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Health / US Reveals 3.2 Billion Dollar Plan To Create Pills by Terrancal: 2:33am On Jun 30, 2021
US reveals 3.2 billion dollar plan to create pills to fight effects of Covid
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, announced the investment during a White House briefing as part of a new “antiviral program for pandemics” to develop drugs to address symptoms caused by potentially dangerous viruses like the coronavirus.
The pills for Covid-19, which would be used to minimise symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by year’s end, pending the completion of clinical trials.
The funding will speed those clinical trials and provide additional support private sector research, development and manufacturing.
Fauci said the new programme would invest in “accelerating things that are already in progress” for Covid-19, but also work to innovate new therapies for other viruses.
“There are few treatments that exist for many of the viruses that have pandemic potential,” said Fauci.
But he added, “vaccines clearly remain the centrepiece of our arsenal”.
The US has approved one antiviral drug, remdesivir, against Covid-19 and allowed emergency use of three antibody combinations that help the immune system fight the virus. But all the drugs have to be infused at hospitals or medical clinics, and demand has been low due to these logistical hurdles.
The US government has been trying to raise awareness of the treatments, connecting people who test positive for Covid-19 with information about nearby providers.
Health experts, including Dr Fauci, have increasingly called for simpler pill-based drugs that patients could take themselves. Some drug-makers are testing such medications, but initial results are not expected for several more months.
The currently available drugs have mostly been shown to help patients avoid hospitalisation or shorten their recovery time by several days.
Under President Donald Trump, the US poured more than 19 billion US dollars (£14 billion) into rapidly developing multiple vaccines. But less than half that amount went toward developing new treatments. That shortfall has become increasingly concerning as the vaccination campaign slows and experts emphasise the need to manage the disease in millions of Americans who may never get inoculated.
The biggest need is for a convenient pill that can help keep patients with early symptoms of Covid-19 from developing severe disease and needing hospitalisation.
Several companies, including Pfizer, Roche and AstraZeneca, are testing antivirals in pill form.
Until this week, the only medicines shown to boost survival were steroids given to patients sick enough to need extra oxygen and intensive care. But on Wednesday, UK researchers reported that one of the antibody combinations successfully reduced deaths in a large study of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
News of the administration’s plans for the pill was first reported on Thursday by The New York Times newspaper.
Health / Almost All Deaths From COVID In The U.S. Are Now Unvaccinated by Terrancal: 3:21am On Jun 29, 2021
Now, almost all COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in people who have not been vaccinated. This shockingly proves the effectiveness of the vaccine and shows that if everyone meets the conditions, the number of deaths per day (now reduced to 300 People below) may actually get the vaccine for zero.
An Associated Press analysis of available government data in May showed that of the more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, less than 1,200 “breakthrough” infections were among the fully vaccinated population. This is approximately 0.1%.
Of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May, only about 150 were fully vaccinated people. This means about 0.8%, that is, an average of 5 people die every day.
The Associated Press analyzed data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC itself does not estimate the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths of fully vaccinated people, citing limited data.
Among them: Only about 45 states have reported breakthrough infections, and some states are more active than others in finding such cases. CDC officials said that the data may therefore underestimate such infections.
Nonetheless, the overall trend emerging in the data echoes what many healthcare authorities have seen across the country and what top experts have said.
Earlier this month, Andy Slavitt, a former COVID-19 adviser to the Biden administration, stated that 98% to 99% of Americans who died from the coronavirus were not vaccinated.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday that the vaccine is very effective. “At this point, almost all deaths from COVID-19, especially adult deaths, are completely preventable.” She called such deaths “specially tragic".
Health / Nigeria: Road Crashes Killed More Than Malaria, Covid-19 In Jan - Govt by Terrancal: 2:06am On Jun 26, 2021
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Wednesday said fatalities recorded from road accidents in January 2021 were higher than those recorded from malaria and COVID-19 diseases.
Addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting, he underscored the need for all tiers of government to take urgent action to reverse the worrying situation.
He urged the Federal Road Safety Corps to focus on the Lagos-Ibadan, the Abuja-Kano and the Abuja-Keffi-Lafia Highways.
Fashola said there would be more patrols as well as installation of road traffic signs and speed metres on the three highways.
He identified over-speeding, loss of control, wrongful overtaking and brake failure as main causes of road crashes.
He said the National Road Safety Advisory Council that would be inaugurated today was a right step in view of this latest development on road crashes.
Health / U.S. Hitting Encouraging Milestones On Coronavirus Deaths And Shots by Terrancal: 3:08am On Jun 24, 2021
COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms approached another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.
The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But now, as the outbreak loosens its grip, it has fallen down the list of the biggest killers.
CDC data suggests that more Americans are dying every day from accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes or Alzheimer’s disease than from COVID-19.
The U.S. death toll stands at more than 600,000, while the worldwide count is close to 3.9 million, though the real figures in both cases are believed to be markedly higher.
About 45% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Over 53% of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine. But U.S. demand for shots has slumped, to the disappointment of public health experts.
Dr. Ana Diez Roux, dean of Drexel University’s school of public health, said the dropping rates of infections and deaths are cause for celebration. But she cautioned that the virus still has a chance to spread and mutate given the low vaccination rates in some states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.

