The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Africa is in danger of being left behind in Covid-19 vaccination as countries from other regions strike bilateral deals, thereby driving up prices.
This follows the development and approval of safe and effective vaccine less than a year after the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, regarded as a stunning achievement.
This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti while speaking during a virtual press conference which was facilitated by APO Group.
Dr Moeti was joined at the press briefing by the Managing Director, Country Programmes, Gavi, Thabani Maphosa and UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamed Fall.
What the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa is saying
Dr Moeti stated that as of early this week, 40 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 50 mostly high-income countries with Guinea being the only low-income country on the continent to have provided doses to only 25 people so far.
According to her, Seychelles is the only high-income country on the continent where a national Covid-19 vaccination campaign has started.
She said, “We first, not me first, is the only way to end the pandemic. Vaccine hoarding will only prolong the ordeal and delay Africa’s recovery. It is deeply unjust that the most vulnerable Africans are forced to wait for vaccines while lower-risk groups in rich countries are made safe.
“Health workers and vulnerable people in Africa need urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.’’
What the Managing Director, Country Programmes, GAVI, is saying
Mr Thabani Maphosa, the Managing Director, Country Programmes at GAVI, a partner in the alliance, was quoted as saying delivery would begin soon.
He said, “COVAX is on track to start delivering vaccine doses and begin ensuring global access to vaccines. This massive international undertaking has been made possible thanks to donations work towards dose-sharing deals and deals with manufacturers that have brought us to almost 2 billion doses secured. We look forward to rollout in the coming weeks.”
What you should know
- COVAX facility is an international alliance which is backed by the WHO, Gavi, the vaccine alliance and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to ensure equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines among all countries regardless of income level.
- The alliance has secured 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for Africa from 5 producers, with options of over 1 billion more doses.
- COVAX has committed to vaccinating no fewer than 20% of the population in Africa by the end of 2021.
- Priority will be given to health workers and other vulnerable groups, such as older persons and those with pre-existing health conditions.
- An initial 30 million vaccine doses are expected to begin arriving in countries by March.
- The United Nations in its report said that a maximum of 600 million doses will be disbursed, based on 2 doses per person.
Netflix competes with TikTok, launches rival product
Netflix has launched a new feature that will allow users to watch, react,r share short clips and more.
Netflix, the world’s leading video streaming platform has launched a new feature called “Fast Laughs” that will allow users to watch, react or share short clips as well as add the show or movie to a Netflix watchlist or you can simply tap the “Play” button to start watching the show immediately.
Similar to Tiktok or Instagram’s Reel, Fast Laughs features full-screen videos that you can swipe through vertically, and places the engagement buttons on the right side of the screen. These buttons let you react to the clip with a “LOL” (crying/laughing) emoji or share it via iMessage or other social media apps, like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. The only difference is that there is no comment button yet.
Users can access the feed through the bottom navigation menu by clicking on the Fast Laughs tab. The clips will start playing automatically when one ends another begins.
The feature will include a full-screen feed of funny clips from Netflix’s big comedy catalog including films like “Murder Mystery”, series like “Big Mouth’’, sitcoms like the ‘Crew’’ and stand-up from comedians like Kevin Hart and Ali Wong.
Fast laugh is currently available for iPhone users in select countries, and Netflix will be testing on Android soon.
Apapa gridlock: Sanwo-Olu explains how his administration solved the problem
The Governor said the electronic Call-Up was designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained how his administration in partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders in the maritime sector was able to get the heavy articulated vehicles off the road around the Apapa axis and improve traffic along that corridor.
This is as the governor has warned that the state government would resist any attempt by individuals and maritime operators that may want to reverse the progress being recorded along the Apapa corridor.
This disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday while speaking at the formal hand over of newly improved 3 traffic-prone junctions along the Lekk-Epe expressway.
The Governor said the electronic Call-Up System launched, last Saturday, in the Apapa seaports was designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.
What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying
While sharing the details, the Governor described the progress recorded in Apapa as a hard-won, disclosing that it took the State Government over a year to bring together all stakeholders on the discussion table to agree on a far-reaching approach to permanently address the problem.
Sanwo-Olu said, “What we are seeing is the beginning of the lasting solution we have brought to Apapa. Our appeal is that we are not out of the problem completely yet. Our citizens can now see that a journey that took them three hours can, indeed, take between 15 and 20 minutes to commute. Everyone can now see that when we work together, indeed we can solve our problems internally.
“We have taken some troublesome people that are benefiting from the gridlock out of the way. Whatever they were earning illegally has been taken away from them. We know they will want to make an attempt to fight back. We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract the progress or wants to take us back to gridlock in Apapa will be fought against. We will bring out their names and shame them.”
The Governor vowed that any corporate organisation, security operative, NPA or State Government official who attempts to circumvent the newly instituted traffic procedures around the Apapa seaports would be named and shamed publicly.
The Governor said the State was serious about bringing a lasting solution to the Apapa congestion, stressing that the Government could no longer condone the careless attitude of truckers clogging the highways with heavy-duty vehicles.
He said part of the State’s efforts was to approach the Federal Government for the unbundling of the inefficient Presidential Taskforce on Apapa gridlock and took over the traffic management in the area.
Sanwo-Olu added that State Government also met with stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Maritime operators and seaports unions.
He said: “I commend NPA’s Managing Director and management for working with us on this agenda. My appeal is to other stakeholders in the maritime sector who have not signed up on the electronic Call-Up System we have embarked on. I call the big logistics companies, including Sifax, Dangote, Flour Mills, Tunde Folawiyo and others, to come and collaborate with us on this progress.
“Let us have a system that our citizens will be proud of. We will stop at nothing to sustain the progress achieved. Our team will be working round the clock to keep the system working. This is one of our modest efforts to deliver what we promised in solving traffic and transportation challenges. We will not relent in doing anything required to ensure traffic improvement in Apapa.”
What you should know
- Following the withdrawal of the Presidential Task Force on port congestion, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, set up a Special Traffic Management Team to resolve the traffic gridlock in and around the Apapa corridor.
- The Electronic Truck call-up system, Eto, which was designed and launched by NPA for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos ports and to end the gridlock in and around the ports, formally took off last weekend.
- During the implementation of the new system, all trucks doing business at the ports will be required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the Eto app.
ATTEMPTS TO BRING BACK GRIDLOCKS ON APAPA CORRIDOR WILL BE RESISTED, SANWO-OLU VOWS
•Threatens To Publish Names of Uncooperative Stakeholders
•Governor Hands Over Three Improved Junctions, Ogombo Drainage In Eti Osa@jidesanwoolu#LASG
More.. https://t.co/3ymNJHJFDz pic.twitter.com/luC8xgDoRj
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) March 3, 2021
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