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Coronavirus

Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

Sources have disclosed that developed nations are in opposition to a proposed waiver of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 drugs.

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Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

Rich nations have rejected a World Trade Organisation (WTO) proposal to waive the intellectual property rights needed for the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines. The waiver would have made the vaccine access cheaper for developing nations.

This was disclosed in a report by Reuters on Friday, after an exclusive with WTO insiders. The European Union and the United States were reported to have opposed the waiver before the WTO’s General Council meeting in December.

READ: Covid-19: Pfizer to file for emergency authorization for its vaccine, reaches safety milestone

Reuters disclosed that member nations support the waiver because it reduces barriers on access to affordable vaccines, citing the AIDS epidemic where waivers were also dropped.

“If rich countries prefer profits to life, they will kill it by tying it down in technicalities,” a delegate told Reuters.

Another WTO insider said that refusal to accede to a  waiver would “also undermine the collaborative efforts to fight the pandemic that are already underway.”

READ: CBN receives order to freeze bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS sponsors

The support for the waiver was initially raised by India and South Africa, with China joining the bid for a waiver, despite having vaccines under development.

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What you should know 

The race for a vaccine is heating up as 2 companies, Pfizer and Moderna Inc, recently released promising data on their vaccines.

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Nairametrics reported last week that Pfizer Inc had announced that its experimental vaccine, which it jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study, in the ongoing phase 3 trials.

READ: WTO: Nigeria to persuade the US to join the consensus on Okonjo-Iweala – Trade Ministry

Pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc, also announced that its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.

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The European Union finalized a deal to buy up to 300 million doses of the ground-breaking coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, and the UK Government also expressed interest in Moderna Inc’s vaccine whose tests have shown to be 94.5 effective in combating the coronavirus.

What this means 

The refusal by Covid-19 vaccine developers could also mean bad news for Nigeria, as the country would have to wait for a global collaborated effort to get its hands on a drug.

When Pfizer’s vaccine was initially announced, President Buhari described the development as a major milestone in medical advancement but warned that the world must unite in facilitating the equitable access and distribution of the vaccines to protect people in all countries.

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Business News

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 13th of April 2021, 74 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 163,911 confirmed cases.

On the 13th of April 2021, 74 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 163,911 cases have been confirmed, 154,225 cases have been discharged and 2,061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.8 million tests have been carried out as of April 13th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 13th April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 163,837
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,225
  • Total Deaths – 2,061
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174

According to the NCDC, the 74 new cases were reported from 9 states- Lagos (30), Enugu (11), Abuja (11), Akwa Ibom (8), Osun (5), Kaduna (4), Ebonyi (2), Rivers (2), and Ekiti (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,014, followed by Abuja (19,727), Plateau (9,041), Kaduna (8,994), Rivers (7,001), Oyo (6,838), Edo (4,893), Ogun (4,624), Kano (3,930), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,553), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,017), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,810), and Abia (1,683).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (878), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (385), Yobe (365), Zamfara (234), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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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.

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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.

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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.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

READ: Lagos Govt seals Queens Park Event Centre, Oniru for contravening COVID-19 protocol

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

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Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

READ: Lagos state government reacts to reopening of event centers, clarify guidelines

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Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

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Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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