“So far it looks like the vaccines we have are effective against the variants that are circulating,” Diez Roux said. “But the more time the virus is jumping from person to person, the more time there is for variants to develop, and some of those could be more dangerous.”
New cases are running at about 11,400 a day on average, down from over a quarter-million per day in early January. Average deaths per day are down to about 293, according to Johns Hopkins University, after topping out at over 3,400 in mid-January.
In New York, which suffered mightily in the spring of 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Monday that the state had 10 new deaths. At the height of the outbreak in the state, nearly 800 people a day were dying from the coronavirus.
Some states are faring worse than others. Missouri leads the nation in per-capita COVID-19 cases and is fourth behind California, Florida and Texas in the number of new cases per day over the past week despite its significantly smaller population.
The surge is being driven by new cases in a farming region in the northern part of the state and in the southwest corner, which includes the towns of Branson and Springfield. COVID-19 hospitalizations in southwest Missouri have risen 72% since the beginning of the month as of Friday.
The fall will bring new waves of infection, but they will be less severe and concentrated more in places with low vaccination rates, said Amber D’Souza, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“So much depends on what happens over the summer and what happens with children,” D’Souza said. “Anyone who is not vaccinated can become infected and transmit the virus.”
Meanwhile, because of regulatory hurdles and other factors, President Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to share 80 million vaccine doses with the rest of the world by the end of June, officials said Monday.
Health / Unequal Vaccine Distribution Increases COVID-19 Risk In Africa — WHO by Terrancal: 3:06am On Jun 22, 2021
The sudden increase in Coronavirus cases in parts of Africa could be due to the unequal distribution of vaccines worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Earlier, the number of new infections in Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda doubled, said WHO crisis coordinator, Mike Ryan, on Friday in Geneva.
“This is the consequence of the current unfair distribution of vaccines,’’ Ryan said. “The trajectory is very, very concerning.’’
Only a very small part of the population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 there, in spite of repeated appeals by the WHO.
“We are going to pay a heavy price for that inequity,’’ Ryan said.
“To assume that the next wave in Africa is a small passing shower and not a storm is very, very premature.’’
Ryan also warned the rest of the world against assuming that a wave of infection would resemble previous ones.
“Every wave is unique,’’ he said, adding that it depended on the season, virus variants and the intensity of transmissions.
Business / Call For Review Of Power Sector Privatisation Heightens As Epileptic Electricity by Terrancal: 3:17am On Jun 20, 2021
CONCERNED  by epileptic power supply in Nigeria, energy stakeholders are intensifying calls for the review of the privatisation of the power sector.
The stakeholders say that the privatisation has failed to bolster the power sector and light up Nigeria.
“Privatisation exercise in 2013 is ordinarily envisaged to take care of the power chain of generation, transmission and distribution. The entire privatisation is due for review. Most importantly, there is a need for the decentralization of the grid since there are lots of technical aggregate and commercial losses for the grid power,” President of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network Kunle Olubiyo told The ICIR.
Olubiyo further noted that there was a need to encourage eligible customer status that would allow direct transmission of power to cities and industrial clusters paying for power costs, rather than having everyone in centralised grid power.
“Nigeria has several industrial clusters, there is a need to enable grid decentralisation since the grid is currently overstretched with several technical, aggregate and commercial losses which affect what the Discos get for distribution. The Transmission Company of Nigeria also needs to be unbundled.”
Nigeria’s power sector was privatised in 2013. It was described by most energy analysts as ‘a bold step’ in opening up the nation’s electricity market for private sector-led participation while allowing investments into the generation, transmission and distribution value chains.
However, eight years down the line, the Nigerian government still pays subsidy to the tune of N120 billion monthly to sustain liquidity flow for the privatised sector, having engineered a ‘political rather than economical’ halting of appropriate tariff pricing and efficient cost recovery mechanism for the sector.
Also, although Nigeria has attracted several funding and technical support from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), available data show that energy poverty is still on the rise in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had once explained that the Nigerian government had, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), pumped about N1.5 trillion into power sector intervention funds in the last two years.
However, these interventions have failed to lift Nigeria from energy poverty as World Bank, in its recent report on Nigeria’s power sector, indicated that over 78 per cent of electricity consumers in Nigeria received less than 12 hours of electricity supply daily.
The bank, a key financial and technical supporter of Nigeria’s power sector, also noted in a recent meeting with newsmen that a total of 74 per cent of power users in Nigeria were dissatisfied with the supply of electricity across the country.
Nigeria’s power generation has continued to hover around 4,000 megawatts for years, rising to 5,000 megawatts at few peak periods, despite the government’s target to grow it to 7,000 megawatts.
“The power sector has not improved. It is not improving because the process that led us to the privatisation is faulty, very faulty. There is no proper trackable performance agreement that helps us know the level of progress such that if they are not met, the government could take up its infrastructure. This has been challenging to the sector,” Associate Consultant to the British Department of International Development (DFID) Celestine Okeke told The ICIR.
Health / APEC To Expedite Vaccines Movement by Terrancal: 2:10am On Jun 18, 2021
TRADE leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies have collectively agreed to expedite the movement of vaccines in the region through enhancing interdependency between the 21 economies.
New Zealand Trade and Growth Export Minister Damien O’Connor (picture), who chaired the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting 2021 on Saturday said keeping the market open and reducing trade barriers would be the priority for the economies in order to survive the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The successful distribution of vaccines across our regions will be critical to our recovery. I will be asking my fellow trade ministers how we can speed up the trade and vaccines and other residual goods needed to fight the pandemic.
“The interdependency that we have developed across APEC economies has shown incredible performance when it comes to economic output and that cooperation is desperately needed when it comes to vaccines and medical supply equipment,” he said during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
O’Connor said global cooperation is vital in rolling out the vaccines and the supportive medical equipment to ensure an economic recovery beyond Covid-19.

Vaccines can also keep everyone safe, but also enable both the economy and trade to recover, and people begin to go back to their normal life.
Health / Nigeria Immigration Service Oga Don Announce Di Reopening Of Passport Applicatio by Terrancal: 3:14am On Jun 16, 2021
Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede say di reopening go allow eligible passport applicants to apply and make payments for di various categories of passports.
Nigeria Immigration Service bin suspend fresh passport application for May to clear di backlog of passport application wey don already dey ground.
But with di reopening wey go begin from midnight today, new Passport application and payment regime don start.
Why Nigeria bin suspend International passport issuance?
Nigeria Immigration Service bin suspend fresh passport application for May 2021 to clear di backlog of passport application wey don already dey ground.
Di "situation no go allow di Nigerian Immigration Service to accommodate new applications especially as we dey consider our desire to ensure say pipo wey come to our offices comply wit all di COVID-19 protocols.
Na wetin di Comptroller General of di Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede bin explain give kontri pipo.
Im tok say dem don direct Passport Control Officers to continue to send out short message notifications for collection to all applicants wey don submit.
Those wey submit functional contact details/numbers for dia applications na im dem send notice to.
Dis na as "dem dey intensify effort to clear up di remaining applications for some Centres."
Different categories of Nigeria new travel document
Nigeria Immigration Service [NIS] recently introduce a new travel document "Nigeria Temporary Passport" for Nigerians abroad wey need to travel back home but no hold standard passport for hand.
Na for March 2021 Nigerian goment officially launch di new temporary type electronic passport [e-passport] dem call Nigeria Temporary Passport to replace paper-based Emergency Travel Certificate.
Apart from di temporary passport, oda travel documents like di diplomatic [red] passport and Ecowas passport dey wey di immigration service dey issue.
Two types of passports dey for all dis categories wit 64 or 32 pages; Di five and 10-year duration international passport.
Di one of 10 years cost pass di one of five. Na President Muhammadu Buhari goment introduce 10-years valid period for Nigerian International Passport.
Health / Federal COVID Workplace Safety Rules Are Here. But Only For Health Care Workers by Terrancal: 2:25am On Jun 12, 2021
Fifteen months into the pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a mandatory workplace safety rule aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19. But it only applies to health care settings, a setback for unions and worker safety advocates who had called for much broader requirements.
Called an emergency temporary standard, the rule takes effect as soon as it's published in the Federal Register and can remain in place for up to six months, during which a permanent rule could be considered.
The new rule mandates that employers develop and implement a COVID-19 plan and take steps to reduce the chance of transmission, including keeping people at least 6 feet apart indoors, installing barriers between workstations where distancing is not possible, ensuring ventilation systems are working properly, and providing and ensuring each employee wears a face mask when indoors, or a respirator and other personal protective equipment when exposed to people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
For unvaccinated workers, employers are now required to provide paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects from the shots.
Some of the language in the rule is vague and appears open to interpretation. For example, fully vaccinated workers are exempt from the requirements when they are in well-defined areas where there is "no reasonable expectation" they will be exposed to the virus.
Health / Nigeria, Wateraid Partner To Improve Sanitation Awareness by Terrancal: 2:22am On Jun 11, 2021
The partnership also involves developing a curriculum in schools for students to learn about basic sanitation.
The Nigerian Water Research Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WaterAid to enhance learning and capacity building on rural sanitation in the country.
Signed in Abuja on Tuesday, the MoU will focus on strengthening Nigeria's action plan of ensuring universal access to sustainable and safely managed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH services for every Nigeria by 2030.
Three years ago, Nigeria declared a state of emergency on the WASH sector and launched a national action to revitalise the sector.

