Connect with us

BIG STORY

Omicron: Don’t Panic, COVID-19 Vaccines Still Effective, NCDC Tells Nigerians

Published

on

The director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Ifedayo Adetifa, has advised Nigerians to dismiss what he described as speculations that vaccines have no effect on the new SARS-CoV2 variant which has been named Omicron.

He said vaccination remains “a very powerful tool to prevent transmission of the disease and death caused by this virus.”

Mr Adetifa, who spoke on Channel’s “Sunrise Daily” programme on Wednesday, said NCDC believes that even if the Omicron variant has any impact on vaccination, “it cannot be equal to full abrogation”.

“So theoretically speaking, if the vaccine was 90 per cent protective against severe disease and deaths from the Delta variant, it may become 80 per cent protective from the Omicron variant. So while we work out what kind of impact it will have on vaccine protective effect, the point remains that vaccines are effective, safe and they confer protection,” Mr Adetifa said.

According to the director-general, the centre, like other scientists across the world, does not know how dangerous the variant is, noting that investigations are still ongoing.

He said; “There are mutations that have been seen in the spike proteins that theoretically may confirm the risk of increased transmissibility, may cause more severe disease or reduced protections from existing vaccines but the reality is that we don’t know.

“What we know is that the cases currently affected by this variant have been mostly asymptomatic, they have been mostly young, and there have been no deaths. So we are still watching, we need more time to see what happens when it affects slightly different pockets of the population like the susceptible or the elderly. But for now, we don’t know much.

“What we know is that current public health safety measures and vaccination confer protection. It might not be 100 per cent but the protection they offer is useful and beneficial and people should adhere to those measures and make use of every opportunity that is currently provided especially in Nigeria to receive their vaccines..”

Mr Adetifa warned Nigerians of the possible emergence of a more dangerous variant and advised them to remain cautious by observing all non-pharmaceutical measures to ward off the danger.

He said the consequences may be bad if they throw caution to the wind.

He said the emergence of the Omicron variant is a reminder that the battle is not over, that there is still a risk.

Mr Adetifa added; “The fact that we thankfully have not seen many severe cases and deaths does not mean that we are not getting infections and does not mean that the virus has not been transmitted. What happens is that if we have unmitigated transmission of the virus within the population, you will always have a chance that a variant that may be more dangerous than the predecessor or even change the pattern of disease for us, may emerge.

“This is why we are calling on people to return and adhere to safety measures that are in place. And of course, vaccination, which is very important.”

The NCDC boss also explained that there is nothing strange about the mutation of the Omicron variant, saying all viruses mutate.

“Viruses mutate at different frequencies depending on what type of virus it is. What is new is the pathogen SARS-CoV2 which we call RNA virus. Most RNA viruses have frequent mutations. It means that in the cause of multiplying, their errors are made in every circle in their genetic code.

“While humans and some other viruses have corrective mechanisms, a lot of viruses especially the RNA virus do not have corrective mechanisms. So errors are carried on to the next generation but just a few are able to survive and go ahead to cause diseases,” Mr Adetifa said.

BIG STORY

Kwankwaso Replies Ganduje’s Slap Threat, Says You Can’t Look Me In The Face

Published

on

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Kano State Governor and Leader of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), has dismissed assault threats made by Ex-governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Shortly after Ganduje visited President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa on Friday evening, the ex-governor while addressing State House correspondents stated that he would have slapped Kwankwaso had they met at Aso Rock, Abuja.

Ganduje’s statement is coming following the recent demolition of several buildings in Kano State by the Abba Yusuf-led administration, a move he accused his predecessor, Kwankwaso, of masterminding.

Addressing the assault threat, Kwankwaso said Ganduje would never dare make such an attempt, adding that the former governor is his ‘boy’ politically.

Speaking to BBC Hausa, Kwankwaso said;

“I heard that he [Ganduje] said he would’ve slapped me, but I’m here. He was just confused. These are all my boys politically. They can’t even look at me straight in the face if we meet.”

Kwankwaso also disclosed plans to work with President Bola Tinubu, adding that Tinubu already offered him an appointment but they were yet to reach a definitive conclusion.

“We have discussed collaboration, however, a definitive decision is pending. After the inauguration of the National Assembly, we will determine the best course of action,” he said.

Kwankwaso also stressed he does not plan on defecting from the NNPP.

Addressing the demolition in Kano, Kwankwaso said the president was briefed and a mutual understanding was reached.

“Tinubu initiated the conversation, after which I provided a comprehensive explanation, to which Tinubu expressed surprise upon discovering that the information relayed to him was false,” he said.

“During our discussion, he (Tinubu) seemed astonished and was speechless at the information conveyed to him.

“We unequivocally prohibit any governor, irrespective of who they are, including Ganduje or Abba, from constructing on sites designated for mosques, schools, or other similar purposes. We will inform them that it is unacceptable,” Kwankwaso said.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Nigeria’s Stability More Important Than Our Pockets — Shettima Tells Senators-Elect

Published

on

Nigeria’s Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, has charged senators-elect to “vote wisely” when the upper legislative chamber is inaugurated next week.

The senate will elect its presiding officers for the 10th assembly on Tuesday.

Speaking during the ninth senate’s valedictory session on Saturday, Shettima told the lawmakers that the stability of the country is greater than that of their pockets.

There have been allegations that some senate president hopefuls are using money to woo senators-elect to vote for them.

Although the All Progressives Congress (APC) has nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, for the position of senate president, Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara, and Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip, have insisted on vying for the position.

The vice-president said the country’s interest should inform who they elect as senate president and deputy.

“To my incoming colleagues, I will leave you with a parable, ‘the stability of this nation is superior to the stability of our pockets’. On Tuesday, let us vote wisely, let us vote for the Nigerian nation,” he said.

The number two citizen described his colleagues as “friends who have become an integral part of my history”.

“We have served shoulder to shoulder in the face of adversity and worked relentlessly for the betterment of our nation,” he said.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

BREAKING: DSS Confirms Godwin Emefiele’s Arrest [VIDEO]

Published

on

The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed the arrest of suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

It was earlier reported the arrest of Emefiele by the DSS, shortly after he was suspended by President Bola Tinubu.

But on Saturday, the Service, on its Twitter handle said Emefiele was not in its custody.

Despite the denial by the DSS, report has it that the former CBN chief was in the custody of the secret police.

But confirming the report on Saturday evening, DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, posted: “The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is now in its custody for some investigative reasons.”

 

Continue Reading

Most Popular