Covid-19 Update: FG Bans Flights from India, Seychelles Cases Soar Despite 60% Vaccination
The Covid-19 infection rate is still down across the country as only 222 test results came back positive between May 4 and April 28. With warnings about a possible third wave which could prove as devastating as the Indian situation, it seems no amount of caution can be too much.
The latest wave of the pandemic seems to be hitting third-world countries. And as is witnessed in countries like Seychelles, it seems even the high rate of vaccination isn’t enough to check the spread of the new wave. Without further ado, let’s explore stories that developed during the week.
Nigeria bans travelers from India and other high-risk countries
Following strong warnings by medical experts in previous weeks about the influx of passengers from India where the Covid-19 pandemic is currently on a rampage, the Federal Government has placed a ban on flights from the Asian country.
This was announced by the presidential committee on Covid-19 on Sunday. Apart from India, flights to and from Brazil and Turkey will also no longer operate over the next few weeks. India is currently battling a third wave which reports show is deadlier than the previous waves.
Beginning from May 4, non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visit Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days before their travel to Nigeria will be denied entry into the country.
Lagos State enforces stricter protocols
The Lagos State commissioner for health has announced stricter Covid-19 measures for the state. This is as Lagosians have continued to neglect safety protocols especially in public places like motor parks, public transports, public gatherings etc.
The protocol updates have been deemed necessary as other countries battle yet another wave of the pandemic. Recent reports about Seychelles show that the country has closed down its schools and enforced stricter measures despite having vaccinated a larger proportion of its population. This shows that
African children at risk of Measles and other diseases
60 mass immunisation campaigns are currently on hold in 50 countries around the world. This postponement is largely due to the restrictions that are put in place to fight the Covid-19.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 25 of these 50 countries are in Africa. This means that more children in Africa are at risk than in other continents.
The immunisation programs are for diseases such as yellow fever, measles and polio. To reduce the risks of more deadly diseases breaking out alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, countries have to put more effort into ensuring that routine immunisation is prioritized for children. This has to be done without exposing them to viruses and other infections.
Seychelles goes into lockdown despite mass vaccination
East Africa’s Seychelles has reintroduced massive restrictions on its citizens to flatten the covid-19 curve in the country. The country has fully vaccinated about 60% of its population and is currently the most vaccinated country. This has, however, not checked the spread of the virus.
The number of daily infected persons have been on the rise recently even though the country began vaccinating its people in January. Health Minister, Peggy Vidot, said on Tuesday, “Despite all the exceptional efforts we are making, the Covid-19 situation in our country is critical right now with many daily cases reported last week.”
As part of the new measures, schools have been ordered to stay shut for 3 weeks while bars, restaurants and businesses are to close earlier than usual. Commemoration gatherings, shows, group sporting activities and conferences have been banned while non-essential workers are encouraged to work from home.
India’s covid-19 situation worsens
The country known as the world’s pharmacy, India, is now fighting a tough battle against a second wave of the covid-19. The number of infections dropped from around 90,000 to 20,000 in September 2020 and the country heaved a sigh of relief. Kumbh Mela, one of the country’s festivals was even allowed to hold in mid-April where citizens went unmasked.
However, the recent surge in cases shows that the relief was a temporal one. Different reports show a shortage in the supply of oxygen amidst a rising death toll. A BBC video shows people waiting in line to have their loved ones cremated.
Current efforts to stop the surge include health insurance, subsidized medicines for the poor, ramped up production of vaccines and clinical oxygen. However, the efforts will take time to catch up with the surge and many nations, including Nigeria, Iran, US, UK, Kuwait, Israel and Singapore have been forced to protect their own citizens first by banning flights to and from India.
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