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Coronavirus

Covid-19 spikes force England to go into national lockdown

The British PM has announced a national lockdown in England as a result of spikes in reported cases of COVID-19 infections.

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The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a new lockdown on England from Monday to at least mid-February in a desperate move to contain the more contagious strain of the coronavirus which has been spreading quite rapidly in most parts of England.

Mr. Boris Johnson made this announcement in a virtual press conference held over the weekend.

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

According to him, “There’s no doubt in that fighting the old variant to the virus, our collective efforts were working and would have continued to work. But we now have a new variant, and it’s been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading

READ: COVID-19: Germany, Turkey, Israel, 2 others bar flights from South Africa

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What you should know

According to the new restrictions

  • Most non-essential businesses and restaurants will be required to limit service to takeout orders—but outdoor playgrounds and houses of worship will stay open as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • All schools will be closed except to the children of essential workers and vulnerable students.
  • Residents may not be allowed to leave their homes except for essential work, essential shopping, medical assistance, exercise, as well as meeting with support or childcare “bubbles,” which are pairs of households allowed to mix under certain circumstances.

READ: Covid-19: FG publishes list of suspended passports for refusing post-arrival Covid-19 test

Why this matters

According to Johnson, the number of patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week and as well, the number of deaths increased by 20%.

READ: Africa left with few options to procure Covid-19 vaccines – South Africa’s President

There is no evidence yet that the U.K. mutation is more deadly than previous strains but the research conducted earlier succinctly suggests that it is 75% more contagious, making the virus harder to control even as England begins to vaccinate its population.

Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: 70% of doctors in Nigeria are infected – NARD

NARD has claimed that the majority of its members are infected with Covid-19.

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COVID-19: Nigeria, 6 other African countries to start antibodies tests next week

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has claimed that majority of its members are infected with Covid-19.

This is according to Dr Adejo Arome, NARD’s First Vice President while speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Sunday.

Arome said that almost 70% of its members in “clinical practice” are infected with Covid-19. He also lamented that “almost all the doctors in the UCH Pediatrics Department, Lafia in Nasarawa State, had been infected with COVID-19.”

Dr Arome noted that he had been personally exposed to COVID-19 but could not be tested due to lack of access to a testing facility.

READ: Covid-19: Second wave more catastrophic, we lost 20 doctors in one week – NMA

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He also complained that some hospitals do not only lack hand gloves, they give one face mask to each of their doctors to use for two days.

The association noted that lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its members and non-disclosure of true symptoms of sickness by people seeking treatment is contributing to this infection rate.

NARD is, thus, appealing to the government to come up with policies that would make it unlawful for patients to hide their medical conditions.

READ: Over 700 NYSC Batch B members test positive for COVID-19 – PTF

What they are saying

Arome, speaking on Channels TV, illustrated the challenges facing doctors in this pandemic era. He said:

“I must tell you that the morale among we doctors is very low at this point in time. It is so disheartening that the number of health workers being infected with Covid-19 is increasing daily – and it seems nothing is being done to reduce this number.

I heard that almost all the doctors in certain health facilities, including the UCH are infected. It is like that every day and I believe that every doctor in clinical practice should have been exposed to Covid-19.

Apart from PPE, people are not being truthful. They go to one hospital the doctor there tells them this is what I’m suspecting and when they are told what is wrong, they run away praying and thinking that they will get a different diagnosis elsewhere.

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READ: Nigeria records 1,964 new cases of Covid-19, highest daily surge

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“I think it is high time the Federal Government stepped up and brought out policies that will make it unlawful for patients and their relatives to come to the hospital and lie to doctors because by so doing, they are currently exposing us and our families.

“In a pandemic, every patient coming into your consulting room is suspected to have COVID-19 until proven otherwise. But the truth is when we don’t have everything that we need to work with, you don’t expect the doctor that is treating the patients not to examine them.

