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Nigeria to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Consignment By February Ending

Nigeria to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Consignment By February Ending

NEWS
  Nigeria is among the 12 countries in Africa that have indicated readiness to receive consignment of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February. The 12 African countries are among the 92 others that had qualified for the facility and will by the end of February 2021 receive first shipment of vaccines. Disclosing this in a communiqué on Thursday after its 24th teleconference meeting held virtually in Abuja, the Nigerian Governors Forum also said it had set up a team of experts to advise it on the procurement and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines expected in the country in February. The NGF revealed that members of the team, which will be led by renowned virologist and former Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, will include the Executiv
COVID-19 Surges as 1,964 New Cases, 7 Deaths Recorded in 23 States, FCT

COVID-19 Surges as 1,964 New Cases, 7 Deaths Recorded in 23 States, FCT

NEWS
COVID-19 infections in Nigeria have continued to surge as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recorded 1,964 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 116,655. The NCDC disclosed this on its official website on Thursday. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the country on January 21 marked a new single-day increase in COVID-19 cases and has so far tested 1,203,113 people since the first index case was announced on February 27, 2020. The NCDC said that additional seven people died from coronavirus-related complications in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,485. It said that with 1,310 people discharged from various isolation centres across the country, after testing negative to the virus, the number of recoveries had increased to 93,646 as many
WHO Announces New Measures to Fight Fake Drugs

WHO Announces New Measures to Fight Fake Drugs

NEWS
  The World Health Organisation and the International Pharmaceutical Federation have published a new curriculum guide aimed at strengthening efforts to prevent substandard and fake medicines and medical products from getting to patients. The curriculum guide, the two organisations said, is to support pharmacy educators and ensure they can stop the distribution and use of substandard and falsified medicines around the world. According to a press statement jointly signed by the two organisations and made available on Wednesday, all stakeholders in healthcare must continue to fight against the problem of substandard and falsified medicines. In 2017, the WHO estimated that one in 10 medicines in low- and middle-income countries were substandard and falsified, causing harm ...
Asymptomatic patients driving COVID-19 second wave –Physician

Asymptomatic patients driving COVID-19 second wave –Physician

NEWS
    The Head of Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Iorhen Akase, says asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are driving the spread of the viral pandemic in the country. Akase noted that the pandemic is driven locally through community spread. According to the infectious diseases expert, efforts to contain COVID-19 in this second wave should be focused more on asymptomatic patients, some of whom are spreading the viral infection unawares. Speaking on a live TV interview on Monday, Akase said it was important for Nigeria to find ways to interrupt the spread of coronavirus infections. “There is no argument at all that asymptomatic people are the major drivers of this rising numbers of COVID-19 cases that we are seeing in so
Treat malaria symptoms as COVID-19 until proved otherwise, says Sanwo-Olu

Treat malaria symptoms as COVID-19 until proved otherwise, says Sanwo-Olu

NEWS
Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has advised residents of the state to consider and treat any malaria symptom as COVID-19 until proven otherwise. Sanwo-Olu, at a briefing on Tuesday, also raised the alarm that the oxygen demands for COVID-19 patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, had increased to 350 six-litre cylinders daily from 70 six-litre cylinders. He said, “In this second wave of the current pandemic, any malaria-like symptoms should be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until otherwise proven. Any affected individual with COVID-like symptoms should proceed to any of our public health facilities and/or laboratories to get tested for free. “Over the last few weeks, the demand for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 si
We’ll Start Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines In February, WHO Vows

We’ll Start Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines In February, WHO Vows

NEWS
  The World Health Organisation says it aims to start deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines in February. The Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, made this known on Monday in his opening remarks at the 148th session of the agency’s regional executive board. “We’ve secured two billion doses from five producers, with options on more than one billion more doses, and we aim to start deliveries in February. “COVAX is ready to deliver what it was created for,” the DG said in his speech. COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi,
FG releases N10bn to Support Local Production of COVID-19 Vaccines

FG releases N10bn to Support Local Production of COVID-19 Vaccines

NEWS
  The Federal Government says it has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccines production to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this during the Presidential Task Force COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, noting that the fund was released by the Ministry of Finance to support the production in collaboration with recognised institutions. “The Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. “While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognised institutions. “We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country,” he said. Ehanire urged Nigerians to i
Ignore fake lockdown alert, PTF tells Nigerians

Ignore fake lockdown alert, PTF tells Nigerians

NEWS
  The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has urged Nigerians to disregard a fake fresh lockdown alert in circulation on social media. PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, made this known in a short video statement released on Thursday. There have been concerns regarding a fresh lockdown as the country battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.   But Aliyu said the government was aware of the economic implication of a fresh lockdown and, therefore, urged Nigerians to adhere to all guidelines to curb the spread of the disease. He said, “We are aware of a fake message on WhatsApp that we’ve declared a lockdown in the country. This is absolutely not true. I call on the Nigerian public to please ignore this message and continue with normal activiti
Lagos medical college shut as students, officials contract COVID-19

