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Showing posts with label Covid19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Covid19. Show all posts

Sarah Everard Murder: How Wayne Couzens admitted murder, kidnap and rape

Sarah Everard Murder: How Wayne Couzens admitted murder, kidnap and rape


Sarah Everard was handcuffed by her murderer as he pretended to arrest her for breaching Covid guidelines.


Met Police officer Wayne Couzens abducted her as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham on 3 March.


Couzens showed his warrant card before restraining Ms Everard, 33, putting her in his hire car and driving away.


His sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey was told that her ordeal could be summarised as "deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation, fire".

The 48-year-old had worked on Covid patrols in January, the court heard, and so would have known the appropriate formal terms regarding potential breaches.

The whole kidnapping took less than five minutes.

Ms Everard was handcuffed at 21:34 GMT and four minutes later she was being driven to Dover, where Couzens transferred her to his own car.

Couzens then drove to a remote rural area he knew well, where he raped Ms Everard. The sexual predator had clocked off from a 12-hour shift that morning.

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said Couzens must have taken Ms Everard's mobile phone from her and removed the sim card, which he tried to destroy.

Ms Everard was described by a former long-term boyfriend as "extremely intelligent, savvy and streetwise" and "not a gullible person", the court heard.


He could not envisage her getting into a car with someone she did not know "unless by force or manipulation", Mr Little said.

The abduction was witnessed by a couple travelling past in a car, but they "assumed Ms Everard must have done something wrong", the court was told.

One of the witnesses described a woman on the pavement who appeared to have her left arm behind her back and "was in the process of giving her other arm behind her back" as a man in dark clothing handcuffed her.

Mr Little said they believed they were witnessing an undercover police officer arresting a woman.

The exact time Ms Everard was killed could not be determined, although she was dead - strangled with Couzens' police belt - by about 02:30 on 4 March, when he stopped for snacks at a service station.

He then visited Hoads Wood near Ashford, Kent, leaving just before sunrise. Later that morning, he threw Ms Everard's mobile phone into a channel at Sandwich, where it was found by a police diver.


Wayne Couzens shuffled into court his head bowed. Wearing a dark blue suit he confirmed his name.

Sarah's parents, and other family members, are in court listening to horrendous details about their daughter's kidnap, rape and murder.

In the public gallery many of her friends have also come to court to support them.

Three members of her family will read out statements this afternoon about how her murder has affected them.

The prosecutor said her murder was reported on social media as #shewasonlywalkinghome but the more appropriate five words to describe what Couzens did were "deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation and fire".



Read more from the source


Sarah Everard was handcuffed by her murderer as he pretended to arrest her for breaching Covid guidelines.


Met Police officer Wayne Couzens abducted her as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham on 3 March.


Couzens showed his warrant card before restraining Ms Everard, 33, putting her in his hire car and driving away.


His sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey was told that her ordeal could be summarised as "deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation, fire".

The 48-year-old had worked on Covid patrols in January, the court heard, and so would have known the appropriate formal terms regarding potential breaches.

The whole kidnapping took less than five minutes.

Ms Everard was handcuffed at 21:34 GMT and four minutes later she was being driven to Dover, where Couzens transferred her to his own car.

Couzens then drove to a remote rural area he knew well, where he raped Ms Everard. The sexual predator had clocked off from a 12-hour shift that morning.

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said Couzens must have taken Ms Everard's mobile phone from her and removed the sim card, which he tried to destroy.

Ms Everard was described by a former long-term boyfriend as "extremely intelligent, savvy and streetwise" and "not a gullible person", the court heard.


He could not envisage her getting into a car with someone she did not know "unless by force or manipulation", Mr Little said.

The abduction was witnessed by a couple travelling past in a car, but they "assumed Ms Everard must have done something wrong", the court was told.

One of the witnesses described a woman on the pavement who appeared to have her left arm behind her back and "was in the process of giving her other arm behind her back" as a man in dark clothing handcuffed her.

Mr Little said they believed they were witnessing an undercover police officer arresting a woman.

The exact time Ms Everard was killed could not be determined, although she was dead - strangled with Couzens' police belt - by about 02:30 on 4 March, when he stopped for snacks at a service station.

He then visited Hoads Wood near Ashford, Kent, leaving just before sunrise. Later that morning, he threw Ms Everard's mobile phone into a channel at Sandwich, where it was found by a police diver.


Wayne Couzens shuffled into court his head bowed. Wearing a dark blue suit he confirmed his name.

Sarah's parents, and other family members, are in court listening to horrendous details about their daughter's kidnap, rape and murder.

In the public gallery many of her friends have also come to court to support them.

Three members of her family will read out statements this afternoon about how her murder has affected them.

The prosecutor said her murder was reported on social media as #shewasonlywalkinghome but the more appropriate five words to describe what Couzens did were "deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation and fire".



Read more from the source

White House defends Fauci from new attacks over China grants

White House defends Fauci from new attacks over China grants







Dr. Anthony Fauci


WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday that it stood by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to President Biden, who has faced renewed attacks this week from conservatives over the extent to which the U.S. biomedical establishment funded potentially dangerous research into bat coronaviruses in Chinese laboratories.

Asked on Thursday by a Fox News reporter whether Fauci’s job was safe, despite new revelations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded curtly, with a single word: “Correct.”

Fauci has previously said that the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of which he is the longtime head, did not allow Chinese laboratories to conduct gain-of-function research through American grants. Some people believe that such research, which boosts viruses in order to study their behavior, led to the creation of the pathogen known as SARS-CoV-2 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or another laboratory sometime in late 2019.

The focus on Fauci this week is related to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and published by the investigative news site the Intercept. The documents included details of a $3.1 million 2014 grant to EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based organization that has been the focus of intense scrutiny over its close partnership with China and because of the ardent rejections by its chief executive, Peter Daszak, of any suggestion that a scientific accident there may have caused the pandemic.

EcoHealth Alliance used $599,000 of the $3.1 million grant to fund a study into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has itself been the focus of both conspiratorial and legitimate questions. Researchers there worked on a strain of coronavirus called WIV1, according to the Intercept.

Federal officials denied that the research conducted with U.S. funds in Wuhan met gain-of-function criteria. “NIH has never approved any research that would make a coronavirus more dangerous to humans,” an agency spokesperson told Yahoo News. “The research we supported in China, where coronaviruses are prevalent, sought to understand the behavior of coronaviruses circulating in bats that have the potential to cause widespread disease.”

