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Coronavirus

Hepatitis C drugs may be effective against COVID-19, virus may spread through high-rise buildings

Another report revealed that coronavirus disease may spread through high-rise apartment buildings.

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Covid-19: UK Govt warns of new strain that spreads faster and may have already left the UK, New coronavirus mutation ten times more infectious has been discovered

A new report has suggested that antiviral drugs developed to treat hepatitis C may also be effective against the coronavirus disease.

The scientists examined over 6,000 drugs that have a history of safe use in humans to see if any of them could block an important protein in the life cycle of the virus called the main protease.

The study leader, Brian Kraemer, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, told Reuters, ‘’The most potent of these were approved drugs for treating hepatitis C.’’

READ: NAFDAC destroys fake products worth N1.32 billion 

He singled out boceprevir and narlaprevir, protease inhibitors developed by Merck and Co that have been superseded by more effective hepatitis C treatments.

The researchers said that if the effects of these drugs against the coronavirus disease are confirmed in clinical trials, they would likely be given as part of a combination therapy to employ more than one line of attack against the virus.

In their report, the researchers pointed out that the advantage of finding potent treatments among approved drugs is that they can be advanced rapidly to clinical trials without extensive multi-year preclinical development efforts.

READ: Nigeria records 621,035 drug seizures/arrests in 2019, up from 9,831 in 2018

In another new report, researchers revealed that the coronavirus disease may spread through high-rise apartment buildings through plumbing pipes.

On Tuesday, researchers in Annals of Internal Medicine said that coronavirus in the bodily waste matter or excretory product flushed by an ill resident may have spread upward through aerosols in the drainage pipe system in a building in Guangzhou, China, causing Covid-19 infections in 3 families living on higher floors.

READ: Power: Nigeria’s deal with Siemens – the birth of a new era?

Last month, in the Environment International journal, a separate team reported data showing possible aerosol transmission of the novel coronavirus through rising vapours in high-rise plumbing in China.

However, the report did not prove that transmission through plumbing caused infections and suggested ways to prevent possible infection. The report suggested that a U-shaped water drainage traps under sinks, tubs and showers should not be allowed to dry out in order to block the transmission through faecal aerosol.

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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

President Buhari, Osibanjo to take Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday

President Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday.

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The Federal Government has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

This follows the country’s receipt of the first batch of about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX initiative and the planned launch of the national vaccination campaign.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the second edition of the State House briefing in Abuja on Thursday, which is focused on Nigeria’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s national vaccination strategy.

He said that the exercise will boost the confidence of Nigerians to receive the about 4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine that arrived in the country 2 days ago.

Shuaib said, “The next step in the vaccination programme given that we’ve now received the vaccines is a launch that will be taking place at the National Hospital tomorrow. The time scheduled for that launch is 10 am. The launch will be conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, (Boss Mustapha).

“The plan is to vaccinate the frontline health workers that work in the treatment centre of the National Hospital, those will be the first people just like we’ve communicated that frontline health workers will be the first people to take the vaccines.

“Launch of National vaccination campaign will take place at the National Hospital Abuja, Friday, March 5, 2021, with Frontline health workers.

On Saturday, the plan is to vaccinate Mr President, Mr Vice-President and strategic leaders, to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

 Again, we are hopeful that when Nigerians see leaders like Mr President and Mr Vice-President take the vaccines; it will increase their confidence around the safety of the vaccines.

“As you are well aware that even before the vaccines arrived in Nigeria, there is a lot of hesitancy. It is a global phenomenon. Vaccine hesitancy is similar no matter where you are, you have to provide the right information and to those people who have questions, we cannot dismiss their cynicism.’’

The NPHCDA boss also said that state governments must certain requirements and obligations before the Covid-19 vaccines will be released to them.

He said, ‘’States have requirements and obligations to fulfil before the Covid vaccines will be released to them. They have to demonstrate they have taken steps to ensure proper storage, security, etc.’’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the much-awaited AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja around noon on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, onboard an Emirates airline.
  • The receipt of the 3.92 million doses of the vaccine is the first batch from the over 16 million doses allocated to Nigeria through the COVAX initiative, aimed at vaccinating about 20% of the population.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Governors to discuss distribution of vaccines today

Governors of the 36 states of the federation will today meet to discuss the sharing formula for the recently delivered Covid-19 vaccine.

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Oil Price Crash: Governors to meet on budgetary and economic issues

The Nigerian Governors Forum has announced that all 36 Governors will meet today to discuss the distribution of the recently arrived 3.9 million Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX programme.

This was disclosed by the NGF in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF Secretariat.

The NGF disclosed that the meeting, which would be held virtually, will commence by 5 pm.

“The meeting is of a single-item agenda, which will discuss the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution in the country,” he said.

READ: More Nigerians don’t trust government, fear losing jobs more than COVID-19 – Report

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported on Monday that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
  • The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

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