Lagos medical college shut as students, officials contract COVID-19

NEWS
  Three students of the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, have tested positive for COVID-19, compelling the closure of all hostels in the college. The Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, Lagos State University, Mr Ademola Adekoya, disclosed in a statement on Thursday in Lagos., Adekoya disclosed that roommates and associates of the three students would be tested for the virus. “The college has already isolated the three students and commenced contact tracing. “The hostel facilities were immediately closed for decontamination. “All students of the college have been advised to proceed home to self-isolate for the next 14 days from where their health status will be monitored by the college through phone calls,” Adekoya s
Moderna thinks its vaccine will protect against the coronavirus for at least a year

Moderna thinks its vaccine will protect against the coronavirus for at least a year

NEWS
Biotechnology company Moderna believes its vaccine should protect people against COVID-19 for at least a year, a top official told investors Monday. "Our expectation is that the vaccination should last you at least a year," Moderna's chief medical officer Tal Zaks told the JP morgan 39th Annual Healthcare conference. Both Moderna's and Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccines have won emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. Zaks said the company will have to test people to see if adding a third dose -- a boost -- might extend protection. Currently, the vaccine is given as two doses about a month apart. Because both vaccines were only invented within the past year, no one knows how long they'll protect people. "We'll have to boost people to see ho
WHO team probing origin of virus arrives in China

WHO team probing origin of virus arrives in China

NEWS
  A World Health Organization (WHO) team has arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan to start its investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. The long-awaited probe comes after months of negotiations between the WHO and Beijing. A group of 10 scientists is set to interview people from research institutes, hospitals and the seafood market linked to the initial outbreak. Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019. The team's arrival on Thursday morning coincides with a resurgence of new coronavirus cases in northern China, while life in Wuhan is relatively back to normal. They will undergo two weeks of quarantine before beginning their research, which will rely upon samples and evidence provided...
COVID-19 infects 20 doctors in Kwara

COVID-19 infects 20 doctors in Kwara

NEWS
  At least 20 doctors have been infected with COVID-19 at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, an official has said. President of UITH chapter of Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Badmus Habeeb disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ilorin. He said that members of the association were battling with the pandemic based on available resources. “About 20 of our members have been infected with the virus in the past two to three weeks.COV “I must reiterate that this is not the best of times for us, our families and the affected patients,” he said. Habeeb, however, said that the discovery of COVID-19 vaccine has brought hope and relief to the people. “There is a poor resource setting in the country, where basic nece
WHO working with China’s COVID-19 vaccine producers

WHO working with China’s COVID-19 vaccine producers

NEWS
The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus has said that a WHO team in China is working with producers of China’s COVID-19 vaccines for potential emergency use listings. “I’m pleased that a WHO team is in China currently working with producers of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. ”They are assessing compliance with international quality manufacturing practices ahead of potential emergency use listing by WHO,” Tedros said at a media briefing. He noted that WHO continues to ask vaccine manufacturers from around the world to move swiftly to provide necessary data. According to him, that will allow the organization to consider them for emergency use listings. “While we are hopeful about the safe and effective vaccines that are being rolled out, we
Covid: 2020 Saw Most Excess Deaths Since World War Two

Covid: 2020 Saw Most Excess Deaths Since World War Two

NEWS
There were close to 697,000 deaths in 2020 - nearly 85,000 more than would be expected based on the average in the previous five years. This represents an increase of 14% - making it the largest rise in excess deaths for more than 75 years. When the age and size of the population is taken into account, 2020 saw the worst death rates since the 2000s. This measure - known as age-standardised mortality - takes into account population growth and age. The data is only available until November - so the impact of deaths in December have not yet been taken into account - but it shows the death rate at that stage was at its highest in England since 2008.   The data on deaths can be confusing. On one hand, excess deaths are at their highest since World War Two, while on...
BioNTech increases 2021 COVID-19 vaccine supply forecast to two billion doses

BioNTech increases 2021 COVID-19 vaccine supply forecast to two billion doses

NEWS
German company BioNTech, which developed the first coronavirus vaccine approved in the West, said on Monday it expects to produce two billion doses in 2021, up from the 1.3 billion previously forecast. “We now believe that we can potentially deliver approximately 2 billion doses in total by the end of 2021, which incorporates the updated six-dose label,” said the company, referring to an additional dose that could be extracted from each vial of the vaccine. European regulators last week approved doctors drawing six doses from each vial, boosting dosage capacity by 20 per cent. The Mainz-based company, which developed the jab with US giant Pfizer, is planning to open a new factory in Marburg, Germany, in February, expected to ramp up production capacity by 750 million doses a y