COVID-19 Update: Nigerian Universities Set for Resumption as Chinese Vaccine Maybe Available November

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1,907,983 new people have been added to the list of COVID-19 cases worldwide over the last 7 days, while 1,228 new people have been infected in Nigeria from September 7 to 14.

17,184 people were tested across Nigeria within the same time span. Compared to the 1,209 cases that were discovered last week, the number for this week has seen a slight increase signalling an increase in rate of infection.

Nigerian Universities begin plans for Resumption

While the ASUU strike continues and the tertiary students are currently at home, universities in Nigeria have begun planning for the next academic session.

Most federal universities have commenced the screening, with only a few like the Obafemi Awolowo University deferring it until the government announces the date for schools to reopen.

Obafemi Awolowo university
Obafemi Awolowo University

The universities of Ibadan, Ilorin, Port-Harcourt and Uyo will soon be done with their respective screening exercises. The University of Benin is set to begin screening candidates from November 23 via a computer-based test.

State universities including Kwara state university, Kaduna state university and Delta state university have also commenced the process of screening new students for admittance.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University in Uli, Anambra state has already resumed classes for its year-one students while resumption date for the returning students will be announced soon.

Despite the various screening exercises, the federal universities will not start lecture until ASUU calls off its strike which is still ongoing since started on March 30.

China says COVID-19 vaccine may be publicly available by November

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention Chief Biosafety Expert, Guizhen Wu announced on Monday that a coronavirus vaccine being developed in the country may be available to people in China and other countries from as early as November.

According to Wu’s disclosure, the drug being developed has recorded success in its phase 3 trial.

It is also one of the 4 drugs being developed in China that are in the final stages of a clinical trial. Three of the drugs have been already been offered to essential workers under the emergency use program launched in July.

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The other vaccines are also recording progress in their phase 3 clinical trials and should be available by December, according to Wu.

US-listed Sinovac Biotech, Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm are among the pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies developing the vaccines in China.

The 6185 HK is being developed by Cansino Biologics while the other three vaccines are being developed by Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Health workers strike over COVID-19 allowances

The association of medical staff including nurses, midwives and radiologists in Nigeria have commenced a strike action beginning from September 13.

According to the union, the health workers are not adequately protected in the face of the health hazards posed by the COVID-19.

The demands of the health workers include an adjustment of their payment structure, life insurance for its members and full access to protective equipment. After the stipulated seven days, the union says the strike will continue indefinitely if the demands are not met.

Health workers strike
A typical Health worker’s protest in Nigeria…

This strike by health workers is coming days after resident doctors in the country ended an industrial action so as to give the government time to meet its demands.

In light of the ongoing strike, the patients who have already been admitted into hospitals are receiving skeletal care while the doctors are continuing with their work.

According to a psychiatric nurse at the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Veronica Ezeh, “Some health workers and nurses are working with limited and obsolete equipment”. Nurses are very important instruments in the medical chain.

“Without nurses and other health workers, the battle against outbreaks will not be won and the world will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or universal healthcare coverage”, she said.

Passengers coming to Nigeria to take COVID-19 test at least 96 hours before

In a tweet, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that passengers who are making plans to come into the country must have completed a COVID-19 PCR test at least 96 hours (4 days) before they enter the country.

COVID-19 test is compulsory
COVID-19 test is compulsory for entry into Nigeria…

The result of the test is to be uploaded to the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).

People’s experience with the portal has not been entirely smooth, as some intending travellers are unable to generate a pin after taking a COVID-19 test from where they are travelling.

Some of the errors encountered on the platform include people paying for tests but not getting a confirmation email for the test, uploading test results but not getting a code that allows them to board an airline into the country.

The NCDC however, says it is working with the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and other relevant stakeholders to resolve the issues with the portal.

People who visit the country are also mandated to take a repeat test once they land in the country. The test can be paid for on the portal or at the airport in Nigeria if the former option is not feasible.

The maximum number of passengers on an international flight is 200, but there is no limit on the number of people flying out.

Google to support 500,000 SMBs and 25,000 teachers in Africa

Google announced on Tuesday that it is setting aside $3 million in grants to nonprofits that support education, entrepreneurship and women empowerment across Africa.

$500,000 from the grant will go to the Praekelt Foundation in order to train micro and small businesses in Nigeria and other countries in developing scalable mobile technologies and solutions for their businesses.

GOOGLE supports 500,000 SMBs and 25,000 teachers
GOOGLE supports 500,000 SMBs and 25,000 teachers

Google is partnering with the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development in Nigeria to provide support for youth-owned SMEs and job seekers in the country. This is to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 on youth-owned businesses in the country. The partnership will help people acquire marketable skills through certification and training programs

The announcement says in part that through its digital hub, Google will help 500,000 small businesses get online using the Google My Business. The hub will also provide free tools and resources for businesses, individuals, and educators.

You can access the digital hub here.


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