The existence of WIV1 is hardly a secret, but the revelations in the Intercept’s reporting seem to challenge Fauci’s earlier statements that the U.S. biomedical establishment has never funded gain-of-function research in China. “This is a road map to the high-risk research that could have led to the current pandemic,” one researcher told the Intercept.

Still, there is no evidence that research into WIV1 led to the creation of SARS-CoV-2. Nor is there evidence that Fauci, who first gained renown in the 1980s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, acted improperly or intentionally misrepresented U.S. partnerships.

Nevertheless, the Intercept revelations are sure to raise new questions, especially given signs that the pandemic may persist even into 2022. Peter Navarro, who served as a top aide of former President Donald Trump, often clashed with Fauci and, on Thursday, called the widely respected immunologist a “stone cold liar” on Twitter. “He belongs in an orange jumpsuit, not a lab coat,” Navarro opined.

Members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have lambasted Fauci and other scientists for misleading the public about the origins of the pandemic.

“These documents are a smoking gun that indicate he not only failed to be forthcoming, but that he also lied to the American people about his organization’s support for this risky research,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., who also called on Fauci to resign.

So did Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a potential presidential candidate in 2024, who, like McCarthy, said that Fauci should “face a congressional inquiry.”

Should Republicans retake either chamber of Congress in next year’s elections, they are all but certain to launch such inquiries, given how much animosity Fauci has inspired among conservatives.

Read more from the source






Dr. Anthony Fauci


WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday that it stood by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to President Biden, who has faced renewed attacks this week from conservatives over the extent to which the U.S. biomedical establishment funded potentially dangerous research into bat coronaviruses in Chinese laboratories.

Asked on Thursday by a Fox News reporter whether Fauci’s job was safe, despite new revelations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded curtly, with a single word: “Correct.”

Fauci has previously said that the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of which he is the longtime head, did not allow Chinese laboratories to conduct gain-of-function research through American grants. Some people believe that such research, which boosts viruses in order to study their behavior, led to the creation of the pathogen known as SARS-CoV-2 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or another laboratory sometime in late 2019.

The focus on Fauci this week is related to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and published by the investigative news site the Intercept. The documents included details of a $3.1 million 2014 grant to EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based organization that has been the focus of intense scrutiny over its close partnership with China and because of the ardent rejections by its chief executive, Peter Daszak, of any suggestion that a scientific accident there may have caused the pandemic.

EcoHealth Alliance used $599,000 of the $3.1 million grant to fund a study into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has itself been the focus of both conspiratorial and legitimate questions. Researchers there worked on a strain of coronavirus called WIV1, according to the Intercept.

Federal officials denied that the research conducted with U.S. funds in Wuhan met gain-of-function criteria. “NIH has never approved any research that would make a coronavirus more dangerous to humans,” an agency spokesperson told Yahoo News. “The research we supported in China, where coronaviruses are prevalent, sought to understand the behavior of coronaviruses circulating in bats that have the potential to cause widespread disease.”

The existence of WIV1 is hardly a secret, but the revelations in the Intercept’s reporting seem to challenge Fauci’s earlier statements that the U.S. biomedical establishment has never funded gain-of-function research in China. “This is a road map to the high-risk research that could have led to the current pandemic,” one researcher told the Intercept.

Still, there is no evidence that research into WIV1 led to the creation of SARS-CoV-2. Nor is there evidence that Fauci, who first gained renown in the 1980s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, acted improperly or intentionally misrepresented U.S. partnerships.

Nevertheless, the Intercept revelations are sure to raise new questions, especially given signs that the pandemic may persist even into 2022. Peter Navarro, who served as a top aide of former President Donald Trump, often clashed with Fauci and, on Thursday, called the widely respected immunologist a “stone cold liar” on Twitter. “He belongs in an orange jumpsuit, not a lab coat,” Navarro opined.

Members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have lambasted Fauci and other scientists for misleading the public about the origins of the pandemic.

“These documents are a smoking gun that indicate he not only failed to be forthcoming, but that he also lied to the American people about his organization’s support for this risky research,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., who also called on Fauci to resign.

So did Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a potential presidential candidate in 2024, who, like McCarthy, said that Fauci should “face a congressional inquiry.”

Should Republicans retake either chamber of Congress in next year’s elections, they are all but certain to launch such inquiries, given how much animosity Fauci has inspired among conservatives.

Read more from the source

US Blockade: Don’t Believe All that You Hear —Here's What’s Really Going On in Cuba

US Blockade: Don’t Believe All that You Hear —Here's What’s Really Going On in Cuba







The emails kept coming in… From farmers and students and chefs and academics whom I’d taken to that tiny island country over the past two decades to learn about her leadership in sustainable agriculture, cooperatives, and growing food in cities: What’s REALLY going on in Cuba?” they asked.

Yes, Cubans are feeling frustrated. Sixty years of an economic blockade by Washington, over 200 additional measures of economic strangulation by Trump, and now—for the past 17 months—a tourism economy shut down by COVID (now raging, thanks to the Delta variant) have plunged Cuba back to the dark days of the Special Period, when the Soviet Union collapsed and so too did Cuba’s economy. Except this time, Cubans who left government jobs for the hard currency lure of the tourism sector are out of work. People are feeling desperate.

Thanks to policy measures led by Raul Castro in 2011 that opened the country to small enterprise and cooperatives, Cuba’s economy pre-Trump and pre-COVID was flourishing, despite the punishing impact of the U.S. embargo.

Then came Trump. Then came COVID. Like a triple witching hour, investors long agitating to open socialist Cuba to capitalism began jingling in their pockets the coins of influence and paying very close attention.

Could Cuba’s current financial woes finally be the crack that lets the “capitalist light” come in? Could they get rid of this pesky and tenacious socialist government on their doorstep and open Cuba to investment? Well worth the cost of throwing some extra pesos to Cuban dissidents to go to the streets. Playing to international TV cameras with chants of “Down with the Dictator”.

Seriously? Anyone following Cuban politics knows why calling Cuban president Miguel DĂ­az-Canel BermĂșdez a dictator is absurd. His address to the nation (carried by BBC but not CBC) spoke eloquently to the false narrative being fed by global media.

Yes, in this difficult economy there are line ups for food. Are Cubans starving? No. Despite economic hardships, Cuba continues to look after her people and—through their Henry Reeves medical brigades—those of other nations.

The CNN reporter interviews protesters, then turns his camera to another group of Cubans, standing quietly on a corner with Cuban flags raised in defence of their country. They tell a different story, putting the blame for today’s hard times squarely on Washington.

