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Coronavirus

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine could be ready this year despite trial setback

It is also one of the 9 vaccine candidates around the world in the final stage of human trials.

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Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, has disclosed that the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the company, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, could still be ready before the end of the year.

This is coming after the suspension of its final stage trial, over safety concerns, that involved a possible serious neurological problem in one of the participants.

The disclosure was made by the CEO, AstraZeneca Plc, Pascal Soriot, while speaking at an online conference on Thursday, September 10, 2020. He sought to reassure investors, after the drugmaker and its partner confirmed on Wednesday, that they had put a hold on giving experimental shots of the vaccine to people.

Although such interruptions are common in vaccine studies, the drugmaker and its partner are facing questions about what exactly happened, and whether it could be related to the shot.

He pointed out that an independent committee was drafted in to review safety, although the company said it was a routine action, designed to maintain the integrity of the trials.

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Soriot, in his first public comment since they put the trials on hold, said, “What we have here is a special set of circumstances, where the whole world becomes involved in the conduct of a clinical trial. The decision on whether to resume the study, is in the hands of a group of independent experts, working to understand whether the patient’s illness was a coincidence or a result of the vaccine.’

He added, “The reality is we all have to be very patient and see how it unfolds.”

Going further, Soriot said that it was still not clear whether the participant had a condition called transverse myelitis, a suspected diagnosis, just as he was not able to evaluate how long the trials would be put on hold.

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Richard Hatchett, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said that this suspension shows the importance of rigorous final-stage trials, to pick up on potential side effects or rare events. It is also a compelling reason for having a diversified portfolio of Covid-19 vaccines under development, a strategy that CEPI is employing with its partners.

AstraZeneca is one of several drug companies taking part in the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program, to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine. It is also one of the 9 vaccine candidates around the world in the final stage of human trials.

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

FG warns Nigerians about on-going N3million COVID-19 grant scam

FG has warned Nigerians to beware of scammers using phishing links to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

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FG warns Nigerians about on-going N3million COVID-19 grant scam, IMF, World bank loans, Over 56% of 2019 budget expenditure was released for capital projects , FG changes decision to sell stake of oil assets in JVs, Finance Bill: Nigeria exempts small businesses from Company Income Tax , Finance Bill is for the good of Nigerians – Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria, five other West African countries reject ‘Eco’ as ECOWAS single currency, FG rejects calls for tax reduction, tax relief for donors to intervention funds, Nigerian economy going into recession, might contract by -8.9% - Finance Minister, Nigeria to spend $33.20 billion in 2021 up 17.2%, will spend 25% of budget on debt servicing - Finance Ministry

The Federal Government has issued a warning to Nigerians about an ongoing N3million COVID-19 scam in circulation.

This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning via its Twitter handle.

According to the government, the scam targets Nigerians looking to benefit from the Federal Government assistance to businesses affected by COVID-19.

READ: #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years

In the tweet, it warned about some phishing links being shared on social media, requesting for applications for N3 Million FG Grants.

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It tweeted, “The general public should note that these phishing links are generated by Scammers and intended to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

“Government requests for applications are only via official channels & websites.

READ: FG earmarks over N190 billion for road construction in the 6 geo-political zones by 2021

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READ: I won’t approve 2021 budget without provisions for #EndSARS victims, ASUU – Gbajabiamila

“It has come to our attention that a link is being shared via social media requesting for applications for a FG N3 Million grant.

“The general public should note that this is a SCAM. Any requests for applications are only via official channels & websites. Pls beware! #FinMinNigeria.

READ: #EndSARS: Protests may return if panels do not address all issues in 2 weeks – Former Nigerian Minister

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Okebunmi Omolaja, has tasked the Federal Government to take its warning further from the social media to other publicity tools in order to spread the information across Nigeria.

He said, “The Ministry can help by carrying the awareness campaigns to States radio stations or federal officers in each States to meet the CDA Leaders of their traditional rulers palaces/govt schools premises.”

READ: 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review

READ: FG disburses MSMEs Survival Fund in Lagos, Kano, FCT and 9 other states

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown – Buhari

President Buhari has called on Nigerians to do all they can to avert a second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

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Q1 2020 National Debt report, Buhari finally speaks on NDDC probe, urges NA to act with a sense of urgency,National Human Rights Commission,Presidency bows to pressure, agrees to demand made by EndSARS protesters, Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Nigerian economy is too fragile to go into another lockdown, as the second wave of coronavirus forces some European countries – Germany and France, to enter another phase of lockdown.

The President disclosed this in a social media statement on Thursday afternoon via his official Twitter handle.

Buhari said Nigeria will work hard to control its local spread, as the country can’t afford a lockdown.

Looking at the trends in other countries, we must do all we can to avert a second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria. We must make sure that our cases, which have gone down, do not rise again. Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown,” President Buhari said.

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(READ MORE:#EndSARS: Hoodlums loot Yakubu Dogara’s house in Jos)

What you should know

According to a Bloomberg report, the rising cases of COVID-19 in Europe have led to another phase of lockdowns, with the Eurozone’s 2 biggest economies, Germany and France announcing new lockdowns restrictions.

“The measures we’ve taken have turned out to be insufficient to counter a wave that’s affecting all Europe,” said French President Emmanuel Macron

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In August, Nairametrics reported that President  Buhari approved the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks.

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real terms declined by 6.10% (year-on-year) in Q2 2020, ending the 3-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 28th of October 2020, 147 new confirmed cases and 4 deaths 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 62,371 confirmed cases.

On the 28th of October 2020, 147 new confirmed cases and 4 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,270 samples across the country.

To date, 62,371 cases have been confirmed, 58,095 cases have been discharged and 1,139 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 617,750 tests have been carried out as of October 28th, 2020 compared to 614,480 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,371
  • Total Number Discharged – 58,095
  • Total Deaths – 1,1139
  • Total Tests Carried out – 617,750

According to the NCDC, the 147 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (82), FCT (20), Rivers (9), Kaduna (8), Plateau (8), Benue (5), Edo (3), Kano (3), Nasarawa (3), Taraba (3), Ogun (2), Bauchi (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,017, followed by Abuja (6,028), Plateau (3,622), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,790), Edo (2,657), Kaduna (2,633), Ogun (2,016), Delta (1,813), Kano (1,746), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (711).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (491), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (143), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), 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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