All travelers arriving in the United Kingdom (UK) are now required to undergo two coronavirus tests while they are quarantined under plans set to be formally announced by the government.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the current rules are being tightened to prevent new variants from entering the country.
According to DHSC spokesman, as reported by Evening Standard, “Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants.”
What they are saying
According to England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Van-Tam, “It is important to take a job if offered it now, to protect against the “clear and present danger” posed by the virus currently circulating in the UK, rather than wait for an updated vaccine that might be more effective against the South African variant which is only present in small numbers”.
According to Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the head of South Africa’s ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, “What the study results really tell us is that in a relatively young age group demographic – with a very low prevalence of morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, etc – the vaccine does not protect against mild to moderate infection.”
According to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson:
- “We’re very confident in all the vaccines that we’re using”
- “And I think it’s important for people to bear in mind that all of them, we think, are effective in delivering a high degree of protection against serious illness and death, which is the most important thing.”
According to Dr. Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M), “surge testing” currently taking place must be effective to stop the strain proliferating in the UK”
Stephen Evans, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he was “reasonably confident” that current vaccines would protect against serious diseases from the variant.
What you should know
- It is expected that under the new measures, travelers will be required to take tests after two and eight days into their 10-day quarantine period.
- Recently, the UK government had announced that from February 15, UK nationals returning from high risk “red list” destinations will have to quarantine in hotels where they will have to take two tests.
- Also British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has insisted the nation will be relying very much on border controls to protect against new strains
- Downing Street confirmed that no formal contracts have been awarded to any hotels for arrivals from “red list” countries to quarantine in.
- Experts are raising the concern that the new strains might already be quite widespread in the UK, after a study of about 2,000 people suggested the Oxford jab only offers minimal protection against mild disease of the South Africa variant.
- According to the report, “147 cases of the South African variant have so far been identified in the UK, with experts warning these are likely to be the “tip of the iceberg” due to the fact they are the result of random checks on 5% to 10% of all positive tests”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 2nd of March 2021, 479 new confirmed cases and 8 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 156,496 confirmed cases.
On the 2nd of March 2021, 479 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 156,496 cases have been confirmed, 134,551 cases have been discharged and 1,923 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 2nd, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 2nd March 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 156,496
- Total Number Discharged – 135,136
- Total Deaths – 1,923
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008
According to the NCDC, the 479 new cases are reported from 22 states- Lagos (153), Enugu (75), Rivers (50), FCT (40), Kaduna (18), Ebonyi (17), Plateau (17), Edo (17), Borno (16), Oyo (12) Kano (11), Abia (10), Cross River (10), Taraba (9), Nasarawa (7), Bauchi (4), Bayelsa (3), Delta (3), Ekiti (2), Niger (2), Ogun (2) and Akwa Ibom (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,001, followed by Abuja (19,274), Plateau (8,911), Kaduna (8,531), Oyo (6,746), Rivers (6,544), Edo (4,607), Ogun (4,398), Kano (3,764), Ondo (2,983), Kwara (2,931), Delta (2,576), Osun (2,433), Nasarawa (2,234), Enugu (2,078), Gombe (2,051), Katsina (2,030), Ebonyi (1,881), Anambra (1,726), and Abia (1,530).
Akwa Ibom has recorded 1,519 cases, Imo (1,497), Borno (1,292), Bauchi (1,232), Benue (1,188), Niger (917), Taraba (813), Ekiti (804), Bayelsa (772), Sokoto (769), Adamawa (762), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (377), Cross River (334), Yobe (268), Zamfara (219), 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.
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.
Peter Obi urges FG to beg manufacturers, rich nations for COVID-19 vaccines
Obi urged the FG to consider appealing to rich nations, drug manufacturers for vaccines instead of spending billions of nairas to procure them.
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at their stipulated Covid-19 budget and rather, consider begging drug manufacturers and rich nations for the vaccines.
The former Vice Presidential candidate while speaking in an interview on Channels Television, lamented on what he felt was an over-the-top and ludicrous budget for the Covid-19 vaccines and advised that the FG should instead, appeal to manufacturers for the vaccine.
Obi, speaking on the FG Procurement Budget for the Covid-19 vaccine explained that it makes little sense for Nigeria to apportion 80% of its health budget for the procurement of Covid-19 only. He also stated that sufficient Covid-19 vaccine for the country can be purchased for a price way below the figure being put forward by the FG.
“They said they need N400bn. Our Budget for health this year is N547bn and you are saying that you need 80% of that for vaccine procurement. Assuming that’s what we are going to use the money for. I have checked the vaccine we need to have 70% which WHO has stipulated that if they receive it is okay. The quantity we need cannot cost us more than N150bn. It might be less because there are people who are willing to give vaccines for free,” Obi said.
Mr. Obi took it a step further by advising the FG on how to go about the quest to get Covid-19 vaccines at a much cheaper rate. He believes the country should own up to its poor status and demand for help unashamedly. This, he said, will reduce the amount the FG will pay for the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Why don’t we beg manufacturers to donate, saying to them that we don’t have anything. We can go kneel and beg them saying please give us the vaccines. We are from a poor country. Give us a discount. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are poor. It is not a crime. Because you are poor,” Obi added.
Since pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers began discovering and manufacturing vaccines against the novel Covid-19, there have been concerns that the poorer nations might be left far behind in the race to acquire the vaccines.
In case you missed it
- Nigeria received its first batch of Covid 19 vaccines from India today. The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.
- About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.
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