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Coronavirus

NCDC launches online course on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases

The aim is at reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

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COVID-19, covid-19 testing, coronavirus, NCDC, Kano

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has launched a course on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

The course, which will be taught online, is aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases amongst the general public, particularly the health care workers in Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement that was made available to the general public by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

According to the latest report by NCDC as at July 6, 2020, a total of 29,286 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 654 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria. Additionally, as at 02 June 2020, about 812 health care workers have been infected in-country, compared to over 230,000 infected health workers around the world.

The NCDC pointed out that the national strategy in response to COVID-19 has been in different forms and in the absence of a vaccine or cure for the virus, compliance with IPC measures remains one of the most effective interventions to control the ongoing outbreak.

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READ MORE: Mbari Uno launches open innovation platform to positively impact social well-being

The NCDC has made efforts to rapidly strengthen the capacity of frontline healthcare workers in infection prevention and control wherever health care is provided. Since the first case in Nigeria was confirmed in February, NCDC has supported the training of about 17,436 health workers in IPC and works in collaboration with the Departments of Hospital Services and Food and Drugs of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), to ensure that health workers are provided with the required personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of health workers’ infection.

To ensure that IPC training, knowledge and information is easily accessible to everybody that needs it, the Infection Prevention and Control Unit of the NCDC, with technical assistance from eHealth Africa, has developed a COVID-19 IPC online course. The course features modules on standard and transmission-based precautions, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential aspects of infection control in healthcare. A certificate of participation will also be awarded at the end of the course by NCDC.

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The online course is also designed to document vital information to monitor IPC compliance across health facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both in public, private and faith-based facilities in Nigeria. Infection prevention and control measures cuts across all other components of the COVID-19 response in Nigeria and is critical for strengthening national health security.

Please note that registration for the free online course on infection prevention and control can be done using the link here- https://elearning.ncdc.gov.ng/courses/infection-prevention-and-control-for-covid-19/.

The NCDC is Nigeria’s public health institution, which has the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce.’

 

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]om.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 26th of October 2020, 119 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths 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 62,111 confirmed cases.

On the 26th of October 2020, 119 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,719 samples across the country.

To date, 62,111 cases have been confirmed, 57,571 cases have been discharged and 1,132 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 612,154 tests have been carried out as of October 26th, 2020 compared to 607,435 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 26th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,111
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,571
  • Total Deaths – 1,1132
  • Total Tests Carried out – 612,154

According to the NCDC, the 119 new cases were reported from 6 states- Lagos (77), FCT (26), Plateau (9), Edo (4), Oyo (2), Nasarawa (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,884, followed by Abuja (5,993), Plateau (3,603), Oyo (3,425), Rivers (2,773), Edo (2,652), Kaduna (2,617), Ogun (2,010), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,742), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (479), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), 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.

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

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly

The experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.

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Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly, Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

One of the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is being developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca, has produced a similar immune response in both older and younger adults with adverse responses being lower among the elderly.

While making the disclosure on Monday, the British drugmaker, AstraZeneca Plc, said the experimental vaccine produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine likely to be ready by December – WHO

This raises hope of the early development of a vaccine for the corona virus that has killed over a million people across the world with a devastating impact on the global economy.

AstraZeneca, described as encouraging, the results and findings on immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants, which echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults aged 18 to 55

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An AstraZeneca spokesman told Reuters, “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher.’’

READ: AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman said, referring to the technical name of the vaccine.

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The news that older people got an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.

It was earlier reported by Financial Times that the vaccine, being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups – among those most at risk from the virus.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharmacies to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech’s 22UAy.F candidate.

READ: Pfizer targets use of its Covid-19 vaccine by late November this year

If it works, a vaccine would allow the world to return to some measure of normality after the tumult of the pandemic.

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British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a vaccine was not yet ready though he was preparing logistics for a possible rollout.

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Hancock in a chat with BBC, said, “I would expect the bulk of the rollout to be in the first half of next year.’’

READ: COVID-19: US to have enough vaccines for vulnerable Americans by end of 2020

He said that is not his central expectation, he does not rule out the possibility of some people having access to the vaccine this year.

Hancock also said, “We want to be ready in case everything goes perfectly but it’s not my central expectation that we’ll be doing that this year, but the programme is progressing well, we’re not there yet.’’

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

It can be recalled that one of the frontline vaccine candidates being developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, after regulatory approval, resumed its trial in the US after it was initially halted due to some safety concerns

The British drugmaker has signed several supplies and manufacturing deals with companies and governments around the world as it gets closer to reporting early results of a late-stage clinical trial.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: WHO warns against Gilead’s remdesivir drug approved by US FDA

WHO has expressed concern over the health implication of Gilead Science Inc’s recently approved remdesivir vaccine.

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remdesivir as first vaccine , Developing countries will pay less for COVID-19 drug – Gilead reveals 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned health officials reviewing Gilead Science Inc’s GILD.O remdesivir against COVID-19 to consider all evidence, including a trial where the medicine failed, before giving its approval to the anti-viral drug.

While making the disclosure during a news conference, Chief Scientist at WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, said that the US regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), appeared not to have considered the evidence when approving the drug this week.

Backstory

Nairametrics earlier reported that the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, granted full approval to Gilead’s antiviral drug for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease in the United States.

The approval came days after a WHO study had discovered the remdesivir anti-viral drug had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of stay in the hospital or chances of survival. WHO said it failed to prevent deaths among patients.

Swaminathan said that the FDA did not appear to have taken the global health body’s study into account in its approval.

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When asked about the FDA move during the news conference, Swaminathan said, “We believe our results are very robust. We hope that people who are doing treatment guidelines in other countries, as well as regulators around the world, will take note of our study results, in addition to the other evidence.”

“Because you need to look at the global evidence for a drug before you make decisions,” she added.

For the remdesivir arm of the WHO’s Solidarity trial, 2,743 patients were given the treatment, compared to 2,708 in the control group.

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Gilead’s own study of 1,062 participants, produced data indicating that the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by 5 days and helped reduce the risk of death in some patients who were getting oxygen.

The WHO said that the company, which has raised the possibility of bias in the unblinded WHO study because patients and their doctors were aware of which treatments were being used, got initial data showing that remdesivir failed the Solidarity trial in late September. However, the U.S. company said that it had told the FDA about initial Solidarity results.

The FDA did not immediately comment on Swaminathan’s statement that the U.S. agency did not take Solidarity data into account in its approval.

The WHO also disclosed on Friday that its formal guidelines on the use of remdesivir for COVID-19 should be ready for release in 3 to 4 weeks after a separate group within the United Nations health agency would have reviewed data from the study.

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