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Coronavirus

Okonjo-Iweala warns that ‘vaccine nationalism’ could frustrate pandemic recovery

The incoming WTO DG warns that vaccine nationalism could frustrate pandemic recovery.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

The World Trade Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has warned that the “vaccine nationalism’ could affect the much-expected pandemic recovery as well as decimate economic growth for all countries – rich and poor.

According to Reuters news report, the new DG’s immediate mandate and priority would be to get the WTO to do more to address the pandemic, as members accelerate efforts to lift export restrictions slowing trade-in needed medicines and supplies.

READ: Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala appointed as DG of World Trade Organisation

In her words, Dr. Iweala stated,

  • “The WTO can contribute so much more to helping stop the pandemic.
  • “No one is safe until everyone is safe. Vaccine nationalism at this time just will not pay, because the variants are coming. If other countries are not immunized, it will just be a blow back.
  • “It’s unconscionable that people will be dying elsewhere, waiting in a queue, when we have the technology.
  • “Both on a human health basis, as well as an economic basis, being nationalistic at this time is very costly to the international community.
  • “A very top priority for me would be to make sure that prior to the very important ministerial conference … that we come to solutions as to how the WTO can make vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics accessible in an equitable and affordable fashion to all countries, particularly to poor countries.

READ: 20 African nations queue up for COVID-19 vaccines from AU

She went further to explain that various studies have shown that the global economy would lose $9 trillion in potential output if poor countries were unable to get their populations vaccinated quickly, and about half of the impact would be borne by rich countries.

What you should know

  • Vaccine nationalism occurs when rich countries secure doses of vaccines for their own citizens or residents and prioritises their own domestic markets before they are made available in other poorer countries.
  • Vaccine nationalism is usually done by countries entering into pre-purchase agreements with a major vaccine manufacturer.
  • For example, some developed countries had already spent tens of billions of dollars on deals with vaccine front runners such as Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc even before their effectiveness is proven.

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. KesiyeKesi

    February 21, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    That’s my woman. Getting the job done is her priority. Ngozi Okonjo-Eweala, you’re a winner

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths 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 154,476 confirmed cases.

On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 154,476 cases have been confirmed, 131,699 cases have been discharged and 1,891 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 25th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th February 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 154,476
  • Total Number Discharged – 131,722
  • Total Deaths – 1,891
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103

According to the NCDC, the 634 new cases are reported from 22 states- Lagos (259), Osun (45), Edo(38), Ogun (35), FCT (33), Anambra (26), Imo (24), Ondo (24), Akwa Ibom (20), Plateau (20), Abia (19), Kaduna (19), Ebonyi (17), Borno (10), Rivers (10), Kano (9), Delta (8), Kebbi (7), Nasarawa (4) Oyo (3), Enugu (2) and Ekiti (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422),  Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).

Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), 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.

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.

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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.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria’s COVAX supplies on its way soon – Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies are on the way.

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies will soon be on the way while stating that the WTO must be part of the process for transparent vaccines delivery.

The WTO boss disclosed this in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, where she expressed joy that Ghana had received 600,000 COVAX vaccines.

She said, “Very happy to see first delivery of #COVAX supported vaccines to Ghana… Excited to see more countries following. Nigeria’s supplies should be on its way soon.

“No trade restrictions or bureaucracy should get in the way. The WTO must be part of the solution.”

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Ghana had received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
  • “The 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries,” the WHO said.

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