Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has tested positive to Coronavirus.
Onyeama announced the news via his official twitter handle, @GeoffreyOnyeama on Sunday afternoon.
According to the tweet, Onyeama took his fourth COVID-19 test on Saturday, after feeling some signs of throat irritation.
He stated that the result returned positive, and he is now heading for isolation in a health facility, where he will receive treatment.
“Did my fourth COVID-19 test yesterday at the first sign of a throat irritation and unfortunately this time it came back positive. That is life! win some lose some. Heading for isolation in a health facility and praying for the best,” the Minister said in his tweet.
Did my fourth Covid-19 test yesterday at the first sign of a throat irritation and unfortunately this time it came back positive. That is life! Win some lose some. Heading for isolation in a health facility and praying for the best. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 #PTFCOVID19
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) July 19, 2020
Several public office holders, including state governors and other political appointees, have tested positive to the Coronavirus, within the last three months.
Of the number, only one death has been recorded, that of 67-year-old Mallam Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
All others have recovered or are undergoing treatment and isolation.
As at midnight of Saturday 18 July, Nigeria had the second-highest number of confirmed cases with 36,107 confirmed cases out of 209,446 tests conducted.
Explore Nairalytics, the Nairametrics research website
A total of 14,938 persons have been discharged after making full recovery, while 778 persons have died from COVID-19 complications in Nigeria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases 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 61,930 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,372 samples across the country.
To date, 61,930 cases have been confirmed, 57,285 cases have been discharged and 1,129 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 603,611 tests have been carried out as of October 24th, 2020 compared to 602,239 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,930
- Total Number Discharged – 57,285
- Total Deaths – 1,1129
- Total Tests Carried out – 603,611
According to the NCDC, The 48 new cases were reported from 6 states- Lagos (18), FCT (13), Kaduna (6), Rivers (5), Ogun (5), Ondo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,807, followed by Abuja (5,961), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,770), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,611), Ogun (1,995), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,662), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (922), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (164), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), 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.
Covid-19: US FDA grants full approval to remdesivir as first vaccine to treat coronavirus
Remdesivir has become the first drug to obtain formal clearance for treating the coronavirus disease.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday granted full approval to Gilead Sciences Inc. for its antiviral drug, remdesivir, making it the first drug to obtain formal clearance for treating the coronavirus disease after conditional authorization was given in May.
The regulators had granted an emergency use authorization for remdesivir earlier this year, and since then, the drug has become a widely used therapy for hospitalized Covid-19 patients. It was also reportedly given to President Donald Trump this month, when he was diagnosed with the coronavirus disease.
This was disclosed in a statement by Gilead Sciences on Thursday.
In its statement, Gilead said, “Veklury is now the first and only approved Covid-19 treatment in the United States.’’ While the drug was in short supply initially, Gilead said that the medicine is now widely available in hospitals across the country as manufacturing capacity has rapidly expanded.
This is coming some days after the World Health Organization (WHO) study had discovered that the remdesivir anti-viral drug had little or no effect on Covid-19 patients’ length of stay in the hospital or chances of survival. The WHO said it failed to prevent deaths among patients.
However, Gilead has criticized the WHO study. In a letter posted on the company’s website, Chief Medical Officer Merdad Parsey said the findings didn’t negate other results.
The approval of remdesivir, sold under the brand name Veklury, will allow Gilead to market the drug and talk about its benefits to doctors, nurses, and patients. That could help solidify its position as a go-to medicine for Covid-19 patients, even as other drugs for the disease begin to reach the market.
Other treatments have received authorization for emergency use, although that approval can be revoked once the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over. Other medications like the steroid dexamethasone are also being used in the fight against Covid-19.
Shares of Gilead gained 4.1% in trading after the close of regular market hours on Thursday. According to 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, it is estimated that remdesivir will have sales of $2.17 billion this year.
The company said in June that it would charge U.S. hospitals roughly $3,120 for most patients who need remdesivir.
The approval is based on a U.S. government-sponsored trial involving over 1,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients that found that those who received the drug recovered about five days faster than those who got a placebo.
The overall side-effect rate was similar to the placebo in the government study. The most common side effects are nausea and elevated liver enzymes, according to the product’s label.
What this means: This will be a very huge boost to the global search for a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic which has negatively impacted on the global economy with over 1 million deaths. This also appears to be a boost for Donald Trump, who had sought the development of a Covid-19 vaccine before the US Presidential election.