The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 643 new infections of COVID-19 Monday.
In a Twitter update via its verified handle, the government agency said there are now 140,391 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.
A total of 114,635 people it stated, have so far been discharged from hospital, while the number of deaths so far is 1,673.
As of Monday, more than 106.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with almost 59.2 million of those cases listed as recovered or resolved by Johns Hopkins University, which maintains a case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at more than 2.3 million.
In Africa, according to the CBC, South Africa has suspended plans to inoculate its front-line health-care workers with the AstraZeneca vaccine after a small clinical trial suggested that it isn’t effective in preventing mild to moderate illness from the variant dominant in the country.
South Africa received its first one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week and was expected to begin giving jabs to health-care workers in mid-February. The disappointing early results indicate that an inoculation drive using the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be useful.
The trial results, which aren’t yet peer reviewed, suggested the AstraZeneca vaccine “provides minimal protection against mild-moderate COVID-19 infection” among young adults exposed to the South Africa variant.
Oxford University and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg said in a statement that protection against more severe forms of the disease could not be assessed in the trial because those participating were at low risk. The variant appears more infectious and is driving a deadly resurgence, accounting for more than 90 per cent of COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Sunday night.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea’s daily tally of newly confirmed coronavirus cases has fallen below 300 for the first time in more than two months as authorities slightly ease tough physical distancing rules in the country.
South Korea’s virus caseload has gradually slowed in recent weeks amid stringent physical distancing rules. On Monday, officials began allowing restaurants, coffee shops, indoor gyms and other facilities outside the densely populous Seoul metropolitan region to stay open an hour longer. Authorities say they’ll maintain a ban on social gatherings of five or more people throughout the Lunar New Year holidays.