“Yo soy Fidel (I am Fidel),” one man exclaims, a phrase embraced by Cubans on Fidel’s death in 2016 to express solidarity and respect for the ideals of the Cuban Revolution by saying Fidel lives within them. Shaking his head, the reporter closes with the comment: “One man even kept insisting to me that he was Fidel. “I am Fidel” he kept saying. But (with a half-smirk) everyone knows Fidel died in 2016. This is so-and-so for CNN in Havana…”

Tone deaf?

The Cubans I am speaking to on a weekly basis—although frustrated by a long lockdown and even tighter sanctions—know very well who is responsible for their country’s economic crisis. From Washington, U.S. president Joe Biden called Cuba a “failed state”. Ironic that.

Let’s be very clear: this battle has little to do with the Cuban people and all to do with how to run the economy. In the U.S., capitalism has a stranglehold on markets and communities. Rugged individualism is preached like a religion. We see how well that is working. In Cuba, state socialism charts a different course.

Choosing a socio-economic order is a sovereign matter between a nation and her people. Not investors from abroad.

It is time, Justin Trudeau, for Canada to show support for our friend Cuba, to stand shoulder to shoulder with this tiny Caribbean nation with whom we have shared strong diplomatic ties since 1946 and provide the important economic aid they so desperately need and so deeply deserve.

Shame on us if we do not…


Author: Wendy Holm | [email protected]
Wendy Holm is an award-winning Canadian agrologist, economist, farm journalist, and author living in British Columbia. She has been working in Cuba for 23 years.

Source: Straight








The emails kept coming in… From farmers and students and chefs and academics whom I’d taken to that tiny island country over the past two decades to learn about her leadership in sustainable agriculture, cooperatives, and growing food in cities: What’s REALLY going on in Cuba?” they asked.

Yes, Cubans are feeling frustrated. Sixty years of an economic blockade by Washington, over 200 additional measures of economic strangulation by Trump, and now—for the past 17 months—a tourism economy shut down by COVID (now raging, thanks to the Delta variant) have plunged Cuba back to the dark days of the Special Period, when the Soviet Union collapsed and so too did Cuba’s economy. Except this time, Cubans who left government jobs for the hard currency lure of the tourism sector are out of work. People are feeling desperate.

Thanks to policy measures led by Raul Castro in 2011 that opened the country to small enterprise and cooperatives, Cuba’s economy pre-Trump and pre-COVID was flourishing, despite the punishing impact of the U.S. embargo.

Then came Trump. Then came COVID. Like a triple witching hour, investors long agitating to open socialist Cuba to capitalism began jingling in their pockets the coins of influence and paying very close attention.

Could Cuba’s current financial woes finally be the crack that lets the “capitalist light” come in? Could they get rid of this pesky and tenacious socialist government on their doorstep and open Cuba to investment? Well worth the cost of throwing some extra pesos to Cuban dissidents to go to the streets. Playing to international TV cameras with chants of “Down with the Dictator”.

Seriously? Anyone following Cuban politics knows why calling Cuban president Miguel DĂ­az-Canel BermĂșdez a dictator is absurd. His address to the nation (carried by BBC but not CBC) spoke eloquently to the false narrative being fed by global media.

Yes, in this difficult economy there are line ups for food. Are Cubans starving? No. Despite economic hardships, Cuba continues to look after her people and—through their Henry Reeves medical brigades—those of other nations.

The CNN reporter interviews protesters, then turns his camera to another group of Cubans, standing quietly on a corner with Cuban flags raised in defence of their country. They tell a different story, putting the blame for today’s hard times squarely on Washington.

“Yo soy Fidel (I am Fidel),” one man exclaims, a phrase embraced by Cubans on Fidel’s death in 2016 to express solidarity and respect for the ideals of the Cuban Revolution by saying Fidel lives within them. Shaking his head, the reporter closes with the comment: “One man even kept insisting to me that he was Fidel. “I am Fidel” he kept saying. But (with a half-smirk) everyone knows Fidel died in 2016. This is so-and-so for CNN in Havana…”

Tone deaf?

The Cubans I am speaking to on a weekly basis—although frustrated by a long lockdown and even tighter sanctions—know very well who is responsible for their country’s economic crisis. From Washington, U.S. president Joe Biden called Cuba a “failed state”. Ironic that.

Let’s be very clear: this battle has little to do with the Cuban people and all to do with how to run the economy. In the U.S., capitalism has a stranglehold on markets and communities. Rugged individualism is preached like a religion. We see how well that is working. In Cuba, state socialism charts a different course.

Choosing a socio-economic order is a sovereign matter between a nation and her people. Not investors from abroad.

It is time, Justin Trudeau, for Canada to show support for our friend Cuba, to stand shoulder to shoulder with this tiny Caribbean nation with whom we have shared strong diplomatic ties since 1946 and provide the important economic aid they so desperately need and so deeply deserve.

Shame on us if we do not…


Author: Wendy Holm | [email protected]
Wendy Holm is an award-winning Canadian agrologist, economist, farm journalist, and author living in British Columbia. She has been working in Cuba for 23 years.

Source: Straight


Osun Osogbo Festival: 7 died as Osun records more than six dozens Civid-19 cases in the last two weeks

Osun Osogbo Festival: 7 died as Osun records more than six dozens Civid-19 cases in the last two weeks


On Friday, the Osun State Government, in a statement by its Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said seven persons had died of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, while 74 cases were recorded within the period.

Expressing concern over the nonchalant attitude of residents to safety protocols, Egbemode said it had become imperative for citizens to consciously take personal responsibility for their own safety because the third wave of the pandemic has berthed in the state.

According to the commissioner: “In the last two weeks, the state has recorded 74 cases with seven mortality. We can no longer afford to treat our protection with levity. We must wear masks religiously and avoid crowded spaces like a plague. It is becoming more obvious that our lives depend on how well we adhere to safety protocols.

“Osun’s daily coronavirus case tallies and mortality rate are becoming alarming. The effects of the virus keep getting worse by the day because our compliance level is deplorable and alarming. Our people need to take responsibility for their own safety, by ensuring that they take the COVID-19 test to be sure of their status, especially when they feel ill.

“Let us leave no chance for costly assumptions and be deliberate about boosting our immunity. Partying and appearances at densely-populated locations has become dangerous all over. We are back to ground zero with the virus, and we cannot continue to pretend like it doesn’t exist. The current statistics signal a precarious situation.”

