African countries have continued to put in place plans to combat the spread of coronavirus into their countries. Experts say the large traffic between Africa and China almost guarantees the virus would eventually spread to the continent.
Ethiopia has begun its own measures against the disease. It announced on Tuesday one Chinese and three Ethiopian students had been quarantined in Addis Ababa. They were returning from a university in Wuhan, China. Airport officials discovered the students had symptoms of the disease which include sore throat and cough.
The health ministry says Ethiopia is staying a step ahead of the outbreak. The country has been in close contact with the world health organization and the Chinese government, since early this month, so it would be fully updated on the status of the disease.
The ministry says more than twenty thousand passengers have been screened at Addis Ababa Airport, using thermal scanners, to take temperatures of airline passengers arriving from affected regions in China. It says anyone who is sick is quarantined.
Several African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa, have also begun screening passengers arriving from China.
General: COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Ready For Delivery 24 Hours After FDA Authorization
Four-Star general Gustave Perna who is leading the U.S. government’s operation warp speed, the crash program to develop, produce, and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 300 million Americans, says he is confident vaccines will be “on the streets 24 hours after being authorized by the food and drug administration.
The operation is stockpiling anticipated vaccines made by six different drug makers.
While the first two vaccines to be distributed will likely be from Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Affairs, Alex Azar, described the news from Astra zeneca’s clinical trials as “very promising” and noted that the company’s vaccine is already being produced in the country so it too can be ready for distribution once authorized by the FDA.
Azar confirmed the drugmaker is already producing mass quantities of the vaccine in the U.S.
Last week, Pfizer applied for authorization from the FDA and a hearing date was set for mid-December.
Kenya Nurses Issue Strike Warning
Kenyan nurses have issued a 14-day strike action warning to the government. The medical workers sign the notice, citing lack of a safe working environment and protective gears- PPE`s. They are demanding that the government declare COVID-19 an occupational hazard. They are also asking to be provided with comprehensive medical cover.
The nurses’ union secretary general Seth Panyako alleged, eighteen nurses have died from COVID-19 after treating patients with the virus. He added that once the strike notice lapses, the healthcare workers will not return to work unless their issues are addressed.
The notice comes a week after doctors issued a strike notice over the same issues.
More than 78,500 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kenya including 1,409 deaths being reported.
More than 30 healthcare workers are reported to have died after contracting the virus since the country confirmed its first case in March.
U.S. FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For COVID-19 Treatment From Regeneron
The U.S. Food and drug administration has granted emergency authorization for the Regeneron antibody treatment, the same drug that was administered to president Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The drug’s approval is limited in scope for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19.
Regeneron says it will have enough of the drug for at least eighty thousand patients by the end of this month. It says, by the first week of January, it would have enough for 200,000 patients, and for 300,000 by the end of January.
The United States has surpassed the 12 million infection mark, and nearly two hundred seventy Americans have died from complications from the disease.