As Nigerians fully return to their daily business activities, recent data has shown that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the country is picking up again, with 225 patients admitted on the 13th of October 2020, which amounts to a total of 60,655 recorded cases to date.
In the past 10 days, a total of 1,368 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with a daily average of 137 cases, while active cases have grown to 7,533 as of 13th October 2020. This is an indication of a possible second wave of the pandemic in the country.
The recent spike could be attributed to the erroneous belief by most Nigerians that the pandemic is over and things are back to normal. A belief obviously seen in their actions, as many go about their businesses without the use of face masks or adoption of social distancing, especially by traders and artisans across the country. This was reported by Nairametrics Research Team in September.
Nairametrics reported in August, that Nigeria’s COVID-19 curves were flattening at a rapid pace, this was because of the consistent decline in the number of daily new cases recorded across the country. As of 31st of August 2020, the monthly average had dropped to 350, from 563 recorded in July and 518 in June.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have been totally taken by the #EndSARS movement in recent weeks, which has caused many to assemble in numbers at various cities, protesting with little or no consideration for the transmission of COVID-19, a pandemic that grounded many in their homes for the most part of the year.
What they are saying
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a live broadcast in September, had said that the second wave of COVID-19 is inevitable in Nigeria if citizens do not continue to adhere to measures put in place to contain the viral pandemic.
“We know that as we move towards the reopening of schools, there will be increased opportunity for transmission because students will come together,”
He also added that “We need Nigerians to see that it’s not something any government can do on her own. We see a lot of violation of these measures by institutions that have the capacity to insist on it.”
Meanwhile, the latest COVID-19 report has shown that the most affected age group are between the ages of 31 and 40 years. The disease is more prevalent amongst the male gender, with 64% of the total confirmed cases being male and 36% of the affected patients are female.
What this means
The recent increase in the number of new cases means that the country could be gradually slipping into the second wave of COVID-19, which could throw Nigerians back into lockdown. An action that caused the economy to plunge by as much as 6.1% in the second quarter of the year, with an expected contraction in Q3 2020.
- The recovery from a looming recession could be further hampered if these cases continue to spike and lockdown implemented again.
- Plans for the reopening of higher institutions of learning will also be affected.
- Other aspects of the economy that could suffer significantly from a second wave of the pandemic include aviation, private schools, artisans, and many more.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
It is important for Nigerians to quickly return to the use of face masks and social distancing, so as to help curb the spread of the pandemic in the country. According to recent numbers, COVID-19 is still very much lurking around.
Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly
The experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.
One of the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is being developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca, has produced a similar immune response in both older and younger adults with adverse responses being lower among the elderly.
While making the disclosure on Monday, the British drugmaker, AstraZeneca Plc, said the experimental vaccine produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.
This raises hope of the early development of a vaccine for the corona virus that has killed over a million people across the world with a devastating impact on the global economy.
AstraZeneca, described as encouraging, the results and findings on immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants, which echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults aged 18 to 55
An AstraZeneca spokesman told Reuters, “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher.’’
“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman said, referring to the technical name of the vaccine.
The news that older people got an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.
It was earlier reported by Financial Times that the vaccine, being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups – among those most at risk from the virus.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharmacies to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech’s 22UAy.F candidate.
If it works, a vaccine would allow the world to return to some measure of normality after the tumult of the pandemic.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a vaccine was not yet ready though he was preparing logistics for a possible rollout.
Hancock in a chat with BBC, said, “I would expect the bulk of the rollout to be in the first half of next year.’’
He said that is not his central expectation, he does not rule out the possibility of some people having access to the vaccine this year.
Hancock also said, “We want to be ready in case everything goes perfectly but it’s not my central expectation that we’ll be doing that this year, but the programme is progressing well, we’re not there yet.’’
It can be recalled that one of the frontline vaccine candidates being developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, after regulatory approval, resumed its trial in the US after it was initially halted due to some safety concerns
The British drugmaker has signed several supplies and manufacturing deals with companies and governments around the world as it gets closer to reporting early results of a late-stage clinical trial.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of October 2020, 62 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 61,992 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of October 2020, 62 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,824 samples across the country.
To date, 61,992 cases have been confirmed, 57,465 cases have been discharged and 1,130 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 607,435 tests have been carried out as of October 25th, 2020 compared to 603,611 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,992
- Total Number Discharged – 57,465
- Total Deaths – 1,1130
- Total Tests Carried out – 607,435
According to the NCDC, the 62 new cases were reported from 11 states- Taraba (18), Ogun (15), FCT (6), Kaduna (6), Katsina (4), Ondo (4), Ekiti (3), Rivers (3), Kano (1), Osun (1), Sokoto (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,807, followed by Abuja (5,967), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,773), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,617), Ogun (2,010), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,742), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), 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.
COVID-19: WHO warns against Gilead’s remdesivir drug approved by US FDA
WHO has expressed concern over the health implication of Gilead Science Inc’s recently approved remdesivir vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned health officials reviewing Gilead Science Inc’s GILD.O remdesivir against COVID-19 to consider all evidence, including a trial where the medicine failed, before giving its approval to the anti-viral drug.
While making the disclosure during a news conference, Chief Scientist at WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, said that the US regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), appeared not to have considered the evidence when approving the drug this week.
Nairametrics earlier reported that the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, granted full approval to Gilead’s antiviral drug for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease in the United States.
The approval came days after a WHO study had discovered the remdesivir anti-viral drug had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of stay in the hospital or chances of survival. WHO said it failed to prevent deaths among patients.
Swaminathan said that the FDA did not appear to have taken the global health body’s study into account in its approval.
When asked about the FDA move during the news conference, Swaminathan said, “We believe our results are very robust. We hope that people who are doing treatment guidelines in other countries, as well as regulators around the world, will take note of our study results, in addition to the other evidence.”
“Because you need to look at the global evidence for a drug before you make decisions,” she added.
For the remdesivir arm of the WHO’s Solidarity trial, 2,743 patients were given the treatment, compared to 2,708 in the control group.
Gilead’s own study of 1,062 participants, produced data indicating that the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by 5 days and helped reduce the risk of death in some patients who were getting oxygen.
The WHO said that the company, which has raised the possibility of bias in the unblinded WHO study because patients and their doctors were aware of which treatments were being used, got initial data showing that remdesivir failed the Solidarity trial in late September. However, the U.S. company said that it had told the FDA about initial Solidarity results.
The FDA did not immediately comment on Swaminathan’s statement that the U.S. agency did not take Solidarity data into account in its approval.
The WHO also disclosed on Friday that its formal guidelines on the use of remdesivir for COVID-19 should be ready for release in 3 to 4 weeks after a separate group within the United Nations health agency would have reviewed data from the study.