President Muhammadu Buhari, also in 2019, signed an executive order to ensure Nigeria becomes open-defecation free by 2025.
However, in spite of these commitments, Nigeria is said to still rank top among countries, globally, with the highest population of
people who defecate in the open, and with about 112 million people who lack access to basic sanitation.
Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the agreement will augment other efforts on ground to help Nigeria end open defecation and improve WASH services.
He said the partnership also involves developing a curriculum in schools for students to learn about basic sanitation.
The director of the National Water Research institute, Emmanuel Adanu, said the commitment will help bridge the knowledge gap on sanitation. particularly in rural Nigeria.
Earlier, in her own remark, the WaterAid Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said, "Under this partnership, we will develop modules and run certified short courses on the 'Rethink Rural Sanitation' guide - an approach developed by WaterAid in collaboration with Plan International UK and UNICEF - to guide policy makers, planners and implementers on rural sanitation programming."
"The partnership will promote learning and capacity building on rural sanitation in Nigeria working through a system-based approach to embed the principles and approaches to enhance, sustainable, equity and scale towards universal access by 2030. It will review and integrate the emerging framework for rural sanitation promotion in Nigeria... "
In the current environment, it is of course necessary to raise awareness of hygiene. To prevent the occurrence of diseases, basic sanitation facilities need to be improved.
Health / Statement By President Joe Biden On Global Vaccine Distribution by Terrancal: 2:05am On Jun 09, 2021
As the United States continues our efforts to get every eligible American vaccinated and fight COVID-19 here at home, we also recognize that ending this pandemic means ending it everywhere. As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable. And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home.

Already the United States has committed $4 billion to support COVAX, and we have launched partnerships to boost global capacity to manufacture more vaccines. My administration supports efforts to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines because, over time, we need more companies producing life-saving doses of proven vaccines that are shared equitably. We have already shared more than 4 million doses of vaccine with Canada and Mexico, and last month, I announced that, by the end of June, the United States will share 80 million doses of our vaccine supply with the world.

Today, we’re providing more detail on how we will allocate the first 25 million of those vaccines to lay the ground for increased global coverage and to address real and potential surges, high burdens of disease, and the needs of the most vulnerable countries. At least 75 percent of these doses—nearly 19 million—will be shared through COVAX, including approximately 6 million doses for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 7 million for South and Southeast Asia, and approximately 5 million for Africa, working in coordination with the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The remaining doses, just over 6 million, will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbors, including Canada, Mexico, India, and the Republic of Korea.

We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values. And we will continue to follow the science and to work in close cooperation with our democratic partners to coordinate a multilateral effort, including through the G7. 

Strong American leadership is essential to ending this pandemic now, and to strengthening global health security for tomorrow—to better prevent, detect, and respond to the next threat. The United States will be the world’s arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus. In the days to come, as we draw on the experience of distributing the vaccine doses announced today, we will have more details to provide about how future doses will be shared. And we will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease.
Health / Covid-19 Update: Infection Rate Soars 77%, Authorities Declare Kano Speaker Want by Terrancal: 2:50am On Jun 07, 2021
This past week has witnessed a rise in the number of cases of the covid-19 in Nigeria. Compared to the 246 cases that were reported last week, the cases increased by 77% to 436 this week. This rise in infection rate calls for more compliance with the covid-19 preventive protocols.
The commercial hub, Lagos state, still retains the highest number of infected persons followed by Delta State and the Federal Capital Territory. While previous weeks were filled with reports of scammers defrauding people with covid-19 related schemes, this week has news of people defrauding the system by breaking laid down protocols and presenting fake test results.
Health / Children’s Stories From Nigeria by Terrancal: 2:17am On Jun 04, 2021
Children’s stories from Nigeria bring home the stark reality of Covid-19’s impact on their lives

For every parent who died, a child has been bereaved. For every teacher who died, a child has lost a shining light. And for every school that was closed, millions of children in poor countries without access to the internet were left further behind. LEADERSHIP newspaper invited children from five secondary schools in Abuja to produce a special newspaper, headlined, ‘My Covid-19 experience.’
It all seems like memories from a distant past. But it’s not. This time last year we were in a lockdown. The world was under the monstrous grip of the coronavirus. Rumours and speculation about the origin and nature of this invincible foe were rife, leaving data and science in the dust. Fear ruled the world.
The situation in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain, was particularly dire as the virus overwhelmed their sophisticated medical systems. While researchers and scientists struggled to crack the pathogen, dead bodies that could not be accommodated in morgues began to spill on to church pews and public places.
It was like a horror movie too deranged to script.
In Nigeria, things unfolded slowly. It was difficult to believe that the round-the-clock horror TV stories were real. Then, it began to unfold.
Within two months of Nigeria recording the index victim, any lingering doubts that the virus had not come to play were settled when Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, died from Covid-19 related complications. Today, more than 2,000 deaths have been recorded, out of 166,000 reported — frankly under-reported — infections. At first, the reports were statistics, then they became names, and not too long afterwards, faces of people we knew.
In a gloomy forecast released in April 2020, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said between 300,000 and 3.3 million Africans may die from the coronavirus, under different scenarios. For a continent already beset by poverty and a host of deadly diseases, corona could only compound our misery.
It turned out that ECA overstated its case. There’s no doubt, however, that the virus has made things worse in many ways. Not only in terms of the millions of lives lost or livelihoods ruined, but also in terms of the impact that the virus has had on children, who are among the most vulnerable.
Adults have obviously been the most impacted, because of the nature of the virus. But for almost every adult affected, a child has been at the receiving end of the grief.
For every parent who died, a child has been bereaved. For every teacher who died, a child has lost a shining light. And for every school that was closed during lockdown, millions of children in poor countries without access to the internet were left further behind.
Children have suffered in a way they only know and can tell. According to data by the South African Journal of Science, in July-August 2020, 173 million schools in 156 countries were affected by lockdowns.
That’s not all. The toll in wellbeing has been just as devastating. In Nigeria, for example, babies born at the height of the pandemic could not receive their normal postnatal vaccinations, exposing them to avoidable childhood diseases that could affect them later in life.
Resources that could have been deployed in childcare and support were diverted to emergency use to save an adult population imprisoned by fear, hesitancy, politics and useless conspiracy theories.
And children bear the brunt. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “the global socioeconomic crisis caused by the pandemic could push 142 million more children into financially poor households in developing countries.”
UNICEF estimates that the total number of children living in poverty worldwide could reach 725 million or nearly the entire population of Africa very soon.
We’re still counting the costs. An NGO, the Global Partnership for Education, reported in March that Nigeria’s perennially underfunded education budget took a further cut last year from N568-billion (about $1.5-billion) to N509-billion (roughly $1.34-billion). That is about a 10.4% cut.
When you add the learning crisis and other threats to child survival and health to the mix, you’ll understand why for some children, the impact of the pandemic may be lifelong. But we don’t even know their stories. Or maybe we think we do since the adult population makes a virtue of chewing the microphone, even when children are involved.
Health / Why Nigeria’s Food Products Can’t Compete Globally, By Minister by Terrancal: 2:46am On Jun 01, 2021
Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the low and inappropriate application of science, technology and innovation in agriculture in Nigeria is responsible for the inability of nation’s agricultural products to compete globally.
Onu stated this at the stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on animal biotechnology applications and regulatory perspectives organised by the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Abuja.
The minister, who noted that Africa’s economy was heavily dependent on agriculture, said the sector accounts for about 35 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), 40 per cent of its exports and 70 per cent of employment in the content.

Onu added that many challenges confronting the nation would be solved with the proper application of science and technology to agriculture.

He said: “The component of science and technology in modern agricultural practice is more than 90 per cent if we consider the whole agricultural chain. It is the low content of science and technology in agricultural practice in Africa that has resulted in low productivity, low yield and inability to compete globally.

