Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says Nigeria and other African countries will be able to access COVID-19 vaccines as from the end of January through the first quarter of 2021.
Okonjo-Iweala’s assurance was revealed on Wednesday in a statement by Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the statement, Okonjo-Iweala as disclosed this after a closed-door meeting with the Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
“As long as one person has it in the world, no one is safe. And that is why poorer countries, lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria, need to get it as quickly as possible,” she said.
Okonjo-Iweala is currently the African Union Special Envoy on mobilising international economic support for the continental fight against COVID-19 and Nigeria’s candidate for the Office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
She disclosed that the international initiative involved the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI and the international community, to get vaccines delivered to developing and poorer countries, in an affordable manner and quickly.
According to her, the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca were presently being negotiated so that poor countries don’t have to stand in a queue behind rich countries.
The former finance minister described Africans as blessed, for not having the same incidence rate of COVID-19 like other continents, but warned African nations against complacency.
Okonjo-Iweala recalled that a platform called the COVAX facility had been developed with 186 countries on board, saying that the side interested in serving the poor countries had 92 countries, for which resources have been raised to try and get the vaccines to them quickly.
“So, the Pfizer vaccine, the AstraZeneca, those are being negotiated now so that poor countries don’t have to stand in line behind rich countries.
“So, we hope they are starting by the end of January. We will be able to reach these countries, including most of the African countries, Nigeria included, will be able to get access to some of these vaccines.
“Initially, it will be for frontline health workers, followed by some other target groups – older people, those with underlying conditions and then, from there, the rest of the population. I think the COVAX facility can cover maybe 20-23 per cent of the population by the end of next year,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
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.
Kenyans Applaud Priest for Lambasting President Kenyatta, Others
Cyclone Eloise Leaves Hundreds Homeless in Mozambique
11 Die, 14 Injured in Somalia-Kenya Border Fighting
Chelsea Sacks Frank Lampard After 18 Months in Charge
Ugandan Court Rules Against Bobi Wine’s House Arrest
Tanzania to Auction 30 ‘Tourist Hunting Blocks’ in Game Reserves, Other Areas
Somali Police Spokesman, Sadiq Adan Ali Dodishe, Survives Bomb Attack
Tigrayans Accuse Ethiopian Soldiers Of Rape
Zimbabwean Businessman, Worthwhile Mugabe, Dies of Coronavirus
South Africa Imposes New Restrictions as WHO Warns of Worse Pandemics
Boosting Africa’s Revenue | The Remittances and Taxation Conversation
China’s Belt and Road Initiative | Is Debt Slowing China’s Advancement?
3rd Mainland Bridge | Rehabilitation Work Nears Completion.
Crude Oil | OPEC Battles to Avoid Glut As Price Rises Above $50
World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects For January 2021
News4 days ago
Vaccines May Not Work Against South Africa’s COVID-19 Variant – Researchers
News4 days ago
Egypt, Qatar Resume Diplomatic Relations
East Africa News4 days ago
Rwandan Immigration Services go Online Amid Covid-19 Lockdown
Health4 days ago
Man Dies of COVID-19 Hours after Arriving Canada from Lagos, Nigeria
Health4 days ago
COVID-19: Nigeria Total Infection Hits 114,691, Death 1,478
News2 days ago
Botswana on High Alert over Cyclone Eloise
East Africa News4 days ago
Kenya’s Covid-19 Vaccine Team Finalise Roll-out Plan
News4 days ago
500,000 People Flee From Mozambican Province Over Insecurity