Data available on the website of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday showed that 753 new confirmed cases and five deaths were recorded on August 12, 2021 in 14 states, namely Lagos (364), Akwa Ibom (141), Oyo (74), Rivers (46), Abia (38), Ogun (24), Kwara (20), Imo (19), FCT (12), Ekiti (10), Delta (nine), Edo (six), Plateau (five), and Bayelsa (one).

As if the country today, 180,661 cases have been confirmed and 2,200 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.



On Friday, the Osun State Government, in a statement by its Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said seven persons had died of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, while 74 cases were recorded within the period.

Expressing concern over the nonchalant attitude of residents to safety protocols, Egbemode said it had become imperative for citizens to consciously take personal responsibility for their own safety because the third wave of the pandemic has berthed in the state.

According to the commissioner: “In the last two weeks, the state has recorded 74 cases with seven mortality. We can no longer afford to treat our protection with levity. We must wear masks religiously and avoid crowded spaces like a plague. It is becoming more obvious that our lives depend on how well we adhere to safety protocols.

“Osun’s daily coronavirus case tallies and mortality rate are becoming alarming. The effects of the virus keep getting worse by the day because our compliance level is deplorable and alarming. Our people need to take responsibility for their own safety, by ensuring that they take the COVID-19 test to be sure of their status, especially when they feel ill.

“Let us leave no chance for costly assumptions and be deliberate about boosting our immunity. Partying and appearances at densely-populated locations has become dangerous all over. We are back to ground zero with the virus, and we cannot continue to pretend like it doesn’t exist. The current statistics signal a precarious situation.”

Data available on the website of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday showed that 753 new confirmed cases and five deaths were recorded on August 12, 2021 in 14 states, namely Lagos (364), Akwa Ibom (141), Oyo (74), Rivers (46), Abia (38), Ogun (24), Kwara (20), Imo (19), FCT (12), Ekiti (10), Delta (nine), Edo (six), Plateau (five), and Bayelsa (one).

As if the country today, 180,661 cases have been confirmed and 2,200 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.


Mass protests against coronavirus restrictions hit Berlin

Mass protests against coronavirus restrictions hit Berlin

The position of the anti-COVID protesters does not correspond to the position of the government and health authorities. Sputnik

The position of the anti-COVID protesters does not correspond to the position of the government and health authorities. Sputnik

OGUN COVID-19 RESPONSE: PRESS RELEASE ON DELTA VARIANT OF SARS COV-2

OGUN COVID-19 RESPONSE: PRESS RELEASE ON DELTA VARIANT OF SARS COV-2

The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre Disease Control (NCDC) has recently alerted the country of the confirmation of the virulent Delta variant of SARS Cov-2 in the country. 



The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. It has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries. It has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation.


NCDC has also announced increase in the number of cases being recorded in the country in the last one week. Over 120 cases daily were recorded by NCDC in the last 48 hours as opposed to less than 50 before now. Over 60% of these are from neighboring states such as Lagos.


Ogun State has experienced a gradual rise in cases with 15 new cases in the last two weeks compared to two cases in the whole month of June 2021 while four persons are currently being managed in the isolation Centre that have been empty in the last one month. Also we have recorded two new deaths in the last three weeks.  


Given that our many lands cross one another, and the fact that eight of our local government areas (LGAs) share boarder with Lagos State with a major international airport and the highly mobile community between them, it becomes pertinent to proactively curtail the spread of COVID-19 virus among our people.


While NCDC is currently working frantically to ensure surveillance of the variants in the country, Ogun State Government is re-energizing her response team at State and LGA level for prompt and effective response. Risk communication is being embarked upon at community level through the LGA rapid response team.  We are working with the Federal Port Health Authority to ensure passengers are screened at the land crossings in the State.  Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) focal persons in our health facilities have been alerted to step up IPC measures while we have deployed Rapid test Kits to major secondary and tertiary Health facilities to test patients who are to undergo surgeries, patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID 19 and persons who want to know their status. 


We are also embarking on mobilization for test at our five-high burdened LGAs (Abeokuta South, Ado-Odo/Ota, Ikenne, Obafemi Owode and Sagamu).


We urge all Ogun State residents to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.


 Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives.

 

We enjoin our community leaders, religious leaders, media houses and other stake holders to join hands with the State Government to encourage strict compliance to proper hand washing. Regular and correct use of face mask, two meters physical distancing in public places and avoid crowded gatherings.


Let me also use this forum to encourage our people to avail themselves of the opportunity of getting vaccinated for COVID-19.


 The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.

The Ogun State Ministry of Health is monitoring the trend and shall continue to update our esteemed residents from time to time. 


Signed:

Dr. Tomi Coker

Hon. Commissioner for Health,

Ogun State.

The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre Disease Control (NCDC) has recently alerted the country of the confirmation of the virulent Delta variant of SARS Cov-2 in the country. 



The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. It has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries. It has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation.


NCDC has also announced increase in the number of cases being recorded in the country in the last one week. Over 120 cases daily were recorded by NCDC in the last 48 hours as opposed to less than 50 before now. Over 60% of these are from neighboring states such as Lagos.


Ogun State has experienced a gradual rise in cases with 15 new cases in the last two weeks compared to two cases in the whole month of June 2021 while four persons are currently being managed in the isolation Centre that have been empty in the last one month. Also we have recorded two new deaths in the last three weeks.  


Given that our many lands cross one another, and the fact that eight of our local government areas (LGAs) share boarder with Lagos State with a major international airport and the highly mobile community between them, it becomes pertinent to proactively curtail the spread of COVID-19 virus among our people.


While NCDC is currently working frantically to ensure surveillance of the variants in the country, Ogun State Government is re-energizing her response team at State and LGA level for prompt and effective response. Risk communication is being embarked upon at community level through the LGA rapid response team.  We are working with the Federal Port Health Authority to ensure passengers are screened at the land crossings in the State.  Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) focal persons in our health facilities have been alerted to step up IPC measures while we have deployed Rapid test Kits to major secondary and tertiary Health facilities to test patients who are to undergo surgeries, patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID 19 and persons who want to know their status. 


We are also embarking on mobilization for test at our five-high burdened LGAs (Abeokuta South, Ado-Odo/Ota, Ikenne, Obafemi Owode and Sagamu).


We urge all Ogun State residents to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.


 Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives.

 

We enjoin our community leaders, religious leaders, media houses and other stake holders to join hands with the State Government to encourage strict compliance to proper hand washing. Regular and correct use of face mask, two meters physical distancing in public places and avoid crowded gatherings.


