As parts of the world restart economic activities, it is becoming clear that the worst plunge in modern history would need a vaccine or cure before things can revert to normal.
In response to the exogenous shock that is the Covid-19 pandemic, leaders, researchers, analysts, and experts have sought methods, options, – anything to reduce the negative impact of what many now regard as the worst slump since the 1930s. So far, different parts of the world have put systems and structures in place to allow a level of economic activity to continue as it became increasingly clear that full social welfare was simply unsustainable. This is, however, not without the existence of relevant restrictions like temperature checks, social distancing rules, and the latest fashion accessories – masks and gloves.
While this is an admittedly better development than the enforced total lockdown – at least for the economy, this too has its limitations. Economic activities have taken on a sluggish growth pace and while production might continue, global demand remains hamstrung. Industries like tourism and travel with social distancing rules in place will only scramble for the little they can get. Sports stadiums, entertainment hot-spots, etc., will remain closed. Even with the increased dependence of delivery services, restaurants will struggle to make what they used to before. Jobs have been cut and even more will. In essence, the partial reopening of the economy isn’t also sustainable. Yet, it is impossible to ignore the virus itself especially given the risks of a resurgence of the virus in already treated patients and the increasing cases in many parts of the world.
Data obtained from Bloomberg revealed that people infected around the world reached 5 million with a death toll of over 330,000. With the pandemic still on our tails, finding a vaccine is our best bet – and nothing else might be able to beat that. Stephen Jen, CEO of Eurizon SLJ Capital – hedge fund and advisory firm in London told Bloomberg News that there’s some sort of bounty on the virus globally.
In his words, “I don’t see how it is wiser for investors to bet on the virus than to bet on science, technology, and unlimited political and financial capital in the world to contain and defeat the virus.”
Also, the shares of American drug maker based in Massachusetts, Moderna Inc., hit a record high early in the week, as a result of its early data from a small trial of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine. It, however, gave up some of those gains days after stock traders scrutinized the early nature of the vaccine data.
Bloomberg Economics predicts that the restriction and shutdown of businesses triggered a plunge in economic activities of about 30% and their findings found that the first steps to relax controls will have a good impact on activity than later ones. Yet, our optimism is palpable. Anita Zaidi, Director of Vaccine Development and Surveillance at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have advised that the process of creating an effective immunity could take years, and even then it will have to solve the issue of logistics that is making the vaccine readily available globally.
Today, the world waits in hope that this too passes like many of its predecessors. While it will indeed pass, there still is no saying how long it will take before life reverts to a new but sustainable normal.
Covid-19: WHO says the promise of vaccine is a game changer
The WHO has stated that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
The World Health Organization has said that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, during a press briefing at Copenhagen on Thursday, December 2, 2020, according to a report from Reuters.
Kluge said there are expectations that there would be limited supplies of Covid-19 vaccine supplies at the early stages and as such countries must decide who gets priority.
However, the WHO emphasized that there is a growing consensus among stakeholders that older people, medical workers, and people that share the virus with some other health conditions will be among the first recipients of the vaccine.
What you should know
It can be recalled that yesterday, UK regulator gave its approval to the Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech, moving ahead of the rest of the world, including the United States in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
- This follows the announcement by Pfizer that the vaccine proved 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical-trial data for its phase 3 study.
- In addition, Biotech firm, Moderna Inc, also announced that its Covid-19 experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary study.
- The United States and European Union regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but are yet to give their approval.
- The WHO revealed on Wednesday it had received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the vaccine and was reviewing it for possible listing for emergency use, a minimum condition for countries to authorize national use.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 2nd of December 2020, 122 new confirmed cases and 1 death was 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 67,960 confirmed cases.
On the 2nd of December 2020, 122 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 67,960 cases have been confirmed, 63,839 cases have been discharged and 1,177 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 779,708 tests have been carried out as of December 2nd, 2020 compared to 756,237 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 2nd December 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 67,960
- Total Number Discharged – 63,839
- Total Deaths – 1,177
- Total Tests Carried out – 779,708
According to the NCDC, the 122 new cases were reported from 11 states- Kaduna (37) Lagos (29 ), Plateau (25), Ekiti (9), Rivers (5), Ogun (5), Edo (4) Kwara (4), Bayelsa (2), Bauchi (1), and Kano (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,439, followed by Abuja (6,868), Plateau (3,902), Oyo (3,728), Kaduna (3,173), Rivers (3,001), Edo (2,703), Ogun (2,233), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,798), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,110), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (947), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (774), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 677 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (456), Ekiti (374), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (166), Taraba (163), Yobe (100), 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.
OFFICIAL: UK Approves Covid-19 Vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech
The United Kingdom has approved Covid-19 Vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and will start distributing from next week.
The United Kingdom has approved Covid-19 Vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and will start distributing from next week. The approval by UK Regulatory authorities makes the country the first to approve the vaccine in the world.
The emergency authorization clears the way for the rollout of the vaccine which had been certified to be 95% effective in preventing illness in the final analysis of phase 3 trial, from early next week.
The vaccine is given in two shots (doses).
According to reports monitored by Nairametrics, the vaccine will be administered firstly to medical workers and home caregivers, frontline health workers, those aged 80 and above before being made available to the general public.
The vaccine was made by German company BioNTech in conjunction with US Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and is said to be 95% effective in preventing the disease. This is after it was tested on over 43, 000 people in the mandatory phase 3 trials.
The US Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the vaccine and could also approve its usage later in the month.
What they are saying
The government in its statement said, “The government has today accepted the recommendation from the Independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use.’’
A UK government spokesperson also said:
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination.”
“I’m confident now, with the news today, that from spring — from Easter onwards — things are going to be better. We’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy.” Matt Hancock, UK health secretary.
Matt Hancock revealed that this is going to be one of the biggest civilian projects in history as 50 hospitals are preparing to administer the vaccine with 800,000 doses ready to be delivered from Belgium.
Hancock said, “I’m obviously absolutely thrilled with the news, very proud that the UK is the first place in the world to have a clinically authorized vaccine.’’
The UK regulator said on Wednesday, that the Covid-19, met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
The UK had earlier given hope that it was going to act swiftly in approving a vaccine and then put doctors across the country on standby for a possible rollout. This will also come as a relief to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has been facing a series of criticisms over his handling of the pandemic that has killed almost 60,000 people in the UK.
The UK’s vaccine committee is expected to decide which priority groups will be given the shot first; care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be first in line.
The United Kingdom is said to have ordered over 357 million doses from seven manufacturers.
What you should know:
Pfizer has earlier announced that the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing in collaboration with its German partner, BioNTech, was certified 95% effective in preventing illness, much higher than expected. The approval of the vaccine by UK regulator, ahead of US counterpart, who is set to meet on December 10, to decide on whether to recommend emergency use authorization, marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19.
The European Medicines Agency had disclosed that it could give emergency approval for the Pfizer vaccine by December 29.
China has already given emergency approval for 3 experimental vaccines and has immunized about 1 million people since July.
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