A coronavirus vaccine currently being developed in China may be available to the general public as early as November, following the success recorded in its phase 3 trial.
This disclosure was made on Monday, by the Chief Biosafety Expert, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guizhen Wu.
China has four COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in the final stages of a clinical trial, and at least three of them have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use program launched in July.
Guizhen Wu, during an interview with the state TV on Monday, said that phase 3 clinical trials were proceeding smoothly, and the vaccines could be ready for the general public in November or December.
Wu, revealed that she has not experienced any abnormal symptoms in recent months after she took an experimental vaccine (unnamed) in April.
Chinese Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, with companies like Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm, publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time, at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.
A unit of state pharmaceutical giant, China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program. A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
Sinopharm, in July, said that its vaccine could be ready for public use by the end of this year, after the conclusion of phase 3 trials.
There are currently about nine vaccine candidates in the final stage of human trials, although one of them, AstraZeneca and University of Oxford vaccine candidate, initially had a setback with the temporary suspension of its phase 3 trials due to safety concerns. It has now resumed trials.
Covid-19: FG reports 36% drop in confirmed cases, disburses N32 billion to 32 states
Nigeria has witnessed a decline in the number of coronavirus cases in the month of August from that recorded in July.
The Federal Government has announced a 36% decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the month of August, as against what was recorded in July across the country.
This disclosure was made by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, during a press briefing on Monday by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He, however, said that it is not time to celebrate as the decline could be attributed to low COVID-19 tests in the states.
“The number of reported cases daily has declined nationally in the last few weeks. We have seen a 36 per cent decline in August compared to July on national figures. Unfortunately, we cannot celebrate this until we test sufficient figures in every state,” the NCDC boss maintained.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has disclosed the disbursement of N1 billion each to 32 states in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This was part of the statement made by the PTF Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, during a press briefing of the task force on Monday in Abuja.
Aliyu said, “We have released money to the state governments recently, to 32 state governments. Each state government was given a billion naira. This is for the purpose of driving their COVID-19 responses and we are asking them to prioritize testing in addition to surveillance activities linked to COVID-19.’’
The Chairman of PTF on Covid-19, who also doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, called for greater vigilance from both the government and citizen.
While explaining the importance of the call, Mustapha noted that the country’s economy has been devastated by the global pandemic.
The SGF stressed that President Muhammad Buhari’s administration, as a serious government, is pushing through with reforms that will help the nation’s economy recover from the effect of the virus.
Mustapha said, “The call for greater vigilance is underscored by the fact that our economy has been seriously affected by the pandemic and we are pushing through with home-grown economic recovery strategies to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.”
WHO insists on its COVID-19 transmission guidance despite US new draft change
WHO has once again dismissed warnings by the United States’ CDC that the Coronavirus could be transmitted through airborne particles.
The World Health Organization (WHO) disclosed on Monday that it has not changed its policy on the aerosol transmission of the coronavirus disease, after United States health officials mistakenly drafted new guidance, warning that it could be transmitted through airborne particles.
While making the disclosure in a press briefing, the Executive Director of WHO’s Emergency Programme, Mike Ryan, said that he would follow up with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the next 24 hours, after it said COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that could remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet.
In a briefing, Mike Ryan said, “Certainly we haven’t seen any new evidence and our position on this remains the same.”
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the WHO while providing an update on the mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that caused the Covid-19) from infected people, revealed that based on new scientific evidence, the coronavirus can be transmitted indoors by droplets in the air.
The UN health agency, in a scientific brief, said that people who spend time in crowded places with poor ventilation are at risk of being infected by the coronavirus as the droplets circulate throughout the air in indoor gatherings.
The CDC said that a draft version of changes to its recommendations were posted in error on its website, while it was in the process of updating its guidance.
It, however, said that the guidance would be reposted as soon as it had completed the review.
The CDC previously disclosed that the virus mainly spread from person to person through respiratory droplets when a sick person coughed, sneezed or talked.
The WHO’s Ryan said the agency still believes the disease is primarily spread through droplets, but that in crowded closed spaces with inadequate ventilation, aerosol transmission can occur.
He said, “We still, based on the evidence, believe that there is a wide range of transmission modes.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,437 confirmed cases.
On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,162 samples across the country.
To date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1,100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 480,874 tests have been carried out as of September 21st, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 21st September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,437
- Total Number Discharged – 48,674
- Total Deaths – 1,100
- Total Tests Carried out – 480,874
According to the NCDC, the 195 new cases were reported from 11 states- Enugu (51), Gombe (40), Lagos (39), Plateau (23), FCT (15), Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), Ogun (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,982, followed by Abuja (5,566), Oyo (3,254), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,612), Kaduna (2,356), Rivers (2,255), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,767), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,600), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Gombe (839), Osun (817), Borno (741), and Bauchi (691).
Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), 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.