“This has adversely affected African economies with its negative implications for the people’s livelihood. While rural people strive to feed themselves, urban residents spend most of their earnings on food, leaving very little for their basic needs, such as health, education and shelter.”
Noting that NABDA had a greater role in finding solutions to the conflicts that exist between animal and crop farmers in the country, the minister urged the agency to intensify research in improving productivity and yield in animal farming in the country.
Health / High Death Rates In March Associated With Hot Weather by Terrancal: 8:26am On May 28, 2021
Unconfirmed reports suggest that more people, especially the elderly, die in March, from complications of non-communicable diseases such as heart attack and stroke, than any other month of the year.
Previous studies had shown that extreme heat and poor air quality increase complications from underlying heart and respiratory conditions like asthma, renal failure, and pre-term birth, and as temperature rises, there will be more heat-related illness and deaths in both urban and rural areas.
Several studies had shown that March is the hottest month in most parts of Nigeria. Also, researchers have associated very hot weather to high death rates.
Unfortunately, there are no published study, in Nigeria, on the association between perceived or rather unconfirmed high death rates in March and hot temperatures.
However, The Guardian investigation revealed that elderly people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and renal damage were more likely to die in March than any other month of the year.
But a public health physician and Executive Secretary, Enugu State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ENSACA), Dr. Chinedu Idoko, told The Guardian: “One cannot exactly say that more people die in a particular month of the year than the other.”
Idoko, who was also Chairman, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, said one could however look at dynamics of the environment, weather, age, sex, health status, and otherwise of individuals/ people and all this would play a role in the mortality rate of a particular people, a particular area at a particular time.
He added: “Furthermore, note that there may also be a time lag to death occurrence and death registration especially in our developing world and all these could lead to death figures observed say at a particular month. Having said this, it is good to observe that the month of March comes strategically at the tail end of the dry season as well as early beginnings of the rainy season in our tropical/ sub-Saharan African environment. This positioning of the month would of course come with it’s own diversities health wise but it is important to note that no one ever died just because of the date.”
Idoko said the commonest causes of death associated with hot weather include dehydration, allergies, high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications, Central Nervous Syndrome (CNS) complications especially arising from meningitis, amongst many others.
The public health physician said possibility of more people dying during the hot weather could be reduced by awareness creation/ enlightenment of the masses to inherent dangers that come with the hot season and extremes of weather, avoidance of dust and other trigger factors by people with different forms of allergies, adequate/ proper medical check-ups and follow-up, adequate aeration and rehydration, and general health promotion measures.
A cardiologist and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, told The Guardian that hot temperatures could cause stroke and heart attack. “I cannot say that more people die in March. But it is established that March is the hottest month or one of the hottest months in the country,” Akinroye.
How does heat impact health? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), heat gain in the human body can be caused by a combination of external heat from the environment and internal body heat generated from metabolic processes.
The WHO document titled “Climate change and human health, Information and public health advice: heat and health, Protecting health from rising temperatures and extreme heat,” noted: “Rapid rises in heat gain due to exposure to hotter than average conditions compromises the body’s ability to regulate temperature and can result in a cascade of illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia. Deaths and hospitalisations from heat can occur extremely rapidly (same day), or have a lagged effect (several days later) and result in accelerating death or illness in the already frail, particularly observed in the first days of heatwaves. Even small differences from seasonal average temperatures are associated with increased illness and death. Temperature extremes can also worsen chronic conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular disease and diabetes-related conditions.
“Heat also has important indirect health effects. Heat conditions can alter human behavior, the transmission of diseases, health service delivery, air quality, and critical social infrastructure such as energy, transport, and water. The scale and nature of the health impacts of heat depend on the timing, intensity and duration of a temperature event, the level of acclimatisation, and the adaptability of the local population, infrastructure and institutions to the prevailing climate. The precise threshold at which temperature represents a hazardous condition varies by region, other factors such as humidity and wind, local levels of human acclimatisation and preparedness for heat conditions.”
Meanwhile, according a study published in the British Medical Journal, increasing evidence shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising and are causing global warming. Record air temperatures were recorded in Britain during the last month. Accurate estimates of the consequences of these must wait until daily mortality data are available, but press reports indicate that the hot weather caused around 1000 deaths during one week alone in Britain and perhaps 10 000 overall in France, where temperatures were higher.
Mortality in Britain is lowest when the mean daily temperature is 17-18°C. The number of heat related deaths per year, obtained as the number of excess deaths on days hotter than this, has averaged around 800 in recent years. Most of those deaths are of people over 70 years of age, and most occur in the first day or two of a period of high temperature.
Few of these deaths are recognisable clinically as being due to heat. Heat stress causes loss of salt and water in sweat, causing haemoconcentration, which in turn causes increases in coronary and cerebral thrombosis. Other deaths in heat waves are probably due to overload of already failing hearts, unable to meet the need for increased cutaneous blood flow in the heat. Very few heat related deaths in British conditions are caused by hyperthermia, overheating sufficient to cause denaturation of the body tissues, but patients unable to sweat because they have diabetic peripheral neuropathy or are taking anticholinergic drugs are known to be at risk in American heat waves. So are patients taking drugs such as barbiturates or phenothiazines, which depress reflex regulation of body temperature. Alcohol can also be dangerous in the heat, both through depression of the central nervous system and by causing diuresis and consequent dehydration.
According to some predictions heat related mortality will increase drastically as global warming develops, but recent evidence is relatively reassuring.
According to the study published in the British Medical Journal, people with heat exhaustion need to be given fluids by mouth and sometimes intravenous saline and dextrose, but by far the most important measures are preventive ones.
Air conditioning can allow people to continue to work effectively in hot weather and may become necessary to prevent mortality, but it uses a large amount of energy, which can itself accelerate global warming. Simpler measures can be very effective in protecting elderly and other vulnerable people from the levels of heat likely to occur in Britain over the next decade.
Continuing to eat regular meals and drink enough water will normally prevent dehydration during heat stress. An open window, fan, light and loose fitting clothing, avoidance of unnecessary exertion, and if necessary sprinkling water on the clothing, can prevent the heat stress.
Such action is effective only if it is taken in time, and it needs to be taken by the general public as well as staff working in homes caring for elderly people. The time to check that windows can be opened, and that a fan is available, is when hot weather is forecast, not when it occurs; delay until temperature reaches a peak may mean that nobody can free a jammed window, or find a fan, for many hours. Elderly people unable to do this themselves, or to get help from relatives or neighbours, need to be given a number to call for help. Brief messages, giving simple advice on these lines in news broadcasts and daily press when hot weather is forecast, could be the most effective way to reduce illness and death in heat waves.
Also, according to a new report from the medical journal The Lancet, climate change is already damaging the health of children, and its impacts will harm the entire generation with serious health problems throughout their lives.
Scientists and health experts from 35 academic institutions and United Nations agencies said that children will suffer from a rise in infectious diseases, malnutrition and air pollution if global warming continues on the current trajectory.
The report’s authors said a child born today will experience a world that is more than 4?C warmer by the time they turn 71 years old, a rate of warming that will threaten their health at every stage of their life.
Health / Nigeria: Panic Spreading As Regional Security Teams Prove Ineffectual by Terrancal: 2:13am On May 27, 2021
The security crisis in Nigeria is getting progressively worse, and the political disputes between federal and state governments are not helping, writes Africa Confidential.
On 11 May, President Muhammadu Buhari called a meeting of the National Security Council of service and intelligence chiefs in  Abuja.
At the same time, the governors of the southern states met in Delta State, demanding “a national dialogue on the security emergency and constitutional restructuring to devolve revenue-raising and security powers from the centre”On 11 May, President Muhammadu Buhari called a meeting of the National Security Council of service and intelligence chiefs in  Abuja.
At the same time, the governors of the southern states met in Delta State, demanding “a national dialogue on the security emergency and constitutional restructuring to devolve revenue-raising and security powers from the centre”.
Health / Nigeria: Amidst Covid-19 Challenges, Nigeria's Economy Grows Again by Terrancal: 3:01am On May 25, 2021
The latest report highlighted two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of last year.
Nigeria's economy grew 0.51 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, a report published by the statistics office on Sunday shows.
The latest report highlighted two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of last year.
The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/">National Bureau of Statistics</a> (NBS), in its report titled Nigeria's Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said the first quarter growth rate was slower than the 1.87 per cent growth rate recorded in quarter one of 2020.
It was, however, higher than the 0.11 per cent recorded in quarter four 2020, NBS said.
This, the agency said, is indicative of a slow but continuous recovery; as Nigeria, like most parts of the world, continue to manage the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/463255-covid-19-nigeria-records-35-new-covid-19-cases-no-new-deaths.html">COVID-19 pandemic</a> that has caused over 2,000 deaths in Nigeria and over three million deaths globally.
Further analysis shows that quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at -13.93 per cent in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020.
This reflects a generally slower pace of economic activities at the start of the year, the report said.
In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N40 million in nominal terms, NBS said. This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2020 which recorded aggregate GDP of
N35.6 million, resulting in a nominal growth rate of 12.25 per cent.
"The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2021 was higher relative to 12.01% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2020 as well as the 10.07% growth recorded in the preceding quarter," the report explained.
In the first quarter, the oil sector accounted for 9.25 per cent of aggregate real GDP which is slightly lower than 9.5 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2020 but higher than in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 5.87 per cent.
Meanwhile, the non-oil sector accounted for 90.75 per cent of aggregate GDP in the first quarter of 2021, higher than its share in the first quarter of 2020 which was 90.50 per cent but lower than 94.13 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.
"Growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication (Telecommunication) sector while other drivers include Agriculture (Crop Production); Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco); Real Estate; Construction and Human Health & Social Services," the NBS said
Health / CHI Limited Promotes Dairy Consumption With Hollandia Dairy Day by Terrancal: 4:27am On May 22, 2021
Leading dairy brand, Hollandia, has held the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. This event is a public interest initiative undertaken by CHI Limited, makers of the Hollandia brand, to raise awareness about the nutritious value of dairy products and how daily consumption plays a key role in achieving optimum health.

