Global COVID-19 Deaths Hit 5m As Delta Variant Rages
Worldwide deaths related to COVID-19 surpassed five million at the weekend, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the virulent Delta strain.
The variant has exposed the wide disparities in vaccination rates between rich and poor nations, and the upshot of vaccine hesitancy in some western nations.
More than half of all global deaths reported on a seven-day average were in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and India.
While it took just over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, the next 2.5 million deaths were recorded in just under eight months, according to a Reuters analysis.
An average of 8,000 deaths were reported daily across the world over the last week, or around five deaths every minute. However, the global death rate has been slowing in recent weeks.
There has been increasing focus in recent days on getting vaccines to poorer nations, where many people are yet to receive a first dose, even as their richer counterparts have begun giving booster shots.
More than half of the world has yet to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data.
The World Health Organization this week said its COVAX distribution programme would, for the first time, distribute shots only to countries with the lowest levels of coverage.
Co-led by the WHO, COVAX has since January largely allocated doses proportionally among its 140-plus beneficiary states according to population size.
“For the October supply we designed a different methodology, only covering participants with low sources of supply,” Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Vaccines, said in a recording of a conference presentation last week posted on the WHO’s website.
FG okays another COVID vaccine, Sinopharm, for Nigeria
Another COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV, has been approved for use in Nigeria, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, has said.
He stated this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
The approval is coming some weeks after NAFDAC approved the Moderna and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in Nigeria.
The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine and had been approved by the World Health Organisation for emergency use.
Shuaib said on Tuesday that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control had approved the vaccine three days ago.
“NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine. The approval was done three days ago. And yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification,” he said.
He also said, “It is a potential vaccine that we could use. There are so many vaccines out there, but one thing that we are very clear about is that we are not going to use all the available vaccines in Nigeria.
“At some point, we are going to draw a line in terms of the number of vaccines we would use, so that we can keep a close watch on the number of vaccines we are utilising in Nigeria.”
He said the vaccine was developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products, “sometimes written as Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products”, noting that there are sometimes two different acronyms, BBIBP and BIBP, for the same vaccine.
“It completed phase three trials in Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru and United Arab Emirates (UAE), with over 60,000 participants. BBIBP-CorV shares, similar technology with CoronaVac and Covaxin, other inactivated virus vaccines for COVID-19,” he said.
“Its product name is SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine ‘Vero Cell’, not to be confused with the similar product name of CoronaVac,” Shuaib said.
Lagos records 35 deaths amid COVID third wave
A total of 135 deaths have been recored in Lago State amid rising third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has said.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this on Monday during a media briefing on the COVID situation in the state.
On July 11, Sanwo-Olu had warned Lagos residents of a third wave of infections, following an increase in the number of cases recorded in the state.
The Federal Government on August 2 declared that Nigeria was experiencing a third wave of infections.
Sanwo-Olu said on Monday that since the start of the pandemic, 5,551 positive cases had been admitted at COVID isolation centres in Lagos.
“We are now clearly in the middle of third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and Lagos has remained the epicentre of the disease in Nigeria,” he said.
The governor also said, “Test positivity rate currently stands at 12.1 percent, compared to 1.1 percent at the end of June, and seven percent at end of July. As at August 21, 4,387 positive cases are currently being managed actively in community.
“Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5,551 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos, with 506 registered fatalities. Of these deaths, 135 have sadly, happened in this current third wave.
“I commiserate with all residents who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. We share in your pain and grief. As a society and as a government, it is for us to redouble our efforts to defeat this devastating pandemic.”
He said the state had seen a surge in severe cases, adding that the number of oxygen cylinders used rose from 75 per day to 400 within the third wave.
He also said, “In terms of treatment of severe cases, we have seen a gradual increase in the uptake of oxygen during the current wave. Utilisation has increased from 75 cylinders per day at the beginning of this third wave, to over 400 cylinders per day currently,” he said.
“With our modelling suggesting that we may be requiring even more oxygen supply over the next few weeks, we are exploring several ways of increasing our oxygen capacity.
“One of the major pillars of our mitigation strategy for the third wave is vaccination. We are seeing that countries that have vaccinated a large percentage of their population are recording drastic reductions in the numbers of COVID-19 related deaths.
“This is one of the reasons why we have not spared any cost to ensure that the vaccines that have been provided by the federal government are made available to every resident that meets the requirements for the vaccination programme.”
According to the state ministry of health, Lagos has so far confirmed a total of over 70,000 positive cases, with more than 60,000 recoveries.
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