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No Approved Vaccine Yet In Nigeria For COVID-19- WHO

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COVID-19: You Are ‘Not Invincible,’ WHO Warns Young People

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday insisted that there was no approved vaccine in Nigeria or any part of Africa for COVID-19 saying researches are still ongoing on the deadly viral disease.

WHO Immunisation Team Lead, Dr Fiona Braka, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the efforts of the world body on the reported vaccines for the deadly virus.

Braka said COVID-19, being a new disease, has no ready vaccines, adding that public safety was the key consideration of WHO campaign for now.

“COVID-19 is a new disease, and as such, there are no ready vaccines available to be deployed for the control of the pandemic.

“However, a lot of research and scientific works are ongoing to develop vaccines, but these usually take time to ensure that it is safe for use in the wider population and also effective for control of the pandemic.

“Public safety is a key consideration in this process,” the WHO team lead said.

Braka said that the claims of vaccines developed for the COVID-19 were untrue and not to the knowledge of the WHO.

“WHO is not aware of vaccine for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“There is a large scientific study (clinical trial) involving many countries to review the effectiveness of some drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 going on at the moment.

“The result of this clinical trial will help understand the efficacy of these drugs and may inform the review of the case management guidelines,” she said.

On the assessment of Nigeria’s performance in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Braka said that the world health body partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had been helpful.

“Nigerian Government through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by WHO had developed a preparedness plan for COVID-19 and was implementing this plan when the first case was reported.

“A network of five COVID testing laboratories was set up before the confirmation of the first case and has since been expanded to six additional laboratories over the past two weeks, making a total of 11 laboratories currently.

“From the onset of the outbreak, WHO has developed clinical guidance with input from clinicians around the globe, including in Nigeria.

“These resources include the updated Clinical Management Guidance for COVID-19, the Clinical Care training materials, and the Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform, the data tool which makes it possible for WHO to collect core clinical data from hospitalised patients to inform understanding of COVID-19.

“The guidance is continually reviewed, as more evidence become available.
The government has scaled up isolation facilities capacity at state level to ensure readiness to receive COVID patients,” she said.

Braka said that there would be more close observation, while the guidelines of operations of all the agencies assisting in the curbing of COVID-19 would be updated.

“The guidance of the clinical data platform will be continually reviewed, as more evidence become available.

“The government has scaled up isolation facilities capacity at state level to ensure readiness to receive COVID patients and all these helped with the containment of the first cluster of cases.

“With the return of more Nigerians from countries where the outbreak was reported, more cases have been reported and these have been more challenging to contain.

“The government at national and state levels have provided leadership for the response and more needs to be done at the state level as the cases continue to increase,” she said.

Braka, however, listed the key areas of interventions for curbing COVID-19 to include non-pharmaceutical, such as social distancing, surveillance, contact tracing, among others.

“The key areas of interventions required now are the non-pharmaceutical interventions like social distancing, handwashing and respiratory hygiene.

“Others, in addition to rigorous surveillance, are case identification, laboratory diagnosis, contact tracing and isolation and care for all confirmed cases.

“Physical distancing is one of the recommended strategies for preventing human to human transmission.

“The lockdown does facilitate physical distancing and is a welcome intervention.

“However, physical distancing alone will not stop the spread, but needs to be combined with other recommended strategies: testing, isolation of patients, contact tracing and quarantine,” she said.

The WHO official said the United Nation (UN) in Nigeria had launched a basket fund to help fight the deadly viral infection, adding that other donor agencies had also launched trust fund intervention.

“The United Nations in Nigeria has set up a Basket Fund that was launched by the SGF (Secretary to the Government of Federation) last week. Resources from the Basket Fund are supporting critical aspects of the response.

“Donor agencies and governments have been contributing to support WHO’s work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic globally.

“Funds have been made available to WHO Nigeria through the Regional Office and Headquarters in Geneva which is financing the WHO’s current support to the response in Nigeria.

“We are also grateful to other partners who have supported WHO, Nigeria directly,” she said.

Braka said that WHO had also deployed some team of experts to other African countries.

“WHO is supporting countries globally with response to the pandemic. From the WHO Regional Office for Africa, four experts have been deployed to Nigeria currently.

“There is also remote support provided by experts from the WHO Headquarters in Geneva and the Regional Office in Brazzaville.

“These are in additional to an excellent team of public health experts who already work in all 36 states and the FCT, in the different WHO, Nigeria offices.

“WHO’s extensive Polio Programme resources have already been re-purposed and deployed, and have been crucial in supporting all affected states to mount an initial response, she said.

Braka said that states that had yet to report any confirmed case, there were resources engaged in preparatory activities and surveillance.

