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Coronavirus

UK scientists discover cheap drug (just N2.5k) that can combat Covid-19

The drug, which cost a patient less than N2,500 has proven to reduce the risk of dying.

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Impact of covid-19 on earnings and profitability of Nigerian banks, positives and negatives – report, Covid-19: Impact on capitalization of Nigerian banks - Report 
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UK scientists claim to have discovered a major breakthrough in treating coronavirus patients with the use of a cheap and available drug known as Dexamethasone. This is according to several reports seen by Nairametrics. 

The drug, which cost a patient less than N2,500 (5 Pounds) has proven to reduce the risk of dying from coronavirus, by a third in patients on ventilators, while reducing the risk of dying by a fifth, for those on oxygen. 

According to the researchers, “There is a clear, clear benefit. The treatment lasts for up to 10 days and it costs about £5 per patient. This is a drug that is globally available.” He said further that a lot of lives would have been saved if this drug had been used earlier. 

Data from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria is growing astronomically, despite measures put in place to curtail the spread of the pandemic. 424 fatalities have been recorded so far in Nigeria, and this according to the Scientists could have been avoided if dexamethasone had been discovered earlier. 

In the trial, led by a team of researchers from Oxford University, around 2,000 hospital patients were given the treatment and were compared with more than 4,000 who did not receive the drug.  

Chief Investigator Prof. Peter Horby said, “this is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduced it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”

It should however, be noted that Dexamethasone does not appear to help people with mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is those who do not need help with their breathing. 

 

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 22nd of April 2021, 100 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

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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 164,588 confirmed cases.

On the 22nd of April 2021, 100 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 164,588 cases have been confirmed, 154,578 cases have been discharged and 2,061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.84 million tests have been carried out as of 22nd April 20th, 2021 compared to 1.81 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 164,588
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,578
  • Total Deaths – 2,061
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174

According to the NCDC, the 65 new cases are reported from 9 states- Taraba (64), Lagos (21), Abuja (4), Rivers (3), Akwa Ibom (2), Kaduna (2), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1), and Nasarawa (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,209, followed by Abuja (19,754), Plateau (9,049), Kaduna (9,036), Rivers (7,070), Oyo (6,842), Edo (4,898), Ogun (4,647), Kano (3,942), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,572), Nasarawa (2,380), Enugu (2,281), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,020), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,843), and Abia (1,683).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,063), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (885), Ekiti (869), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (365), 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

FG explains how the Covid-19 vaccines work and their composition

The NPHCDA Director said that Covid-19 vaccine candidates are of various categories based on their mechanism of action.

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The Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has explained the composition of the Covid-19 vaccines and how they work.

This is as some of them have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) and some countries, while others are still at different phases of clinical trials for possible approval.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this insight was given by the Executive Director/Chief Executive of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who said there were several COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

READ: African Union signs deal for 400 million Johnson and Johnson single shot vaccine

He said that Covid-19 vaccine candidates are of various categories based on their mechanism of action such as the inactivated or weakened virus vaccines.

He explained that the idea behind the formulation of an inactivated or weakened virus vaccine is to elicit an immune response without causing the disease itself. Shuaib also said there were protein-based vaccines, which used harmless fragments of proteins or protein shells that mimic the Covid-19 virus to safely generate an immune response.

He added that the viral vector vaccines used a virus that had been genetically engineered to produce coronavirus proteins to safely generate an immune response and not give rise to the disease.

Going further, Shuaib pointed out that the Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) vaccines employed a cutting-edge approach that used genetically engineered RNA or DNA to generate a protein that safely prompted an immune response.

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READ: China publicly presents its COVID-19 vaccines, 2 doses to cost below $146

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What you should know

  • It can be recalled that on March 2, 2021, Nigeria received the first set of about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute in India and shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
  • A few days ago, the Executive Director of NPHCDA disclosed that a total of 8,491 Nigerians have reacted adversely to the AstraZeneca inoculation since the exercise began on March 15.
  • He said that Nigeria recorded 52 cases of moderate to severe incidents of Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI), presented as fever, vomiting, diarrhoea headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.
  • About 1.09 million Nigerians have so far been administered the first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

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