Let me also use this forum to encourage our people to avail themselves of the opportunity of getting vaccinated for COVID-19.


 The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.

The Ogun State Ministry of Health is monitoring the trend and shall continue to update our esteemed residents from time to time. 


Signed:

Dr. Tomi Coker

Hon. Commissioner for Health,

Ogun State.

COVID-19: Cuban made Vaccine 'Abdala' in circulation (+Photos)

COVID-19: Cuban made Vaccine 'Abdala' in circulation (+Photos)

 


The anti-COVID candidate vaccine (CIGB-66) made by the Cuban  scientists is being distributed in the country’s provinces where intervention trials began this week, according to various reports.


According to a report, Workers at Emcomed, Cuba’s state enterprise medical supplier, are responsible for distributing the Abdala candidate vaccine (CIGB-66) to several of the country’s provinces, where intervention trials began yesterday.

As reported on Twitter by the Cuban Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Enterprise Group (BioCubaFarma), doses of the vaccine developed by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center in Havana, have been delivered to pharmaceutical distributors in Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, CamagĂŒey, Las Tunas and HolguĂ­n.


BioCubaFarma CEO, Eduardo MartĂ­nez DĂ­az, tweeted a message reporting that more than 29,000 doses of the Cuban candidate vaccine Abdala are in storage in Pinar del RĂ­o, ready for distribution to 26 vaccination centers there, while in Artemisa, preparations are underway to deliver needed doses to vaccination sites in neighborhood participating in the intervention.

The newspaper Victoria on the Isle of Youth, also reported the arrival of the immunogen, and according to Dr. Victor Doeste Hernandez, coordinator of the municipal commission for the intervention in which a total of 48,664 individuals will participate.

In the capital, this candidate vaccine will be administered in the municipalities of San Miguel del PadrĂłn, La Habana del Este, Guanabacoa and Regla.

While, more than 19,000 at risk subjects, including medical and paramedical personnel and medical students who have been on the front lines battling the pandemic for more than a year, will be vaccinated in Ciego de Avila with Abdala, a process which began yesterday in that province.

In Holguin, where the intervention will include more 49,660 residents, administration of Abdala has begun among health workers.

Paraphrasing JosĂ© MartĂ­, it is clear that, in the powerful, robust arms of the homeland’s children, Abdala is being brandished like a mighty sword, because in Cuba, as we defend ourselves and advance, there is nothing more important than life.


 


The anti-COVID candidate vaccine (CIGB-66) made by the Cuban  scientists is being distributed in the country’s provinces where intervention trials began this week, according to various reports.


According to a report, Workers at Emcomed, Cuba’s state enterprise medical supplier, are responsible for distributing the Abdala candidate vaccine (CIGB-66) to several of the country’s provinces, where intervention trials began yesterday.

As reported on Twitter by the Cuban Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Enterprise Group (BioCubaFarma), doses of the vaccine developed by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center in Havana, have been delivered to pharmaceutical distributors in Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, CamagĂŒey, Las Tunas and HolguĂ­n.


BioCubaFarma CEO, Eduardo MartĂ­nez DĂ­az, tweeted a message reporting that more than 29,000 doses of the Cuban candidate vaccine Abdala are in storage in Pinar del RĂ­o, ready for distribution to 26 vaccination centers there, while in Artemisa, preparations are underway to deliver needed doses to vaccination sites in neighborhood participating in the intervention.

The newspaper Victoria on the Isle of Youth, also reported the arrival of the immunogen, and according to Dr. Victor Doeste Hernandez, coordinator of the municipal commission for the intervention in which a total of 48,664 individuals will participate.

In the capital, this candidate vaccine will be administered in the municipalities of San Miguel del PadrĂłn, La Habana del Este, Guanabacoa and Regla.

While, more than 19,000 at risk subjects, including medical and paramedical personnel and medical students who have been on the front lines battling the pandemic for more than a year, will be vaccinated in Ciego de Avila with Abdala, a process which began yesterday in that province.

In Holguin, where the intervention will include more 49,660 residents, administration of Abdala has begun among health workers.

Paraphrasing JosĂ© MartĂ­, it is clear that, in the powerful, robust arms of the homeland’s children, Abdala is being brandished like a mighty sword, because in Cuba, as we defend ourselves and advance, there is nothing more important than life.


NIGERIA'S BUDGETARY BENCHMARK AS CRUDE OIL PRICE SURPASSES $65 A BARREL

NIGERIA'S BUDGETARY BENCHMARK AS CRUDE OIL PRICE SURPASSES $65 A BARREL

Oil Prices Rally Towards $70 As Demand Outlook Improves



"Oil surpassed $65 a barrel, the highest since mid-March, as signs of strengthening demand from the U.S. to China stoked optimism that key markets ARE turning a corner in their recovery from the pandemic. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose $1.15 to settle at $65.01 a barrel. Brent for June settlement gained $1.29 to end the session at $68.56 a barrel. Both benchmarks posted the largest daily gain in over two weeks, settling at the highest level since March 15"- Bloomberg.

***********************************************

This latest rally of crude price should give Nigeria little respite. Our budget benchmark stands at $40/barrel. Fortunately, the rise in crude oil price means our Excess Crude Account will have some inflow from now.


Agreed, OPEC production cuts affected the country badly with our daily output pegged at around 1.4 Million Barrels per day. But if our leaders can adopt a belt tightening fiscal approach and ensure transparency in their processes and every form of opacity in the system blocked, there is a silver lining in the horizon.


It looks like eyes are on global crude oil demand presently. United States a major consumer is seeing many states ease restrictions and the opportunity for summer travel, and therefore petroleum demand will increase and have a significant rebound. If United States sets the pace and reopens, the hope is other countries will surely follow and the crude oil price will keep rising.


Hopefully, we will see the end of Covid-19 anytime soon when we are all vaccinated globally against the scourge.


#justscribblingmythoughts

Femi Ogunsanwo


Oil Prices Rally Towards $70 As Demand Outlook Improves


According to report and analysis on Oilprice.com by Irina Slav, Crude oil prices got a major boost this week thanks to optimistic expectations about demand from OPEC+ and rebalancing fuel inventories in the United States.

Brent jumped to over $68 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate neared $65 per barrel by the middle of the week and could rise even further unless headwinds appear.

