The Emergency Committee on COVID-19, which was convened by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a lengthy duration.
A statement that was issued by the Committee on Saturday, which was seen by Nairametrics, also noted that the committee expects the COVID-19 to remain a public health emergency of international concern in the meantime.
The Executive Committee, which convened under the International Health Regulations (2005), expressed its appreciation to the WHO and its partners on COVID-19 response efforts, whilst stressing the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts.
Note that the Executive Committee’s unanimous conclusion that the pandemic still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), was sent to WHO’s Tedros as a recommendation.
The Committee also advised the WHO to continue to mobilize global and regional multilateral organizations and partners for COVID-19 preparedness and response, in order to support member states in maintaining health services, while accelerating the research and eventual access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
It also recommended a sustained attack on the virus on all fronts, from testing and contact tracing to developing vaccine treatments
It urged countries to support these various research efforts, including by funding, and to join in efforts to allow equitable allocation of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines by engaging in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator among other initiatives.
The committee also advised countries to strengthen public health surveillance for case identification and contact tracing, including in low-resource, vulnerable, or high-risk settings and to maintain essential health services with sufficient funding, supplies, and human resources.
Countries were advised to implement proportionate measures and advice on travel, based on risk assessments, and to review these measures regularly.
While accepting these recommendations, Tedros confirmed that the pandemic still constitutes a PHEIC. He then issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR.
“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Dr Tedros told the Committee in his opening remarks on Friday. “Many countries that believed they were past the worst are now grappling with new outbreaks. Some that were less affected in the earliest weeks are now seeing escalating numbers of cases and deaths. And some that had large outbreaks have brought them under control.”
A PHEIC, which is the WHO’s highest level of alarm under IHR, was first declared on January 30th at a time when there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 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 108,943 confirmed cases.
On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 108,943 cases have been confirmed, 85,367 cases have been discharged and 1,420 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.13 million tests have been carried out as of January 16th, 2021 compared to 1.03 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 16th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 108,943
- Total Number Discharged – 85,367
- Total Deaths – 1,420
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,135,535
According to the NCDC, the 1,598 new cases were reported from 24 states- Lagos (461), FCT (206), Plateau (197), Rivers (168), Kaduna (116), Anambra (53), Ogun (49), Ebonyi (47), Edo (42), Sokoto (32), Imo (31), Katsina (31), Oyo (30), Akwa Ibom (27), Delta (16), Kano (16), Abia (15), Niger (15), Ondo (11), Bayelsa (10), Borno (9), Kebbi (8), Ekiti (7), Jigawa (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 39,723, followed by Abuja (14,544), Plateau (6,617), Kaduna (6,121), Oyo (4,679), Rivers (4,382), Edo (3,246), Ogun (2,831), Kano (2,577), Delta (2,102), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,269), Ebonyi (1,206), Osun (1,186), Abia (1,129), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 859 cases, Imo (841), Sokoto (677), Benue (653), Akwa Ibom (615), Bayelsa (608), Niger (547), Adamawa (540), Anambra (513), Ekiti (466), Jigawa (425), Taraba (258), Kebbi (248), Yobe (207), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), 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.
Combined Vaccine Manufacturing capacity to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
Meristem Group disclosed that the combined effort in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for global use is expected to yield about 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
This was revealed in the Annual Outlook 2021 report presented by Meristem Group, titled “Bracing for a different future.”
According to the report, the existing manufacturing capacity will only be sufficient enough to immunize about 44% of the global population, which would create obvious vaccination gap and make the pandemic last longer than necessary.
The report states,
- “The cold temperature requirements for vaccine storage pose major logistics concern particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. WHO estimates that about 50% of vaccines are wasted every year, largely due to a lack of temperature control.”
According to the report, the estimated 6.8billion doses are expected to be collaboratively manufactured as follows: CanSino – 0.2billion, AstraZeneca – 3.0 billion, Gamaleya – 0.3billion, Moderna – 0.4billion, Pfizer-BioNtech – 1.3billion, SinoPharm – 1billion, and SinoVac – 0.6billion.
What you should know
- The global population as of 2020 is 7.8billion and 70% is required to achieve herd immunity (otherwise called herd protection)
- Herd Immunity or herd protection is achieved when you have most of the population immunized against an infectious disease.
- 2 doses of the vaccines are required for each person for immunity.
- It is expected that between 11 and 15 billion doses would be required to achieve the desired herd immunity, globally.
- From all indications, herd immunity may not be achieved until mid or late 2022, with the subsisting 100% vaccine production capacity utilization in 2021 – with neither production nor distribution losses.
- To achieve regulatory approval, a vaccine must undergo a three-stage clinical development process after the exploratory and pre-clinical stages and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets a phase 3 efficacy benchmark of 50%.
Covid-19: Global deaths surpass 2 million
Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday.
The Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday, with the United States accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths, as it has recorded over 386,000 casualties so far.
This was disclosed in a report by Reuters in its Covid-19 tally reported on Friday evening.
After the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India and the U.K contribute nearly 50% of the combined casualties.
The report also disclosed that an average of 11,900 casualties are recorded per day in year 2021, despite the fact that it took 9 months for the world to record 1 million casualties.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the 2 million death count was “a heart-wrenching milestone.”
- “Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” he added.
The WHO warned that 2021 could be tougher due to the nature of new variants which transmit the disease faster.
- “We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” WHO Chief, Mike Ryan, said.
Analysts expect the global death toll to surpass 3 million by April 2021.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that the total number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria had surpassed the 100,000 mark on Sunday 10th January 2021, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
- The African Union stated that it secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers to supplement the COVAX programme, a step towards the commencement of the complex task of vaccinating over 1.2 billion people with limited financial resources.
- The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday 15th January 2021, announced that 1,867 new cases of the covid-19 virus were recorded across 24 states in the country. This represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day.