BY Samuel Akpan
Nigeria recorded 26 COVID infections on Thursday. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Friday.
Pfizer COVID vaccine effective against Delta variant
Pfizer-BioNTech says its COVID-19 vaccine is “very effective” against the delta variant.
Delta, the COVID-19 variant first identified in India, is becoming globally dominant.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) had warned that the delta variant is expected to account for 90 percent of the new COVID-19 cases in the European Union by late August.
Speaking on a radio broadcast on Thursday, Alon Rappaport, Pfizer medical director in Israel, said research showed that its vaccine is 90 percent effective against the delta variant.
“The data we have today, accumulating from research we are conducting at the lab and including data from those places where the Indian variant, Delta, has replaced the British variant as the common variant, point to our vaccine being very effective, around 90%, in preventing the coronavirus disease, COVID-19,” Rappaport said.
Over 1 million people have received second dose of COVID vaccine in Nigeria
Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says 1,005,234 people have received the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Shuaib disclosed this on Thursday, during a media briefing in Abuja.
He said the agency has extended the timeline for the administration of the second dose by 11 days — from June 25 to July 5 — to enable more people to be vaccinated.
He said those who received their first doses before May 13, can go to any centre to get the second dose. For those who have received the first dose, Shuaib said the figure now stands at 2,099,568.
Indonesian cleric jailed for concealing COVID-19 test results
A court in Indonesian has sentenced Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, an Islamic cleric and founder of the Islamic Defenders’ Front, to four years in prison for concealing his COVID-19 test results and denying a government request for access to the information.
The judgment reportedly comes less than a month after Shihab and five of his followers were sentenced to eight months in prison for violating COVID restrictions by organising a wedding for his daughter last year.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, judges at the East Jakarta District Court found the cleric guilty of spreading false news by denying that he had COVID-19.
Philippines approves Bharat Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for use
The Philippines has approved the Bharat Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The vaccine developed in India, was authorised by the country’s food and drug agency on Friday.
Rolando Domingo, director-general of the agency, said the vaccine received “full emergency use authorisation” after the company completed documentary requirements.
Nigeria records 26 COVID cases
Nigeria has recorded 26 cases of COVID-19.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the infections in its update for June 24, 2021.
The NCDC said the cases include data from Kaduna state for 23rd and 24th of June.
According to the agency, the infections were reported in six states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
Lagos topped the chart of infected persons with 13 cases, followed by Kaduna with four cases, while Akwa Ibom reported three infections.
Other states that recorded cases are Kwara (2), Rivers (2), FCT (1) and Gombe (1).
The agency said 16 persons were discharged on Thursday after they recovered from the infection.
For the third day, no death was reported as a result of COVID complications.
So far, 167,401 cases have been confirmed across the country, 163,933 people have been discharged, while 2,118 have died of COVID complications.
COVID-19 IN NIGERIA