Earlier in the week, OPEC+ forecast that oil demand this year would increase by 5.95 million bpd. This was an upward revision of 70,000 bpd from an earlier projection, and this fact injected optimism in traders, as did OPEC+'s decision to forego a meeting this week and keep producing at previously agreed rates.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday that crude oil inventories are within the five-year average for the season—for the first time in months—and that middle distillate inventories were down by a sizeable 3.3 million barrels last week.


Middle distillates, mainly diesel, have been a headache for refiners during the pandemic as inventories reached excessive levels due to the slowdown in various activities involving freight transport. Now, businesses are returning to normal operation, according to the data, and demand for diesel is picking up.


"Between planting season and online truck deliveries, you have a nice number in the diesel," Bob Yawger, energy futures director at Mizuho, said as quoted by Reuters. "Planting season is doing wonders for the distillate market."


It seems the latest fuel demand developments in the United States were enough to eclipse earlier worry about Indian fuel demand amid a resurgence of infections there.


"There's a lot of green shoots in demand," according to Matt Sallee, portfolio manager at asset manager TortoiseEcofin, as quoted by Bloomberg. According to him, the situation in India is "clearly a headwind, but looking at what's going on in the U.S., it's a completely different story."


"The market expects a major revitalization for global oil demand from this summer onwards," Rystad Energy's head of oil markets Bjornar Tonhaugen told Bloomberg. "As vaccination campaigns progress and as lockdowns are set to soon be lifted in Europe and other recovering economies, the need for road and jet fuels will increase and the result will be felt."


Indeed, optimism appears to be on the rise. Goldman Sachs, which has been particularly bullish on oil, has stuck to its forecast that Brent could hit $80 a barrel in the second half of this year. The investment bank also said in a new note that it expected global oil demand to book its strongest rebound ever over the next six months.


At 5.2 million bpd, according to Goldman, the demand jump will be the result of accelerating vaccinations in Europe, which would, in turn, lead to greater demand for travel. This will also lead to an uptick in jet fuel demand—the worst hit segment of the fuel industry—to the tune of 1.5 million bpd, according to the investment bank.


If the rally continues as forecast, it will provide a much-needed breathing space for the Persian Gulf's oil-dependent economies, most of which need Brent to trade much higher than current prices to avoid another budget deficit. A price of $70 per barrel of the most traded benchmark may be high enough for some, such as Saudi Arabia. Still, others, notably Bahrain, need oil at $100 per barrel to make their budget ends meet.


At the same time, however, it would undermine calls for a green recovery from the pandemic. The IEA has already warned that emissions are once again on the rise after last year's lull because of lockdowns. The rebound in oil demand that banks and analysts expect appears to be proof that the transition to all-electric transport might be more challenging than some hope.

Oil Prices Rally Towards $70 As Demand Outlook Improves



"Oil surpassed $65 a barrel, the highest since mid-March, as signs of strengthening demand from the U.S. to China stoked optimism that key markets ARE turning a corner in their recovery from the pandemic. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose $1.15 to settle at $65.01 a barrel. Brent for June settlement gained $1.29 to end the session at $68.56 a barrel. Both benchmarks posted the largest daily gain in over two weeks, settling at the highest level since March 15"- Bloomberg.

***********************************************

This latest rally of crude price should give Nigeria little respite. Our budget benchmark stands at $40/barrel. Fortunately, the rise in crude oil price means our Excess Crude Account will have some inflow from now.


Agreed, OPEC production cuts affected the country badly with our daily output pegged at around 1.4 Million Barrels per day. But if our leaders can adopt a belt tightening fiscal approach and ensure transparency in their processes and every form of opacity in the system blocked, there is a silver lining in the horizon.


It looks like eyes are on global crude oil demand presently. United States a major consumer is seeing many states ease restrictions and the opportunity for summer travel, and therefore petroleum demand will increase and have a significant rebound. If United States sets the pace and reopens, the hope is other countries will surely follow and the crude oil price will keep rising.


Hopefully, we will see the end of Covid-19 anytime soon when we are all vaccinated globally against the scourge.


#justscribblingmythoughts

Femi Ogunsanwo


Oil Prices Rally Towards $70 As Demand Outlook Improves


According to report and analysis on Oilprice.com by Irina Slav, Crude oil prices got a major boost this week thanks to optimistic expectations about demand from OPEC+ and rebalancing fuel inventories in the United States.

Brent jumped to over $68 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate neared $65 per barrel by the middle of the week and could rise even further unless headwinds appear.

Earlier in the week, OPEC+ forecast that oil demand this year would increase by 5.95 million bpd. This was an upward revision of 70,000 bpd from an earlier projection, and this fact injected optimism in traders, as did OPEC+'s decision to forego a meeting this week and keep producing at previously agreed rates.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday that crude oil inventories are within the five-year average for the season—for the first time in months—and that middle distillate inventories were down by a sizeable 3.3 million barrels last week.


Middle distillates, mainly diesel, have been a headache for refiners during the pandemic as inventories reached excessive levels due to the slowdown in various activities involving freight transport. Now, businesses are returning to normal operation, according to the data, and demand for diesel is picking up.


"Between planting season and online truck deliveries, you have a nice number in the diesel," Bob Yawger, energy futures director at Mizuho, said as quoted by Reuters. "Planting season is doing wonders for the distillate market."


It seems the latest fuel demand developments in the United States were enough to eclipse earlier worry about Indian fuel demand amid a resurgence of infections there.


"There's a lot of green shoots in demand," according to Matt Sallee, portfolio manager at asset manager TortoiseEcofin, as quoted by Bloomberg. According to him, the situation in India is "clearly a headwind, but looking at what's going on in the U.S., it's a completely different story."


"The market expects a major revitalization for global oil demand from this summer onwards," Rystad Energy's head of oil markets Bjornar Tonhaugen told Bloomberg. "As vaccination campaigns progress and as lockdowns are set to soon be lifted in Europe and other recovering economies, the need for road and jet fuels will increase and the result will be felt."


Indeed, optimism appears to be on the rise. Goldman Sachs, which has been particularly bullish on oil, has stuck to its forecast that Brent could hit $80 a barrel in the second half of this year. The investment bank also said in a new note that it expected global oil demand to book its strongest rebound ever over the next six months.


At 5.2 million bpd, according to Goldman, the demand jump will be the result of accelerating vaccinations in Europe, which would, in turn, lead to greater demand for travel. This will also lead to an uptick in jet fuel demand—the worst hit segment of the fuel industry—to the tune of 1.5 million bpd, according to the investment bank.