“WHO will continue to support Nigeria throughout the response and even during the recovery phase, she said.

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NCC To Subscribers: Don’t Allow Your NIN To Be Linked To Another Person’s SIM

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strongly warned telecoms consumers to ensure they do not allow their National Identification Number (NIN) to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, no matter how close the person is to them.

The Commission gave the warning during its third run Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme, broadcast live on Human Rights Radio, 101.1 FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform of ‘NCC Digital Signature on Radio’.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the Commission created to educate the general public on the mandates of the Commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how NCC is delivering on its mandates.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on ‘the Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration’, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with another person’s NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with this advice will protect the true owner of the NIN from any liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

“If the person, whose SIM is linked to your line use his own SIM to commit crimes or any form of atrocities, it is easy to be traced to you and then, you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN,” he said.

During the phone-in segment of the radio programme, which lasted two hours, consumers within Nigeria and in the Diaspora, especially from the United Kingdom (UK), Russia and neighbouring countries like Ghana, among others, were able to call and get clarifications on concerns they had regarding the ongoing NIN-SIM integration in Nigeria.

Discussions largely focused on educating consumers on NIN and its purpose, process of obtaining NIN, why consumers are being asked to submit their NIN to their Mobile Network Service Providers, the benefits of NIN-SIM linkage, the relationship between NIN and Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration, the step-by-step approach to linking NIN to SIM, and the role and uses of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) *346# in the NIN-SIM integration activities.

Efosa was joined in the studio by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the department, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan; and a Deputy Director, Projects Department of NCC, Mrs. Nnenna Ukoha, who jointly educated consumers on the various aspects of NIN-SIM integration exercise.

Other panellists include NCC’s Head, Consumer Information and Education, Mistura Aruna; Head, Corporate Communication, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, as well as representatives of mobile operators, including MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile.

During the radio programme, telecoms consumers were reminded repeatedly of the October 31, 2021 deadline for NIN-SIM integration.

The Federal Government had extended the deadline earlier giving for the completion of the NIN-SIM linkage to 31st October 2021.

The two-hour discussion programme, which was also live-streamed on the social media, recorded broader participation than its forerunners due to a combination of the regular radio listenership with viewership on Human Rights Radio’s social media assets.

Thus, it achieved NCC’s objective of using a mass medium to expand its reach to telecom consumers to enhance their protection through information sharing, and education in order to improve the quality of consumer experience with telecom services in Nigeria.

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PDP Charges Nigerians On National Rebirth

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The Peoples Democratic Party has urged those behind mindless killings and terrorism in Nigeria to have a rethink and retrace their steps.

The party also charged those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.

This was contained in a statement in which the party felicitated Nigerians as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud which marks the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

The statement titled, ‘Eid-el Maulud: PDP Felicitates with Nigerians, Urges National Rebirth,’ was signed by the PDP National Publicity, Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.

It read, “The Peoples Democratic Party urges Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.

“The party notes that Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.

“The PDP insists that such is the only way to move the nation forward under the present circumstance.

“Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.

“The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country.

“The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time.

“The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration.”

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FG Takes Delivery Of Final Batch Of Tucano Jets

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The federal government said it has taken delivery of the final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he featured on a phone-in television programme “This Morning,’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“All the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets have been received. As at this morning(yesterday), all the 12 were here and they have been deployed to the North-East.

“We can see that the Tucano jets are actually game changer.

“Most of the successes we have recorded in recent time is because of the acquisition of the new platforms, not limited to the super Tucano,’’ he said.

The minister said with the recent notable successes recorded by the military on insecurity, he was amused by a story on Monday that the Nigerian Air Force paid N20 million to bribe bandits so that they would not bring down the president’s aircraft.

“Fortunately, the Air Force immediately debunked this because this exposes their ignorance.

“Between Zamfara, Katsina, parts of Kaduna and Niger states, there are about 150 bandit camps. Who then was the money given to?

“It does not make any sense and it is because they do not understand how bandits operate that is why they can peddle that kind of fake news,’’ he said.

Mohammed said with the improved security situation in the North-east and North-Central Zones the nation would experience improved food security.

“If you observe what is happening of recent, you can see heightened activities in the agricultural area.

“This is because of the superior fire power of the military which is now making it possible for people to go to their farms, especially in the North East.

“They have been able to put the criminals at bay,’’ he said.

The minister gave an assurance that the success of the military against terrorists and bandits would be sustained.

He therefore, solicited the cooperation and support of Nigerians for the sustenance of the military action.

The Nigerian Air Force on July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who made the announcement, said the aircraft arrived in Kano.

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