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Coronavirus

UNICEF in negotiations to buy COVID-19 drug for 4.5 million patients in poor countries

The initial purchase will be made for up to 4.5 million people in low and middle-income countries.

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UNICEF in negotiations to buy COVID-19 drug for 4.5 million patients in poor countries

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is currently in negotiations to purchase the steroid-dexamethasone  – for 4.5 million coronavirus infected patients in low and middle-income countries.

According to a report from Reuters, the advance purchase will be made under a deal negotiation led by UNITAID and Wellcome.

According to a joint statement from both agencies, the deal is part of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s plan to accelerate access to therapeutics in the battle against the global pandemic.

“With this advanced purchase we aim to ensure equitable access for low- and middle-income countries for the treatment of COVID-19 with the life-saving drug dexamethasone, and avoid shortages resulting from high levels of demand from other parts of the world,” said Philippe Duneton, acting executive director of UNITAID said in the statement.

The initial purchase will be made for up to 4.5 million people in low and middle-income countries, the agencies said on Friday.

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READ MORE: African Development Bank to launch African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement

The steroid dexamethasone, originally a corticosteroid medication used in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, inflammatory disorders and certain cancers, was discovered to be effective in treating severe or critical COVID-19 patients on ventilators, following clinical trials in the United Kingdom.

Earlier in June, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire had called on frontline clinicians to consider the use of dexamethasone in the treatment of COVID-19 across the country.

Speaking during one of the daily briefings by the Task Force on COVID-19, Ehanire noted that the drug had been in use since the 1960s and its side effects are well known to medical practitioners

READ ALSO: World Bank 2020 stats: Developing nations’ debt hit $7.8 trillion

“Luckily, this medicine is not new. It is a well-known steroid that is used for other purposes but was found to be useful in this case (treatment of COVID-19). So it is easy to try it out because we already know its side effects. It is not a product that will get you worried about its possible side effects.

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“So we are going to ask our clinician to also consider adding it to their trials and see what result it brings in our circumstances,” he said in the briefing, acknowledging the results from the UK clinical trials.

The World Health Organisation also welcomed the results of the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom showing that dexamethasone could be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 and for patients on ventilators.

 

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Russia produces first batch of its newly approved vaccine

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COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

Russia announced on Saturday, August 15, 2020, that it has produced the first batch of its newly approved vaccine, Sputnik V, hours after the health ministry reported the start of its production.

The disclosure was made in a statement by the Russian Health Ministry and quoted by Russian news agencies.

This is coming some days after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, announced the registration of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments.

The announcement is seen as a propaganda coup for the Russian government against the west amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus disease.

The announcement of the vaccine registration by Putin was met with caution from scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO), who said that it still needed a rigorous safety review. Some of the scientists fear that with this fast regulatory approval, Russia may be putting national prestige ahead of safety.

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Putin had said the vaccine was safe and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, although the final stage testing involving over 2,000 people just started this week. Such trials are considered very important before a vaccine can secure regulatory approval.

Russia has said the vaccine which is the first for the coronavirus disease to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of August.

The Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed the vaccine in collaboration with the Russian Defence Ministry, said that Russia would be producing about 5 million doses a month by December or January.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 14th of August 2020, 329 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 48,445 confirmed cases.

On the 14th of August 2020, 329 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,976 samples across the country.

To date, 48,445 cases have been confirmed, 35,998 cases have been discharged and 973 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 344,397 tests have been carried out as of August 14th, 2020 compared to 341,421 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 14th August 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 48,445
  • Total Number Discharged – 34,998
  • Total Deaths – 973
  • Total Tests Carried out – 344,397

According to the NCDC, the 329 new cases were reported from 21 states- Lagos (113), Kaduna (49), FCT (33), Plateau (24), Kano (16), Edo (15), Ogun (14), Delta (13), Osun (10), Oyo (8), Ekiti (6) Bayelsa (6), Akwa Ibom (5), Borno (4), Enugu (4), Ebonyi (3), Rivers (2), Bauchi (1), Nasarawa (1), Gombe (1) and Niger (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 16,369, followed by Abuja (4,665), Oyo (2,943), Edo (2,414), Rivers (1,993), Kaduna (1,755),Plateau (1,689), Kano (1,677),  Delta (1,639), Ogun (1,535), Ondo (1,373), Enugu (980), Ebonyi (911), Kwara (888), Katsina (746), Osun (729), Borno (702), Abia (677), Gombe (648),  and Bauchi (581).

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Imo State has recorded 494 cases, Benue (430), Nasarawa (373), Bayelsa (352),  Jigawa (322), Akwa Ibom (246), Niger (229), Ekiti (200), Adamawa (185), Anambra (156), Sokoto (154),  Kebbi (90), Taraba (78),  Zamfara (77), Cross River (73), Yobe (67), 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.

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

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
August 14, 202048445329973735998114747
August 13, 2020481163739661034309128417
August 12, 202047743453956033943128447
August 11, 202047290423956633609127257
August 10, 202046867290950533346125717
August 9, 202046577437945333186124467
August 8, 202046140453942633044121547
August 7, 202045687443936632637121147
August 6, 202045244354930332430118847
August 5, 2020448904579271732165117987
August 4, 2020444333049101431851116727
August 3, 202044129288896820663225707
August 2, 202043841304888520308226457
August 1, 202043537386883420287225677
July 31, 202043151462879119565227077
July 30, 202042689481878519270225417
July 29, 202042208404873519004223317
July 28, 202041804624868818764221727
July 27, 202041180648860218203221177
July 26, 202040532555858217374223007
July 25, 2020399774388561116948221737
July 24, 2020395395918451216559221357
July 23, 2020389486048332016061220547
July 22, 202038344543813815815217167
July 21, 202037801576805415677213197
July 20, 2020372255628011215333210917
July 19, 2020366635567891115105207697
July 18, 202036107653778614938203917
July 17, 202035454600772314633200497
July 16, 202034854595769914292197937
July 15, 202034259643760613999195007
July 14, 2020336164637541013792190707
July 13, 202033153595744413671187387
July 12, 2020325585717401613447183717
July 11, 2020319876647241513103181607
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Nigeria, 6 other African countries to start antibodies tests next week

These countries are the first set of countries to commit to the testing.

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COVID-19: Nigeria, 6 other African countries to start antibodies tests next week

Nigeria and 6 other African countries will start conducting coronavirus antibodies tests as early as next week, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent.

Apart from Nigeria, the other African countries that will benefit from this include Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Morocco.

While making the disclosure in Addis Ababa, the head of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, said that these countries are the first set of countries to commit to it.

READ MORE: British Airways pilots accept 20% pay cut to end job losses dispute

Western countries have been using antibody tests to discover how many of their citizens have been infected by the coronavirus disease, with the expectation that will help them reopen their economies.

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This new development is coming some days after the Nigerian Government started negotiations with prospective COVID-19 vaccine distributors to the country ahead of their availability.

READ ALSO: FG: Why there is no hurry to resume train operation, Lagos blue rail line ready 2022 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who kick-started the negotiation on behalf of the Federal Government, in a virtual meeting with representatives of the vaccine candidate, told the co-discussants that Nigeria must be given priority when COVID-19 vaccine is ready for distribution.

Nkengasong said that Africa has so far conducted 9.4 million coronavirus tests, a 10% increase over last week. These tests show whether people currently have the coronavirus disease.

Experts said that the low levels of testing in many countries mean that Africa’s infection rates could be higher than being reported.

He said that 25 African countries still have full border closures, with 23 imposing tests at entry points. He also stressed on the need to harmonize border testing and recognize certificates in order to facilitate travel.

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