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Drug Makers Should Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Prices For Africa – CDC

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John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged pharmaceutical companies to sell COVID-19 vaccines to African countries at discounted rates.

Nkengasong also urged them to produce locally to reduce the cost of procuring the vaccines for African countries.

In his media briefing, Nkengasong said the continent needs to inoculate its citizens as it prepares to vaccinate at least 60% of the 1.3billion population in the next two years.

The CDC director said delivery of the vaccines also has to be worked on as many African countries have only sorted buying and not how they will be delivered.

Africa is going to be aided with vaccines through the COVAX programme led by the WHO, on collaboration with other international organisations.

“The COVAX facility does not take care of delivery, it takes care of the purchase of the vaccines but the greatest challenge for any vaccination programme is how to deliver it to the needy in a timely fashion,” Nkengasong said.

Africa, according to Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President and Chairman of the African Union, needs $12bn to be fully covered in the vaccine provision.

Nkengasong said the continent is working with the African Export and Import Bank (Afrexim) to raise the funds for the delivery of the vaccines.

Early successes have been recorded with GAVI-led COVAX with its target of 2bn COVID-19 vaccine doses still on track.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records 3 Deaths, 1,430 Infections in 24 Hours

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No fewer than three people died from complications related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

The health agency, in a statement on its website, said it recorded 1,430 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 122,996.

The NCDC disclosed this on its website on Monday.

The country has so far tested 1,270,523 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020 in the country.

The Nigeria’s public health institute sadly registered three additional coronavirus related deaths in the last 24 hours in the country.

The NCDC stated that the new infections were reported from 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency, in its breakdown of the newly recorded infections, shows that Lagos state reported the highest number of confirmed infections with 744 cases.

This brought the total number of infections in the state to 45,684 and 292 deaths recorded.

Plateau reported 100 infections, Oyo had 77 and the FCT, the second most affected by the disease in the country registered 75 new infections.

Amongst other states were; Nasarawa-74, Katsina-48, Edo-42, Kano-41, Enugu-37, Rivers-34, Ogun-33, Kwara-32, Niger-28, Ebonyi-27, Kaduna-26, Borno-12, Yobe-10, Ekiti-five and Gombe-one.

The health agency also announced the discharge of 1,131 patients from isolation centers across the country.

According to it, the discharges today include 435 community recoveries in Lagos State and 184 community recoveries in Kaduna State managed in line with guidelines.

It noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level 3, is coordinating response activities nationwide.

The country’s COVID-19 infections have witnessed a significant increase since Nov. 29 till date.

During the period, from November 29 to December 3, a total of 1,607 cases were recorded and since then, the country’s weekly infections have recorded a massive increase.

In the previous week, the country recorded 9,880 new infections Jan. 10 to Jan. 16, an increase when compared to the 9,833 cases recorded in the penultimate week January 3 -9 and the 5,681 cases recorded from Dec. 27 to January 2.

However, from Jan. 17 to Jan. 23, the country recorded 11,659 new infections out of the 87,092 samples tested.

Also, the 2,314 cases reported on Friday, January 22 is the highest daily figure of confirmed cases since the pandemic broke out in February 27, 2020.

Data from the NCDC show that a total of 87,092 samples were collected for testing as of November 20 as against the 136,077 tested the previous week.

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COVID-19: Schools Not Reopening Yet – Ugandan Government

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Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports has dismissed reports schools are being re-opened. It says no decision has been taken yet on resumption dates.

On Monday, Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Sports, tweeted that only candidate classes and finalists in institutions of higher learning were open.

He said the rest will wait until the government reaches a decision on when to re-open.

“Contrary to media reports, government has not yet agreed upon the re-opening of schools and higher institutions of learning for non-candidate classes,’’ Kakooza said.

In October 2020 , Uganda re-opened candidate classes, seven months after the government closed all schools, colleges and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As at Saturday, the country had a cumulative total of 39,149 COVID-19 cases, 13,861 recoveries and 317 deaths.

Uganda reported its first COVID-19 case on March 21, 2020.

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Ethiopia Announces 469 New COVID-19 cases

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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.

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