Daily COVID Tracker: Nigeria records 66 new cases and Kenya bans private import of vaccines

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked residents in Kogi state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Saturday. 

Kenya bans private import of COVID-19 vaccines

Kenya on Friday banned the importation of COVID-19 vaccines by private firms.

A private firm was said to have imported Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine into the country with shots being sold for about 16,000 shillings (around $150) for a double dose.

Mutahi Kagwe, the country’s health minister, who said such shipments were unlicensed, expressed concerns that the vaccines could be counterfeit.

“There will be no licensing of private players in the importation of vaccines and any such license given will be and is hereby cancelled,” Kagwe said.

Kagwe noted that the ban will be enforced until government becomes confident “that there is greater transparency and accountability in the entire process.”

Kenya is already vaccinating its citizens after it received 1.02 million of  Oxford-AstraZeneca shots secured through COVAX vaccine programme.

CAN asks Kogi residents to take COVID-19 vaccines

CAN has asked residents in Kogi state to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

John Ibenu, CAN chairman, said the “vaccine is beneficial to mankind and that everyone should accept it”.

Ibenu gave the advice in Lokoja when officials of the state ministry of health and Kogi Primary Health Care Development Agency paid him an advocacy visit in preparation to receive the vaccines from the federal government.

“We listened to many presentations by professionals and we carried out our own investigation and concluded that the vaccine is beneficial to mankind and that everyone should accept it,” he said.

He added that “the COVID-19 vaccine is safe; there is no trick in it; please let us not be left behind.”

Yahaya Bello, the state governor, has repeatedly downplayed the dangers of COVID-19 and has refused to acknowledge the severity of the infection.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) had said all states and the FCT have received supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine except Kogi.

The agency said the state was yet to receive the vaccines “due to the non-repair of their cold-chain store coupled with the state’s concerns around the contradictory information about the vaccines”.

Enugu tops list as NCDC reports 66 fresh COVID cases

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 across 9 states and the federal capital territory.

The new cases were confirmed in the NCDC’s update for April 2, 2021.

Friday’s figure represents a 62 percent decrease from Thursday’s figure of 106 cases.

According to the data provided by the agency, Enugu topped the list with 18 fresh cases, followed closely by Lagos with 17 new infections and Kaduna with 10.

Other states with new infections include Rivers (8), Akwa Ibom (6), Kano (2), Osun (2), Jigawa (1), Plateau (1), FCT (1).

Meanwhile, 127 persons were discharged on Thursday after recovering from the infection.

No new deaths were recorded on Friday.

So far, 163,063 cases have been confirmed, 151,835 cases have been discharged and 2,058 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the federal capital territory.

US state signs executive order banning mandated use of COVID-19 passports

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, on Friday, signed an executive order banning the mandated use of COVID-19 passports in the state.

The COVID-19 passport is a certificate available on digital or paper form showing a user’s vaccination status and virus test results.

As vaccines are being rolled out by most countries to combat the deadly virus, a few countries have introduced certificates identifying vaccinated people.

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concerns, noting that vaccine distribution is not globally equitable and vaccine passports could create social stratification.

The executive order which is with immediate effect, says vaccines are available but not mandated in the state, it cited freedom and privacy concerns as the primary basis for the action.

“Individual Covid-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by a mandate,” the Order says.

It added that “So-called Covid-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”

Russia reaches agreements with manufacturers to produce Sputnik V vaccine

Russia on Friday said it has reached agreements with 20 manufacturers in 10 different countries to produce its Sputnik V vaccine.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), described the development as “truly the greatest achievement of Russian science”.

He added that adding that India and South Korea had already started to produce the vaccine, and many of the operations were expected to reach “full capacity by April.”

The RDIF is the body responsible for funding vaccine production and selling Sputnik V globally.



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