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Coronavirus Watch

Daily COVID Tracker: Nigeria logs 33 infections — but zero deaths in seven days

BY Samuel Akpan

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Nigeria on Friday recorded 33 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Saturday. 

CDC: Most Americans can now go masks-free

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its mask guidance for COVID-19.

The CDC said in its revised guidance released on Friday that mask use is no longer required in places where hospitals are not overburdened.

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Nearly 70 percent of the US population lives in low-or medium-risk aresa, according to the new guidance, and citizens can go indoors without masks.

However, CDC advises continued use of masks in communities where major cases of COVID-19 are putting a strain on the health system.

“We want to give people a break from things like mask-wearing,” Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, said.

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EMA panel backs 3-month interval for Moderna COVID booster shot

The advisory committee of the European Medicine Agency (EMA) has recommended shortening the interval between the second dose and booster dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from six months to three months.

Many nations including Greece and France had reduced the interval between the first two doses and the booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines owing to a surge in infections.

In December 2021, the European drug regulator said data supported safe and effective administration of a booster as early as three months after the second dose.

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Nigeria logs 33 infections 

Nigeria has recorded 33 new infections across the country.

The infections were logged in six states and the federal capital territory (FCT), according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

A breakdown of the infections is presented below:

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FCT-13
Plateau-8
Delta-5
Rivers-3
Nasarawa-2
Kaduna-1
Kano-1

The agency said 13 people were discharged after they recovered from the infection.

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No deaths were reported for the seventh day in a row on Friday, leaving the total number of fatalities at 3,142.

So far, 254,461 cases have been confirmed in the 36 states and the FCT — with 248, 863 recoveries.

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‘4.7m COVID vaccine doses discarded in UK in 2021’

A government report says about 4.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were wasted by the end of October 2021.

According to the report by the national audit office, of the 4.7 million, 1.9 million doses were unused following changes to clinical advice about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In May 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, UK vaccine advisory body, had advised the government that those under the age of 40 should not be offered AstraZeneca.

Subsequently, the vaccination programme faced some hurdles regarding expiring supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the study said.

Zimbabwe donates 50,000 COVID vaccine doses to Botswana

Zimbabwe has donated 50,000 doses of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Botswana.

 Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwean, disclosed this on Friday.

“In the spirit of Ubuntu and our strong fraternal relations, the government and people of Zimbabwe are pleased to donate 50,000 Sinopharm doses as well as medical oxygen to the government and people of Botswana,” he said.

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