France has started its long-expected vaccination campaign on Sunday morning with a seventy-eight-year-old lady being the first across the country to receive a dose of vaccine, a milestone move seen by locals as saving the country from trapping further into the pandemic abyss.
The woman was a former housekeeper and now resident of the long-term care unit of a hospital in north Paris.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted minutes after the vaccination campaign officially kicked off to hail the new weapon against the virus, while noting that the vaccine will not be compulsory.
The French government has also worked out a gradual roll-out plan to access citizens for COVID-19 vaccination on a voluntary basis and free of charge.
The vaccination campaign is seen as a “window of hope” for containing the surging infections coupled with emergency of new case of the coronavirus variant detected on the French soil.
Africa’s COVID-19 Death Rate Now Higher Than Global Rate
It is been reported that Africa’s COVID death rate is now above global average.
Head of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), John Nkengasong says it is “worrying and concerning” that coronavirus fatality rate on the continent is now higher than the global average. Africa has recorded 81,000 deaths since the pandemic started. Deaths rate at the second wave of the pandemic is reported higher in Africa than the first wave.
Nkengasong told journalists, the continent’s death rate stands at two and a half percent against a global average of 2.2%, and the number of nations recording higher rates is also growing.
He had said, earlier during the pandemic, Africa recorded lower death rates than the global average.
But in the “second wave,” 21 African nations, including the Sudan, Egypt, Liberia, Mali, Chad, Niger, the Gambia, Tunisia, Eswatini, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, had a death rate above 3%.
NCDC Confirms 1301 New COVID-19 Cases, 15 Deaths
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has confirmed thirteen hundred and one new cases of the coronavirus across the country on Tuesday, spanning twenty-two states.
Lagos gobbled up nearly half of all the new cases with five hundred fifty-one. The Federal Capital Territory recorded 209, while Oyo posted eighty-three. Plateau, Kaduna and Enugu had sixty-five, sixty-four and sixty-one respectively. Eleven other states had cases in double digits. Five reported single digits.
NCDC says seven hundred and two infected persons had recovered in Lagos State, one hundred fifty-seven in the FCT, and one hundred forty-three in plateau state.
Ninety-one thousand of all cases have been discharged.
Nigeria Requests 10 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From African Union
Nigeria’s minister of health Osagie Ehanire says the country has requested 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the African Union (AU). Ehanire told a media briefing in the capital Abuja, the vaccines are expected to be delivered in March.
The au said last week, it had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers around the world for distribution across the continent.
Ehanire also said the Nigerian government has released 26 million dollars to support domestic vaccine production and is already in talks with manufacturers.
113, 000 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Nigeria amid rising daily infections.
It’s not clear which of the covid-19 vaccines Nigeria will get, but authorities say the country was expecting its first 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of this month. They say there is plan to vaccinate 40% of the Nigerian population of about by the end of this year.