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Coronavirus

COVID-19: WHO says there is no ‘zero risk’ for countries easing travel restrictions

The updated travel advice contains minor changes from previous guidance.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO), has said that there is no zero risk strategy for countries that are easing international travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. They, however, asked that essential travel for emergencies should remain a top priority.

While giving its long-awaited travel update, the United Nations global health agency pointed out that cross-border trips for emergencies, humanitarian work, the transfer of essential personnel and repatriation would constitute essential travel.

The WHO, in its updated guidance which was posted on its website on Thursday, said, ‘’There is no ‘zero risk’ when considering the potential importation or exportation of cases in the context of international travel.’’

READ ALSO: Covid-19: WHO to start widespread vaccination mid next year

A rising new wave of infections across the globe has led some countries to reintroduce some travel restrictions, including testing and quarantining incoming international passengers. The WHO had revealed in June that it would update its travel guidelines before the northern hemisphere summer holidays.

This guidance, though not enforceable, can be used by governments and industries to help shape policies.

The WHO had a few days ago advised that series of bans on international travel cannot be sustained indefinitely and countries would have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus disease within their borders.

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

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during a virtual news briefing, that only strict adherence to health measures, like wearing of face masks to avoiding crowds, would help the world beat the coronavirus pandemic.

He commended Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling the outbreaks and reducing the cases by adhering to these measures.

The updated travel advice contains minor changes from previous guidance, which also included infection control advice applicable to other settings such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding touching the face.

The WHO urged each country to conduct its own risk-benefit analysis before lifting any or all travel restrictions by taking into account local epidemiology and transmission patterns, as well as national health and social distancing measures already in place.

WHO said, ‘’Countries should continuously plan for and assess their surge capacities for testing, tracking, isolating and managing imported cases and quarantine of contacts.

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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]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 3rd of March 2021, 464 new confirmed cases and 16 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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

 

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Coronavirus

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.

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Katsina Abduction, Recession: Economy should be redirected from wasteful-consumption to productivity — Peter Obi

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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