The theme for this year's event, "Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living", was informed by the need to highlight the role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment.

Speaking, the Head of Legal/Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, CHI Limited, Mr. Israel Dan'Auta, drew attention to the low dairy consumption figures in Nigeria and stressed the need for daily dairy consumption. He expressed confidence that the "Hollandia Dairy Day conference will be an effective forum for discussing the way forward in dairy nutrition, setting priorities as well as connecting with today's consumers at a deeper and more meaningful level."

In partnership with health, nutrition and communication experts who were carefully selected, CHI Limited hopes to empower consumers to consider consumption of dairy products in their diets every day.

One of the guest speakers, Senior Dietitian at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Cynthia Onyekwere, highlighted that dairy has been categorized as a major food group and has recommended daily portions for each individual. She stated that despite this, the intake of dairy in Nigeria has been relatively low (10 to 20 litres per capita consumption).

She noted that dairy products provide good sources macro and micro nutrients such as calcium; protein, phosphorous, vitamin D and A. "One cup of yoghurt meets about a quarter of our daily protein needs, nearly half of our daily requirement of calcium and two third of our daily need of phosphorous. While a cup of milk meets a third of our daily requirement of vitamin D and one sixth of our daily needs of vitamin A," she concluded.

Another guest speaker, Amaka Okwesilieze Nwaora, a Nutrition Consultant/Public Health Expert stated that milk naturally contains many nutrients and only relatively few calories. "Regular consumption of milk and dairy products is recommended for all age groups as they are indispensable in every phase of our lives. Children need vital nutrients in milk to grow up in good health, while milk helps adults get the vital nutrients they need. Older people need milk calcium for strong bones and teeth," she added.

Hollandia Dairy Day will also draw attention to the Hollandia corporate social responsibility activities through its Hollandia Nuture'A'Child Initiative, an initiative aimed at eliminating malnutrition amongst children.
Business / Why Nigeria And US Fail To Make Top 5 Countries By E-payments Volume In 2020 by Terrancal: 2:41am On May 20, 2021
Despite having two of the world’s largest digital populations, Nigeria and the United States do not feature in the top 5 countries by real-time payments transactions in 2020.
According to ACI Worldwide and GlobalData research, India and China lead in e-payments volume globally, with 25.5 billion and 15.7 billion transactions respectively. South Korea (6 billion), Thailand (5.2 billion) and the United Kingdom (2.8 billion) complete the top five.
However, Nigeria processed $382.2 billion in e-payments during the year, lower than that of the US, which was estimated at more than $1 trillion in 2020. Invariably, Nigerians are transacting lower amounts via online payments more frequently compared to the US.
So, why do Nigeria and United States trail countries such as South Korea and Thailand? It comes down to three core reasons – cashless policy, digital population and bank account penetration.
Cashless policy
The US isn’t seeing a great deal of growth in e-payments as cash remains the second most used form of payment in the country. Last year, many cities including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York passed bills that banned merchants from accepting only card and contactless payments. Such moves have incentivised cash transactions, despite the shift towards digital payments post-Covid-19.
Countries like South Korea are at the forefront of cashless payments
However, while cash is king in Nigeria, accounting for 77% of payments in 2020 according to Statista, there are no laws or regulations mandating businesses to trade with hard currency. So, there’s more unhindered growth in online payments unlike in the US.
Nigeria’s e-payments activity has continued to grow due to an increase in cashless transactions via point-of-sale (POS) and online bank transfers.
Although a country like South Korea only has a digital population less than half that of Nigeria, it ranks much higher in e-payments volume as its legislation favours cashless payments. In fact, over 50% of South Korea’s 1,600 bank branches no longer accept cash deposits or withdrawals.
Digital Population
India and China, the world’s biggest countries by digital population, expectedly lead the rankings. India’s digital population stands at 688 million, while 989 million people in China are connected to the internet.
Also, the likes of South Korea (49 million) and the UK (65.3 million) have 96% of their population online. Hence, these countries witness much higher online payment activity compared to Nigeria and the US.
In the US and Nigeria, 80% (269.5 million) and 50% (104.4m) of the population have internet access. This means there are fewer people who are able to make online payments, especially mobile-based transactions.
Bank Account Penetration
The vast majority of e-payments gateways can only be leveraged by people who already have active bank accounts. Wallets opened by customers are usually funded directly from their traditional bank accounts. In Nigeria, the likes of Cowrywise and Paga function this way.
Bank account penetration is higher in countries like China (79%), India (80%), Uk (73%) – hence driving greater online payments and e-transactions compared to places as Nigeria (37%).
In contrast, the US has a very high bank account penetration rate of 94% (235 million), but this fails to translate into commensurate e-payments volume.
On the whole, the biggest driver of e-payments in countries seeing relatively higher volumes seems to come from the very top – the government’s stance on cashless payments.
Health / Nigeria Bans Mass Gatherings After Virus Spikes Elsewhere by Terrancal: 2:24am On May 17, 2021
Nigeria on Monday introduced new restrictions, including a ban on mass gatherings, after a spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries.
Although Nigeria has seen a steady decline in new cases of the virus in recent months, the surges in India, Brazil and Turkey have raised fears of a third wave of the pandemic in Africa’s most populous nation.
Mukhtar Mohammed of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) told reporters in Abuja that, despite existing travel restrictions on Brazil, India and Turkey, there was a need to take urgent action.
This is due, he said, to Nigerians’ non-compliance with the safety and health guidelines in place.
The beefed-up measures are designed “to mitigate the risk of a spike in new cases while the nationwide vaccine rollout continues,” Mohammed added.
He announced the closure of bars, nightclubs, pubs, event centres as well as recreational venues throughout the country.
Also under the new rules, the number of people allowed at weddings and religious gatherings is cut in half, while official engagements, meetings and conferences should be held online.
“Approved gatherings must be held with physical distancing measures and with other non-pharmaceutical measures in place”. 
Nigeria had imposed restrictions and lockdowns in March last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But those restrictions were relaxed following a drop in virus cases in the country.
So far, the virus has infected 165,419 and claimed 2,065 lives since the first case in February last year, according to official figures.
A total of 1.7 million vaccine jabs have been administered to health workers and other vulnerable groups in the country.

