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Nigeria receives COVID-19 vaccines today as online registration begins 

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  • PTF plans to vaccinate over 100 million Nigerians by 2022

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says between now and 2022, it hopes to vaccinate about 70 per cent of Nigerian population put at 209 million.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, stated this on Monday during a press briefing.

National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has commenced online registration of Nigerians interested in taking COVID-19 vaccines.

The registration is coming ahead of the expected delivery of the first batch of the vaccines today

NPHCDA on Monday launched the electronic registration platform to enable eligible Nigerians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The government said it is employing a T.E.A.C.H strategy, which combines indigenous (traditional) approaches with modern technologically enabled systems of vaccination and leverage experiences gained during the polio immunisation programme.

The launch of the registration platform came just as the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised all countries to limit vaccination for now to persons above 18 years, until research and studies are completed on any possible effect on growing children.

Nigeria is set to receive its first batch of 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine today.

Speaking at the official launch of the T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination of eligible Nigerians and Electronic Management of Immunisation Data (EMID) in Abuja, the Executive Director/CEO of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the vaccination process would be in four phases.

According to him, the first group is frontline health workers who are the first priority group of eligible populations to receive the first doses of vaccines arriving in the country.

The second are strategic leaders like the president, vice president, ministers, governors, and religious and traditional leaders.

According to him, the leaders are listed among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines in order to show to the public that the vaccines are safe and effective as validated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said, “In phase one, healthcare workers, frontline workers, ports of entry (air, land, and sea ports), military, COVID-19 rapid response team (RRT), laboratory network, policemen, and petrol station workers and strategic leaders will be vaccinated first.

“Frontline workers include support staff such as cleaners, security staff, body handlers, drivers, waste managers, oil & gas workers, bankers etc.

“Next is phase two, which will comprise older adults aged 50 years and above, and those with co-morbidities aged 18-49 years of age. Phase three includes those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases one and two, and phase four includes other eligible populations as vaccines become available.”

He explained that the e-registration process will make for easy and stress-free registration prior to vaccination.

He added that once an individual completes registration, a unique pre-vaccination identifier will be issued via the website – with which he or she will take to the vaccination site for proper identification before getting vaccinated.

He advised Nigerians to choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated.

Shuaib said individuals could assess the e-registration portal via the agency’s website – https://nphcdaict.com.ng/publicr.eg.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who confirmed today’s arrival of the vaccines, said, “In less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Nigeria from the COVAX Facility and will be deployed to vaccinate, first our critical frontline health care workers, who are providing essential care, especially for severe COVID-19 patients, next to those who are at the highest risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection and down to 70 per cent of Nigerians.

“Well before the four million doses of AstraZeneca we are going to receive is expended, we shall be receiving more vaccines, and so, there should be no need for anxiety. We shall also, be receiving other types of vaccines and all will ensure that the entire vaccination administration will be sustained in a smooth way and will be applied nationwide – leaving no one behind.”

The Country Representative of the WHO, Mr. Walter Kazadi, said vaccines alone would not win the war against COVID-19.

He urged Nigerians to comply with all the COVID-19 safety protocols.

 

COVID-19

China records nearly 13,000 COVID deaths in a week

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China reported nearly 13,000 Covid-related deaths in hospitals between January 13 and 19, after a top health official said the vast majority of the population had already been infected.

The death toll came a week after China said nearly 60,000 people had died with Covid in hospitals in just over a month – but there has been widespread scepticism over official data since Beijing abruptly axed anti-virus controls last month.

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement on Saturday that 681 hospitalised patients had died of respiratory failure caused by coronavirus infection, and 11,977 had died of other diseases combined with infection over the period.

The figures do not include anyone who died at home.

Airfinity, an independent forecasting firm, has estimated daily Covid deaths in China will peak at about 36,000 over the Lunar New Year holiday.

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The firm also estimated that more than 600,000 people have died from the disease since China abandoned the zero-Covid policy in December.

