The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory to all members of the public to exercise caution as they celebrate the upcoming festivities – Christmas and New year.
The Commission said that it is fully aware that the yuletide season affords a number of people an opportunity to celebrate with their families and friends and as well for people to travel to visit their loved ones or attend events, but cautioned that everyone has to make necessary adjustments in social interactions in line with the reality of the pandemic to limit the spread of Covid-19.
According to the commission, “Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, just over 67,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported with just over 1,000 deaths. Most of the confirmed cases and deaths have been in urban/semi-urban cities and towns and the risk of spread remains.
“The Covid-19 virus does not spread on its own, it spreads when people move around. This means that by traveling across countries and cities, there is a higher risk of transmission, especially to rural areas where the existing health infrastructure is already weak.”
Key highlights of the advisory
- Limit all non-essential domestic and international travels.
- As an alternative to traveling, you could still remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video conferencing technology.
- Hold virtual services and prayer sessions to limit the mass congregation.
- Observe appropriate social distancing protocols and personal hygiene in all public places and events, washing of hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available.
Why this matters
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to rise across several countries globally. Nigeria is not an exception, with the recent spike recorded in the number of confirmed cases in some major cities.
In the first wave of infections, the economy was paralyzed with lockdowns that lasted for months, and the country cannot afford a second wave which could be more catastrophic.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 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 112,004 confirmed cases.
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 112,004 cases have been confirmed, 89,939 cases have been discharged and 1,449 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.17 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.15 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 112,004
- Total Number Discharged – 89,939
- Total Deaths – 1,449
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,172,234
According to the NCDC, the 1,617 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (776), Kaduna (147) Kwara (131), FCT (102), Plateau (78), Edo (59), Ogun (53), Osun (45), Rivers (37), Taraba (36), Nasarawa (34), Adamawa (33), Kano (26), Delta (20), Ebonyi (16), Bayelsa (11), Gombe(11) and Borno (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,400, followed by Abuja (14,700), Plateau (6,831), Kaduna (6,325), Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,429), Edo (3,320), Ogun (2,912), Kano (2,617), Delta (2,122), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,583), Gombe (1,500), Nasarawa (1,335), Ebonyi (1,275), Osun (1,260), Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 867 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (294), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), 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.
Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism
The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.
This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.
He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.
What the WHO Director-General is saying
Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.
The WHO boss in his statement said,
- “This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
- “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’’
He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.
The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.
Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.
Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.
What you should know
- The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.
COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor
The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.
The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.
This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.
He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
What Joe Abuku is saying
- “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
- “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
- “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”
He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.
The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.
- “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
- The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.