Connect with us


/">

BIG STORY

British COVID-19 Variant Now In 50 Countries —– WHO

Avatar

Published

on

The coronavirus mutation first found in Britain has now spread to 50 territories, according to the World Health Organization, while a similar South African-identified strain has now been found in 20.

The UN body also noted a third new coronavirus “variant of concern” found in Japan may impact upon immune response and needs further investigation.

“The more the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to change. High levels of transmission mean that we should expect more variants to emerge,” said the WHO.

SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that causes Covid-19 disease.

Since first being reported to the WHO on December 14, the British-identified variant VOC 202012/01 has been found in 50 countries, territories, and areas, the agency said.

Test results showed the age and sex distribution was similar to that of other circulating variants, while contact tracing data revealed: “higher transmissibility (secondary attack rates) where the index case has the variant strain”.

The South African-identified variant 501Y.V2, first reported on December 18, has now been detected in 20 countries, territories, and areas.

“From preliminary and ongoing investigations in South Africa, it is possible that the 501Y.V2 variant is more transmissible than variants circulating in South Africa previously,” the WHO weekly report said.

“Moreover, while this new variant does not appear to cause more severe illness, the observed rapid increases in case numbers have placed health systems under pressure.”

The geographical spread of both variants is likely underestimated, said the WHO, given a bias towards detection in countries with virus sequencing capacity.

– Japan/Brazil newcomer –

Meanwhile, the agency said it had been notified by Japan on January 9 of a new variant detected in four travelers arriving from Brazil. The variant was found in two adults and two children.

“This variant has 12 mutations to the spike protein, including three mutations of concern in common with VOC 202012/01 and 501Y.V2,” it said, “which may impact transmissibility and host immune response”.

The WHO said researchers in Brazil had additionally reported the emergence of a similar variant, which had likely evolved independently of the variant detected in Japan.

“The extent and public health significance of these new variants require further investigation,” the report said.

The WHO held a meeting of 1,750 international scientists on Tuesday to discuss critical knowledge gaps and research priorities for emerging variants.

“Our collective goal is to get ahead of the game and have a global mechanism to quickly identify and study variants of concern and understand their implications for disease control efforts,” said Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, the WHO’s research and development chief.

The WHO said the new variants showed the importance of increasing diagnostic capacity and systematic sequencing of the virus.

“Research is ongoing to determine the impact of new variants on transmission, disease severity as well as any potential impacts on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics,” the organization said.

AFP

BIG STORY

Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

Avatar

Published

on

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

Avatar

Published

on

The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

Avatar

Published

on

The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

Continue Reading

Most Popular