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COVID-19 Delta variant present in 104 countries – WHO

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WHO DG, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the COVID-19 Delta variant was ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths from COVID-19.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said this at a media briefing on COVID-19 on Monday at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

In his speech posted on WHO website, the director-general said last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of COVID-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions.

He said after 10 weeks of declines, deaths were increasing again such that “the Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and death.

“Not everywhere is taking the same hit though, we’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent.

“In places with high vaccination coverage, Delta is spreading quickly; especially infecting unprotected and vulnerable people and steadily putting pressure back on health systems,’’ he said.

He added that in low-income countries, exhausted health workers were battling to save lives among shortages of personal protective equipment, oxygen and treatments.

Ghebreyesus explained that vaccines had never been the way out of the crisis on their own, but the current wave is demonstrating what a “powerful tool they are”.

“We are experiencing a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a sound global economic recovery.

“It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over, anywhere,” he added.

The WHO’s head reiterated that the global gap in vaccine supply was hugely uneven and inequitable.

“Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable,” he said.

He added that data had shown vaccination offered long lasting immunity against severe and deadly COVID-19, and instead of Moderna and Pfizer prioritising the supply of vaccines as boosters to countries whose populations have relatively high coverage.

Ghebreyesus appealed to those countries to channel supply to the COVAX global initiative, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, and low-middle income countries, while tens of millions of donations of shots were starting to come through.

“The whole world is sick and tired, and everyone wants to open up and ending the pandemic is key; when we have a pandemic everywhere, the virus will continue to circulate”, the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the WHO DG as saying.

He also said it was “extremely disappointing” to see countries that had vaccinated most of their population with two doses, thinking about a third. “It actually makes no sense,” he said.

The director-general also explained that vaccine sharing does not necessarily mean giving vaccines for free.

“I have a list of countries that say they have money, they can pay, but there are no vaccines. The world has the means to increase production quickly, what we lack is global leadership,” he added.

The WHO director-general reiterated that pharmaceutical companies must share their licenses, know-how and technology.

“Do what AstraZeneca is doing” he said, which started in Europe but has production in India, Korea, Australia and Japan, with more expansion planned, explaining that this gives COVAX the green light to buy vaccines from additional facilities”.

Ann Lindstrand, WHO COVAX co-lead, explained that currently there wasn’t enough evidence pointing to a need for booster doses.

“If you have a full course of vaccination of any of the WHO approved vaccines, you have a good protection,” she explained.

WHO Chief scientist, Dr Soumiya Swaminathan, also said that while there had been an increase of infections in vaccinated populations, there had not been more hospitalisations.

“There are reports coming in that vaccinated populations are having cases of infection, particularly Delta, but the majority of them are mild. The people in the hospitals are unvaccinated,” she explained.

Swaminathan reminded that decisions about booster doses should be made based on data and not “on companies saying we need a third dose.” (NAN)

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Health

Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
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The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.

The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal   the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.

The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.

Sources close to the deputy governor said  that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.

It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.

The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.

 

 

 

 

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NARD SET TO CALL OF STRIKE AFTER SENATE’S INTERVENTION

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, other members of the Senate with NARD officials
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••• Cancels Planned National Protest

Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.

Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.

“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.

“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.

According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.

“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.

“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.

 

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Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC

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Noodles
Noodles
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The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.

The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.

This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.

The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.

“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.

Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.

“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.

“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.

“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.

“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”

For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.

The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

 

 

 

 

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