One in 10 people around the world may have contracted Covid-19, the World Health Organization said, at a special meeting of WHO leaders. A top official said the estimate meant "the vast majority of the world remains at risk". Just over 35m people have been confirmed as being infected with coronavirus - the WHO's estimate puts the true figure at closer to 800m. Experts have long said the real number of cases would exceed those confirmed. The WHO is meeting at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the global response to the pandemic. Ten months on, the crisis shows no sign of ending. Several countries are seeing second waves after easing restrictions and in some cases numbers are even higher. The estimate that 10% of the world's population has contracted the v...
COVID-19 patients with a snippet of Neanderthal DNA that crossed into the human genome some 60,000 years ago run a higher risk of severe complications from the disease, researchers have reported. People infected with the new coronavirus, for example, who carry the genetic coding bequeathed by our early human cousins are three times more likely to need mechanical ventilation, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature. There are many reasons why some people with COVID-19 wind up in intensive care and others have only light symptoms or none at all. Advanced age, being a man, and pre-existing medical problems can all increase the odds of a serious outcome. But genetic factors can also play a role, as the new findings reveal. “It is striking that the genetic heritage fro
A fourth Covid-19 vaccine candidate has gone into the final stage of clinical trials in the U.S., with Johnson & Johnson announcing the start of its Phase 3 trial Wednesday. The drug maker follows Pfizer and Moderna, whose Phase 3 trials began in late July. AstraZeneca also started its Phase 3 vaccine trial this month, but it remains on pause in the U.S. after a participant in the U.K. was reported to have developed a spinal cord injury. The Johnson & Johnson trial is not expected to yield preliminary results for at least two months. President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressed for faster work on vaccine research — even suggesting that there could be some kind of approval before the Nov. 3 election. That timeline would be impossible, at least for Johnson & Johnson
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday says it would conduct a seroprevalence of four states in the country in partnership with the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research. Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology specimens; often presented as a per cent of the total specimens tested or as a proportion per 100,000 persons tested. In his address at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu explained that the survey to determine the level of the pathogen in the country would be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos states from September to December 2020. “For Nigeria’s COVID-19 seroprevalence survey, household members will an
The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed rules for the testing of African herbal remedies to fight Covid-19. Sound science would be the sole basis for safe and effective traditional therapies to be adopted, it said. Any traditional remedies that are judged effective could be fast-tracked for large-scale manufacturing. Madagascar's leader has been promoting an untested product he says can cure the disease despite the WHO warning against using untested remedies. The WHO said the new rules were aimed at helping and empowering scientists in Africa to conduct proper clinical trials. The move comes as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide passes 30 million, with reported global deaths standing at more than 957,000. In Africa there have be...
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response initiated by the World Health Organisation to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic said there were warnings about a pandemic long before the outbreak of COVID-19. According to the panel, the world could have done better in the fight against the pandemic, only that systems and plans designed to protect the people had not worked as intended. The WHO panel disclosed this at its first virtual meeting on Thursday. This disclosure was coming at a time the global COVID-19 cases surpassed thirty million with more than 940,000 deaths recorded. The Independent Panel is trying to unravel why COVID-19 became a global pandemic and what lessons could be learned. The panel is also to make recommendations aimed a
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says the use of disinfectant tags cannot be substituted for non-pharmaceutical measures that are helpful in preventing people from contracting the COVID-19 global pandemic. Such non-pharmaceutical measures include regular hand washing, use of face mask, maintaining social distancing, and respiratory hygiene, among others. The agency says there is no scientific evidence that disinfectant tags can protect people against COVID-19. The disinfectant tags are marketed under various names such as ‘Air Doctor,’ ‘Virus Busters,’ and ‘Personal Air Sanitizer,’ among others. Many Nigerian notables have been spotted wearing the tags in recent times, and they include the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, former senator Dino Melaye; and Edo State APC gov
A six-year-old has died from complications arising from COVID-19, seven days after resuming school. Diplomat and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mohamed Safa, revealed this in a tweet on his Twitter account @mhdksafa on Saturday. Though he didn’t reveal the identity of the deceased or where the death occurred, he said the little girl contracted the virus when she resumed school and later died from the disease. He tweeted “Heartbreaking. 6-year daughter started school last week. Got COVID-19 in school and just passed away. Killed her in seven days. “To those who are so afraid that kids are going to miss a year of school. Missing a year of school is better than losing a future. “How about using this time to teach them how to plant, cook, basic first aid, creati
Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha has said. Mustapha said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 66th joint national briefing of the task force. He, however, noted that the nation has not done enough COVID-19 testing. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PTF was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020 to coordinate and oversee Nigeria’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. “Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening. “However, as we have always stated, this p
An official the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Guizhen Wu, has said the coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November, 2020. According to france24.com, China has four COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials and at least three of those drugs have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use programme inaugurated in July. Wu, in an interview with state TV on Monday, said the phase three clinical trials were proceeding smoothly and the vaccines could be ready for the general public in November or December. Wu, who said she has experienced no abnormal symptoms in recent months after taking an experimental vaccine herself in April, did not specify which vaccines she w...
Whether a child should go to school depends on their health condition, the current transmission of COVID-19 within their community, and the protective measures the school and community have in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is the advice the World Health Organisation has given as governments all over the country and beyond move to reopen schools in the light of the ongong COVID-19 global pandemic. While current evidence suggests that the risk of severe disease for children is lower overall than for adults, special precautions can be taken to minimise the risk of infection among children, and the benefits of returning to school should also be considered. “Current evidence suggests that people with underlying conditions such as chronic respiratory illnes
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, even as 64 patients recovered across Nigeria in the last 24 hours. The NCDC, in its report released Sunday midnight via its official Twitter handle, also stated that 79 new cases were recorded across the country. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 79 new infections represent the lowest figure in several months in the country. The health agency said the 79 new infections bring the nation’s confirmed cases to 56,256 According to it, there were four COVID-19-related fatalities in Nigeria in the last 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 1,082. The public health agency said the 79 cases were reported from 13 states, with Lagos posting the highest figure of 30 cases, Ka
The World Health Organisation and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday launched a network of laboratories to reinforce genome sequencing of the virus that causes COVID-19. WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, disclosed this in Cape Town, South Africa. Twelve reference laboratories in various African countries will provide sequencing, data analysis and technical support services to the rest of the continent, the two organisations announced in a joint statement. “As we continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, being able to not only track its evolution but also assess the possible mutation of the virus is crucial to mounting an effective response,” said Moeti. The laboratory network will also inform the development
The European Commission said on Thursday that up to 95 per cent of the world’s population was still at risk of the coronavirus, particularly in developing countries. President of the commission Ursula von der Leyen said this at the first Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Facilitation Council meeting. “We have seen that the virus does not respect borders or conventions. “We are all affected. Globally up to 95 per cent of the population is still at risk and developing countries are particularly vulnerable. “But also industrialised countries are not safe. “And if we wanted an experience of what it means that ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’ there is probably no tougher lesson to be learned as from this pandemic,” von der Leyen said. UN Secretary-General
Drug manufacturing company, AstraZeneca, on Thursday said the COVID-19 vaccine the company is working on could still be available at the end of the year, despite a pause in the Oxford University randomized clinical trial. “We could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, early next year,” the UK-based company’s Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said in comments at a media event. AstraZeneca had announced on Wednesday that it had “voluntarily paused” its trial of a drug developed alongside Oxford University after a UK volunteer developed an unexplained illness. An independent committee was drafted in to review safety but the company said it was a “routine action” designed to maintain the integrity of the trials. “We will be guided by this committee as to when the t