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Daily COVID Tracker: Infections spread amid Omicron variant as NCDC logs 533 cases

Daily COVID Tracker: Infections spread amid Omicron variant as NCDC logs 533 cases
December 11
07:36 2021

On Friday, Nigeria recorded 533 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Saturday. 

Study: Boosters give more than 70% protection from mild Omicron

A UK study says booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine give an estimated 70 to 75 percent protection against mild disease from the new Omicron variant.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, citing initial findings from a real-world study, Omicron could greatly reduce the protection against mild disease from an initial two-dose vaccination, but boosters restored the protection to an extent.

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“These early estimates should be treated with caution, but they indicate that a few months after the second jab, there is a greater risk of catching the Omicron variant compared to Delta strain,” Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said on Friday.

“The data suggest this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take up their booster when eligible.”

Switzerland approves vaccination of children with Pfizer COVID vaccine

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Switzerland’s medicine regulator, Swissmedic, has approved the vaccination of children between the age of five and 11 with the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine.

The government also asked regional authorities to consider expanding the requirement for proof of vaccination or recovery from the COVID-19 infection for access to many indoor venues.

Health group warns of global shortage of nurses as pandemic enters the third year

Howard Catton, CEO of the International Council of Nurses, says that the numbers of nurses around the world are falling as the COVID pandemic enters its third year.

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Catton also warned that there is an imbalance as western countries step up recruitment of healthcare workers from African and other poorer countries.

“I think that we are at a tipping point … if those numbers continue the trend that we are seeing, it could be an exodus of people,” Catton said.

“I almost think that governments need to be thinking about the life support package of measures they need to be putting together to invest in their nurses and their health care workers next year.

“We have absolutely seen increased recruitment activity by the UK and Germany as examples in Europe, the US and Canada in North America as well,” he said, adding that African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria were seeing their nurses recruited.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) had said 115,000 nurses died from COVID at 115,000, but Catton said the figure is probably double.

Nigeria records 533 COVID infection 

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Nigeria has seen a surge in the daily number of COVID cases amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

On Friday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 533 cases across the country.

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The agency said the reported cases were from 10 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

Lagos recorded 428 infections, followed by FCT (45) and Rivers (33).

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Other states that logged new cases were Edo (9), Ogun (8), Oyo (3), Delta (2), Kaduna (2), Gombe (1), Jigawa (1), and Kano (1).

The agency data showed that 42 people were discharged from the infection — and no death.

The NCDC also said the recoveries include 20 community discharges reported on the 8th in FCT.

So far, Nigeria has confirmed 216,451 cases and 207,661 recoveries. The country’s death toll now stands at 2,981.

Omicron: Obasanjo, Wandira-Kazibwe advocate ‘global hyper-cooperation’ amid travel ban

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Specioza Wandira-Kazibwe, former vice-president of Uganda, have condemned the travel ban on African countries over concerns relating to the Omicron COVID variant.

Several western nations banned travel from Africa following the discovery of the Omicron COVID variant by South Africa.

Obasanjo, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and Wandira-Kazibwe, the immediate past chair of the African Union Panel of the Wise and first female in Africa to become vice-president of a sovereign nation, in a joint article published on Friday on The Africa Report, expressed concern over the actions taken to shut out certain countries.

They also wondered how countries gather annually in New York to address injustice “and yet refuse to align on how to make quicker progress on a host of issues, from labour rights to agricultural subsidies and healthcare-related patents”.

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