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Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccine: Africa to get 50 million doses from Pfizer and BionTech

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have offered to supply Africa with 50 million Covid-19 vaccines from March 2021.

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UK Approves Covid-19 Vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech

Pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and BioNTech will supply up to 50 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to Africa, starting from March 2021.

This was disclosed by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa in a Bloomberg report on Sunday. The report also disclosed that the South African Presidency warned that Africa had very limited options available for vaccines.

READ: Africa to spend $9 billion on Covid-19 vaccine, access to supply is big problem

  • “We are working hard in South Africa and on the continent to protect our people against Covid-19,”  Ramaphosa said.

In a statement, Pfizer disclosed that it was implementing a scheme to send doses to developing nations and working with government to make it feasible, the company said it was “firmly committed to equitable access for Covid-19 vaccines.”

READ: AstraZeneca to supply two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine weekly from mid-January

  • “We have allocated doses for supply to low- and lower-middle-income countries at a not-for-profit price and we are actively working with governments all around the world,” Pfizer added.

READ: COVID-19 has grown beyond second wave, now a Tsunami – Expert

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company, Johnson and Johnson, plans to manufacture 300 million doses in South Africa. The South African President added that it was not sure if the vaccines would benefit Africa, as a separate deal would need to be negotiated.

READ: Covid-19: FG says the new UK strain is not yet in Nigeria

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Ramaphosa said,

  • “Johnson and Johnson has not clarified whether Africa will benefit from vaccines manufactured in South Africa. We still have to negotiate the price that is affordable to Africa.”

READ: COVID-19: Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trial paused

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What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in December 2020, that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated that Nigeria was ready for its Covid-19 vaccination strategy, revealing that the FG planned to acquire vaccines valued at N400 billion.
  • Nigeria’s for Finance Minister and WTO DG hopeful, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had also disclosed that negotiations were going on with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to get vaccines early enough to developing countries, including Nigeria, from January 2021.
  • The Federal Government said that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 would focus on the procurement of vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.

READ: WHO issues first emergency use validation for a Covid-19 vaccine

 

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Business News

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 17th of April 2021, 60 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 164,207 confirmed cases.

On the 17th of April 2021, 60 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 164,207 cases have been confirmed, 154,325 cases have been discharged and 2061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.84 million tests have been carried out as of April 17th, 2021 compared to 1.81 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 17th April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 164,207
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,325
  • Total Deaths – 2,061
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174

According to the NCDC, the 60 new cases are reported from 9 states- Lagos (22), Rivers (15), Bayelsa (7), Kaduna (5), Ogun (4), Akwa Ibom (3), Osun (2), Kano (1) and Ebonyi (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,110, followed by Abuja (19,756), Plateau (9,035), Kaduna (9,014), Rivers (7,060), Oyo (6,839), Edo (4,897), Ogun (4,639), Kano (3,942), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,572), Nasarawa (2,380), Enugu (2,281), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,020), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,843), and Abia (1,683).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,063), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (885), Ekiti (869), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (365), Zamfara (240), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

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

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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Coronavirus

Lack of vaccine access will reduce Africa’s economic growth compared to rest of world – IMF

IMF forecasts that Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% in 2022.

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IMF discloses immediate priority , Reduce funding oil subsidy - IMF to Nigeria , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria among countries that pushed Global debt to $188 trillion - IMF , Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF to support Nigeria and other member countries affected, IMF, World Bank to hold meetings via conference call over Coronavirus epidemic, IMF advises banks to suspend dividend payment

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that a continued lack of access to vaccines will see Africa’s projected growth at 3.4% compared to the rest of the world at 6%.

The IMF disclosed this in its Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2021, which was published on Thursday.

What the IMF said

  • Despite turning out better than expected, growth in 2020 is estimated to have been the worst on record at –1.9 %, leading to a sharp spike in poverty.
  • In 2021, the region’s economy is expected to resume expansion at 3.4%, weaker than the 6% for the rest of the world, amid a continued lack of access to vaccines and limited policy space to support the crisis response and recovery.
  • Macroeconomic policies will in many countries entail some difficult choices. Saving lives remains the first priority, which will require access to affordable vaccines, ensuring that the logistical and administrative prerequisites of vaccination rollouts are in place, targeted containment efforts, and added spending to strengthen local health systems.

The IMF urged that African leaders needed to create more fiscal space and implement transformative reforms to unlock economic growth. These include mobilizing domestic revenue, strengthening social protection, promoting digitalization, and improving transparency and governance.

The body added that the need for reforms is to reduce debt and find a sustainable footing which would be a catalyst for longer-term growth and provide opportunities for the region’s new job seekers.

On growth projections

  • IMF forecasts that Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% in 2022.
  • South Africa is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2021 and 2.0% in 2022.
  • Kenya is expected to have higher growth at 7.6% in 2021 and 5.7% in 2022.
  • Meanwhile, Ghana is forecasted to grow by 4.6% in 2021 and 6.1% in 2022.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the International Monetary Fund had lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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