Scientists from Oxford University, UK have announced the development of a rapid COVID-19 test, which is able to identify the coronavirus status in less than 5 minutes.
While making the disclosure, Researchers on Thursday, October 15, 2020, said it could be used in mass testing at airports and business environments.
The University of Oxford said it hoped to start the development of the testing device in early 2021 and have an approved device available 6 months afterward. Early detection of the disease is very important in the management of the coronavirus pandemic, especially at this period of growing signs of a second wave of the virus.
In a pre-print study, the researchers said the device is able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy.
Professor Achilles Kapanidis of the Department of Physics at Oxford University said, “Our method quickly detects intact virus particles. This meant the test would be simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective.”
Rapid antigen tests are seen as key in rolling out mass-testing and re-opening economies while the coronavirus is still circulating, and those that are already in use are faster and cheaper but less accurate than existing molecular PCR tests.
Siemens Healthineers on Wednesday announced the launch of a rapid antigen test kit in Europe to detect coronavirus infections but warned that the industry may struggle to meet a surge in demand.
Although the Oxford platform will only be ready next year, the tests could help manage the pandemic in time for next winter. Health officials have warned that the world will need to live with coronavirus, even if a vaccine is developed.
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the lead developer for the Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sarah Gilbert, revealed that the leading vaccine candidate could be rolled out by the end of 2020. The experimental vaccine, which is done in collaboration with AstraZeneca is in an advanced late-stage trial.
Why this matters
This is much faster than the COVID-19 test kits just developed by some Nigerian scientists to hasten the treatment and containment of the coronavirus disease across the country. The newly developed test is cheaper than other PCR tests and can give results in less than 40 minutes.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 29th of October 2020, 150 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were 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 62,521 confirmed cases.
On the 29th of October 2020, 150 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.
To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 29th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 29th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 62,571
- Total Number Discharged – 58,249
- Total Deaths – 1,1141
- Total Tests Carried out – 620,758
According to the NCDC, the 150 new cases are reported from 9 states- Lagos (89), Rivers (19), Ogun (11), Bayelsa (9), Kaduna (8), Plateau (8), Taraba (3), Osun (2), Delta (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,106, followed by Abuja (6,028), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,809), Edo (2,657), Kaduna (2,641), Ogun (2,027), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,746), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (925), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (711).
Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (491), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), 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.
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.
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.
In the tweet, it warned about some phishing links being shared on social media, requesting for applications for N3 Million FG Grants.
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.
“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.”
It has come to our attention that a link is being shared via social media requesting for applications for a FG 3 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 pic.twitter.com/C0Z2EcUbQF
— Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (@FinMinNigeria) October 27, 2020
What they are saying
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.”
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.
— okebunmi omolaja (@Okebunmilajman) October 28, 2020
Explore some Advanced Financial Calculators on Nairametrics
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.
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.
Looking at the trends in the 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.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) October 29, 2020
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.
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
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.