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Coronavirus

Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening at a rapid pace.

Yesterday, the NCDC announced that 138 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Nigeria, the lowest daily number recorded since April 27th.

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The COVID-19 pandemic curve is rapidly flattening at an incredibly fast pace in the last few days. This follows several measures implemented by the government such as wearing a face mask, social distancing, and lockdown procedures, which are slowing down the spread of the pandemic in the country.

The latest data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced on Sunday reveals 138 new cases of Covid-19 was confirmed in Nigeria, which is the lowest daily number recorded since April 27th. It was 250 the day before and 160 on Friday. In total Nigeria has a total tally of 53,865.

A look at the time series shows that the curve started bending consistently in August after enduring three months of significant increases since May which dragged till the later part of the month of August. Month to date August has registered a daily average of just 357 one of the lowest and just lower than 150 days (between April 1 and August 29 2020) average of 359 cases.

Covid-19 News Case Counts chart.

The Demographics

The latest COVID-19 situation report shows that over 34,199 (64%) of the recorded cases were male while 19,528 (36%) females have been affected so far. Also, the most affected age group is between 31 and 40 years of age. Only 1% of the recorded cases have travel history, 24% got infected through contact with infected persons while 75% got infected through unknown exposure.

So far, 41,513 patients have been discharged since the pandemic, indicating a recovery rate of 77.1%, 11,339 patients remain under observation while 1,013 (1.88%) deaths have been recorded.

A stitch in time saves nine

It appears that the policies of the government are working as health experts have often cited wearing facemasks and limited movements as one of the most effective ways of containing the spread of the virus. Recall that the President, Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movement in Lagos and the Federal Capital (Abuja) for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from March 30th, 2020, and later extended by an additional two-weeks period.

While Nigerians were restricted to the four walls of their homes, mandatory use of face masks and adoption of social distancing was strictly enforced in the country during this period with many organisations switching to remote working.

Furthermore, on April 27th, 2020, the President partially put on hold the movement restriction with only a few businesses allowed to commence operations from May 4th. It came along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020.

Alongside the measures that have been taken by the federal and various state governments, most organisations also carried out a number of sensitization programmes to enlighten the public about the symptoms of the disease and how it can be prevented. A move, which is reflective of the new trend in the number of confirmed cases in the country.

But while it appears the curve is flattening, there are also reports of underreported cases. A recent research suggests some people have fallen ill with symptoms of Covid-19 but did not bother to go for testing.

Why this matters: The steady decline in the number of confirmed cases recorded in Nigeria suggests the government’s policy on facemasks, lockdowns, and curfews appear to have contained the spread of the virus. This matters immensely for the economy especially as the government reopens the airspace for international flight operations and businesses consider resuming full operations.

Also, the quicker the curve flattens, the more optimistic it is for the economy to recover faster than expected. The Nigerian economy contracted by 6.1% in the second quarter of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and halt in most aspects of the economy. Resuming full economic activities might not help the country avoid a recession but could quicken the recovery process.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: FG announces 4 phases in the vaccination process against the pandemic

The FG has released phased processes in its vaccination programme against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Federal Government has announced the phased processes in its vaccination programme against the Covid-19 pandemic, which is expected to take off on March 5, 2021.

This follows the expected arrival on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of the first batch of 3,924,000 Covid-19 vaccines under the COVAX initiative from Mumbai, India.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on Monday, March 1, 2021.

The PTF said that the vaccine deployment, which is expected to be done by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with assistance from other sister agencies, has been divided into 4 phases.

The 4 phases with the expected activities and vaccination processes include:

1. Phase 1 Vaccination Process

  • All frontline health workers to be vaccinated
  • Vaccines to be deployed to states based on their level of preparedness
  • Cargo planes to be provided for the transport of the vaccines to states.

It should be noted that the 3,924,000 vaccine doses expected to arrive on Tuesday will cater for the initial rollout and Phase 1 Vaccination stage.

