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COVID-19

Austria Implements Lockdown for Unvaccinated Citizens

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Austria Implements Lockdown for Unvaccinated Citizens

About two million people who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have been placed in lockdown in Austria as the country faces a surge in cases.

Unvaccinated people will only be permitted to leave home for limited reasons, like working or buying food.

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Only About 65 per cent of Austria’s population are fully vaccinated – one of the lowest rates in Western Europe.

The measures introduced in Austria on Monday, which come amid growing pressure on the nation’s hospitals, will initially last for 10 days. However, Children under the age of 12 and people who have recently recovered from the virus will be exempt.

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COVID-19

States Resume Testing, Demand Funds, Variant Spreads to 23 Countries

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States Resume Testing, Demand Funds, Variant Spreads to 23 Countries

State governments have said they will resume and increase mass testing for COVID-19 following the detection of the Omicron variant of the virus in the country.
Top government officials in states including Cross River, Benue, Delta and Akwa Ibom who disclosed this in separate interviews, however, described funding as a major obstacle to community testing. They sought the assistance of the Federal Government on funding of community testing, particularly running of molecular laboratories.
The states made the demand as the World Health Organisation said the new variant had spread to 23 countries.
Canada had on Sunday detected the Omicron variant in two travellers, who recently visited Nigeria. On Tuesday, the North American included Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi in its travel ban list.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Wednesday announced the discovery of cases of the Omicron variant in three persons with travel history to South Africa.
It said contact tracing on the cases had started, adding that the affected persons were in isolation.
But virologists expressed fear that the strain was already circulating in the country, but could not be detected because most states had stopped community testing.
On Thursday, Cross River State said it had begun community testing in the wake of the discovery of the Omicron variant. The state Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, disclosed this to one of our correspondents on in Calabar.
She stated, “We have already resumed community sample collection and massive vaccination. However, vaccine hesitancy and high cost of running molecular laboratories have been part of our challenges.”
She added that the state had already requested the Federal Government’s assistance in that regard.
Also, the Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Professor Joseph Ngbea, said that the state had stepped up the testing rate.
The commissioner, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the phone, said that the state action committee on COVID 19 had evolved a new strategy to test people following the discovery of the new variant.

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He explained that the state had continued to fund the COVID19 committee, which had started going to churches, mosques, schools and internally displaced persons’ camps to conduct the test. He said, “We have stepped up testing capacity of people for COVID 19 in Benue and we are very high now. We target schools and churches and some people who want to be tested do send for us and we do meet them and get them tested.”
He called on the Federal Government to increase the budget for research to be able to tackle the spread of COVID -19.

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COVID-19

FG Warns Global Leaders Against Hoarding Covid-19 Vaccines

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FG Warns Global Leaders Against Hoarding Covid-19 Vaccines

The Federal Government has warned that lack of vaccination by developing countries would provide a fertile ground for the covid-19 virus to mutate, thereby threatening the progress already recorded even in the developed countries.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, issued the warning in Madrid, Spain, at the 24th general assembly of the united nations world tourism organization.

Mohammed said access to vaccines should be based on the principles grounded in the right of every human to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, political belief, economic or any other social condition.

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The Minister said while developed countries have to increase their health care spending by less than 1 percent to cover the additional cost of vaccines, poor countries have to do that by about 60 percent.

He said booster doses would make Covid-19 vaccination a recurring expense, the cost of which will be unaffordable for many developing and poor nations.

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COVID-19

NCDC Confirms New Cases of Omicron Variant in Nigeria

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NCDC Confirms New Cases of Omicron Variant in Nigeria

The Nigeria centre for disease control (NCDC) on Wednesday said the total number of the omicron variant of covid-19 confirmed in Nigeria is now three.

NCDC director-general, dr. Ifedayo adetifa, who confirmed this in a statement explained that the agency had conducted case and genomic surveillance for inbound international travellers arriving in the country at its national reference laboratory in Abuja, and a network of other testing laboratories.

He stated that sequencing of samples from covid-19 positive inbound travellers was conducted in laboratories with sequencing capacity in the country while all the sequencing data were shared in publicly accessible databases.

Adetifa gave an assurance that the NCDC would continue to expand its sequencing capacity in-country through a network of public health laboratories and other partners.

The focus for the agency, he stated, was to complete sequencing of recently accrued samples of sars-cov-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the omicron variant already.

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He added that the presidential steering committee on covid-19 has revised the national travel advisory, which included a negative covid-19 test result done not more than 48 hours before departure by all inbound travellers to Nigeria.

 

 

 

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