*Warns of new, more dangerous variants of concern
*As FG Receives More Doses, Begins Vaccination
The World Health Organization, WHO, has raised the red alert, warning nations across over the need to beware of fake Covid-19 vaccines in circulation. The global health body gave the warning on Monday while reacting to alleged circulation of COVISHIELD, an India-manufactured Covid-19 vaccine.
Director-General, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who sounded the note of warning, disclosed that both the global health body and manufacturer of the vaccine are already aware of falsified COVISHIELD having been reported at patient level in both Uganda and India.
WHO warned the statement its DG that the falsified COVID-19 vaccines pose grave risk to global public health because it places additional health burden on both vulnerable populations and the entire health systems, adding that it is important to detect and remove the falsified products from circulation in order to prevent harm to patients.
The DG reiterated the need for increased vigilance within the supply chains particularly in countries and regions likely to be affected by these falsified products.
“Increased vigilance should include hospitals, clinics, health centers, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies, and any other suppliers of medical products. All medical products must be obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked,” the statement said in part.
In a similar vein, WHO also warned that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is gradually becoming the global dominant strain as its highly transmissible surge is raising the urgency for vaccinating large numbers of all vulnerable people. According to WHO, the rising infection rates, arising from increased hospitalisations, is overwhelming health systems. The consequence, it noted, is leaving many countries in urgent need of life-saving oxygen.
It warned further that while four variants of concern currently dominate, there are fears that new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern, may emerge.
“US$7.7 billion is needed urgently to address the Delta surge and put the world on track to ending the pandemic. This investment is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with COVID-19. If these funds aren’t made available now to stop the transmission of Delta in the most vulnerable countries, we will undoubtedly all pay the consequences later in the year.” WHO DG said.
Meanwhile, concerns over the spread of the highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant is reaching new heights in Nigeria following the death of three professors of the University of Ibadan to the rampaging pandemic.
The trio who died within days of each other, got authorities of the institution scampering into panic mode as they announced a blend of safety measures, including virtual lectures, for the rest of the ongoing second semester examination.
Incidentally, one of the affected Professors, David Olaleye was, until his passing, head of the university’s Clinical Virology laboratory and also a prominent member of the Oyo State Covid-19 task.
“This is to inform the University community that management has requested the faculties to identify the courses to be taught online and those to be taught physically en route to the commencement of the blended mode of teaching and learning for the remaining part of the second semester of the 2020/2021 session,” the University stated in a release.
The university is not the only national institution driven into adopting hasty adhoc preventive measures. Reports also have it that the Lagos headquarters of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, has been shut down following a hit from the virus. According to the reports, one of its staff, a customer care officer, tested positive for Covid-19, prompting its management to order a shutdown.
“Good day #TeamLagos. This is to officially notify all members of staff of the temporary closure of the NIMC Lagos State Office, Alausa, from Monday, August 16 to Friday, August 20, 2021, to enable management to fumigate and sanitise the offices. Enrolment activities will resume on Monday, August 23.
Meanwhile, ensure you observe all COVID-19 protocols in all the LGAs/ LCDAs. You will be notified by your state coordinators immediately we get receipt of PPEs from the HQ. Please stay safe,” a memo released by the agency read in part.
“Other staff have been reporting one form of illness or the other. I am not feeling well as well, hoping I have not contracted the virus,” a staff of the Agency volunteered.