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Daily COVID Tracker: NCDC logs 250 infections, seven fatalities

Daily COVID Tracker: NCDC logs 250 infections, seven fatalities
January 26
07:50 2022

Nigeria recorded 250 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Wednesday. 

PFIZER AND BIONTECH LAUNCH CLINICAL TRIAL OF OMICRON COVID VACCINE

Pfizer and BioNTech have started a clinical trial to test a new version of their vaccine specifically designed to target the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The companies plan to test the immune response generated by the Omicron-based vaccine both as a three-shot regimen in unvaccinated people and as a booster shot for people who already received two doses of their original vaccine.

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They are also testing a fourth dose of the current vaccine against a fourth dose of the Omicron-based vaccine in people who received their third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine three to six months earlier.

“While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation with Omicron, we recognise the need to be prepared in the event this protection wanes over time and to potentially help address Omicron and new variants in the future,” Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine research and development, said in a statement.

NETHERLANDS TO EASE COVID RESTRICTIONS DESPITE HIGH INFECTION RATE

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Matt Rutte, Netherlands prime minister, says restaurants, bars, museums and theatres will be allowed to begin reopening from Wednesday.

They have been shut since mid-December but the government is following the advice of a health panel which yesterday backed a limited reopening.

“We are taking a big step today to unlock the Netherlands while the infections numbers are really going through the roof,” Rutte said.

Hospitality opening hours will, however, be limited to 10pm and professional sports teams must stick to a stadium capacity of a third of normal.

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UK HEALTH SECRETARY TO SET UP PLAN ON HOW TO LIVE WITH COVID

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, says he would set out a plan on how the UK can “learn to live with COVID” by the spring.

He said this on Tuesday when he appeared before the members of parliament on the health select committee

“We’ve got to find a way to live with it in the same way, let’s say, we live with flu… and I’m not for a second sort of saying it’s like flu, you know, look at sadly all the deaths we’ve had from COVID – over 150,000 from the start,” he added.

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“It’s about understanding we do now have defences which we didn’t have before and just as sort of flu doesn’t stop society and stop life, we mustn’t let COVID do that anymore.”

NIGERIA RECORDS 250 INFECTIONS

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 250 cases were recorded in 12 states and the federal capital territory (NCDC).

A breakdown of the new cases is shown below:

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Lagos-122

Gombe-44

FCT-20

Kaduna-19

Borno-16

Delta-7

Ondo-7

Rivers-6

Jigawa-3

Oyo-3

Bauchi-1

Kano-1

Ogun-1

According to the agency’s report, 487 persons were discharged after recovering from the infection.

Seven people died on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,133.

The agency said the report includes 90 backlog for Lagos state from January 20 to 23, and seven deaths reported for Ondo state from January 11 to 23.

So far, 252,678 cases have been confirmed with 227,491 recoveries.

OMICRON SURVIVES LONGER ON PLASTIC, SKIN COMPARED TO EARLIER VARIANTS, SAYS STUDY

A team from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan says the Omicron variant survives much longer than the original COVID-19 strain.

Following a series of laboratory tests on plastic surfaces, they said the survival times of the original strain and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants were 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114 hours respectively.

But the Omicron variant last on plastic surfaces for 193.5 hours, which is equivalent to eight days.

They said skin samples from cadavers showed the virus survived for 8.6 hours for the original variant, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11 hours Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron.

“Our study showed that on plastic and skin surfaces, Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants exhibited more than two-fold longer survival times than those of the Wuhan strain and maintained infectivity for more than 16 hours on the skin surfaces,” the team added.

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