Things are gradually returning to normal as the number of covid-19 cases continues to fall. Although it may take a while before we hug people or shake hands without second thoughts, things are getting better.
Only 523 new cases were recorded between April 6 and 13. This is a slight increase compared to the 497 people that tested positive over the previous week. Two weeks earlier, Technext reported that 584 people tested positive.
The numbers show a sustained decrease in the spread of infections across the country. Indeed the Lagos state government is now confident enough to allow event centres and relaxation centres to increase their crowd capacity. Along with that, here are other developments during the week.
Council of witches ask FG to sanction propagators of misinformation
A council of Nigerian witches has asked the federal government to sanction anyone who spreads misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.
Since the early days of the pandemic, there have been conspiracy theories about its origin and mode of infection. Its spread has been linked to 5G cell towers, a development that led to the destruction of Vodacom 5G towers in South Africa.
Now that the vaccines are being distributed to countries, there have been responses from some political and religious leaders who are of the viewpoint that the vaccines are harmful. The Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, is one of those who has raised his voice against vaccines.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Loveworld Ministries also spoke out, saying that other pastors should not encourage their members to take the vaccines against the virus. “I can’t understand how a minister of the gospel would be waiting for some vaccine to be the solution for the world. Where is your faith? What happened to you?” he said.
Lagos event centres to operate at a capacity of 500 people
Lagos state has eased covid-19 protocols for event centres, restaurants and relaxation centres. The announcement was made by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yusuff and the DG, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola.
Events centres may now allow up to 500 people as long as it is below 50% of the hall’s maximum capacity. However, all event centres must be duly registered and verified on the Lagos State Safety Commission website before holding any event.
In the case where attendance is expected to exceed 500 people, safety marshals will be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event in the state.
Resident doctors call off strike
The National Association of Resident Doctors has called off its strike of nearly 2 weeks. The essential workers commenced the strike on April 1 after an unfruitful meeting with the federal government on March 31 over unpaid salaries.
The resident doctors make up a large portion of Nigeria’s healthcare providers. A day into the strike, the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, threatened the striking workers with the “no pay, no work” rule.
The doctors continued with the strike until the president of the association, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, confirmed that the FG had met some of their terms. During the strike, covid-19 patients and their families were stranded at various hospitals.
Nigeria to replace Astrazeneca with controversial J&J vaccine
Nigerian healthcare regulators have arranged for some of the AstraZeneca vaccines to be replaced with the J&J brands. This is even as the J&J vaccines have also been flagged by the US Centre for Disease Control after they observed rare cases of blood clots in patients.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement on Tuesday saying that until it has further monitored the vaccine more closely, it is “recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.”
According to the FDA, 6 of those who were inoculated with the vaccine developed rare blood clots. All 6 are women between the ages of 18 and 48 and the symptoms showed within 6 to 13 days of vaccination. The symptoms include significant abdominal or leg pain that does not reduce, prolonged severe headache as well as shortness of breath.
Health minister says pandemic raised youth media literacy
The health minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire has shared that Nigerian youths have attained a higher level of media literacy because of the coronavirus. He said this at the media discussion of Nigeria Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) 2021 Annual Operation Plan.
RMNCAEH+Nis a multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform that Ehanire launched in October 2020. The platform’s mission is to improve the well-being of women, children, elderly ones and newborns in the country.
Since the virus broke out in Nigeria, there has been extensive media coverage and this has, in turn, fueled the desires of people to know more. According to Ehanire, this is responsible for the increased media literacy of young people in the country.
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