Nigeria on Friday recorded 23 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Saturday.
EU drug regulator recommends Merck COVID pill for emergency use
The European Union Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised its member states to use Molnupiravir, an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck, for the treatment of COVID-19.
The development comes days after the United Kingdom (UK) became the first country in the world to authorise the use of the oral antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
In a statement on Friday, EMA said Molnupiravir should be given within five days of first symptoms to treat adults who do not need oxygen support and are at risk of severe disease.
Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech jab for kids
Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11.
Health Canada said the vaccine is 90.7 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children and that no serious side effects were identified.
“After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years of age outweigh the risks,” Health Canada said in a statement.
US expands COVID booster shots eligibility to all adults
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster jabs to all adults in the United States.
The development will enable millions of Americans to receive additional protection against COVID.
The CDC on Friday endorsed the advice of a health advisory panel, which had unanimously voted to recommend expanding booster eligibility to all Americans aged 18 and older who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago.
“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defences against the virus as we enter the winter holidays,” Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, said in a statement.
Nigeria records 23 cases of COVID-19
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 23 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in five states and the federal capital territory (FCT)
The agency confirmed the new cases in its update for November 19.
The states that reported new infections are Plateau (9), FCT (6), Bauchi (3), Sokoto (3), while Kaduna and Kano reported one case each.
The agency said nine persons were discharged on Friday after recovering from the infection. There were no recorded fatalities.
To date, 213,487 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed; 206,301 recoveries have been recorded, and 2,973 deaths have been confirmed across the country.
Austria to impose full COVID lockdown
Austria says it will impose a full COVID-19 lockdown to tackle a new wave of infections from Monday.
The Western European country is also making COVID vaccination compulsory for all residents.
“We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,” chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.