China has passed the peak period of Covid patients in fever clinics, emergency rooms and with critical conditions, Guo Yanhong, an official from the National Health Commission told a news conference on Thursday.

‘No second wave’
Tens of millions of people have travelled across the country in recent days for long-awaited reunions with families to mark Sunday’s Lunar New Year, raising fears of fresh outbreaks.

China’s transport authorities have predicted that more than two billion trips will be made this month into February, in one of the world’s largest mass movements of people.

President Xi Jinping Wednesday expressed concerns over the spread of the virus in rural China, much of which lacks medical resources.

But a top health official said China would not experience a second wave of infections in the months after the festive migration, because nearly 80 per cent of the population had already been infected by the virus.

“Although a large number of people travelling during the Spring Festival may promote the spread of the epidemic to a certain extent… the current wave of epidemic has already infected about 80 per cent of the people in the country,” Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the CDC, said in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform on Saturday.

“In the short term, for example, in the next two to three months, the possibility of… a second wave of the epidemic across the country is very small.”

Residents in central China’s Wuhan, where the first coronavirus infections were reported in late 2019, celebrated the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit on Saturday night with fireworks, flowers and offerings to loved ones they lost to the virus.

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COVID-19

Nigeria records 42 fresh cases of COVID-19 in 14 days

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Fresh 42 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Nigeria in two weeks, with Lagos State topping with 27 cases, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said.

The NCDC made this known via its official website on Sunday, adding that Edo, Kano, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory contributed the remaining cases.

This is coming amid resurgence of the new variant of the disease from China where the authorities said nearly 60,000 people with COVID-19 had died in hospitals in about a month.

The NCDC said that the new cases brought Nigeria’s total of COVID-19 infections to 266,492 and that the fresh cases were recorded between December 31, 2022 and January 13, 2023.

”From December 31 to January 6, 13 new confirmed cases have been recorded in Nigeria. The 13 new cases are reported from two states – Lagos (12) and Edo (one),” it said.

It confirmed that the country recorded 29 new cases from January 7 to  13; and the new cases are reported from, Lagos (15), FCT (five), Kano (four), Nasarawa (three), Kaduna (one) and Plateau (one).

It also said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre activated at Level 2, had continued to cordinate the national response activities.

Meanwhile, the country registered 266,492 COVID-19 confirmed cases, 3,155 deaths, and 259,858 cases had been discharged across 36 states including the FCT.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said, “If you are yet to be vaccinated, visit the nearest vaccination site to receive your Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine. All COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and effective.”

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COVID-19

Panic spreads as China records 60,000 fresh COVID deaths in 34 days

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China says almost 60,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 were recorded between December 08, 2022 and January 12, 2023 in the country.

A major wave of the virus surfaced in China after President Xi Jinping abruptly lifted zero-Covid policy restrictions last month, UK Guardian reports on Saturday.

A report from Peking University said 900 million Chinese people are already infected with the virus.

It also said some major cities had experienced infection rates of between 70% and 90% of their populations since then.

The surge in infections has been attributed to the Chinese government’s emphasis on shielding the 1.4 billion people that make up its population rather than inoculating them effectively against the Covid-19 virus.

However, authorities have announced the fatalities resulting from the wave was 59,938.

The head of the Bureau of Medical Administration, Jiao Yahui, on Saturday announced there had in fact been 59,938 Covid deaths between December 8 and January 12.

This figure included about 5,500 individuals who died of respiratory failure, while the rest also had underlying health conditions. The average age of those who died was 80, Jiao said, with 90.1% aged 65 and above.

The holidays in China officially start January 21 and involve the world’s largest annual migration of people.

Some two billion trips are expected to be made and tens of millions of people have started to travel – although they have been urged not to visit their elderly relatives, in order to prevent them from becoming infected.

Jiao claimed case rates were declining and the peak had passed in most areas. She said the daily number of people going to fever clinics peaked at 2.9 million on 23 December and had fallen by 83% to 477,000 on Thursday.

“These data show the national emergency peak has passed,” she said.

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