WHO

Tanzanian envoy denies President Magufuli in bad health

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is in good health and working normally, one of his diplomats has told a broadcaster in Namibia, countering reports he had been flown to hospital in Kenya and then India in a critical condition with COVID-19. Magufuli, 61, who is Africa’s most prominent coronavirus sceptic, has not been seen in public since Feb. 27. Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has cited medical and security sources for information that the president was flown to the private Nairobi Hospital in neighbouring Kenya and then on to India in a coma. But the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Tanzania’s ambassador in Windhoek, Modestus Kipilimba, as saying Magufuli was in good health and remained in Tanzania. “High Commissioner Kipilimba dismissed the reports, saying Magufuli is...

ECOWAS suggests compensation for coronavirus vaccine adverse reactions

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Vaccine Taskforce has recommended compensation for citizens who suffer side effects or injury from the COVID-19 vaccination. Professor Stanley Okolo, the Director-General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), disclosed this at the 5th Regional Steering Committee meeting of the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project on Saturday in Abuja. Okolo said that the recommendation was one of the resolutions adopted by the taskforce and presented to the ECOWAS Ministerial Coordinating Committee to encourage citizens to receive the vaccine. He explained during the REDISSE virtual meeting that the issue of indemnity was being taken up by the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, the global initiative aimed at equit...

WHO: End to pandemic not likely in 2021

The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes it is unlikely the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)will come to an end by the end of 2021. “I think it will be very premature and unrealistic to think that we are going to finish with this virus by the end of the year,” Michael Ryan, director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said at a briefing on Tuesday. “What we can, if we are smart, finish with is the hospitalisations and the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic,” Ryan added. The WHO’s focus at present was to keep transmissions as low as possible and vaccinate more and more people. The situation regarding the delivery of vaccine doses had already improved compared to 10 weeks ago, Ryan said, although there were “huge challenges” in distributing them and the virus stil...

UNICEF partners Delta in renewed fight against malnutrition

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has restated its commitment and support for the Delta State Government in the renewed effort to flatten the curve for malnutrition in the state, particularly through supplementary and improved dietary provisions for adolescents in the state. The UNICEF zonal Chief of Field Office (Rivers), Dr. Tushar Rane, gave the assurance in virtual remarks at a one-day meeting in Asaba with stakeholders for Scale-Up of Adolescent Nutrition Programme for six local government areas of Delta State, organised by UNICEF. While lauding the state government for putting in place necessary policy instruments for a scale-up of the adolescent nutritional status of the state because of their importance to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he commen...

WHO: 90 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 90 million, reaching 90,054,813 as of Wednesday, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Globally, as of 9:47 am CET (0847 GMT) on Wednesday, there have been 90,054,813 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,945,610 deaths, reported to WHO. The U.S. has remained at the top in both infection cases and fatalities, with 22,428,591 confirmed cases and 373,329 deaths reported to WHO. It’s followed by India with 10,495,147 cases and 151,529 deaths, and then Brazil, with 8,131,612 cases and 203,580 deaths. Also severely affected were Russia with 3,448,203 cases, Britain with 3,118,522 cases, France with 2,740,656 cases, Italy with 2,289,021 cases, and Spain with 2,111,782 cases. On the list of death tolls afte...

Nigerian government lists conditions for states to access coronavirus vaccines

The Federal Government has listed conditions for states to meet before the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being expected wt the end of January would be released to them. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), during a webinar tagged “Sensitisation Meeting with Media Gatekeepers on COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction”, at the weekend, said no vaccine will be release to states until facilities such as cold chains are in place. According to Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, NHPCDA, Kubura Daradara, the vaccine must be administered within five days of receipt for it to remain potent, and only the states that show commitment would receive the doses when available. She added that the 100,000 doses would be administered to 50,000 people, because each person has to take a secon...

Akwa Ibom bans large gatherings as coronavirus surges

As a precautionary measure against the second wave of COVID-19, the Akwa Ibom State government has announced the cancellation of “all state government events requiring large crowds”. The Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, who disclosed in a statement on Friday, said “test results from our PCR laboratory clearly indicate a sharp increase in the number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state”. The statement said Governor Udom Emmanuel has directed strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at the Christmas village in Uyo, the state capital. The government said large political meetings are to be discouraged until the current spike of COVID-19 infections is reduced. It said the use of face mask and adherence to other COVID-19 guidelines and proto...

U.S. records 247,403 new coronavirus infections, 3,656 deaths

The daily number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and deaths has hit new highs in the U.S. On Wednesday, December 16, there were 247,403 new infections and 3,656 deaths with confirmed COVID-19 infection registered within the past 24 hours, a data released on Thursday, December 17 by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore said. The highest values before those 233,133 new cases and 3,306 deaths were recorded on December 11, 2020. In total, around 16.9 million people have been proven to be infected with the COVID-19 in the country with around 330 million inhabitants. Since the beginning of the pandemic, no fewer than 307,500 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. In absolute terms, that is more than in any other country in the world. The Johns Hopkins University website...

UNICEF embarks on coronavirus sensitisation tour of Abia

The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has appealed to the Abia state government, parents and school authorities in the state to ensure that their children and wards adhere strictly to all COVID-19 protocols in order to avoid the ugly experience of getting another round of Covid-19. According to the world body, the effect of COVID-19 second phase in Europe and Asia has been devastating, pointing out that though Africa has been lucky to have recorded fewer casualties, government, parents and teachers cannot continue to depend on luck to survive the pandemic. The Desk Officer of UNCEF, Mr Okezie Nkpa who made the appeal when UNICEF, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and some media personnel staged a sensitization tour of some schools in Abia South, Abia Central and Abia Nort...