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COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Be Available Until 2021 – Nigeria’s Health Minister3 minutes read

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has again cautioned Nigerians against non-adherence to COVID-19 recommended measures, as this could lead to spike as being experienced in some parts of the world.

According to the Honourable Minister, “It is important to remind ourselves that COVID-19 is real and spreading wildly in some parts of the world as we speak. Some countries are experiencing the so-called second wave, with all the complications that go along with this easily spreading disease; another country is to go under lockdown again. This is something Nigeria must endeavour to avoid.”

Dr. Ehanire gave this caution during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Press Briefing in Abuja on Thursday, 17th September, 2020, where he appealed to Nigerians to comply with the recommended protocols for reducing the spread of the virus in the country as vaccine will not be available until next year.

“Compliance with all recommended measures, like wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings etc. will go a long way to help. Vaccines will not be available till next year at best, and no new reliable therapeutic has been confirmed, but we must restart businesses, including travel, to allow citizens to earn their livelihoods”, he said.

It is important to remind ourselves that COVID-19 is real and spreading wildly in some parts of the world as we speak.

The Minister reported that, as at 17th September 2020, the country has so far recorded a total of 56,604 COVID-19 positive cases out of a total of 482,321 samples tested, with 47,872 persons treated and discharged, while 1091 persons were sadly lost to the disease.

Speaking further, Dr. Ehanire appealed to people who tested positive to COVID-19 especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions to immediately report to a treatment facility, as it has been observed that most fatalities are among those reporting late for treatment, when their clinical condition has worsened. He added that there are enough facilities across the country to cater for them. “There is no shortage of beds reported from any of the States”, he said.

The Honourable Minister also informed of Federal Government’s plan to distribute oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions across the country, to enable them provide oxygen therapy to persons presenting with respiratory distress, till they are referred to treatment centres; thus improving their chances of survival. He added that the Federal Government is working with State Government officials to sustain sample collections and response activities, with emphasis on surveillance and treatment, in order to drive containment.

Further, Dr. Ehanire reported that Nigeria on Thursday, 17th September, 2020 joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World “Patient Safety Day”, a day set aside by the World Health Assembly, to recognise and highlight the safety of patients under treatment, as a global health priority. The theme for this year, he said was, “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety”, with the slogan of “Safe health workers, safe patients.”

The Minister pointed out that although we are confronted with the global pandemic, “The heroic role of frontline healthcare workers to keep the rest of us safe must be recognized. They work odd hours, endure stigma, risk infection and even their lives.”

While commending the efforts of the health care workers, Dr. Ehanire again appealed to the striking members of Joint Health Sector Union to put the plight, safety and well-being of their patients into consideration and to call off their industrial actions, while differences are being addressed by negotiation.

Health

South Africa’s Health Minister Contracts COVID-19

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South Africa’s Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement from his office late on Sunday said the minister has gone into isolation.

“I am now in quarantine at home and both my wife and I remain optimistic that we will fully recover from this virus,” Mkhize was quoted as saying in the statement.

The health minister was tested on Saturday after showing mild symptoms.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Africa’s worst affected country hit the 700, 00 mark on Friday since the first case was diagnosed in March this year.

According to the latest government data on Monday, South Africa has registered a total of 703,793 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18,471 deaths.

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Africa’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Pass 1.63m

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The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent has reached 1,636,748 as of Sunday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The Africa CDC, a specialised healthcare agency of African Union Commission, said in a statement that the number of deaths due to illnesses related to the pandemic reached 39,559 as of Sunday afternoon.

According to the Africa CDC, the number of people that have recovered from the infectious virus across the continent has reached 1,347,199.

The most COVID-19 affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

The Southern Africa region is the most affected region both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases as well as the number of deaths.

According to the Africa CDC, the Northern Africa region is the second most affected African region.

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South Africa Records 2,019 New COVID-19 Cases, 61 Deaths

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South Africa recorded 2,019 new coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday, the country’s minister of health has announced.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize also announced 61 more Covid-19 related deaths, adding that nine out of every 10 people infected with the virus are recovering from it.

The recent deaths bring the number of deceased due to the virus to 18,370 and infections to over 700,203.

The number of recoveries in the country stands at 629,260 which accounts for nine out of every 10 people infected with the virus are recovering from it.

South Africa has 11th most Covid-19 infections in the world, with the USA, Brazil, India, Russia, Spain, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and France having the most cases in the world.

The USA has over 8 million cases, the most in the world.

In South Africa, new infections are slowing in the country, but Mkhize has again warned about the dangers of a second wave on Monday and urged people to continue social distancing and wearing masks.

He said on Monday that the second wave would arrive if people were complacent and did not wear masks and practice social distancing.

The Department of Health said it had now tested over 4.4 million people in the private and public sector, with almost 24 000 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.

South Africa’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 18 370.

The Gauteng province has the most deaths, with 4601, followed by the Western Cape, with 4280, Eastern Cape with 3411 and KZN, with 3122, have the most fatalities in the country.

Of the latest 61 deaths, Mkhize said the majority of the deceased came from the Free State.

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers that treated the deceased patients,” said Mkhize.

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