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READ: Covid-19: FG to buy Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

“You will go to some hospitals and they will give a doctor one face mask for two days. You don’t even have gloves. You keep on writing prescriptions for patients to buy gloves and you as a doctor will feel bad because some people don’t even have food to eat, so why should you be writing them prescriptions to be buying gloves?

“Once one of us gets exposed, that person ends up exposing more than 4,000 patients because the doctor-patient ratio in this country is one to about 4,000 patients.”

READ: Covid-19: Sanwo-Olu discloses how Lagos intends to fund vaccination programme

What you should know

The weekly epidemiological report of COVID-19 situation by the NCDC shows that:

  • Lagos has the highest number of covid-19 related deaths – 271 (18.9%).
  • Edo State recorded 127( 8.9%)  deaths out the  1,435 so far in the country.
  • The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has  118 (8.2%)

According to Nairametrics Covid-19 tracker, as of Sunday 24th January 2021

  • The total number of cases stood at 121,566.
  • The total number of death stood at 1,497.
  • The total number of tests conducted stood at 1,258,534.

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Coronavirus

Lagos State already making contacts with vaccine manufacturers – Sanwo-Olu

Governor Sanwo-Olu has stated that the Lagos State Government has commenced talks with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the state has started talks with vaccine manufactures, citing that the state will only work with frontline suppliers.

This was disclosed by the Governor during an interview on Channels TV on Sunday evening.

“We want the Federal government to take the lead and rightfully so, as a sovereign they have all of the protocol and contacts to make that happen. 

“We are conversing, we have a meeting on Tuesday with PTF and NCDC under the Federal umbrella. We want the nation to take the lead (vaccine procurement) and as a state, we are giving them that space, because they are a sovereign they can have that conversation,” the Governor said.

The Governor stated that Lagos has started conversations with companies including AstraZeneca and Pfizer and will skip the operations of middlemen so as not to run foul of protocols.

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“But other than that, as a sub-national, we are also taking our destiny to our hands, we have started conversations with some of the vaccine manufacturers,

“Pfizer, for example, we have made contact with them. The Oxford-AstraZeneca, I have made contacts with them, Johnson and Johnson are not out yet

“We are making our own sub-national contacts, parts of the things that will come out of it is that once we see what the nation is doing because this is something that we do not want to deal with middlemen or people that are not the frontline suppliers,

“We don’t want to run foul of the protocols, but we have started making contacts at board level with the manufacturers.

“How that will work out, we still have a week or 2, but we have started making contacts already,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos does not have to vaccinate the 20 million population, but “The plan is to ensure that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks about 50-60% of your population.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported last week that the Governor warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos has seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-liter cylinders per day to 350 six-liter cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
  • The Governor added that Lagos is closely monitoring plans by the FG to acquire vaccines and said the State has also resumed discussion with potential manufacturers. He also said the State is building its own regulatory framework for vaccine distribution.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: EU says it will force vaccine companies to respect supply contract

The EU has said that it will push pharmaceutical companies to fulfill commitments to the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

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Covid-19: EU says it will force vaccine companies to respect supply contract

The European Union (EU) has said that it will make pharmaceutical companies respect contracts they have signed for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

The statement by the EU follows a series of delays and slowdowns in the supply of the vaccines from some drugmakers.

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the European Council President, Charles Michel, while speaking to Europe 1 radio on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

Michel in his statement said, “We plan to make the pharmaceutical companies respect the contracts they have signed … by using the legal means at our disposal.’’

While he made no mention of possible sanctions, Michel said that the EU would insist on transparency about the reasons for the delays.

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He pointed out that after Pfizer’s first warnings about delays of several weeks, the EU had managed to reduce these delays by taking a tough stance.

Michel also said, “We banged our fist on the table and finally announced delays of several weeks turned into a slowdown of deliveries.’’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that Pfizer Inc last week announced that it was temporarily slowing supplies to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost output.
  • On Friday, AstraZeneca also said that initial deliveries to the region will fall short because of a production glitch.
  • Pfizer had been set to deliver about 80 million doses of the Covid-19 to the 27 countries by March.

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