Hundreds of scientists have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to revise its recommendation for the novel coronavirus pandemic, after they discovered new evidence suggesting that air-borne smaller particles of the virus can infect people.
The WHO had disclosed that the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are discharged when a person with the coronavirus disease coughs, sneezes or speaks.
According to the scientists whether the virus is carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may move quietly through the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled.
Researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, an open letter to WHO by 239 scientists in 32 countries, where they outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people.
However, the United Nations health agency has said that the report from the scientists that the virus is airborne was not convincing.
According to the WHO technical lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr Benedetta Allegranzi, ‘’Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.”
It can be recalled that WHO said over the weekend that it was stopping its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir on hospitalized patients with the coronavirus disease after they failed to reduce the death rate.
The setback came as the WHO reported more than 200,000 new cases of the disease globally, the first time in a single day.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 3rd of March 2021, 464 new confirmed cases and 16 deaths were 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 156,963 confirmed cases.
On the 3rd of March 2021, 464 new confirmed cases and 16 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 156,963 cases have been confirmed, 135,831 cases have been discharged and 1,939 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 2nd, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 3rd March 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 156,963
- Total Number Discharged – 135,812
- Total Deaths – 1,939
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008
According to the NCDC, the 479 new cases are reported from 22 states- Lagos (153), Enugu (75), Rivers (50), FCT (40), Kaduna (18), Ebonyi (17), Plateau (17), Edo (17), Borno (16), Oyo (12) Kano (11), Abia (10), Cross River (10), Taraba (9), Nasarawa (7), Bauchi (4), Bayelsa (3), Delta (3), Ekiti (2), Niger (2), Ogun (2) and Akwa Ibom (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,132, followed by Abuja (19,292), Plateau (8,916), Kaduna (8,600), Oyo (6,752), Rivers (6,556), Edo (4,611), Ogun (4,411), Kano (3,790), Ondo (3,006), Kwara (2,931), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,439), Nasarawa (2,237), Enugu (2,078), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,056), Ebonyi (1,881), Anambra (1,726), Akwa Ibom (1,552), and Abia (1,552).
Imo State has recorded 1,528 cases, Borno (1,297), Bauchi (1,232), Benue (1,188), Niger (917), Ekiti (813), Taraba (813), Bayelsa (772), Sokoto (769), Adamawa (762), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (388), Cross River (334), Yobe (288), Zamfara (220), 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.
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.
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.
Peter Obi urges FG to beg manufacturers, rich nations for COVID-19 vaccines
Obi urged the FG to consider appealing to rich nations, drug manufacturers for vaccines instead of spending billions of nairas to procure them.
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at their stipulated Covid-19 budget and rather, consider begging drug manufacturers and rich nations for the vaccines.
The former Vice Presidential candidate while speaking in an interview on Channels Television, lamented on what he felt was an over-the-top and ludicrous budget for the Covid-19 vaccines and advised that the FG should instead, appeal to manufacturers for the vaccine.
Obi, speaking on the FG Procurement Budget for the Covid-19 vaccine explained that it makes little sense for Nigeria to apportion 80% of its health budget for the procurement of Covid-19 only. He also stated that sufficient Covid-19 vaccine for the country can be purchased for a price way below the figure being put forward by the FG.
“They said they need N400bn. Our Budget for health this year is N547bn and you are saying that you need 80% of that for vaccine procurement. Assuming that’s what we are going to use the money for. I have checked the vaccine we need to have 70% which WHO has stipulated that if they receive it is okay. The quantity we need cannot cost us more than N150bn. It might be less because there are people who are willing to give vaccines for free,” Obi said.
Mr. Obi took it a step further by advising the FG on how to go about the quest to get Covid-19 vaccines at a much cheaper rate. He believes the country should own up to its poor status and demand for help unashamedly. This, he said, will reduce the amount the FG will pay for the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Why don’t we beg manufacturers to donate, saying to them that we don’t have anything. We can go kneel and beg them saying please give us the vaccines. We are from a poor country. Give us a discount. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are poor. It is not a crime. Because you are poor,” Obi added.
Since pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers began discovering and manufacturing vaccines against the novel Covid-19, there have been concerns that the poorer nations might be left far behind in the race to acquire the vaccines.
In case you missed it
- Nigeria received its first batch of Covid 19 vaccines from India today. The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.
- About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.
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