Nigerians have been advised to ignore all negative information on COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako, on Monday, told reporters in Lagos that people should not be reluctant in taking the vaccine when made available by the government.
The Nigerian government is expecting 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover one-fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
There are reports of misinformation already making the rounds on social media on COVID-19 vaccines.
“The only sense in all of these propaganda on social media to everybody who doesn’t want to die of COVID-19 is to take the vaccine.
“If you don’t take the vaccine and you come down with the virus, you are battling with a risk of dying, especially the elderly and people with underlying diseases.
“Why people are afraid of the vaccine is because of all these propaganda coming from some sections.
“The only option we have now is the vaccine because the present situation is like being between the devil and deep blue sea and the best option it to take the vaccine.
“The frontline health workers should be the first set of people to be vaccinated as a matter of urgency” he said.
The D-G explained that most vaccines approved for use had gone through significant safety checks before they are being rolled out.
“For some of these COVID vaccines to get to the level they are, they have gone through quite a number of safety checks that have been put in place.
“So Nigerians should not entertain any fear to take the vaccine,” he said.
On reasons why the country was yet to come up with vaccines, Salako said “… vaccine development is not an easy process. We need the fund, expertise, equipment and the appropriate laboratory to carry out a successful vaccine development in the country. Here in NIMR, we are already working on one and we are going to get to the end of it.”
Zimbabwe Tightens Restrictions as 2 More Ministers Die of COVID-19
Two ministers serving in the Zimbabwean government died of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within a matter of days, prompting the country to announce on Saturday plans to further tighten lockdown measures.
Late on Friday, the government announced that Transport Minister Joel Matiza had died after falling ill with COVID-19, less than two days after the country lost Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo to the same disease.
Four government ministers have succumbed to the coronavirus in Zimbabwe so far.
According to unconfirmed media reports, several other cabinet ministers are fighting for their lives in a private hospital.
“We are in a dark cloud that we have to clear very soon,” deputy health minister John Mangwiro told dpa.
Mangwiro revealed plans to intensify the current lockdown, which has been in place since early January and includes a strict nightly curfew.
Restaurants, bars and gyms have also been forced to close.
“We have seen people not adhering to the lockdown regulations announced early this month,” he added.
Zimbabwe has registered 30,523 cases of infection since the start of the pandemic, including 962 deaths.
The numbers may seem relatively low compared to other countries.
However, the outbreak is putting the nation’s health system under considerable pressure.
Zimbabweans have taken to the social media to blame President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe, for the country’s dilapidated health infrastructure.
Health workers recently went on strike over a lack of protective equipment and poor salaries.
Nigeria Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Hit 118,138
Nigeria’s health agency on Friday night announced 1,483 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections in the country to 118,138.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also confirmed that the West African nation recorded additional five coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll in the country to 1,490.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official website on Friday.
Nigeria has so far tested 1,225,179 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020 in the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were from 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It stated that Kaduna state reported the highest number of infections with 545 new cases, raising the tally of cases in the state to 7,176 and 56 deaths
The agency said that the FCT came second with 235 new infections, for a tally of 15,506 and 119 deaths.
In other states, it reported Plateau with 127, Nasarawa-80, Oyo-72, Delta-65, Rivers-64, Kano-46, Ogun-46, Bayelsa-30, Gombe-30, Abia-28, Osun-27, Edo-25, Ondo-14, Sokoto-12, Zamfara-10, Bauchi-eight Imo-five Jigawa-four, Ekiti-four, Borno-four and Niger-two.
The NCDC said: “On Thursday, we erroneously reported one new case, instead of three new cases for Zamfara State.”
“Friday’s report does not include data from Lagos State,” it said.
The public health institute noted that 504 people have been successfully treated and discharged from various isolation centers in the country.
The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level 3, is coordinating response activities nationwide.
Zimbabwe Warns Citizens Against Patronising Rogue COVID-19 Doctor
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ), on Friday, warned against the illegal practice of one Jacqueline Carey Stone, who was allegedly treating COVID-19 patients using unregistered medicines.
In a statement, the MDPCZ said the public should be wary of Stone’s practice, as she does not have a valid license to practice as a medical professional in the country.
“The premises at which she is treating COVID-19 patients have not been registered for purposes of medical practice and thus posing a health risk to the public.
“She is putting the lives of the public at risk by treating the patients with unregistered medicines, including medicines for animal use,’’ the MDPCZ said.
It added that Stone is conducting clinical trials without the full approval of the Research Council of Zimbabwe, and is also working with unregistered persons to dispense and counsel patients.
“MDPCZ will not allow any registered medical practitioner to offer unsafe treatment to the public of Zimbabwe,’’ said the body, that regulates the practice of medicine and dentistry in the country.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a resurging COVID-19 pandemic.
The death toll has risen phenomenally since the beginning of this month and now stands at 917 out of the 30,047 COVID-19 infections recorded in the country since last March.
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