2. Phase 2 Vaccination Process (Vaccination of the elderly from 50 years and above)

  • Vaccination of 60 years and above to occur first (Group 1), then
  • Vaccination of 50-55 years (Group 2) to follow

It should be noted that Nigeria is expected to receive another batch of Covid-19 vaccines for this stage.

3. Phase 3 Vaccination Process

  • Vaccination of those between 18 and 49 years with co-morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, lung disease, other heart diseases, liver or renal disease, and so on)

4. Phase 4 Vaccination Process

  • Vaccination of the rest of the eligible population between ages 18 and 49 years.

What you should know

Nigeria is expecting the arrival of the first batch of 3,924,000 Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, March 2, with vaccination expected to commence on March 5 at National Hospital Abuja for frontline health workers.

The expected arrival of the vaccine is coming after Ghana and Cote’D’Ivoire announced the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX initiative.

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How to register for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria

The NPHCDA has announced guidelines to register for COVID-19 vaccinations.

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

The guidelines were announced Monday morning in a social media post and they are as follows:

Step 1: Visit https://nphcda.gov.ng/

Step 2: Click on ” covid-19 vaccination e-registration”

  • In the Registration Form for COVID-19 Vaccination you are to fill in; your full names, phone number, email address, date of birth, sex, the type of National ID you have, a residential address which states, the LGA of residence, ward of residence and preferred vaccination site.
  • You are meant to also select your preferred vaccination date and time slot, which ends with a photo update.

After doing the above steps, you will receive a message saying:

“Registration Completed! …Your Vaccination ID is:

Your data is successfully received.

Thank you for taking time to fill the form, you will receive an SMS and email shortly containing your Vaccination No. and other instructions.”

What you should know 

  • The Federal Government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
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FG launches strategy for introduction of Covid-19 vaccine

The FG has launched a strategy for the phased and equitable introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine across the country.

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The Federal Government has launched a strategy for the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner across the country.

The strategy code-named, “T.E.A.C.H”, was initiated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).

According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, during the inauguration said the launch of T.E.A.C.H and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) will ensure the smooth rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign across the country.

What the Minister of Health is saying

Ehanire stated, “Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner, based on the advice of the WHO and the experience we observe other countries to have made, and ultimately vaccinating all eligible Nigerians within the next two years, to ensure herd immunity.

“We in Nigeria finally have the privilege of joining other countries to start the vaccination, which will prioritise, first those people most at risk of infection due to their exposure in the line of duty.

”Vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of the country’s strategy to counter the COVID-19 pandemic and the stop transmission of the virus. No private hospital or organisation has experience in handling this type of vaccine than the NPHCDA,” he said.

The minister also said that vaccines that were not approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would be determined as dangerous and would be seized by the Nigeria Customs Services.

The minister also noted that in less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive the country from the COVAX Facility and would be deployed.

On his own part, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said a lot of work had been done to reduce the casualty of Covid-19 in the country’s population.

Ihekweazu, who was represented by Head of Special Projects and Partnerships at NCDC, Dr Priscilla Ibekwe said that a sister agency, the NPHCDA, was prepared to lead the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and NCDC would collaborate with them to ensure a successful campaign.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, in his introduction of the T.E.A.C.H Strategy, said it was an Indigenous approach to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Shuaib said that the Country has provided an e-registration link to enable Nigerians to register for the Covid-19 vaccines themselves, to obtain their pre-vaccination numbers and scheduled date

He said that the first phase of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country would target front-line health workers, Covid-19 rapid response teams, laboratory network, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.

According to him, How COVID-19 will be rolled out, Phase 1- healthcare workers, security agents, first responders, petrol station workers, laboratory workers, and strategic political leadership.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had announced that Nigeria would receive its first batch of 4 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX initiative on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
  • The COVAX Facility which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner, is a global scheme to procure and equitably distribute vaccines for free, especially among poorer countries, as the world moves to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
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