COVID-19 Weekly: JAMB to Begin Admission Exercise, Lagos Shuts Down Night Clubs Over COVID-19 and Others

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As the number of COVID-19 infections keep rising globally, the capacity for testing is also increasing. Drug manufacturing companies are racing against time in the bid to make a vaccine available worldwide for the virus.

In Nigeria, 45,728 people were tested across centres in the country over the last 7 days. This is a huge improvement from 14,378 recorded the previous week.

From the number of tests that were carried out, 3,542 came back positive for the coronavirus. Compared to the 3,367 that were confined for the previous week, the numbers show a drop in the spread of infections for that period.

As of July 21, Nigeria had 37,801 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and still maintains the third-highest position on the list of African countries with confirmed cases.

FG postpones reopening of airports for international flights

On Tuesday, government officials announced that airports would not be reopened for international flights just yet. This came after the resumption of domestic flights within the country.

Flights into and out of Nigeria have been on hold since March as part of the federal government’s efforts to limit the spread of the virus. This has reportedly been causing the aviation sector N24 billion monthly.

Since domestic flights resumed, airlines have recorded 30% traffic, with a major boost expected to come when the travel ban on international flights is lifted. To reduce the adverse economic effects, Arik Air, one of the major airlines in the country, asked 90 per cent of its 1800 staff to proceed on indefinite unpaid leave.

This occurred when the ban on flights was effected, while the remaining 10 per cent were subjected to an 80 per cent pay cut on their salaries. Max Air employed the same procedure.

India donates essential medicines worth $50 million to Nigeria and other African countries

During the week, essential medicines valued at about $50 million was donated by India to Nigeria and other countries on the continent. This was delivered by India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abbay Thakur.

586 cartons of medical supplies including drugs like hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics were received by the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, on behalf of the federal government.

In addition to the medical supplies, the commissioner said India is willing to collaborate with Nigeria on the development of a vaccine for the COVID-19. He added that the country had already moved past the first phase of testing for one of its more promising vaccines.

The collaboration will also include medical professionals from both countries working together on research that can manage the spread of the virus.

JAMB fixes date for 2020 university admission exercise

According to the guideline released by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, all tertiary institutions are to begin admission for candidates for first and second choices on August 21.

The JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, said, “The 1st and 2nd Choices Admission-Exercise shall be conducted for all institutions from 21st August 2020 to a later date that would be determined by the Federal Ministry of Education and communicated to all the institutions,”

He added that the uncertainties of the COVID-19 make it impossible to fix a terminal date.

The educational board said it had stopped all illegal and irregular admission processes, maintaining that all the admission exercise for the 2020/21 session would be carried out on the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).

Lagos shuts down social and religious centres over non-compliance of COVID-19 rules

Over 10 religious and social centres in Lagos have been shut down for flouting the protocols put in place to halt the spread of the COVID-19. This was made known by the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola.

Some of the social centres that were sealed off include Harvest Lagos, Bay Lounge, The Heavens Suites, Angle Villa Bar,  Ehi Guest House and Gardens Egbeda,  Mountain Top Hotels and Suites Ojodu, and Osigold Hotels and Bar at Baruwa in Ipaja.

The Director-General urged citizens to take responsibility and fight against the COVID-19 more seriously to complement the efforts of the government.

The Technical Adviser to the Commission, Mr Seun Awojobi also revealed that the team that carried out the shutting down of Osigold Hotels and Bar were shot at and attacked on Friday night when completing the task.

According to him, the hotel had more than 100 people dancing and clubbing in its premises, which is a violation of the protocol.

Institutions in the state which include restaurants, malls, cinemas, event centres, and religious organizations have been directed to register on the www.lasgsafetyreg.com.

The readiness of the business to reopen will be ascertained and they will be notified of when they are allowed to reopen after registering on the site.

China’s ‘CoronaVac’ starts final testing in Brazil

CoronaVac, a proposed coronavirus vaccine, has begun Phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil. The vaccine is being developed by the private Chinese pharmaceutical firm, Sinovac Biotech. The vaccine is only the third in the world to enter this 3rd phase of clinical trials. This phase of large-scale testing on humans is the last one before regulatory approval is given for the drug.

For this phase, about 9,000 health workers across 6 states in Brazil will receive the vaccine over the next three months. They will receive two doses each while the study is being carried out and initial results will be available after 90 days.

If the last phase yields safe and successful results, 120 million doses of the vaccine will be produced. Sinovac is partnering with Brazil’s Butantan Institute on the trials.

Brazil is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus after the United States. It has registered 2.17 million infections and a death toll of 81,597 as of July 21.

As the world continues to find its way back to a new normal, compliance with policies that can halt or curb the spread of the coronavirus becomes more important each day.


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