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Scientists are still searching for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has infected over 14 million people and killed over 600,000 globally. Nigeria has recorded over 36,000 infections and 778 deaths as of July 19.

International health agencies have also expressed concerned about the growing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here are some of the health stories which made headlines last week

Nigeria records 653 new COVID-19 cases

Nigeria recorded 653 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.

According to the health agency, six deaths were also recorded that day, bringing the fatality from the virus to 778.

The total number of people who have contracted the virus in Nigeria has now risen to 36,107 out of which 14,938 people have recovered and have been discharged.

Nigerian teaching hospital raises service charges by 100% – Official

The Management of Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto has hiked its service charges by more than 100 per cent to maintain efficient service delivery.

Buhari Abubakar, the hospital’s head of public affairs, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that the institution’s charges still remained the lowest in the country.

Mr Abubakar said that the increase was necessitated by the prevailing increase in prices of antigens and other medical consumables.

Pandemic putting immunisation gains at risk, UN agencies warn

Disruptions in the delivery of immunisation services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to unravel global gains in reaching more children and young people with a wider range of vaccines, two UN agencies warned on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are calling for immediate efforts to vaccinate all children as progress was already hampered by a decade of stalling coverage.

New survey shows poverty not COVID-19 is biggest worry for Nigerians

Nigerians fear worsening poverty than rising coronavirus cases, according to a survey by Crosby Textor Group which also provided insights into the perceptions and behaviour of consumers and the future of retail in Nigeria.

The survey which was carried out in early July involving 1,000 respondents showed that the three important issues for Nigerians are poverty (47 per cent), economy (36 per cent), and the Covid-19 (36 per cent) ahead of National security, Terrorism and surprisingly, Jobs.

The respondents (87 per cent) voted that the coronavirus has weakened the Nigerian economy and the country’s pandemic outbreak is in the early stage and rapidly accelerating.

WHO concerned about growing Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners are concerned about the growing Ebola outbreak in the northwestern province of Equateur, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as they face critical funding gaps amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN health agency said on Thursday.

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The outbreak was declared on June 1 and there have been 56 cases, 53 of which are confirmed, surpassing the total number recorded during the province’s last Ebola outbreak, two years ago.

COVID-19: 8,000 health workers infected in Africa – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says no fewer than 8,000 health workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Africa Region.

WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, disclosed this on its official Twitter account @WHOAFRO on Tuesday.

“This is why Infection Prevention Control (IPC) awareness is vital for all.

“WHO and partners have trained more than 50,000 health workers to protect themselves and patients.

“The organisation aims to reach over 200,000 in 2020,’’ it said.

COVID-19: Ekiti to arrest facemask defaulters from Monday

The Ekiti Government says it will begin to arrest those refusing to wear facemasks in public places from Monday.

The Attorney-General and Commisioner for Justice, Wale Fapounda, on Sunday told journalists in Ado Ekiti that there would henceforth be stiffer penalties for those who fail to comply.

The commissioner said Governor Kayode Fayemi was particularly worried about the deliberate lack of compliance with most COVID-19 regulations in the state.

He said the governor had ordered full enforcement of all other COVID-19 regulations in the state.

COVID-19: Virus presents malaria symptoms but it’s not, NCDC warns

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says though Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents symptoms similar to malaria such as fever, both diseases are caused by different organisms and differ in mode of transmission.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle, while warning Nigerians against taking COVID-19 and malaria as the same infection.

The health agency also identified 12 symptoms that could point to the existence of COVID-19 in the human body.

According to NCDC, the symptoms includes loss of taste; loss of smell, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, catarrh, fatigue, shivering, body pain, headache and sore throat.

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