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Daily COVID Tracker: Infections on the rise as NCDC logs 4,035 new cases, two deaths

Daily COVID Tracker: Infections on the rise as NCDC logs 4,035 new cases, two deaths
December 23
07:35 2021

Nigeria on Wednesday recorded 4,035 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Thursday.

US approves first pill to treat COVID

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday authorised Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, to treat COVID-19.

This is the first antiviral COVID-19 pill authorised for ill people to take at home, before they get sick enough to be hospitalised.

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Paxlovid combines a new antiviral drug named nirmatrelvir and an older one called ritonavir and is administered as three pills given twice a day for five days.

High-risk individuals age 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds and have a positive SARS-CoV-2 test are eligible for this treatment and will need to have it prescribed by a doctor.

Paxlovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset. 

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Israel planning fourth dose of COVID vaccine

A government panel of experts in Israel has recommended a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for all people aged over 60 and healthcare workers.

The committee recommended the dose be taken at least four months after the third jab.

The move was welcomed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who said it would help the country get through a potential wave of the Omicron variant.

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The move is set to receive final approval by the health ministry in the coming days.

Belgium tightens restrictions

Belgium has tightened its restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

From December 26, indoor Christmas markets, cinemas, theaters and concert halls will be closed. Sporting events will continue, but without spectators.

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“We cannot allow the train of infection that is thundering through our country to continue at its current pace,” Alexander De Croo, Belgian prime minister, said.

“The aim in taking these measures is to manage the pressure on hospitals and ensure schools can reopen from January 10, 2022.”

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Nigeria reports 4,035 COVID cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 4,035 cases of COVID-19.

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The agency in its update for December 22 said the new cases were logged in 15 states.

The states include Lagos (3,393), Rivers (260), Edo (62), Akwa Ibom (42), Kaduna (39), Ekiti (38), Oyo (38), and Delta (31).

Others include Kano (31), Ogun (30), Abia (26), Bauchi (15), Ondo (14), Enugu (9), and Kwara (7).

The NCDC said 92 persons were discharged after recovering while two persons died of the infection. The country’s death toll stands at 2,991.

The agency said the report includes a backlog of 2,536 confirmed cases reported from Lagos state for December 13 (37), December 14 (365), December 15 (197), December 16 (577), December 18 (742) & December 19 (618).

It also includes 42 confirmed cases reported from Akwa Ibom state for December 20 (13) & 21 (29), and nine confirmed and six discharged cases reported from Enugu state for December 21.

Nigeria has now confirmed a total of 231,413 cases with 211,853 discharges.

Germany to require PCR tests for travellers from ‘virus variant areas’

The German government has announced that it will begin requiring PCR tests for those traveling from “virus variant areas”.

Currently nine countries, including the United Kingdom and South Africa, are recognised by Germany’s national disease control centre as “virus variant areas”.

The new rules, for which the government did not give a specific starting date, will require travellers from these countries to provide a negative PCR test less than 48-hours old. Exceptions will be made for travellers under six years old.

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