserves increase by $1.36 billion in 13 days

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it is developing a framework to provide financial support to aid the fight against Coronavirus Disease in the country. Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at the unveiling of the THISDAY Dome testing, tracing, and treatment centre in Abuja on Tuesday.

On the Twitter handle of the apex bank, Emefiele explained that the fund would be released as soon as the vaccine is validated by health authorities.  He said,

In order to encourage greater research and development in Nigeria of drugs and vaccines that would help prevent the spread of the virus, the CBN is developing a framework under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Nigerian vaccine.

“Needless to state that if we are to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, we will be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for our teeming population.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria today challenges Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine. Once validated by the health authorities, the CBN will step in and do the needful for the sake of over 200 million Nigerians now confronted by COVID-19.”

READ ALSO: Why shareholders of Nigerian banks should expect lesser dividend payouts in 2020

Emefiele added that apex bank recently launched an N100bn healthcare intervention fund. “Practitioners in the Pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors will be able to access finance at a single-digit rate through this fund,” he said.

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In a bid to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the CBN has implemented several initiatives such as the provision of one trillion naira facility for firms operating in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, according to Emefiele.

We are also working with financial institutions to enable the continuous flow of credit to viable businesses while putting in place provisions such as moratoriums and restructuring of existing loans under CBN intervention funds, that have been provided to businesses,” he added.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business News

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 4th of May 2021, 34 new confirmed cases 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 165,215 confirmed cases.

On the 4th of May 2021, 34 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 165,215, cases have been confirmed, 155,371 cases have been discharged and 2,063 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory

A total of 1.94 million tests have been carried out as of 4th May 2021 compared to 1.91 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 4th May 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 165,215
  • Total Number Discharged – 155,371
  • Total Deaths – 2,063
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,939,165

According to the NCDC, the 34 new cases are reported from 4 states- Enugu (19), Lagos (13), Abuja (1),and Kaduna (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,502, followed by Abuja (19,790), Kaduna (9,061), Plateau (9,059),Rivers (7,115), Oyo (6,852), Edo (4,904), Ogun (4,679), Kano (3,961), Ondo (3,248), Kwara (3,122), Delta (2,623), Osun (2,575), Nasarawa (2,382), Enugu (2,401), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,030), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,859), and Abia (1,689).

Imo State has recorded 1,657 cases, Bauchi (1,548), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,103), Taraba (974), Niger (930), Bayelsa (886), Ekiti (870), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (528), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (390), Zamfara (240), 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.

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.

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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.

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

Lagos takes steps to prevent third wave of Covid-19, facilities on high alert

LASG facilities have been placed on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest another wave of Covid-19 in the state.

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Update: Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, tests postive to coronavirus disease, Seven Private Laboratories Get Government Approval To Commence Covid-19 testing in Lagos State

The Lagos State government has said that it is taking steps to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic following the flattening of the second wave.

This is as it has pointed out that all its facilities have been placed on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest another wave of Covid-19 in the state.

This disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, on Monday, warning that a trigger for a third wave of Covid-19 in Lagos was likely with the importation of new Covid-19 strains from inbound travellers.

He noted that all strides gained in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic would be lost without improved border surveillance against the importation of new and mutant strains, which may trigger the third wave.

He said that the state will enforce isolation and testing guidelines for travellers and closely monitor positive cases to detect variants.

What the Lagos State Commissioner for Health is saying

Abayomi in his statement said, “Currently, countries like India, Brazil, Argentina, Iraq, Qatar, Peru and Uruguay are being ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave following a less active and insignificant second or third wave.

The latest wave in India has been proven to be a result of new mutant strains that have resulted in a dramatic increase in sickness and death for two weeks running. Whilst we commiserate with countries like these, it is important that we protect our environment and residents against this virus, especially as we have only less than one per cent of our population that have received their first dose of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine similar to India that has about eight per cent.’’

He said the state government had authorised immediate measures to fully enforce recent protocols announced by the Federal Government for every inbound traveller.

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These measures include banning entry to non-Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India or Turkey in the last fortnight due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus in the three countries.

He said, “All passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel rather than the previous 96 hours period.

I have hence instructed that all these protocols would be made more stringent to protect the residents of Lagos State from an impending third wave.

As part of these protocols, passengers are to mandatorily isolate for the required seven days and will be strictly monitored through phone calls by our EKOTELEMED platform and physical visits to the passengers’ homes by our surveillance teams.’’

He warned that anyone that flouted the rule or gave a fake phone number or address to evade the protocol would be identified.

He said such persons would be made to mandatorily isolate at any government or public-private partnership isolation centres or identified hotels for 10 days at their cost.

The commissioner added that the defaulters would be fined, while the passports of the indigenous passengers would be forwarded to the authorities for deactivation and foreigners may be subject to deportation.

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According to him, the state will also improve its capacity to conduct additional analysis on all positive cases to assist in determining the predominant strains in the environment.

Abayomi said, “Residents are still advised to stick to the laid down protocols of always wearing facemasks in public gatherings, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing, even after receiving the vaccine.’’

In case you missed it

The Federal Government, in its new travel advisory guideline, announced that it will bar passengers who have visited India, Brazil and Turkey in the past 14 days from entering the country.

This is part of precautionary measures introduced by the government to reduce the risk of a spike in Covid-19 infections due to travellers coming from other countries as concerns over the new wave of coronavirus disease in some parts of the world continues to mount.

This new travel advisory which is subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks, will take effect from Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

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