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Coronavirus

The World’s Economy may not survive without a vaccine

Industries like tourism and travel with social distancing rules in place will only scramble for the little they can get while sports stadiums, entertainment hot-spots, etc., will remain closed.

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The World’s Economy may not survive without a vaccine

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.

READ ALSO: Nigerian economy going into recession, might contract by -8.9% – Finance Minister

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.

READ MORE: Osinbajo sets up committee on reopening of Nigerian economy, suspends loan deductions for states

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.

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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.

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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

READ: Lagos Govt seals Queens Park Event Centre, Oniru for contravening COVID-19 protocol

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

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Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

READ: Lagos state government reacts to reopening of event centers, clarify guidelines

Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

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Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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Business News

Covid-19: FG discloses why it is pausing vaccinations soon in some states

Minister of State for Health has disclosed why the FG may halt the vaccination process once 50% of the country’s proportion has been used up.

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NPHCDA to address infrastructural gaps in COVID-19 vaccine supply, FG to focus on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine in first quarter 2021

The Nigerian Government disclosed that it has ordered some states to pause their covid-19 vaccination drive once they have used up 50% of their proportions as Nigeria is not sure when it would receive the second batch of vaccines.

This was disclosed by Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, at the Presidential Task Force (PTF)  briefing on COVID-19, in Abuja on Tuesday.

What the Minister is saying

“We believe that in a situation where we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive, then I think wisdom dictates that it’s better for us to vaccinate people fully.

“And so, we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated since this vaccination comes in two doses.

READ: Nigeria, 8 other African countries receive Covid-19 vaccine from MTN

“So that’s what gave rise to that directive, rather than just going ahead with just single dose when the full dose should be two doses of the same.

“So we felt that it was proper for us in the circumstance to ensure that those who have been vaccinated have been fully vaccinated,” he disclosed.

On vaccine side effects so far

The Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed that the FG is monitoring cases of blood clots as reported in Europe, however, he asserted that Nigeria’s vaccination drive has been efficient so far.

Sigma Pensions

“In Nigeria, with every vaccine, we have a parallel system to measure and to monitor any side effects,” he said.

READ: UN says 26 countries in Africa have received 15 million vaccines

“We will continue to monitor patients in Nigeria. You know, every demography is different, the demography in taking vaccines in every country is different, the interaction between different drugs people are taking. So there are many circumstances that need to be fully evaluated, we will look at the data ourselves here in Nigeria and I will take action as needed.

“So I think, for now, we can be sure that we have an effective vaccination programme going on. And we’re very responsive to the concerns of Nigerians, I will respond to them as appropriate,” he added.

What you should know: Nigeria had vaccinated 964,387  people as of Tuesday, 6th of April 2020, using up 48.0% of vaccinations, reported by the NPHCDA.

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