Anxiety as COVID-19 cases, deaths rise globally
WHO reports 4m new infections, 71,000 casualties in seven days
With the exception of Nigeria and some other few African countries, COVID-19 cases rose for a sixth consecutive week, with over four million infections reported in the last one week.
The latest edition of COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, published yesterday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that fresh deaths increased by 11 per cent, with over 71,000 casualties recorded.
The largest infections were posted in South East Asia (most notably in India) and Western Pacific regions.
Aside African zone, the rest witnessed increases in deaths, with the biggest share of 46 per cent coming from South East Asia.
Africa posted 59,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths last week, a six per cent and 20 per cent decrease against the previous seven days.
The highest figures of fresh cases were reported from Ethiopia (14,517), Kenya (8,747) and South Africa (7,035).
Referencing the figures unveiled yesterday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on April 6, 2021, 58 fresh cases were recorded in Nigeria. Till date, 1,803,177 have been tested, 163,388 cases confirmed, with 153,630 discharged and 2,058 dead across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Interestingly, the most populous nation made progress, as it leaped from third position to 18th in Africa.
IN the meantime, Europe’s medicines regulator, yesterday, announced a possible link between the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and rare blood clotting issues in adults that took the shot.
This comes after a review of extremely rare cases of unusual blood clots in some people vaccinated with the jabs.
Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Emer Cooke, at a press conference, said the regulator’s safety committee “has confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19 overall outweigh the risks of side effects.”
“A plausible explanation for these rare side events is an immune response to the vaccine similar to one seen in patients treated with heparin,” she added, noting that it’s called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.
To date, most of the rare cases of blood clots in vaccinated people have occurred in women under 60 years within two weeks of the vaccination.
It said specific risk factors had not been confirmed based on the available evidence documents.
BESIDES, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said 964,387 eligible Nigerian have been vaccinated, representing 48 per cent of the 3.92 million doses imported by the Federal Government through the COVAX facility.
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