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Daily COVID Tracker: Police arrest racketeers and Italy blocks vaccine export to Australia

Daily COVID Tracker: Police arrest racketeers and Italy blocks vaccine export to Australia
March 05
09:01 2021

The Nigeria police have cracked down on those issuing fake COVID-19 test results. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Friday. 

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Italy blocks export of vaccine to Australia

Italy on Thursday blocked a shipment of about 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Australia.

Italy is the first European Union (EU) member country to use the bloc’s new regulations allowing exports to be stopped if the company providing vaccines fails to meet its EU’s contract commitments.

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Australia however said it has asked for a review.

Czech Republic ask for China’s Sinopharm vaccine

The Czech Republic has requested doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.

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The country has now become the second nation in the EU to request vaccines from China, after Hungary.

Jiri Ovcacek, spokesperson to president Miloš Zeman, who disclosed this on Twitter, said China has obliged the request.

“The Prime Minister asked the President of the Republic to address the President of the PRC with a request for the supply of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm,” he tweeted.

“The President complied with this request and wrote to the President of the PRC. According to a report by the Czech Embassy in Beijing, the Chinese side decided to comply with this request immediately.”

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China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Insecurity will not hinder vaccine distribution in Ogun

Dapo Abiodun, Ogun governor, says security challenges in the state will not hinder COVID vaccination.

The governor said this in a tweet on Thursday, noting that frontline health workers will be prioritised in the exercise.

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“At the meeting, we held with all Ogun State’s 20 Local Government Transition Chairmen earlier today, I disclosed this as I expressed confidence that the recent security challenges that is gradually phasing out will not stop the vaccine from getting to the grassroots,” he said.

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Police arrest COVID-19 racketeers 

The police criminal investigation department (CID) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has arrested five individuals said to be involved in issuing fake COVID-19 test results.

Umar Bature, commissioner of police, airport command and aviation security (AVSEC), Lagos state, announced the arrests during a briefing on Thursday.

TheCable had in an undercover report exposed how travellers paid government officials to obtain fake COVID-19 test certificates to enable them to travel through the airports in Abuja and Lagos.

B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant does not affect vaccine efficacy

More evidence emerged on Thursday that the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant first reported in the UK poses little threat to the efficacy of vaccines.

The research conducted by Duke University School of Medicine and colleagues tested the variant against blood taken from people who had received the Moderna vaccine, and against blood from people who had recovered from the infection before the variant started spreading.

“These findings indicate that variant B.1.1.7 is unlikely to be a major concern for current vaccines or for an increased risk of reinfection,” the report published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe said.

“While this is encouraging, it is becoming increasingly clear that SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve and that new variants may arise that pose a greater risk for immune escape.”

COVID-19 IN NIGERIA

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