Nigeria Records Highest Daily COVID-19 Infections In 11 Months

In this file photo, a man takes the COVID-19 vaccine as Nigeria flags off the second phase of the exercise on August 16, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Nigeria on Tuesday confirmed 2,123 new COVID-19 infections, the highest daily case tally in the country since January 27th, 2021. 

This is according to figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday morning.

The last time the country had a higher daily COVID-19,  the number of infected people was pegged at 2,314.

But the new data from the NCDC indicates that the additional cases were confirmed in 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lagos State, the hotbed of the disease since its outbreak in the country last year, had the highest number of cases for the day – 1,552. The FCT follows with 197 infections,  Edo – 155,  Rivers – 81,  Delta – 44,  Plateau – 33,  Kwara – 30, and Kano – 16.

Other states include Enugu – 12, Gombe – 2, and Bauchi – 1.

Tuesday’s cases take Nigeria’s infection number to 227,378 with 211,761 persons discharged. But 2,989 deaths have been reported so far from the disease.


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Spreading Faster 

A health worker prepares to inoculate a private hospital staff with a Covid-19 vaccine in Hyderabad on January 28, 2021. Noah SEELAM / AFP
File photo: A health worker prepares to inoculate a private hospital staff with a Covid-19 vaccine in Hyderabad on January 28, 2021. Noah SEELAM / AFP

 

Before the latest update from the NCDC, Nigeria had confirmed that the country is in the fourth wave of the pandemic.

The agency on Monday appealed to Nigerians to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines, especially during the Yuletide.

Triggered by the Omicron and Delta variants, the agency said the country’s infection rate has jumped by 500 percent.

“Therefore, individuals, families, and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures,” the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said.

“Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.”

The NCDC’s counsel was corroborated days later by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which called for caution during the festive season.

“There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant,” Tedros told reporters, cautioning that the strain appears to have the ability to double its infections every 1.5 to three days.

“That is really fast.”

HIV Infection Rates Not Decreasing Fast Enough, Says UNAIDS

 

Infection rates of HIV are not slowing fast enough to reach the goal of eradicating AIDS by 2030, a report by the United Nations group to fight the disease said Monday.

Published two days ahead of World AIDS Day, the report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS said shortcomings in the pandemic response can also be seen in the fight against the decades-old disease.

“Many of these missing pieces to fight HIV are also allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to continue and leaving us dangerously unprepared for pandemics of the future,” said UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima.

In June, UNAIDS set new targets to reach by 2025: bringing HIV services to 95 percent of those who need them; reducing annual HIV infections to fewer than 370,000; and reducing AIDS-related deaths to fewer than 250,000 by 2025.

But the report said the world is off-track to meet those goals.

“UNAIDS data show that the curves of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are not bending fast enough to end the pandemic,” it said.

The report highlighted five urgent Global AIDS Strategy priorities it said should be funded and implemented globally “for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response”.

They include access to preventative equipment like condoms and clean needles, as well as support for community-based health services.

Marginalised people continue to be the most at risk for HIV infection, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs by injection, and prisoners.

A new analysis suggests countries may be under-reporting the size of at-risk populations and highlights the need for better data, it said.

Covid has affected the fight against AIDS differently in different countries but that HIV screening rates had slowed almost uniformly.

But many of same measures the world could take to improve “pandemic preparedness” could also help eradicate HIV and AIDS.

“This crisis… is also an unprecedented opportunity to learn from past mistakes and mobilise the leadership and investment needed for a comprehensive global framework that can end inequalities, end AIDS and end pandemics.”

UNAIDS said the disease could kill 7.7 million people between 2021 and 2030 if the availability of preventative measures and treatments remain at 2019 levels.

If, however, the international strategy is put in place and 2025 goals are met, UNAIDS said some 4.6 million lives could be saved over the course of the decade.

Sweden Uncovers 3,700 False Positives From COVID-19 Test Kit

Karin Hildebrand, a doctor in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Stockholm’s Sodersjukhuset hospital walks in a corridor before treating patients with COVID-19 on June 11, 2020, during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

 

Sweden’s Public Health Agency said Tuesday a faulty test kit had returned some 3,700 false positive results, an error discovered by two laboratories during routine quality controls.

The agency said the PCR kits, which test for an ongoing COVID-19 infection, were made in China by the company BGI Genomics and had been distributed worldwide.

In Sweden, the kits were used by people conducting at-home tests between period March and August, the agency said.

Mostly, “people who had mild symptoms or who didn’t feel any symptoms at the time of the test received false positive results,” the agency said in a statement.

It added that it would contact those affected this week, as well as adjusting Sweden’s official number of cases.

“The faulty test kit has been reported to the Swedish Medical Products Agency. It has been exported by China to many other countries,” the agency said, adding that it has “informed relevant authorities in Europe and the WHO”.

Sweden on Tuesday said it had 86,891 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 5,814 deaths.

AFP

Buhari’s Ear Treatment Didn’t Cost £50,000 – Garba Shehu

INECThe Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has responded to allegations that President Buhari spent about $15 million for the treatment of his ear infection in the UK earlier in the year.

He was responding to the allegation by a renown journalism veteran, Professor Farooq Kperogi.

