Algeria will commence the rolling out the contentious Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine developed by Russia in January, the government said late Wednesday.
The North African country had signed a “mutual agreement with a Russian laboratory for the acquisition of the coronavirus vaccine from January”, said Communications Minister Ammar Belhimer.
Finance ministry director general Abdelaziz Fayed told local broadcaster Echorouk, that an initial shipment of 500,000 doses will be received by Algerian authorities.
The announcement was made a day after the North African nation’s elderly president Abdelmadjid Tebboune, returned home from Germany where he was treated for a coronavirus infection after being absent for two months.
In August, Moscow announced the registration of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine after it had completed just the second phase of trials on under 100 volunteers.
Scientists at home and abroad have been showing concern and raising eyebrow about the vaccine, saying the decision was premature, without wider clinical trials and the publication of scientific results.
The vaccination campaign in Russia commenced on December 5, beginning with at-risk workers who were at the forefront in the battle to try and contain the virus.
Some analysts have viewed the fast-track registration and the early launch of mass vaccination as a bid by Russia to bolster geopolitical influence.
According to the Algerian health ministry, the country has recorded nearly 100,000 Covid-19 infections and sadly, more than 2,750 have died from the disease.
Ethiopia Announces 469 New COVID-19 cases
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health has announced 469 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 133,767.
The death toll from COVID-19 in the country reached 2,066 by Sunday evening, after three new deaths were reported, the ministry said.
It said 686 more recoveries were logged during the past 24 hours, taking the national count to 119,416.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, is one of the countries the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Africa, after South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.
The Ethiopian government has been urging the public to implement COVID-19 precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Tests Positive for COVID-19
The minister said he had been exhibiting severe symptoms and urged Tunisians to protect themselves from the virus.
Tunisia’s foreign minister, Othman Jerandi has tested positive for COVID-19.
Jerandi made his COVID status public on his official twitter page.
“My COVID-19 test was positive today, although I complied with health protocols and adhered to all measures,” Othman Jerandi said on Twitter.
Tunisia’s foreign minister said he had been exhibiting severe symptoms and urged Tunisians to protect themselves from the virus.
“This has made me more insistent on the supply of vaccines to protect my country’s people from the pandemic,” he added.
According to a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University, Tunisia has reported more than 197,000 infections and over 6,200 deaths from the virus. More than 144,000 people have so far recovered.
Since December 2019 when the virus originated in China, the pandemic has claimed more than 2.12 million lives in 192 countries and regions.
According to Johns Hopkins, recorded COVID-19 cases worldwide have exceeded 99.13 million, with recoveries over 54.69 million.
In terms of cases, the worst hit countries remain the US, India and Brazil.
Earlier this month, a 4-day nationwide lockdown was imposed in Tunisia. The lockdown started from Thursday January 14, as authorities moved to curb alarming covid-19 contaminations.
The measure which the country took reduce the spread of the virus includes a nationwide curfew from 4pm to 6am, suspension of school classes until January 24, and a ban on all cultural events. Restaurants and cafes were ordered not to provide seats for their clients.
The move came a few days after President Kais Saied lambasted the government over the handling of the pandemic despite several measures put in place to stem contaminations.
Nigeria Records Lowest Single-Day COVID-19 Infection in Three Weeks
Nigeria health agency has confirmed 964 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the country’s lowest single day infection since January 3.
The additional cases takes total confirmed infections in the country to 121,566.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on its official website on Sunday.
It said that the country has so far tested 1,258,534 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020.
The country has also recorded its lowest daily figure of new coronavirus infections since Jan. 3, when 917 cases wete reported.
The agency also confirmed additional two coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,504.
It noted that the additional 964 new COVID-19 infections were from 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The NCDC stated that Lagos state topped the list with 360 infections, followed by FCT with 88, Ogun with 73, and Imo with 72 cases.
Other states with new COVID-19 infections were Kaduna-67, Plateau-57, Abia-41, Osun-41, Rivers-32, Kano-26, Niger-24, Benue-23, Edo-20, Cross River-20, Akwa Ibom-8, Nasarawa-6, Zamfara-6, Ekiti-6, and Jigawa-4.
The Nigeria’s public health agency said that 1,327 people have been successfully treated and have been discharged, from various isolation center across the country bringing the nation’s total recoveries to 97,228.
“Our discharges today includes 774 community recoveries in Lagos State managed in line with guidelines,” it stated.
NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, was coordinating response activities nationwide.
With 44,940 COVID-19 infections and 285 deaths recorded, Lagos state remains Nigeria’s worst-hit city, followed by FCT which has recorded 15,770 cases and 119 deaths.
The North Central Zone, Plateau state with confirmed 7,522 cases and 53 deaths so far came third.
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