The much-awaited first set of vaccine doses arrived in the country on March 2 amidst pomp, pageantry and a welcome ceremony. A single vaccine dose can go a long way to reduce the risks of serious illness and death among elderly people, according to preliminary findings by UK health officials. Survey reports on the Pfizer/BioNtech and Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccines show that they reduced risks among the elderly by about 80%.
Nigeria is now in possession of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccines and will vaccinate people in phases. The success rate reported in the UK gives a measure of assurance that it will reduce the rate of fatalities due to the covid-19.
Over the last week (Feb 24 to March 2), the NCDC record shows that 2,654 people have been infected with the virus across all states. This is a further reduction from the 4,687 cases that were detected in the previous week as well as from the 6,606 cases that were recorded three weeks ago. The trend suggests that the rate of infection is reducing and Nigeria may be close to an exit from the second wave of the covid-19.
Here are the other developments.
2.3 million Nigerians have registered for the vaccine – FG
The federal government announced that over 2.3 million people have already registered to be vaccinated. This happened in less than 24 hours after launching the registration portal. This shows that the covid-19 vaccines have good reception and the fear of it being harmful is not that much.
The director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, also dismissed fears that the vaccine has been allocated to the rich and mighty as well as to those in urban areas. He said that the vaccination phases will follow the right protocol and people will be vaccinated according to the priority list.
Court fines 172 Covid-19 violaters at Cubana N6.8 million
172 people that were arrested by policemen at Club Cubana have been fined N6.8 million in total for violating the covid-19 protocols as laid down by the federal government. Each violater will pay a fine of N40,000 and will undergo community service as punishment, according to the State police command on Monday.
Recall that clubs have been restricted in the state to reduce the spread of the virus among residents. Cubana is not the first club to be raided for violating the protocols. Club Victoria and Club 38 were both raided and the owners were charged as well for opening clubs and violating the protocols.
The owner of Club Cubana has gone into hiding since the club was raided and is yet to be charged to court. The State commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu said that “The owner of this club will also be arrested and charged, because if he didn’t open the club, people won’t go there.”
Okonjo Iweala advocates for equitable vaccine access to third world countries
The first female director-general of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has highlighted the need for member countries to allow equitable vaccine access for all countries. One of the current issues the WTO is tackling has to with WTO rules on intellectual property rights.
A temporary waiver of these rights could make it possible to expand the production of COVID-19 vaccines and expedite their roll-out around the world. Even though vaccines are now being mass-produced, many countries are yet to receive any.
Also Read: 1 in 5 Lagosians Have Contacted Coronavirus
Madam Iweala said increasing equitable access is the answer. “We must focus on working with companies to open up and license more viable manufacturing sites now in emerging markets and developing countries. We must get them to work with us on know-how and technology transfer now.”
Lagos extends work from home by 4 weeks
Lagos State government workers on salary grade 12 and below will continue to work from home from March 1 to March 26. The workers have been working remotely as part of the government’s efforts to reduce the spread of the covid-19 in its offices and the state. As the number of infected persons in the state continues to decline week after week, the government has extended the work-from-home order to further allow community transmission to reduce.
The civil servants will still report to work physically if and when the accounting officers consider it necessary for them to do so. The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, further asked all public servants to continue to stay safe by observing all COVID-19 protocols such as physical distancing, regular use of face masks and hand hygiene.
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