A team of researchers at Italy’s National Cancer Institute (INT) revealed that the coronavirus may have been in Italy long before the World Health Organization announced the virus in December 2019.
This was disclosed in a Reuters report on Sunday evening. Italy officially reported its first case in the Lombardy region on the 21st of February.
Italian researchers disclosed that 11.6% in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019- March 2020 already had covid-19 antibodies before February.
The Institute said Italy’s Lombardy region had reported higher than normal cases of flu and pneumonia in the 4th quarter of 2019, which are symptoms of the virus and a sign that the virus may have been in Europe before the WHO announced the news of the disease to the world.
“A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research titled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy.
“It showed that four cases dated back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had got infected in September,” Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study told Reuters.
Researchers disclosed that trialists had developed no symptoms and also had antibodies able to kill the virus,
“It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for long and with a low rate of lethality not because it is disappearing but only to surge again,” Apolone added.
It’s highly speculative to deny the coronavirus started in China – WHO
The WHO has stated that it can not categorically say that the coronavirus disease did not emanate from China, where reports first emerged.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that it would be highly speculative for the UN health agency to say that the coronavirus disease did not emanate from China, where it was first identified in a food market in December 2019.
According to a report from Reuters, this statement was made by WHO’s Executive Director, Mike Ryan, at a virtual briefing in Geneva, on Friday, November 27, 2020, after he was asked if the coronavirus disease could have emerged outside China.
China, which has tried to dispel the idea that the virus first originated in the country, is pushing a narrative through state media that the virus existed abroad before it was discovered in the central city of Wuhan, citing the presence of coronavirus on imported frozen food packaging and scientific papers.
It claimed that it had been circulating in Europe last year before it was later discovered in China.
Mike Ryan, at the briefing, said, “I think it’s highly speculative for us to say that the disease did not emerge in China. It is clear from a public health perspective that you start your investigations where the human cases first emerged. Evidence might then lead to other places.”
He still emphasized that the WHO intended to send researchers to the Wuhan food market to probe the virus’s origins further.
What you should know
In the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization had constituted a team of experts to travel to China and work with their Chinese counterparts to identify the source of the virus.
The US government has been very critical of WHO as regards its handling of the health crisis, accusing them of being complicit and colluding with China in the mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 27th of November 2020, 246 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 67,220 confirmed cases.
On the 27th of November 2020, 246 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 67,220 cases have been confirmed, 62,686 cases have been discharged and 1,171 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 27th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 67,220
- Total Number Discharged – 62,686
- Total Deaths – 1,171
- Total Tests Carried out – 756,237
According to the NCDC, the 246 new cases are reported from 10 states- Lagos (81), FCT (73), Plateau(39), Kaduna (25), Ogun (13), Bauchi (5), Rivers (4) Ekiti (2), Taraba (2) and Kano (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,164, followed by Abuja (6,744), Plateau (3,852), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,044), Rivers (2,973), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,215), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,791), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,014), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (770), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (488), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (359), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (159), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), 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: Africa prepared for possible second wave – Africa CDC
Africa CDC has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, especially with the current upsurge of active cases.
This disclosure was made by the Director, Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, during the teleconference Weekly Press Briefing on #COVID-19 on November 26, 2020.
According to him, Africa CDC has started to distribute 2.7 million rapid antigen tests with the hope that by mid-2021, the health officials would have been able to vaccinate about 60% of the continent’s population with one of the several promising new vaccines — it all depends on the cooperation and support of the continent’s leaders.
What they are saying
According to Dr. Nkengasong: “To achieve 60% vaccination, we will need to mobilise up to about $10 to $12 billion, including the cost of buying the vaccines and the cost of delivering the vaccines. So, that is the 60% mark that we really want to achieve. And I just really want everyone on this platform and our partners to understand that as a continent, that is our aspiration and goal.”
As the end-of-year holidays are around the corner, Dr. Nkengasong advised: “Do not relent in wearing masks. One message that is emerging across the visits we are conducting across the continent is that people are not masking enough. And in some settings, absolutely it seems like they are not masking at all. And that is extremely dangerous.”
What you should know
- As of November 26, 2020, Africa had 2,106,931 confirmed caseloads, with a death toll of 50,628 and 1,781,744 persons recovered.
- The Southern African region is the worst hit both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases and deaths.
- South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia are the most affected countries in terms of number of positive cases.
- South Africa is presently the worst hit with active cases of 775,502.