If the rally continues as forecast, it will provide a much-needed breathing space for the Persian Gulf's oil-dependent economies, most of which need Brent to trade much higher than current prices to avoid another budget deficit. A price of $70 per barrel of the most traded benchmark may be high enough for some, such as Saudi Arabia. Still, others, notably Bahrain, need oil at $100 per barrel to make their budget ends meet.


At the same time, however, it would undermine calls for a green recovery from the pandemic. The IEA has already warned that emissions are once again on the rise after last year's lull because of lockdowns. The rebound in oil demand that banks and analysts expect appears to be proof that the transition to all-electric transport might be more challenging than some hope.

COVID-19: Iran starts trial of new homegrown vaccine as campaign lags

COVID-19: Iran starts trial of new homegrown vaccine as campaign lags


(AP) The Iran's campaign to inoculate its population against the coronavirus and promote itself as an emerging vaccine manufacturer inched on as health authorities announced Tuesday that the country's third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials.


Details about its production, however, remained slim.


Although Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people, concerns over its lagging pace of vaccinations have animated Iran's drive to develop locally produced vaccines as wealthier nations snap up the lion’s share of vaccine doses worldwide.


Iranian scientists, like elsewhere in the world, are rushing to condense the typically yearslong process to develop vaccines into a few months — a task that has acquired urgency as the country struggles to stem the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East and its economy reels from harsh American sanctions.

But details are scant about the Islamic Republic's vaccine production efforts. Two other Iranian vaccines are also in the phase of clinical trials, with the most advanced, called Barekat, tested on 300 people so far.


The government said 20,000 volunteers in the capital of Tehran and other cities will soon receive Iran's new vaccine, called Fakhra, which an official described to state-run media as being “100% safe,” without providing any evidence or data to support the claim. Earlier this week, the government launched a vaccine production factory it claims can make 3 million doses a day.


The vaccine introduced Tuesday on state TV was created by an affiliate of Iran's Defense Ministry, known as the Research and Innovation Organization.


Like with the Barekat vaccine still in the initial phase of clinical trials, the company used inactivated coronaviruses from 35,000 samples to make the new vaccine, a traditional technology based on cultivating batches of the virus and then killing it. By comparison, Western drug manufacturers are taking a newer gene-based approach to target the spikes on the outer structure of the coronavirus, a method that had never been approved for widespread use before.


Iran's fragmented approach to domestic vaccine production, with entities ranging from state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerates to the Defense Ministry working separately on at least six different vaccines, reflect the country's wider factional rivalries and competing power structures.


At a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian state TV broadcast footage of just a single volunteer receiving the Fakhra vaccine, named after chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a November attack that Iran blamed on Israel.



While Fakhrizadeh was known to lead the country's disbanded nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, Iran has eulogized him as a leader of country's domestic coronavirus vaccine development drive. Fakhrizadeh's son was the first to receive the jab of the new vaccine.


The coronavirus has infected more than 1.7 million people in Iran and killed 61,427, according to health ministry figures released Tuesday — the highest death toll in the Middle East.


Iran formally launched its limited vaccination campaign last month, doling out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to health workers and those with chronic health conditions. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iran from importing American and British vaccines, a reflection of its deep-rooted mistrust of the West.


Nonetheless, Iran later said it would receive 4.2 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca through the global COVAX initiative, which was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to vaccines.


The Health Ministry has vowed to vaccinate all adults in the country by late September, although how the government will reach that ambitious goal remains uncertain. Iran says it expects to import doses for over 16 million people from COVAX.


The government has alleged that tough American sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 undermine efforts to purchase foreign-made vaccines and roll out mass inoculation campaigns like those making headway in the U.S. and Europe. Although international banks and financial institutions often hesitate in dealing with Iranian transactions for fear of being fined or locked out of the American market , U.S. sanctions do have specific carve-outs for medicine and humanitarian aid to Iran.


———


Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report


(AP) The Iran's campaign to inoculate its population against the coronavirus and promote itself as an emerging vaccine manufacturer inched on as health authorities announced Tuesday that the country's third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials.


Details about its production, however, remained slim.


Although Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people, concerns over its lagging pace of vaccinations have animated Iran's drive to develop locally produced vaccines as wealthier nations snap up the lion’s share of vaccine doses worldwide.


Iranian scientists, like elsewhere in the world, are rushing to condense the typically yearslong process to develop vaccines into a few months — a task that has acquired urgency as the country struggles to stem the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East and its economy reels from harsh American sanctions.

But details are scant about the Islamic Republic's vaccine production efforts. Two other Iranian vaccines are also in the phase of clinical trials, with the most advanced, called Barekat, tested on 300 people so far.


The government said 20,000 volunteers in the capital of Tehran and other cities will soon receive Iran's new vaccine, called Fakhra, which an official described to state-run media as being “100% safe,” without providing any evidence or data to support the claim. Earlier this week, the government launched a vaccine production factory it claims can make 3 million doses a day.


The vaccine introduced Tuesday on state TV was created by an affiliate of Iran's Defense Ministry, known as the Research and Innovation Organization.


Like with the Barekat vaccine still in the initial phase of clinical trials, the company used inactivated coronaviruses from 35,000 samples to make the new vaccine, a traditional technology based on cultivating batches of the virus and then killing it. By comparison, Western drug manufacturers are taking a newer gene-based approach to target the spikes on the outer structure of the coronavirus, a method that had never been approved for widespread use before.


Iran's fragmented approach to domestic vaccine production, with entities ranging from state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerates to the Defense Ministry working separately on at least six different vaccines, reflect the country's wider factional rivalries and competing power structures.


At a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian state TV broadcast footage of just a single volunteer receiving the Fakhra vaccine, named after chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a November attack that Iran blamed on Israel.



While Fakhrizadeh was known to lead the country's disbanded nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, Iran has eulogized him as a leader of country's domestic coronavirus vaccine development drive. Fakhrizadeh's son was the first to receive the jab of the new vaccine.


The coronavirus has infected more than 1.7 million people in Iran and killed 61,427, according to health ministry figures released Tuesday — the highest death toll in the Middle East.


Iran formally launched its limited vaccination campaign last month, doling out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to health workers and those with chronic health conditions. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iran from importing American and British vaccines, a reflection of its deep-rooted mistrust of the West.


Nonetheless, Iran later said it would receive 4.2 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca through the global COVAX initiative, which was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to vaccines.


The Health Ministry has vowed to vaccinate all adults in the country by late September, although how the government will reach that ambitious goal remains uncertain. Iran says it expects to import doses for over 16 million people from COVAX.


