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Nigeria Targets 42 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine via COVAX Scheme

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Nigeria hopes to get 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine soon to cover one-fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme, an official has said.

Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Shuaib says the vaccine would be procured through the global COVAX scheme.

The initial doses would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 per cent of the population in 2021.

The COVAX scheme is set up to provide vaccines to countries such as Nigeria, whose 200 million people and inadequate infrastructure pose a daunting challenge to medical officials rolling out the vaccinations, as the West African country battles a second, larger spike in coronavirus cases.

Nigeria, where officials recorded low coronavirus numbers through much of 2020, had 1,204 new cases on Monday, its highest ever, as total confirmed cases edge closer to 100,000.

Nigeria will first inoculate frontline health workers, first responders, national leaders, people vulnerable to coronavirus and the elderly.

Shuaib pointed out that Nigeria must educate its citizens on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

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COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s First Lady Calls for Prayers, Fasting

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The Zimbabwean First Lady has invited women in the country to join her for three days of prayer and fasting over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Auxillia Mnangagwa stated she would fast and pray from Thursday till Saturday for Zimbabwe to be “spared from further calamity”.

She urged women to ensure their families observe Covid-19 safety guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading further.

“We need a plan at the household level for regularly using any means at our disposal to clean and sanitise our homes, to ensure that everyone in the home knows the importance of having a mask and masking up properly, more importantly to organise sharp, safe errands for our requirements to get going whilst enforcing the family to stay at home,” she said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has lost 879 people to coronavirus, including top government officials with the most recent death being that of Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo.

On Wednesday, January 20, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo, died after contracting COVID-19.

Moyo, a former army general who announced the military coup that led to the removal of the late long-serving leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

Moyo died at a local hospital early on Wednesday,.

Moyo was one of several generals who, after helping plot the coup, were rewarded with senior positions in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet and the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Another cabinet minister, retired general and agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, died of the virus in July 2020.

Zimbabwe has suffered a surge in COVID-19 infections, with more than half of the 28,675 total cases and 825 deaths being recorded since New Year’s Day.

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Kenya’s Covid-19 Vaccine Team Finalise Roll-out Plan

The country’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said it is ensuring that as many voices are heard and considered as the team plans for rollout.

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Kenya is currently putting final touches to its Covid-19 vaccine roadmap.

The country’s vaccine team which consists of 11 members, says that its recommendation will officially be submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend, after which they could possibly be made public next week.

The task force is chaired by a senior advisor to President Kenyatta on Malaria, Dr Willis Akhwale, who has promised a solid deployment process of vaccination within the country after deliberations that began in December last year.

“It should be ready by Monday because after this meeting, we will embark on putting everything that we have deliberated and agreed on together to come up with one solid plan which we will submit to President Kenyatta, ” he said while speaking to the press.

The country’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said it is ensuring that as many voices are heard and considered as the team plans for rollout.

“The president and the Health cabinet secretary will be briefed once it’s complete, possibly by the weekend. But those present at this meeting include the WHO, Development partners, groups such as Red cross, Amref and others. MoH team includes the PS, DG and all heads of directorates. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is also present, ” a source at MoH said.

Dr Akwale last week said the county governments will not be left out in the vaccine distribution plan as the vaccines will trickle down to their level. “We will engage counties, look at all the financial options and availability,” he said.

The taskforce has been saddled with the responsibility of dissecting issues like vaccine hesitancy, vaccine depots, county engagement, cold chain storage and logistics and immunisation records as well donor interests among other issues surrounding Kenya’s preparedness.

This arrangement comes after it was reported that Kenya is expected to receive 11 million additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the African Union (AU), which has secured a deal to procure 270 million of the vaccine for all member countries.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Total Infection Hits 114,691, Death 1,478

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No fewer than 114,691 people have been confirmed to have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, a statement from the country’s health agency said on Wednesday.

The new figure comes as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 1,386 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday night.

The agency also said the virus claimed 14 lives between Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing total death to 1,478.

Nigeria has so far tested 1,198,758 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020.

The NCDC said 14 new COVID-19 patients were confirmed dead in the last 24 hours, while the total death toll stood at 1,478.

The health agency website showed that Nigeria had successfully treated and discharged 92,336 COVID-19 patients, following the discharge of 1,136 additional patients in the last 24 hours.

The public health agency said the new cases were reported in 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Lagos State, the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, recorded 476 new infections bringing the total number of the infections in the state to 42,427.

“Other states with new cases included, Rivers-163, FCT-116, Kaduna-114, Oyo-68, Plateau-62, Ogun-56, Imo-55, Osun-55, Edo-51, Anambra-50, Kwara-44 and Kano-17.

Ebonyi recorded 14, Cross River-10, Delta-10, Jigawa, eight; Bayelsa and Ekiti recorded six each, Borno and Taraba, two each; and Zamfara had one, the NCDC said.

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

Between Jan. 11 and Jan. 17, the number of new confirmed cases in Nigeria increased to 10,300 from 9,940 in one week. The new cases were reported in 34 states and the FCT.

The number of discharged cases in 28 states and the FCT increased to 9,287 from 4,986 in week one.

The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is put at 1.3 per cent.

The number of reported deaths in the last one week in 15 states and the FCT was 77.

The number of international travellers with COVID-19 positive result was 689, compared to 817 in the first week of 2021.

In Africa, confirmed COVID-19 cases are 3,238,577 with 78,351 deaths and a CFR put at 2.4 per cent.

Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases are 93,194,922 with 2,014,729 deaths and a CFR of 2.2 per cent.

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