Mr Shehu, in a statement on his Facebook page said: “The disclosure on Professor Farooq Kperogi’s wall that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ear treatment in the United Kingdom cost a whopping six million pounds must have shocked many of the respected scholar’s followers.

“The story reads like an incredible tale by moonlight that belongs to a different era, which fortunately is now history. That’s when a fortunate lady saved $15 million for medical treatment!

“But was it possible that the account of this balanced journalism teacher was hacked? I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Given the austere president we have, Muhammadu Buhari would not have approved this amount if he was shown a six million Pounds bill. I won’t be surprised if the President may have asked if the fat bill was for the purchase of a brand new pair of ears.

“I’m prepared to share documents with Farooq, one of the brightest ever produced from the Bayero University Kano (BUK) that the whole treatment, including a follow-up visit by a specialist to Nigeria didn’t cost 50,000 pounds.

“For the records, the administration advanced a higher sum, but the President’s doctor returned the balance to the treasury.

“Indeed, it’s a new day, and President Buhari’s change mantra is real. Let no one confuse my fellow countrymen and women.” Shehu said.

Ebola Virus: Discharged Patients Were Viral Negative – Dr. Olukayode

Dr. OlukayodeThe Permanent Security, Primary Healthcare Board in Lagos State, Dr. Oguntimehin Olukayode, has said that five patients in the last days have had no symptoms of the Ebola virus.

He explained that a blood test was carried on the patients to ensure that they were viral negative before the process of discharging them was carried out.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Dr. Olukayode noted that there had been a lot of panic about Ebola and there had been a natural history about the disease.

“Out of every five people that really get infected one will survive whether you do anything or not, that is where the statics that says up to 90% die came from.

“But if you bring them in early and you do what is right for them, they usually survive,” he stressed.

Dr. Olukayode explained that the outbreaks occur more in the rural areas because of lack of awareness, adding that the 1st wave and 2nd wave have so much mortality.

“By the time people realise what is happening and they start doing what they have to do to make sure it does not spread, then the mortality rate will reduce.”

He extended his condolence to the families that have been lost through the virus, and criticised the media for misinforming the public on the the Ebola virus issue.

He also confirmed that the nurse that was infected with the virus  and was reported to have ran to Enugu had been discharged from the hospital. He explained that she (the nurse) had to go to Enugu for personal reasons but later complained of having a fever. “A team was sent to Enugu with two ambulances to bring her back.

“By the time she started having fever, she had six contacts which are being followed up” he added.

Dr. Olukayode insisted that “once a patient comes in early for treatments he/she stands a chance of surviving”.

Mandela’s Health Still Serious, South African Government Says

Former South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was in hospital for the third day on Monday with a lung infection and his condition had not changed from “serious but stable”, the government said.

In a statement, President Jacob Zuma repeated his call for the country to pray for the ailing 94-year-old.

It is the 94-year-old’s fourth hospital stay since December and the government said on Saturday his condition was “serious”. During previous hospital visits it had highlighted his “good spirits”.

His health is a cause for concern to the millions of South Africans who revere Mandela for his decades of struggle against white-minority rule and steering the continent’s biggest economy to all-race elections.

 

U.S. Warns Health Officials To Be Alert For Deadly New virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8.

Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday.

The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003. The new virus is not the same as SARS, but like the SARS virus, it is similar to those found in bats.

So far, no cases have been reported in the United States.

According to the CDC’s analysis, the infections in Britain started with a 60-year-old man who had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and developed a respiratory illness on January 24, 2013. Samples from the man showed he was infected with both the new virus and with H1N1, or swine flu.

This man subsequently passed the infection to two members of his household: a male with an underlying illness who became ill on February 6 and subsequently died; and a healthy adult female in his household who developed a respiratory illness on February 5, but who did not need to be hospitalized and has recovered.

The CDC said people who develop a severe acute lower respiratory illness within 10 days of returning from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries should continue to be evaluated according to current guidelines.

The health agency said doctors should be watchful of patients who develop an unexplained respiratory infection within 10 days of traveling from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries. The CDC has set up a special website with updates on the infections at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ncv/ .

Symptoms of infection with this new virus include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Neither the CDC nor the World Health Organisation has issued travel restrictions related to the virus.

Android phone users cautioned over malware

A division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to smartphone users about mobile malware and device safety, specifically regarding the Android operating system.

A report published by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre revealed that it has been made aware of various malware attacks, such as Loozfon and FinFisher that target Android smartphones.

Each malware is different and can range from stealing a user’s address book to completely taking over the infected device.

The agency notes that Loozfon and FinFisher are just two examples of active malware that are used by criminals and users should take precautions to protecting their devices.

When purchasing a smartphones users should know the features of the device and use protective features such as device encryption and antivirus software to guard personal data.

When downloading and purchasing apps, the FBI advises that users not only read reviews but also understand the permissions, such as Geo-location, they are granting the apps. Geo-location is used in applications to track a user’s location mostly for marketing purposes, but it can also be used for malicious purposes such as cyber stalker or burglaries.

The agency recommends that for physical security smartphone owners should consider locking their devices with a pass code and only connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks. Lastly, smartphones should always be kept up-to-date and users should avoid jailbreaking or rooting their devices to avoid greater security concerns.

All in all, users should be using the same precautions on their mobile phone as they do on their computers.