American Technology giants, Alphabet Inc’s Google, and Apple Inc, on Tuesday announced a new system that would enable public health authorities to use smartphones to help in contact tracing. This new system will assist health authorities in carrying out contact tracing without having to build an app.
The innovation, which is called Exposure Notifications Express, will allow public health officials to submit a small configuration file to Apple and Google. Both tech firms will then use the file to set up systems that phone owners can apply to determine if they have been near someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
For the iPhones, a new version of the iOS operating system released on Tuesday that would alert users of an exposure notification system from local health authorities is available, and allows users to set it up without downloading any new app. On Android devices, users will also get a prompt from their phones’ operating systems, though they will still have to download an automatically generated app.
The Exposure Notification Express also works closely with tools released by the two technology companies in May that enable public health officials to build apps that allow iPhones and Android devices to use Bluetooth signals to detect proximity to a person who has tested positive.
About 24 countries and 6 states in the United States have launched the exposure notification apps based on the Apple-Google technology in recent weeks without major hitches.
However, it is yet to be determined how effective the exposure notification apps will be in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease. Most governments are not tracking detailed data on app usage in the interest of user privacy.
COVID-19: FG to inaugurate 18-man vaccine task team
FG has announced plans to set up an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team with the responsibility to acquire and deploy vaccines in the country.
The Federal Government has announced through the Ministry of Health, that it will inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He revealed that the need for a task force comes as vaccines would be made available globally. The responsibilities of the task force include the acquisition and deployment of vaccines in the country.
“Now that vaccines are known to be close at hand, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures toward vaccine security, for which an 18-man National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Team with seven Terms of Reference (ToR) will be inaugurated.
“The ToR will include generating strategies for acquisition, deployment, and options for licensed production by Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd.
“Our options with WHO/GAVI led Covax facility remains our first line of engagement,” he added.
What you should know
After news of the Pfizer vaccine went viral, Nairametrics reported that the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians will benefit early from COVID-19 vaccines when the product is made available for commercial use. He revealed that any vaccine that is deemed fit for commercial use in treating coronavirus will be made available early to Nigerians.
Nairametrics also reported plans by the Nigerian government to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
The G-20 nations announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that can’t afford it. The leaders also announced a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 23rd of November 2020, 56 new confirmed cases and 1 death was 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 66,439 confirmed cases.
On the 23rd of November 2020, 56 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,083 samples across the country.
To date, 66,439 cases have been confirmed, 62,241 cases have been discharged and 1,168 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 743,298 tests have been carried out as of November 22nd, 2020 compared to 739,215 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 23rd November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 66,839
- Total Number Discharged – 62,076
- Total Deaths – 1,166
- Total Tests Carried out – 743,298
According to the NCDC, the 56 new cases were reported from 10 states- Kaduna (18), FCT (17), Lagos (6), Plateau (5), Kano (3), Kwara (2), Yobe (2), Ekiti (1), Niger (1), Rivers (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 22,968, followed by Abuja (6,515), Plateau (3,805), Oyo (3,703), Rivers (2,957), Kaduna (2,913), Edo (2,694), Ogun (2,153), Delta (1,823), Kano (1,773), Ondo (1,727), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,093), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,007), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (753), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (485), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (354), Jigawa (328), Akwa Ibom (319), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (156), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), 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.
ECOWAS COVID-19: Nigeria drops to 7th position in recovery rate
According to data from ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control, Nigeria has dropped to 7th position in recovery rate.
The ECOWAS COVID-19 daily update report, as of November 22nd, 2020, shows that Nigeria is ranked 7th on recovery rate (93.5%), 10th on death rate (CFR – case fatality ratio) at 1.76%, and 9th on active cases (4.7%) amongst the 15 member countries of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).
This data can be seen on the Twitter handle of the ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control.
— ECOWAS Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (@Ecowas_cdc) November 23, 2020
A week ago, as of 15th November 2020, Nigeria occupied the 6th position in recovery rate (93.7%), 9th position in CFR (1.79%) and 11th position in active cases (4.5%).
According to the report, there are 209,614 confirmed cases, 2,842 deaths, 189,917 recoveries, and 8,849 active cases in ECOWAS countries. This data represents in Africa, 9.8% of the confirmed cases, 5.7% deaths, 10.9% recovery rate and 3.3% active cases.
As regards the death rate (CFR), Liberia tops the list with 5.29%, followed by Niger 5.12% and Mali 3.41% while Guinea is the least with 0.58%.
On recovery rate, Cote D”Ivoire tops the list with 98.3%, followed by Senegal 97.5% and Ghana 97.1%, with the least coming from Mali with 71.1%.
Mali has more active COVID 19 cases with 25.5%, followed by Sierra Leone 20.9% and Togo 18.7% and with Senegal contributing the least with 0.4%.
What you should know
- As at November 22 2020, worldwide, there are 58,649,324 confirmed cases, 1,388,068 deaths and CFR of 2.3%
- In Africa, there are 2,057,029 confirmed cases, 49,412 deaths and CFR of 2.4%
- In West Africa, there are 201,614 confirmed cases, 2,842 deaths and CFR of 1.41%, with a recovery rate of 94.2%.