A World Health Organization (WHO) study has discovered that Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of stay in the hospital or chances of survival.
The only antiviral drug authorized for treatments of Covid-19 in the US failed to prevent deaths among patients.
The antiviral medication, among the first to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, was one of the drugs recently used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.
The results are from WHO’s Solidarity trial, which evaluated the effects of 4 potential drug regimens, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, in 11,266 adult patients across more than 30 countries.
The study found that the regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the length of the in-hospital course among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the WHO said on Thursday.
The results of the trial, which were posted online on Thursday, October 15, 2020, are yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal
Earlier this month, data from a U.S. study of remdesivir by Gilead showed that the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who got a placebo in a trial comprising 1,062 patients.
Gilead told Reuters, “The emerging (WHO) data appears inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir.
“We are concerned the data from this open-label global trial has not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design.”
Remdesivir, which was originally developed as a treatment for Ebola and Hepatitis C, interferes with the reproduction of viruses by jamming itself into new viral genes.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Wednesday that during the study, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June after they proved ineffective, but other trials continued in more than 500 hospitals and 30 countries.
Swaminathan said, “We’re looking at what’s next. We’re looking at monoclonal anti-bodies, we’re looking at immunomodulators and some of the newer anti-viral drugs that have been developed in the last few months.”
Remdesivir received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 1, and has since been authorized for use in several countries.
Gilead, however, disputed the conclusions of the W.H.O. study on Thursday, noting that a variety of drugs and drug combinations had been evaluated under a wide range of circumstances and that more rigorous studies had found a benefit.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 28th of February 2021, 240 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 155,657 confirmed cases.
On the 28th of February 2021, 240 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 155,657 cases have been confirmed, 133,768 cases have been discharged and 1,907 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 28th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th February 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 155,657
- Total Number Discharged – 133,768
- Total Deaths – 1,907
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103
According to the NCDC, the 240 new cases are reported from 13 states- Anambra (85), Lagos (82), Osun (17), Ogun (10), Kwara (9), FCT (8), Kano (7), Abia (6), Ekiti(5), Borno (4), Edo (2), Bayelsa (2) Kaduna (2) and Rivers(1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,646, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422), Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).
Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), 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.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
FG confirms Covid-19 vaccine will arrive Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2
The FG has stated that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
The Federal Government has confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
This follows the readiness of the country to receive its first shipment of 4 million Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a World Health Organization (WHO)-backed initiative set up to procure and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines for free among countries across the globe, as the world races to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this confirmation was made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, on Saturday in Abuja while evaluating the country’s fight against the disease.
What the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is saying
Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, disclosed the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) would be organizing the shipment from Mumbai, India.
He said, “They (vaccines) should depart India on March 1, 2021, in the night and arrive in Abuja on the 2nd of March, 2021.”
The PTF chairman was full of praises for Nigeria’s health workers and the various frontline workers for working hard to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In his evaluation of the country’s response to Covid-19 in the last one year, Mustapha said the PTF had performed very well with a very robust national response.
He said, “We have succeeded in discharging our mandate of managing the pandemic with a well-defined process and a robust national response.’’
The SGF said that the strategies developed by his committee to manage the pandemic had been replicated in some other countries, especially the compulsory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for travellers.
He explained that the pandemic had helped the country to improve on its health infrastructure, citing the increase in the number of infectious diseases testing laboratories from 4 to 132 across the country.
What you should know
- COVAX, which was set up in April 2020 to help ensure a fairer distribution of coronavirus vaccines between the rich and poor nations, said it would deliver 2 billion doses to member-states by the end of 2021.
- The Federal Government had earlier announced that the first 4 million doses of the vaccines from COVAX would arrive in the country by the end of February 2021.
- Ghana was reported to have received 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines on Wednesday, making it the first African country to benefit from the COVAX programme, with Cote d`Ivoire also receiving over 500,000 doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
Covid-19: Nigeria’s COVAX supplies on its way soon – Okonjo-Iweala
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies are on the way.
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies will soon be on the way while stating that the WTO must be part of the process for transparent vaccines delivery.
The WTO boss disclosed this in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, where she expressed joy that Ghana had received 600,000 COVAX vaccines.
She said, “Very happy to see first delivery of #COVAX supported vaccines to Ghana… Excited to see more countries following. Nigeria’s supplies should be on its way soon.
“No trade restrictions or bureaucracy should get in the way. The WTO must be part of the solution.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that Ghana had received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
- “The 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries,” the WHO said.
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