Global COVID-19 cases rise for fifth consecutive week
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says global cases of COVID-19 have risen for the fifth consecutive week.
Maria van Kerkhove, technical lead for COVID-19 response, said this on Monday at a news conference. Advertisement
“Four of our five WHO regions are seeing an increase in transmission. “This is the fifth week in a row globally that we have seen an increase in transmission. In the last week, cases have increased by 8%,” van Kerkhove said.
According to van Kerkhove, there was a 12% surge in Europe, driven by the B.1.1.7 variant, which is circulating in many countries and in the eastern part of Europe.
The south-east Asia region recorded a 49% rise in cases, while the eastern Mediterranean region has seen a leap of 8%.
The western pacific region reported a rise of 29%, largely driven by a leap in cases in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
Van Kerkhove added that “the Americas and Africa have seen a slight decline in the last seven days. But, overall, we’re seeing increasing trends and these are worrying trends”.
NCDC reports 131 fresh cases, zero deaths in 24 hours
Nigeria’s daily COVID-19 count maintained a relatively low figure on Monday with 131 fresh cases confirmed in 13 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the new cases in its update for March 22, 2021.
Also, no deaths were recorded making it the fourth time in five days with no fatalities
A total of 226 recoveries were reported on Monday, bringing the total recoveries to 148,125.
Monday’s recoveries include 102 community recoveries in Lagos state and 23 in FCT managed in line with guidelines.
To date, 161,858 cases have been confirmed, 148,125 cases have been discharged, and 2030 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
MTN donates 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria
Nigeria has received 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from MTN.
Speaking at the weekly briefing on Monday, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, said the vaccines were received on Sunday.
“Yesterday, Sunday, March 21, 2021, the PTF received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria,” he said.
“This is acknowledged with thanks as we encourage other partners to contribute towards the fight against COVID-19.”
In February, Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, had said the country expects 1.4 million doses of vaccines courtesy of MTN.
“The ministry of health also engaged the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), who informed us of the free allocation of 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, of which 500,000 doses are expected by the end of this month, courtesy of MTN donation of seven million doses to Africa,” Ehanire had said
“The balance of 900,000 doses for Nigeria is expected by the end of March 2021. Other sources of vaccines are under negotiation.”
COVAX to deliver 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by second quarter
WHO says COVAX facility has distributed 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 50 countries and will deliver 300 million doses by the end of the second quarter.
Bruce Aylward, a senior WHO adviser and coordinator of the ACT (Access to COVID-19 Tools) accelerator, said this at a news conference on Monday, but added that some suppliers are having “teething problems”.
“The problem is we simply cannot get enough vaccine, manufacturers now are not able to keep up with our orders,” Aylward said.
Travellers with fake COVID test results will be arrested
The NCDC says travellers found to be in possession of fake coronavirus test results will be arrested and prosecuted.
Speaking during the media briefing of the PTF on COVID-19 on Monday, Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC director-general, announced that a verification platform has been launched to confirm results.
Ihekweazu said travellers who present fake COVID-19 results at airports will be prosecuted, adding that tests conducted by private laboratories for travel purposes will now be verified by airlines, embassies and countries.
COVID-19 IN NIGERIA