Mass gatherings may cause widespread infections. Although the restrictions are now relaxed, we still have to abide by them.
Health / Fear Of COVID-19 Spike Forces Nigeria’s Govt To Impose Restrictions by Terrancal: 2:28am On May 14, 2021
FEAR of COVID-19 spike forced the Nigerian government to order fresh COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and ban on pubs and recreational centres across states in the country.
However, data obtained and analysed by The ICIR have shown that more Nigerians are not testing positive for the virus.
During a press briefing on Monday, the National Incident Manager Mukhtar Mohammed, who is a member of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, announced the new directives in Abuja.
According to Mohammed, the government had placed limits to public gathering and closed bars and recreational centres.
He noted that there would also be a curfew from midnight to 4 am with effect from Monday.
On the basis of the new restriction, Mohammed said it was in connection with the delay in vaccinating a large proportion of the Nigerian population which held a risk of a large outbreak.
He also stated that there were strong concerns about the non-compliance to public health and social measures, which were contained in the Health Protection Regulation 2021.
“Specifically, the level of adherence to the use of face mask, physical distancing, temperature checks in public spaces, hand washing, and limitations placed on large gatherings remain very poor. In some areas, these are even non-existent,” Mohammed said.
He stated that the action was to mitigate the risk of spikes in new cases, while the nationwide vaccine continued.
However, despite the increased non-compliance to COVID-19 protocol and disregard for other protective measures, recorded positive cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria have continued to decline.
In January, during the second wave of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria, 42,831 cases were recorded as positive while in February, 24,041 positive cases were recorded.
A month after the commencement of vaccination, all through March, Nigeria recorded a total of 7,190 cases, a significant decrease from the previous month.
In April, only 2,225 cases came back positive while in May, a total of 358 tested positive for the virus. Between January and May, 776 persons have died from COVID-19.
Health / COVID-19 Hinders Immunisation, Puts Millions Of Children At Risk – WHO by Terrancal: 2:08am On May 12, 2021
While efforts to end COVID-19 has continued to gather steam with the successful roll-out of vaccines in over a hundred countries, the pandemic continues to hinder routine immunisation services, thereby putting millions of children at risk of deadly diseases.
The second round of a World Health Organisation “pulse survey” revealed that over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, substantial disruptions persist, with about 90 per cent of countries still reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services.
The survey published during the  World Immunisation Week 2021 in the last week of April (April 24th-30th) also highlighted the urgent need for a renewed global commitment to improve vaccination access and uptake.
According to the WHO data, 60 mass immunisation campaigns are currently postponed in 50 countries, putting around 228 million people – mostly children – at risk for diseases such as measles, yellow fever and polio.
Over half of the 50 affected countries are in Africa, highlighting protracted inequities in people’s access to critical immunisation services.
“Vaccines will help us end the COVID-19 pandemic but only if we ensure fair access for all countries, and build strong systems to deliver them,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general. “And if we’re to avoid multiple outbreaks of life-threatening diseases like measles, yellow fever and diphtheria, we must ensure routine vaccination services are protected in every country in the world.”
Health / Biden To Restrict Travel From India Amid Coronavirus Surge by Terrancal: 2:11am On May 10, 2021
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as India battles a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections.
The policy will not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents or other exempted individuals, according to a White House official. People in those categories will still have to test negative prior to travel, quarantine if unvaccinated and retest as negative upon entering the U.S., as is required for all international travelers.
"The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and New Zealand, among other countries, have imposed similar travel restrictions on India in recent days.
The new travel restrictions underscore the challenges of tackling the coronavirus pandemic on a global scale, even as progress has been made in the United States.
India surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 deaths this week, becoming only the fourth country to do so, with some experts warning that the death toll is likely higher than reported. Overall, India has recorded about 18 million cases, second only to the United States with more than 32 million cases.
The surge in new infections has stretched India's hospitals to the breaking point, leading to a shortage in oxygen, hospital beds and other critical supplies.
Vice President Kamala Harris touched upon the restrictions in comments to reporters Friday afternoon.

