216 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Monday by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC). This brings the total confirmed cases in the country to 6,175 as at May 18, 2020. The cases were reported as follows across 14 states and FCT. 74-Lagos, 33-Katsina, 19-Oyo, 17-Kano, 13-Edo, 10-Zamfara, 8-Ogun, 8-Gombe, 8-Borno, 7-Bauchi, 7-Kwara, 4-FCT, 3-Kaduna, 3-Enugu, and 2-Rivers.
In Nigeria,1,644 persons have have recovered with 191 deaths recorded. Total of 35,345 samples have been tested for Covid-19 in Nigeria since the outbreak began according to the data on NCDC website.
Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant to President Buhari on Digital & New Media, in a tweet on Sunday said “Presidential briefing from the Covid-19 task Force, this afternoon at the State House. Phase 1 of 3 phases of the 6-week gradual-easing-of-the-lockdown ends tomorrow”
President Buhari was expected to address the nation on Monday having been briefed by the Covid-19 task force, however Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media & Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari announced in a tweet that the President will not address the nation because “none was planned”.
No presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today. None was planned. Rather, the Presidential Task Force will during its usual media briefings bring the nation up to speed on the next steps.
— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) May 18, 2020
Boss Mustapha, The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, during the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja announced that phase 1 ease of lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun has been extended by additional two weeks.
He said that “advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
“The two weeks extension of Phase One of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy to prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.”
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In Kenya, the flower farmers who were badly affected by the lock-down of Covid-19 pandemic have started to reopen. The farmers had in March thrown away flowers worth millions of dollars as there were no buyers for the highly perishable products.
Kenya is the fourth largest exporter of cut flowers globally, with annual earnings of about $1bn from the industry. Europe is the key market for Kenya’s flower. As some European countries have begun gradual easing of the lock-down measures, hope is returning to Kenya’s flower farms.
Kenya has the fourth largest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in East Africa, it has recorded 912 cases, with 336 recoveries and 50 deaths.
Total of 84,892 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Africa, with over 27,000 of the cases recorded in North Africa followed by West Africa with more than 24,000 confirmed cases.
In West Africa, Nigeria has overtaken Ghana to become the worst affected country in the region, with highest number of confirmed cases and deaths.
President Trump on Monday told reporters at the White house that he is taking hydroxychloroquine for over a week now, even though he did not test positive for Covid-19.
“I’m taking it for about a week and a half now and I’m still here, I’m still here” he went on say that “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it, the frontline workers, many, many are taking it”
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According to the President, his physician did not object to it when he asked him about it. President Trump has been pushing hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for Covid-19. However, there has been many oppositions to its use because, its effectiveness on Covid-19 patients have not been established.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration in April issued an advisory that hydroxychloroquine has “not shown to be safe and effective”. FDA also said some researchers found that the drug can cause serious heart rhythm problems in Covid-19 patients.
The U.S remains the worst affected country in the world with highest number of confirmed cases and deaths. The U.S has confirmed 1,504,244 cases of Covid-19, with 272,265 recoveries and 90,194 deaths.
Investogist reported on 7 May, that US FDA Approved Moderna’s Vaccine for Phase 2 Trial. Preliminary results from 8 of the volunteers for the trial have found that they developed antibodies as much as those who have recovered from covid-19 infection.
According to Dr. Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer at Moderna “these interim phase 1 data while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection.
These data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent Covid-19 disease and advance our ability to select a dose for pivotal trials”. Moderna said it hopes to start a large scale trial in July
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On the other hand, concerns have been raised regarding the result of another vaccine being developed by University of Oxford, which was tested on Monkeys. Tests showed that the vaccinated animals were not entirely protected even though they did not get pneumonia.
This is because the same level of the virus was detected in the noses of the vaccinated as the unvaccinated ones. The human trail of the Vaccine has begun but the results are not yet known.
“If similar results were obtained in humans, the vaccine would likely provide partial protection against the disease but would likely reduce transmission in the wider community” according to Prof. Eleanor Riley from the university of Edinburgh.
Globally there are 4,782,215 confirmed cases of Covid-19, out of which 1,765,333 have recovered with 317,566 deaths recorded according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center as 23:16 GMT on Monday.
These figures put the global recovery rate at 36.91% while death rate is at 6.64%.
216 new cases of #COVID19;
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 18, 2020