COVID-19 Update: The World Now Has 5.7bn Doses of Vaccines, China’s Cost $146 for 2 Shots
In the last one week, there have been 253, 409 new cases of COVID-19 in the world, 10, 706 in Africa and a total of 1,209 in Nigeria. A total of 5,719 were also recorded within the same time span.
The decrease in cases has continued from the previous weeks even as efforts continue to complete the clinical trials for vaccines globally.
Around the world, 5.7 billion doses of the vaccines being developed by different pharmaceutical companies had been pre-ordered as of last month.
China announces a COVID-19 vaccine whose 2 shots will not cost you up to N55,699
At a trade fair in Beijing this week, China has presented the COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the country. The vaccines are being produced by Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm.
The vaccines are pending approval which the drugmakers expect will be given after the phase 3 trials before the end of 2020. According to a Sinovac representative, the company has completed the construction of a vaccine factory that can produce 300 million doses each year.
Last month, a report by Sinovac said that the cost of two shots of the vaccine will cost less than N55,699 ($146), and the antibodies are expected to act for a period of 1 to 3 years. The Sinovac chairman also said in the report that he has already been injected with the vaccine.
Final results of the vaccine’s efficacy, how long it will last and if it will be made available to the public will be released after the third phase of the clinical trials is completed.
There have been cases of infection by mutations of the COVID-19 and this has been a cause for concern in developing vaccines. The Chinese Xinhua news agency reported on Monday that a vaccine that can work against the mutations of the COVID-19 is being developed by Chinese military scientists.
Nigeria receives Vaccine samples from Russia?
In a tweet on September 4, the Ministry of Health announced that it had taken delivery of samples of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Russian ambassador, Alexey Shebarshin.
In the tweet, the Ministry said it was checking out the drug elaborately and looking forward to collaborating with Russia to strengthen its vaccine production.
Recall that the Russian COVID-19 vaccine has not yet completed the phase 3 clinical trials, which is considered to be the most important phase before the Russian government approved it for treatment.
The vaccine was delivered to the Health Ministry in Abuja by the Russian envoy during a courtesy visit, according to a monitored media report by Olujimi Oyetimi, the Director of Information, Media and Public Relations of the Ministry of Health
According to the statement, the health minister, Osagie Ehanire referred the vaccine to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development and others for review and possible validation.
However, in a complete turnaround on the same day, the Health Ministry announced that it had not received any COVID-19 vaccine from the Russian embassy.
“What was handed over was an aide memoir to enable the Nigerian team study and get ready for further researches, patronage and application. The Russian-made COVID-19 being still in the custody of the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Nigeria, we have been corrected, to see it as still being with the Russians and not with the Nigerian health authorities.”Excerpt of the press release by the Health Ministry
FG spends N30,540,563,571.09 in 4 months on COVID-19
In a response to an enquiry made by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) based on the Freedom of Information (FOI), the Federal Government shared that it has spent N30,540,563,571.09 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in 4 months.
The amount spent has been taken from the N36.3 billion public funds and donations received from individuals and corporate organizations. SERAP reported that “Of the N36.3bn public funds & donations received, PTF on COVID-19 spent N22bn; 36 states spent N7bn; NAF spent N877m, and @PoliceNG spent N500m.”
The FG’s response did not, however, contain a breakdown of details and number of Nigerians who directly or indirectly benefited from the government spending.
SERAP mentioned that it is waiting for the details and breakdown it asked for to be sent within 7 days, after which it will take legal action against the federal government.
WHO announces new guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19
Based on new discoveries that have turned up from the latest scientific discoveries, the WHO has released new guidelines on the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of the COVID-19.
The apex health agency recommends it for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19 cases. The steroids are, however, discouraged in the treatment of patients with non-severe cases because it is not beneficial, and in some cases, it can prove harmful to the patient. The treatment is to be under the supervision of a clinician.
Regardless of which steroid is used, an analysis of seven international trials published on September 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that treating critically ill Covid-19 patients with corticosteroid drugs reduces the risk of death by 20% regardless of which steroid is used.
The data for the analysis were collected from separate trials of low dose hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone and showed that they improve survival of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units.
Ogun state reduces number of school hours for students
Schools in Ogun state are reopening with new guidelines from September 21. The second phase of schools reopening will be extended to all classes in primary and secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and Tertiary Institutions.
By the new guidelines which are in place because of the COVID-19, primary 1 to primary 3 will go to school from 8.00 am to 11.00 am while primary 4 to primary 6 will attend their classes from 12.00noon to 3.00 pm.
Similarly, JSS 1 to JSS 3 classes will hold between 8.00 am and 11.00 am, while SS1 to SS3 students will have their classes from 12.00noon to 3.00 pm. The normal school hours of 8.00 am to 2.00 pm will still hold for.
JSS 1 to JSS 3 lecture will be between 8.00 am and 11.00 am, while SS1 to SS3 will attend classes from 12.00noon to 3.00 pm. The statement, however, said Technical and Vocational Colleges will operate their normal school hours of 8.00 am to 2.00 pm.
The guidelines were announced by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin. Part of it read, “Private schools are expected to take necessary measures to meet the COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, among other requirements”.
The classes with students from ages 3 to 5 years will not be resuming in the public schools until the next phase of the schools reopening is announced in the state.
The National Youth Service Corps has received approval to reopen and resume its activities in the country. To this effect, NYSC officials have started inspecting camps for their readiness ahead of when the youth corps members will head to the camps.
During a tour of the various orientation camps in the South-East zone, Ahmed Ikaka, the NYSC Director in South East Area Office, said the permanent orientation camp in Anambra State is fit for reopening.
The Lagos and Abuja international airports are reopening for international flights this Saturday on September 12.
They will be the only two airports handling international flights in the country for now, according to a letter signed by the NCAA director-general Musa Nuhu. Other airports will remain closed to international flights until a new date is determined and announced.
If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.
Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.