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Coronavirus

China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

China has announced that it will partake in a WHO-led Covax initiative to provide a coronavirus vaccine.

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China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

China has announced that it will take part in a World Health Organization (WHO) led Covax initiative to provide a coronavirus vaccine to developing nations, filling a void in global health leadership after the United States President, Donald Trump spurned the program and withdrew his country’s participation from the organization.

This disclosure was made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, in a statement on Friday, October 9, 2020.

READ: WHO to secure initial COVID-19 vaccine for 20% of Africans

Hua Chunying in the statement said, “Beijing on Thursday joined the $18 billion Covax initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations. The move came despite China leading the world with several vaccines in advanced stages of R&D and with ample production capacity. We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support Covax.”

She disclosed that China will be purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for 1% of its population, or 15 million people, through this WHO backed initiative so as not to reduce the vaccine available to other countries.

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READ: China’s Covid-19 vaccine may be ready for general public in November 2020

The move, which comes barely 3 weeks after a deadline set by the initiative, allows China to positively contrast itself with the U.S. as tensions between the world’s two biggest economies spiral on different fronts, ranging from trade to technology and human rights.

It can be recalled that the Trump administration suspended its participation from the WHO activities, which includes financial commitment, and refused to join the Covax initiative, with a White House spokesman saying the U.S. wouldn’t be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China.

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READ: Soybean Futures reach 2-year high, following U.S sales to China 

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had in May, promised that vaccines developed by China would be made a global public good to be shared by all. The decision could also help the country’s image following widespread criticism from abroad over how it handled the initial outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged last year.

An Associate Professor in health security at the City University of Hong Kong, Nicholas Thomas said, “In many ways this is a soft power win for China, coming amidst a slew of negative reports in other fields in recent weeks. It is a win made all the easier by President Trump’s impetuous decision to withdraw from the WHO and his short-sighted refusal to commit the U.S. to Covax. Now anything America does in this area will be seen as catching up with China when the U.S. was expected to lead.”

READ: Smartphone to be used for daily tracking of first set to receive COVID-19 vaccine

China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials, and is also in talks with the WHO to have its domestically made vaccines assessed for international use.

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Gavi on its website revealed that self-financing countries in COVAX scheme can request vaccine doses sufficient for 10-50% of their populations. It also said that funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20% of their population in the longer term.

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The COVAX initiative is led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the vaccine alliance Gavi. It currently has nine vaccines in development and nine under evaluation in its portfolio, with a goal to secure 2 billion doses by 2021.

Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of Gavi, in an emailed stated that over 170 countries are now involved with Covax, vaccine deals are underway and the program is approaching its initial fundraising target to support lower-income countries.

He said, “China’s decision gives even more momentum to our efforts to ensure global, equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.”

Nairametrics had reported that China has been quite aggressive in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus disease. Nine of its vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials, and four of them got approval for final-stage Phase III clinical trials in foreign countries. Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt have formal agreements with China’s major vaccine manufacturers.

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 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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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosques, hotels

Religious centres and other public places have been reopened following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.

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Coronavirus: Ogun State bans cinemas, night clubs, restaurants, other businesses from operating, COVID 19: Ogun State launches digital classes for students

The Ogun State Government has ordered the full reopening of churches, mosques, businesses, hotels, and entertainment centres across the state.

This was disclosed by the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, via the state’s Twitter handle on Wednesday.

Abiodun stated that the religious centres and other public places had been reopened, following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.

According to him, the government is aware that many people are just recovering from the economic hardship imposed by COVID-19, as their activities had been affected by the lockdown, while necessary measures had been put in place to combat the pandemic.

He stated, “In the process of rebuilding the economy, the State Government was irrevocably committed to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” agenda, and would ensure everything possible for people to have increased prosperity that would place the State on a sound footing towards continued development.

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“Government would improve on testing, just as it continues to monitor the development and not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.”

What you should know

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Governor Abiodun had closed religious centres, businesses and schools in March, as part of moves to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

He later announced the reopening of only worship centres and schools in August.

Abiodun pegged the number of worshippers for each service at 200, and insisted that services must not exceed one and a half hours.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Jason Njoku and wife test positive

iROKOtv CEO and wife have contracted the novel coronavirus.

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Jason Njoku and Wife testes positive to Covid-19

Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and his wife has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mrs. Mary Njoku is feeling well.

Jason,  disclosed this via his Twitter handle stating that “My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs. Njoku and I tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not feeling great, but Mary is well. Literally no idea how I caught it. But we shall see this pass too.”

The media mogul did not reveal if his children caught the virus too.

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