The disaster that India is experiencing now deserves our vigilance. Restricting cross-border travel is conducive to preventing the spread of the virus across borders, which must be implemented.
Health / U.S. Bound-migrants Vaccinated For COVID-19 In Mexican Border City by Terrancal: 2:26am On May 08, 2021
More than a thousand migrants who hope to reach the United States were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday through a first-time effort made possible by a private donation of shots from a U.S. company, a shelter director said.
About 1,200 migrants, mainly from Central America, received the Pfizer-BioNTech (PFE.N) vaccine in the border city of Tijuana, said Gustavo Banda, director of the Ambassadors of Jesus shelter. He declined to give the name of the donor.
"This is positive, it is the first time it has been done," Banda said. "It was extremely important to vaccinate migrants because we're a long-stay shelter where they can spend many months, even a year."
Reuters consulted several migrant shelters and did not find any other cases of migrants receiving vaccines.
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is dealing with a growing humanitarian crisis as more people reach the U.S. border. Authorities in Mexico, the United States and Central America have tightened border restrictions in recent months.
Mexico's government, which has already received doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine from the United States to supplement its vaccine campaign, has said it may ask for U.S. help in vaccinating people along their shared border.
Health / America Must Become The Vaccine Arsenal Of Democracy by Terrancal: 3:04am On May 06, 2021
As President Joe Biden and Congress lead a historic effort to distribute vaccines and rebuild the U.S. economy, the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind most Americans. Yet worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is worse than ever. The unprecedented surge in India alone means there are now more cases of COVID-19 in the world today than at any other point since the pandemic began. With rich countries’ controlling a disproportionate number of vaccines, many of the hardest-hit nations have insufficient supplies. As much as 25 percent of the world’s population will not have access to vaccines until 2022 at the earliest. This is an unacceptable situation, on both moral and strategic grounds.
The global surge of COVID-19 is an immediate national security risk to the United States. It would take the emergence of only one vaccine-resistant strain of the virus to quickly reverse all the hard-fought progress we have made at home. The more COVID-19 spreads uncontained, the greater the danger of such vaccine-resistant strains emerging. We are already witnessing new mutant strains that are emerging amidst India’s outbreak moving into neighboring nations such as Nepal. And as we learned last year, the United States cannot wall itself off from the rest of the world. With the pandemic in retreat in the United States, but spiraling out of control abroad, this moment calls for American leadership. The United States must expand its historic vaccination campaign around the world, and work with allies and partners to fight the virus abroad before it can once again wreak havoc at home.
As in World War II, the United States must leverage its full industrial and scientific capacity. Distributing excess vaccines, negotiating an emergency waiver to World Trade Organization (WTO) patent rules to speed global vaccine production, and committing to continuing U.S. vaccine production and distribution until the entire world is vaccinated are all essential steps the United States should take in order to become the Vaccine Arsenal of Democracy.
The Biden administration has already announced that the U.S. government will distribute up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine previously sitting unused. This is a welcome step and builds on the previously announced Quad effort that enables the United States, Japan, Australia, and India to each contribute its strengths to vaccinating the Indo-Pacific. The committed vaccines must now be distributed as quickly as possible and allocated based on the greatest need. India and Brazil are two nations in desperate need, and the United States should use its considerable logistical capacity in both the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic to deliver these doses as soon as possible.
India is particularly crucial given that its own considerable vaccine-making capacity is now entirely consumed by its domestic needs. The Biden administration had hoped to use that capacity as the foundation of the Quad’s vaccination efforts, as did COVAX, the international vaccine effort. Indeed, Indian vaccines had already created an alternative to China’s vaccination diplomacy in Latin America – a role the United States must also take up itself. Vulnerable regions close to the U.S., especially along the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean, are a natural priority.
But this is only the beginning. The United States must also stand against global vaccine inequality by joining India, as well as most other WTO member states,  to negotiate a temporary emergency waiver of the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) patent rules to boost worldwide production of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests. The profits of pharmaceutical companies, or even their intellectual property rights, must never outweigh the lives of human beings. This is in the interest of all Americans who need protection against vaccine-resistant strains that could again shatter the U.S. and global economy or kill loved ones.
While the Trump administration had derailed negotiations for a TRIPS waiver, the Biden administration can remedy this failure. Doing so would help speed production of life-saving vaccines. It’s also an opportunity to distance the country from Donald Trump’s xenophobia by siding with the African, Asian, and Latin American nations whose relationships with the United States were poisoned by the former president’s insults. Furthermore, a scenario in which the majority of the world remains dependent on Russian or Chinese vaccines is clearly not in the United States’ interest. America must stand with the ranks of the world’s working poor, not the profits of giant pharmaceutical corporations.
Health / India Covid 19 Update: Why Nigeria Join List Of Kontris Wey Don Restrict Travels by Terrancal: 8:34am On Apr 30, 2021
Di rising number of Covid- 19 cases for India fit no be cause of concern for some part of di world. But di truth be say wetin dey happun for kontri wey get about 1.3 billion population fit affect di rest of di world.
To start wit, India na di world vaccine powerhouse, and any slowdown in production go affect global vaccination efforts too.
Anoda problem na out-of-control infections wey go allow for more mutation of di virus - some strains fit develop wey go dey resistant to di vaccine.
Covid- 19 situation for India
Second wave of Covid- 19 don hit India badly as di kontri inside one week record more than two million cases and 200,000 pipo die sake of di virus.
Hospitals for plenty cities don dey full wit patients wey dey sick sake of di disease. Health care facilities also dey low for di kontri. Oxygen supplies dey run out, beds dey scarce and pipo dey desperate to get treatment for dia loved ones.
Some pipo dey put dia families for back of car and others for keke just to get medical attention for dem.
Authorities for India dey turn trains into basic medical facilities, as hospitals dey reject patients' sake of say dem too much.
Di second wave dey come afta di reported cases bin reduce small for di kontri but recent election campaigns and one very big Hindu festival wey see millions of pipo gada fit be reason for di spread and rise in cases.
Places where dem dey burn dead body don increase for some parts of India and dem dey operate non-stop since di deadly second wave start. Di workers say dem neva rest as dem need perform last rites and burn di deadi body.
Goment don order lockdown for some states and Goa na di latest state to join di lockdown.
Officials say di strict four-day lockdown go last from Thursday night until Monday morning.
Kontris wey don restrict India travel
With di increasing number of Covid- 19 cases for India, many kontris don put restrictions on travel from and to India.
India don become di hotspot for pandemic cases.
Nigeria - Although Nigeria dey record low cases of Covid- 19, di kontr still dey worry about India and Brazil wey dey experience fresh outbreak of di virus.
Di Presidential Steering Committee don advise say make Nigerians no go di kontris wey dey experience di third wave.
Di National Coordinator of di Committee, Muktar Muhammed list India, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa as kontris wey Nigerians suppose dey careful to travel go.
UK - Di United Kingdom don add India to di red list. Any of their citizens wey dey travel back from India must quarantine themselves for 10-days.
USA - United States of America bin release statement to advise dia citizen make dem no travel go India.
Canada - Di kontri don ban all flights from India and Pakistan sake of di rising number of cases.
Australia - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announce say dem go reduce flights wey dey come from India.
Hong Kong - From April 20 till May 2, Hong Kong don suspend all flights from India, Pakistan and di Philippines.
Kuwait - Sake of di way di pandemic dey spread like wildfire for di kontri, Kuwait don ban all flights from India. Di Kuwaiti directorate general of civil aviation on Twitter say pipo wey dey travel from India go need spend 14 days outside di kontri before dem fit enta.
Iran - Iran President Hassan Rouhani officially announce say ban on travellers from India.
France - India, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa na di kontris France don ban make pipo from there no fly come dia kontri.
Singapore - Singapore don ban all flights from India, dis ban concern all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors as well. Those wey don land di kontri must undergo 14 days quarantine.
Bangladesh - Bangladesh don ban travel from India via land and air for some time.
Health / CDC Director Sees 'a Really Hopeful Decline' As Covid Cases In The U.S. Fall by Terrancal: 2:01am On Apr 30, 2021
After a worrisome uptick in Covid-19 cases in the United States in recent weeks, there are encouraging signs that the situation is beginning to stabilize, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing Tuesday that there have been declines across the board, with new cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths all falling over the past seven days.
New reported infections fell by 21 percent over the past week, with the most recent seven-day average coming in at just over 54,400 cases per day, Walensky said, calling the figure "a really hopeful decline." Hospitalizations also fell by 9 percent, with an average of more than 5,100 hospital admissions per day over the past seven days.
The most recent seven-day average for daily deaths stood at roughly 660 per day, representing a decline of 6 percent, she added.
Walensky said vaccine uptake across the country is likely fueling the turnaround and helping to flatten the curves.
"Each day more and more Americans are rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated, and likely contributing to these very positive trends," she said.
The CDC director's optimism during Tuesday's briefing stands in stark contrast to her remarks a month ago, when she warned of "impending doom" as Covid-19 cases rose steadily in the U.S.
"I'm speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer," Walensky said in a briefing March 29. "We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now I'm scared."

