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Daily COVID Tracker: NCDC logs 1,940 new infections — but no deaths

Daily COVID Tracker: NCDC logs 1,940 new infections — but no deaths
December 24
07:58 2021

Nigeria on Thursday recorded 1,940 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Friday.

US supports UN efforts on COVID-19 response with $10m

US has contributed $10 million to assist the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its work on COVID-19 response and addressing threats to human, animal and environmental health, including future pandemics.

The funding, announced on Thursday, would support the UN agency’s COVID-19 response and recovery programme, part of its broader One Health programme.

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The initiative helps safeguard human, animal, plant and environmental health throughout the food chain, from production to consumption and waste management.

FAO joins with partners of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to expand its collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to mainstream and support implementation globally.

US shortens isolation time for healthcare workers who test positive for COVID

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The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) is shortening the recommended isolation time for healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to seven days, as long as they do not have symptoms.

The CDC said infected workers who are asymptomatic can return to work after seven days with a negative test. It added that employers could further reduce the isolation period if there are staffing shortages. 

The decision was reportedly partly motivated by health officials’ concerns that infections from the Omicron variant could worsen shortage of staff in hospitals nationwide.

Second COVID-19 pill approved

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the use of Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ molnupiravir pill for treating COVID-19.

This is the second of such emergency use authorisation in two days following the authorisation of Pfizer’s paxlovin pill.

The FDA said the treatment pills are not substitutes for approved and authorised COVID-19 vaccines and will be limited to situations where other FDA-authorised treatments for COVID-19 are inaccessible or are not clinically appropriate.

Nigeria reports 1,940 COVID cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 1,940 cases of COVID-19.

The agency in its update for December 23, said the new cases were logged in 19 states.

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The states include Lagos (845), FCT (734), Oyo (120), Rivers (69), Delta (30), Kaduna (29), Edo (21), Plateau (20), Gombe (14), Anambra (11), Enugu (11), Osun (10), Ekiti (8), Kano (5), Bayelsa (4), Ogun (4), Katsina (3), Bauchi (1), and Jigawa (1).

The NCDC said 187 persons were discharged after recovering from the infection. There were no fatalities. The country’s death toll stands at 2,991.

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The agency said the report “includes 734 confirmed cases reported from FCT for 22nd (290) & 23rd (338) and additional 106 cases for 18th (29), 19th (26), 20th (14) & 21st (37) December; 11 confirmed & 8 discharged cases reported from Anambra state for 22nd December; 11 confirmed & 6 discharged cases reported from Enugu state for 22nd December; and 13 discharged cases reported from FCT for 22nd (3) & 23rd (10) December 2021”.

Nigeria has now confirmed a total of 233,353 cases with 212,040 discharges.

Risk of hospitalisation 40% lower with Omicron than Delta, UK data suggests

The COVID-19 Omicron variant appears to be milder, with a 20%-25% reduced chance of a hospital visit and at least a 40% lower risk of being admitted overnight, according to a UK data.

In what was described by scientists as a “qualified good news story”, two studies on Wednesday pointed to a lower risk of hospitalisation with Omicron.

An Imperial College outbreak modelling team led by Neil Ferguson analysed hospitalisations and vaccine records among all PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases in England between 1 and 14 December. The dataset included 56,000 cases of Omicron and 269,000 cases of Delta.

Their report found that the risk of any attendance at hospital was 20% to 25% lower with Omicron than Delta, and 40%-45% lower when the visit resulted in admission for at least one night.

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