Following Thursday’s 150,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 across the world- the highest in a single day since the start of the crisis- the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the pandemic is in a ‘new and dangerous phase.
Six hundred and sixty-seven fresh cases were recorded in Nigeria yesterday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), bringing the total in the country so far to 19,147.
The figures came as the Nigerian universities’ scientists under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Group announced the discovery of a vaccine for the prevention of Coronavirus while the Ogun State Government suspended its planned lifting of the ban on places of worship because of the increasing rate of infection.
Tedros told a virtual briefing in Geneva that “the virus is still spreading fast, is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”
Nearly half of the new cases are in the Americas.
Many of the new cases also came from South Asia and the Middle East, Tedros added.
The European regional director of WHO, Dr Hans Kluge, said a second wave in the autumn was possible.
“We have the seasonal influenza. There is the possibility of a seasonal effect on the virus – but we’re not sure yet – that then we will see a second wave,” Kluge said.
Continuing, he said: “The lesson is that we have to implement what we know works – at the core of the strategy is to find as early as possible, isolate, test suspected people from Covid, and if needs be, treat them without any stigma or discrimination.
“At the same time (governments need) to track and quarantine contacts – contact tracing is an essential element of this strategy. But there is no single solution.”
Nigeria records 667 new cases
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in an update last night said 667 new cases were recorded yesterday, taking the country’s total so far to 19147.
The breakdown is as follows: Lagos-281; Abia-48; Oyo-45; FCT-38; Ogun-37; Enugu-31; Ondo-23; Plateau-21; Edo-19; Delta-18; Rivers-18; Bayelsa-17; Akwa Ibom-17; Kaduna-14; Kano-12; Bauchi-9; Gombe-4; Osun-3; Benue-3; Nasarawa-3; Kwara-3; Ekiti-2 and Borno-1.
Six thousand, five hundred and eighty-one cases have been discharged while 487 deaths have occurred.
Nigerian universities’ scientists discover vaccine for COVID-19
Nigerian Universities’ Scientists under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Group on Friday announced the discovery of a vaccine for the prevention of Coronavirus.
Leader of the team, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, told reporters at Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State that the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans.
Kolawole, a Specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics at the university, however, said the vaccine would also work for other continent when unveiled.
He said the study which led to the discovery of the vaccine had enjoyed initial funding from the Trinity Immuno-deficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, to the tune of about N7.8 million.
Kolawole said the group had been working extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
He said after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, the researchers had been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 and had made the possible latent vaccine constructs.
On how soon the unnamed vaccine would be unveiled to the public, Kolawole said that it would take a minimum of 18 months.
According to him, this is because a lot of analysis and studies as well as approvals by medical authorities were still required.
Also speaking, Prof. Solomon Adebola, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the university was poised to assist in the funding of the research with a view to bringing the vaccine to limelight.
“We are glad that a vaccine that will provide solution to a global problem like Coronavirus pandemic is coming from the garden.
“It is our passion to be a solution provider to such a global pandemic, and we are ready to throw our weights behind the team and make the vaccine a reality,” Adebola said.