The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 1,340 new infections of COVID-19 Thursday.
In a Twitter update via its verified handle, the government agency said there are now 136,030 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.
A total of 110,449 people it stated, have so far been discharged from hospital, while the number of deaths so far is 1,632.
As of Thursday, more than 104.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 58 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.2 million.
In Africa, CBC reports, some 16 countries have shown interest in securing COVID-19 vaccines under an African Union (AU) initiative and the aim is to deliver allocations in the next three weeks, the head of a continental disease control body said on Thursday.
As wealthier nations push ahead with mass immunization, Africa is seeking to immunize 60 per cent of its 1.3 billion people in the next three years. Only a handful of African nations have begun giving doses.
The AU bloc initially secured 270 million doses from manufacturers for member states, then late last month said it would receive another 400 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
John Nkengasong, director of the AU’s Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the 16 countries had so far placed requests for the vaccines under the bloc’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which started operation in mid-January.
“With respect to AVATT, 16 countries have now expressed their interest for a total 114 million doses of vaccines,” Nkengasong told a virtual news conference.
“Our hope is that in the next two to three weeks, they should be having their vaccines. But I cannot give you a specific date.”
Separately from the AU’s efforts, Africa is to receive about 600 million vaccine doses this year via the COVAX facility co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
On Wednesday, according to CNN, Denmark said it was joining forces with the country’s business community to develop a digital corona passport that would be ready for use later this year.
Meanwhile, a CDC ensemble forecast predicts there could be more than 530,000 US Covid-19 deaths by Feb. 27 — about one fatality for every minute of the pandemic. The CDC director said increasing data suggests the UK coronavirus variant may be deadlier than the original strand.
COVAX has announced its plan to distribute more than 330 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing nations in the first half of the year.
UK scientists have launched the world’s first study examining whether different coronavirus vaccines can safely be used for two-dose regimens, an approach they say could give extra flexibility and even boost protection against Covid-19 if approved.