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Coronavirus

COVID-19: WHO warns there may never be an immediate solution to the virus

WHO urged governments and citizens to focus on known basic steps to contain the pandemic.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there might not be an immediate solution or cure to the COVID-19 pandemic despite the positive outcomes at the different levels of trials of vaccines for the virus.

The WHO said that despite strong hopes for a vaccine, there might never be a silver bullet for COVID-19, and the road to normality would be long.

According to the latest data, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 18.1 million people with more than 690,000 fatalities globally since late January, when the virus was first reported. This is just as some countries that thought they worst was over for them started experiencing a second wave of outbreak.

READ MORE: Lessons for Nigerian fintechs, as Square gets nod for banking license

The Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Mike Ryan, WHO head of emergencies, urged governments and citizens to focus on known basic steps to contain the pandemic such as testing, contact tracing, maintaining physical distance and putting on a mask.

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Tedros in a virtual news briefing in Geneva, said, ‘’The message to people and governments is clear, Do it all. He said face masks should become a symbol of solidarity around the world. A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be.’’ 

READ MORE: COVID-19: WHO stops hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs trial after failure 

Chinese Investigation

The WHO officials revealed that an advanced investigation team that was sent to China where the virus started, are not yet back. The UN health agency sent an epidemiologist and an animal health specialist to China on July 10 to lay the groundwork for a probe aimed at identifying how the virus entered the human species.

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Tedros said WHO and Chinese experts had agreed on the terms of reference and a programme of work for a WHO-led international team of scientists and researchers from around the world. They are to study the origins of the virus in the city of Wuhan.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Russia to roll out mass vaccination against Corovirus in October

The WHO boss encouraged mothers to continue breastfeeding even if they had COVID-19, as the benefits outweigh the risks associated with infection.

Tedros also said the international hunt for a vaccine has been historic against the backdrop of the coronavirus disease being the biggest global health emergency since the early 20th century.

Tedros said, ‘’There are many vaccines under trial, a couple in the final stage of clinical trials – and there is hope. It does not mean that we will have the vaccine, but at least the speed with which we reached the level we reached now is unprecedented.”

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“There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know.”

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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: Africa prepared for possible second wave – Africa CDC

Africa CDC has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, especially with the current upsurge of active cases.

This disclosure was made by the Director, Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, during the teleconference Weekly Press Briefing on #COVID-19 on November 26, 2020.

According to him, Africa CDC has started to distribute 2.7 million rapid antigen tests with the hope that by mid-2021, the health officials would have been able to vaccinate about 60% of the continent’s population with one of the several promising new vaccines — it all depends on the cooperation and support of the continent’s leaders.

(READ MORE: Reps Committee warns MDAs against failure to render accounts to Auditor-General)

What they are saying

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According to Dr. Nkengasong: To achieve 60% vaccination, we will need to mobilise up to about $10 to $12 billion, including the cost of buying the vaccines and the cost of delivering the vaccines. So, that is the 60% mark that we really want to achieve. And I just really want everyone on this platform and our partners to understand that as a continent, that is our aspiration and goal.”

As the end-of-year holidays are around the corner, Dr. Nkengasong advised: “Do not relent in wearing masks. One message that is emerging across the visits we are conducting across the continent is that people are not masking enough. And in some settings, absolutely it seems like they are not masking at all. And that is extremely dangerous.”

What you should know

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  • As of November 26, 2020, Africa had 2,106,931 confirmed caseloads, with a death toll of 50,628 and 1,781,744 persons recovered.
  • The Southern African region is the worst hit both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases and deaths.
  • South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia are the most affected countries in terms of number of positive cases.
  • South Africa is presently the worst hit with active cases of 775,502.

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 26th of November 2020, 169 new confirmed cases 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 66,974 confirmed cases.

On the 26th of November 2020, 169 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 66,974 cases have been confirmed, 62,585 cases have been discharged and 1,169 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 26th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 26th November 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 66,974
  • Total Number Discharged – 62,585
  • Total Deaths – 1,169
  • Total Tests Carried out – 756,237

According to the NCDC, the 169 new cases were reported from 12 states- Kaduna (74), FCT (42), Lagos (17), Kano (8), Ogun (6), Oyo (6), Rivers (6), Ekiti (3), Bauchi (3), Katsina (2), Delta (1) and Ondo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,083, followed by Abuja (6,671), Plateau (3,813), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,019), Rivers (2,969), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,202), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,789), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,014), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (765), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 662  cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (488), Bayelsa (445),  Ekiti (357), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (157), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), 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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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The AU and Africa CDC have revealed that they have reached out to both China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union announced they have been in talks with China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships to ensure that Africa is not left behind when vaccines become available.

This was disclosed by John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Chief, at the Bloomberg Invest Africa online conference.

READ: Covid-19: Pfizer to file for emergency authorization for its vaccine, reaches safety milestone

Mr. Nkengasong said that Africa would not limit itself to only one vaccine partner and that Africa was willing to work with as many partners as possible to provide a vaccine for its 1.2 billion people.

“We are not limiting ourselves to any particular partner. As a continent of 1.2 billion people, we are willing to work with any partner who adheres to our strategic plan for vaccine development and access in Africa.

“The continent is taking the access and development of vaccine very, very seriously. We really need to see clinical trials being done on the continent, so they address issues like background infections from other diseases.”
He disclosed that the Africa CDC resumed talks last week with China, to discuss partnerships with Chinese Drug Manufacturers and also clinical trials in Africa. He added that Russia has been approached with a similar plan.

He said that the WHO Covax programme only covers 20% of the population, but Africa will need 60% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

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There are multiple avenues being explored now to make sure Africa has the appropriate doses of vaccines and also that we have that in a timely fashion, not in a delayed manner,” Nkengasong said.

He revealed that the AFREXIM Bank agreed to finance vaccine procurement with $5 billion and is waiting to see how much it will receive from World Bank’s $12 billion vaccine procurement fund for developing nations.

READ: COVID-19: G-20 to extend debt relief to developing nations

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What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc. disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study in the ongoing phase 3 trials.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: AstraZeneca vaccine could be 90% effective against the virus)

Last week, a pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., stated that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.

The G-20 nations also announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that could not afford it. The leaders also unveiled a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria also announced through the Ministry of Health, that it would inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.

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