Nigeria on Sunday recorded 418 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Monday, TheCable reports.
Taiwan confirms first cases of Omicron COVID variant
Taiwan, on Saturday, confirmed its first cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
According to the island’s Central Epidemic Command Centre, the infections were found in three travellers arriving from the UK, the southern African nation of Eswatini and the United States.
They were said to have been tested on arrival and already subjected to two weeks of quarantine.
UK raises COVID-19 alert over Omicron variant spread
The UK government has raised the COVID-19 alert level from ”Level Three to Level Four”.
Four chief medical officers and the National Health Services (NHS) medical director issued a joint statement recommending the measure.
The joint statement indicated that the “transmission of Covid-19 is already high in the community, mainly still driven by Delta, but the emergence of Omicron adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services”.
Boris Johnson announces booster jabs for all citizens over 18
Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, has announced the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for everyone over 18 years old.
The prime minister said the vaccination commences this week, just as he declared an “Omicron emergency”. He added that a new target has been set to give booster shots to all adults by the end of the month.
“No one should be in any doubt, there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming,” he said.
“I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant Omicron.
“It is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need. But the good news is that our scientists are confident that with a third dose, a booster dose, we can all bring our level of protection back up.”
Nigeria records 418 COVID cases
Nigeria has recorded 418 new cases of COVID-19 in 12 states.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this in its update for December 12.
According to the data provided by the agency, the states that recorded infections are Lagos (314), Ogun (27), Plateau (18), Edo (17), Enugu (11), Abia (8), Delta (7), Bayelsa (5), Kano (4), Rivers (4), Osun (2) and Oyo (1)
The NCDC said the reported cases include 18 confirmed cases reported for Plateau state for December 6, 11 confirmed cases reported for Enugu state for December 10, seven confirmed cases reported for Delta state for December 11 (4) & 12 (3), 18 discharged cases reported for Enugu state for December 10, and two discharged cases reported for Lagos state for December 10.
The NCDC said there were no fatalities on Sunday, leaving the total number of fatalities at 2,981.
Also, 43 people were discharged on Monday after recovering from the infection.
To date, 217,481 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nigeria with 207,746 discharges made.
Israeli study says three shots of Pfizer vaccine effective against Omicron COVID variant
Israeli researchers, on Saturday, said they found that a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provided significant protection against the new Omicron variant.
The study, carried out by Sheba Medical Centre and the Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory, compared the blood sample of 20 people who had received two vaccine doses five-six months earlier to the same number of individuals who had received a booster a month before.
People who received the second dose five or six months ago do not have any neutralisation ability against the Omicron. While they do have some against the Delta (strain),” Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infectious diseases unit at Sheba, told reporters.
“The good news is that with the booster dose it increases about a hundred fold. There is a significant protection of the booster dose. It is lower than the neutralisation ability against the Delta, about four times lower.”