Although the decline in cases is good news, vaccines are not a panacea. What's more, the national vaccination rate lacks uniformity.
Health / COVID-19 Pandemic Fueling Gender-based Violence In Nigeria – CEWHIN by Terrancal: 2:29am On Apr 28, 2021
THE Centre for Women’s Health and Information, CEWHIN, weekend, called for more collaboration to stem increasing cases of gender based violence in Nigeria. Speaking during a two-day gender mainstreaming training workshop for the Justice Sector Partners towards better integration of VAWG/SGBV/HP in their institutional plans and programmes in Lagos State, Director of Administration CEWHIN, Atinuke Odukoya said that the lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that a lot of gender based violence are going on in the communities.
She said the situation which threatens the lives and livelihoods of women and girls made the United Nations label the country ‘shadow pandemic’. Odukoya said: “Statics shows that Nigeria has long been facing a gender-based violence crisis, with 30 percent of women and girls aged 15-49 having experienced sexual abuse. “Looking at the three states, Lagos State, Ogun State and Federal Capital Territory that were placed under full lockdown by the Federal Government, the increase in reports of domestic violence cases rose from 60 in March, 2020 to 238 in April same year, that is an increase of 297 percent. When you look at the number of reported cases in March and April, respectively for 23 out of 36 states in Nigeria in which data are available, it shows a monthly increase of 149 percent due to lockdown.” Atinuke hinted that a lot needed to be done to address the issue of gender-based violence in Nigeria. She said: “The good thing is that people are now learning to speak out and seek for help. They are learning not to die in silence. Awareness creation is high and capacity of officers to handle these cases is also being boosted. “This workshop is funded by UNDP, under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to engage participants from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
“CEWHIN’s engagement with the paramilitary agencies as part of its activities to build the capacity of law enforcement agents on prevention and response to SGBV has yielded positive results and the agencies have pledged to step up their surveillance of SGbv/VAWG within Lagos State.” Corroborating her views, Gender and Development Specialist, Chibogu Obinwa said that lack of coordination amongst key stakeholders and poor implementation of legal frameworks, combined with entrenched gender discriminatory norms, has hampered government and civil society efforts to address gender-based violence in Nigeria. Obinwa said: “We need to push for implementation of laws that protect women and girls against gender-based violence; we have to also crease awareness in the communities for people to understand their rights and options available for them to get justice.”
Health / Biden’s Pledge To Slash Emissions Would Require Big U.S. Changes by Terrancal: 3:14am On Apr 27, 2021
Meeting President Biden’s goal of sharply reducing U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 would require dramatically reshaping key sectors of the economy.
While U.S. industries are already transitioning to a lower-carbon future, Mr. Biden’s target would require companies in industries from energy to transportation to agriculture to greatly speed the pace of change.
Some segments of the economy appear to be ready. Others would face extraordinary challenges. All would face significant new costs — exactly how much is unknown — and it is unclear how much would be subsidized by government tax policies or incentives, since the Biden administration has yet to detail how it would seek to reach the aggressive new goal.
“This is a real sea change in the degree of ambition by the U.S. government; it is pretty monumental,” said Richard Newell, president and chief executive of Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank. “This is technically feasible but a substantial acceleration of existing trends.”
At an Earth Day climate summit this week, Mr. Biden called for slashing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% compared with the baseline year of 2005, as he seeks to put America at the forefront of world-wide efforts to combat climate change.
Mr. Biden’s target is a significant ratcheting up of the goal articulated by former President Barack Obama — a 26% to 28% cut by 2025 — to help put the U.S. on a path to comply with the Paris agreement, which seeks to limit average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
His actions have received support from numerous big businesses, many of which have pledged recently to cut their own emissions. In an open letter to Mr. Biden, dozens of companies including McDonald’s Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google said a more ambitious climate target would “guide the U.S. government’s approach to more sustainable and resilient infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings, improved agricultural practices, and durable carbon removal.”
But they have also raised concerns among representatives for some of the large industries that would be most heavily impacted, who have called them unrealistic.
Academics, business consultants and others who study U.S. emissions say that meeting Mr. Biden’s targets would require significant changes in two key areas: how the U.S. generates electricity and how it powers its cars and trucks. Transportation generates 29% of U.S. emissions, followed by electricity generation at 25% and industry at 23%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual inventory of greenhouse-gas emissions.
In the power sector, renewable energy is already on the rise, fueled in part by falling costs for wind and solar farms, but also subsidies and state-level mandates. In 2020, 39.5% of U.S. electricity came from zero-carbon emitting sources such as nuclear, wind and solar, up from 29.9% a decade earlier, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
Still, reaching Mr. Biden’s goal would require more substantial change. Nathan Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland, led a study examining how to halve emissions as Mr. Biden has now pledged. It concluded the easiest way to attain major reductions would be in cleaning up the electricity sector by largely eliminating coal-fired power plants, if they don’t have a way to capture carbon emissions, and curtailing natural-gas-fired power plants.
“We don’t want to be building a lot of new gas infrastructure,” he said. “It is not long-term viable.”
Some large generators are enthusiastic about Mr. Biden’s infrastructure and tax plans to reduce emission
Health / Los Angeles County Prepares To Resume Management Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccines by Terrancal: 2:52am On Apr 25, 2021
After the federal health agency officially lifted the moratorium last Friday, Los Angeles County is ready to vaccinate Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine again.
The county announced that as long as the latest fact sheet about the vaccine has been distributed to recipients, the vaccine provider can resume dosing on Saturday.
Health / Affluent Latin Americans Head To The US To Get COVID-19 Shots by Terrancal: 2:22am On Apr 23, 2021
MONTERREY, Mexico — They travel thousands of miles by plane from Latin America to the U.S., in some places taking a shuttle directly from the airport to COVID-19 vaccine sites. Their ranks include politicians, TV personalities, business executives and a soccer team.
People of means from Latin America are chartering planes, booking commercial flights, buying bus tickets and renting cars to get the vaccine in the United States due to lack of supply at home.
Virginia Gónzalez and her husband flew from Mexico to Texas and then boarded a bus to a vaccination site. They made the trip again for a second dose. The couple from Monterrey, Mexico, acted on the advice of the doctor treating the husband for prostate cancer. In all, they logged 1,400 miles (2,200 kilometers) for two round trips.
“It’s a matter of survival,” Gónzalez said of getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. “In Mexico, officials didn’t buy enough vaccines. It’s like they don’t care about their citizens.”
With a population of nearly 130 million people, Mexico has secured more vaccines than many Latin American nations — about 18 million doses as of Monday from the U.S., China, Russia and India. Most of those have been given to health care workers, people over 60 and some teachers, who so far are the only ones eligible. Most other Latin American countries, except for Chile, are in the same situation or worse.
So vaccine seekers who can afford to travel are coming to the United States to avoid the long wait, including people from as far as Paraguay. Those who make the trip must obtain a tourist visa and have enough money to pay for required coronavirus tests, plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and other expenses.
In Mexico, business is booming for chartered flights to Texas.
Gónzalez and her husband were inoculated in Edinburg, Texas, a city about 160 miles (254 kilometers) from their home. But with land entry points closed to nonessential travel, the couple decided to take a commercial flight to Houston and then travel by bus.
Earlier this month, 19 players with Monterrey’s professional soccer team known as Rayados flew to Dallas to get the vaccine, local media reported. In Peru, Hernando De Soto, an economist running for president, faced a backlash after he admitted he traveled to the U.S. to get vaccinated.
Television personalities have posted on social media about their trips, attracting the scorn of many viewers who accused them of flaunting their privilege. Juan José Origel, a Mexican television host, tweeted a photo of himself receiving the shot in January in Miami. Argentinian TV personality Yanina Latorre also traveled to Miami for her elderly mother to receive a vaccine and posted a video to Instagram. Shortly after, Florida officials began requiring proof of residency for those seeking a vaccine.
But about half of U.S. states, including Texas, Arizona, and California, have no such requirement and will accept any official form of identification with a photograph.
Many of those traveling have friends or relatives who live in the U.S. and can help them navigate the appointments system or seek a leftover shot. Some have second homes in the U.S., but others borrow a U.S. address. Some said they have read that many Americans do not plan to get vaccinated.

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