The government has alleged that tough American sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 undermine efforts to purchase foreign-made vaccines and roll out mass inoculation campaigns like those making headway in the U.S. and Europe. Although international banks and financial institutions often hesitate in dealing with Iranian transactions for fear of being fined or locked out of the American market , U.S. sanctions do have specific carve-outs for medicine and humanitarian aid to Iran.


———


Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report

Argentina launches Covid-19 vaccinations with Russia's Sputnik V shots: govt

Argentina launches Covid-19 vaccinations with Russia's Sputnik V shots: govt


Argentina on Tuesday launched a Covid-19 vaccination campaign with the Sputnik V shots developed by Russia, the government said. The first country in the Americas to use Russian made vaccine against the pandemic.

The vaccination drive began simultaneously around the country with frontline healthcare workers given priority, Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia said. She spoke at Posadas Hospital in Buenos Aires, where a doctor named Flavia Loiacono became the first in the country to get a Covid shot.


Argentina is now the fourth country in Latin American to launch a vaccination campaign, after Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile. "We are going to have to keep taking care of ourselves. It will take a few months for the vaccine to have a widespread effect," the minister said.

A first shipment of 300,000 doses of the Russian product arrived here on Christmas Eve. It requires people to get two shots.

Another 19.7 million doses are supposed to be delivered in January and February. Argentina has also signed an agreement to obtain doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and is negotiating with Pfizer-BioNTech.


The pandemic has killed nearly 43,000 people in Argentina.

sa/dw/pma

AFP

Argentina on Tuesday launched a Covid-19 vaccination campaign with the Sputnik V shots developed by Russia, the government said. The first country in the Americas to use Russian made vaccine against the pandemic.

The vaccination drive began simultaneously around the country with frontline healthcare workers given priority, Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia said. She spoke at Posadas Hospital in Buenos Aires, where a doctor named Flavia Loiacono became the first in the country to get a Covid shot.


Argentina is now the fourth country in Latin American to launch a vaccination campaign, after Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile. "We are going to have to keep taking care of ourselves. It will take a few months for the vaccine to have a widespread effect," the minister said.

A first shipment of 300,000 doses of the Russian product arrived here on Christmas Eve. It requires people to get two shots.

Another 19.7 million doses are supposed to be delivered in January and February. Argentina has also signed an agreement to obtain doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and is negotiating with Pfizer-BioNTech.


The pandemic has killed nearly 43,000 people in Argentina.

sa/dw/pma

AFP

Criminals Everywhere: Makinde led Oyo State Government Diverted Palliatives for party's members

Criminals Everywhere: Makinde led Oyo State Government Diverted Palliatives for party's members


Governor Seyi Makinde led Oyo state Government and Political Party leaders have DIVERTED the PALLIATIVES meant for Nigerians to celebrate the Christmas Festival in the state. 


They denied citizens access to where the PALLIATIVES were kept but shared the same to their party leaders and loyalists.


The agitations from concerned citizens are: This is WICKEDNESS.  SEYI MAKINDE SHAME ON YOU! @seyi_amakinde is this right? We demand the immediate distribution of the palliatives to the right people , failure to punish these criminals will mean you are in support of this broad daylight robbery. Enough is Enough!


The truth about the leadership at all levels of governments in Nigeria is that they are all criminals defrauding Nigerians at every given opportunity.


The APC/ PDP leadership are common enemies of the Nigerians and Nigerian state that must be abrogated by any means possible.


In a related development, a set of Hilux were captured in a video at the Oyo State Secretariat transferring COVID-19 palliatives meant to be shared with citizens to an unknown site.


In a video going viral on social media, some men were seen offloading the warehouse to the Hilux.


The video was a confirmation that just like APC leaders and governors, Makinde led administration also kept the palliatives while thousands of citizens go to bed hungry daily.



Governor Seyi Makinde led Oyo state Government and Political Party leaders have DIVERTED the PALLIATIVES meant for Nigerians to celebrate the Christmas Festival in the state. 


They denied citizens access to where the PALLIATIVES were kept but shared the same to their party leaders and loyalists.


The agitations from concerned citizens are: This is WICKEDNESS.  SEYI MAKINDE SHAME ON YOU! @seyi_amakinde is this right? We demand the immediate distribution of the palliatives to the right people , failure to punish these criminals will mean you are in support of this broad daylight robbery. Enough is Enough!


The truth about the leadership at all levels of governments in Nigeria is that they are all criminals defrauding Nigerians at every given opportunity.


The APC/ PDP leadership are common enemies of the Nigerians and Nigerian state that must be abrogated by any means possible.


In a related development, a set of Hilux were captured in a video at the Oyo State Secretariat transferring COVID-19 palliatives meant to be shared with citizens to an unknown site.


In a video going viral on social media, some men were seen offloading the warehouse to the Hilux.


The video was a confirmation that just like APC leaders and governors, Makinde led administration also kept the palliatives while thousands of citizens go to bed hungry daily.


How Australia halts local COVID-19 vaccine development due to false HIV positives By Paulina Duran

How Australia halts local COVID-19 vaccine development due to false HIV positives By Paulina Duran


SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia cancelled the production of a locally made vaccine against COVID-19 after trials showed it could interfere with HIV diagnosis, with the government instead securing additional doses of rival vaccines.


Antibodies generated by the vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) and biotech firm CSL, one of four candidates contracted by the Australian government, were found to lead to some false positive HIV test results, the makers said.


While the vaccine had elicited a “robust” immune response to the novel SARS-COV-2 virus without serious adverse effects in a Phase 1 trial with 216 participants, re-engineering a fix could take another 12 months, they sai


CSL and the Australian government had together decided to stop Phase 2 and Phase 3 trial


“While this is a tough decision to take, the urgent need for a vaccine has to be everyone’s priority,” said UQ professor Paul Youn


CSL, which had a contract to produce 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine, will instead produce an extra 20 million doses of the Oxford vaccine being developed with Britain’s AstraZeneca, taking the total to 53 millio


The government said it has also secured additional doses of Novavax vaccine

s.n.g.s.d. vaccines.


SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia cancelled the production of a locally made vaccine against COVID-19 after trials showed it could interfere with HIV diagnosis, with the government instead securing additional doses of rival vaccines.


Antibodies generated by the vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) and biotech firm CSL, one of four candidates contracted by the Australian government, were found to lead to some false positive HIV test results, the makers said.


While the vaccine had elicited a “robust” immune response to the novel SARS-COV-2 virus without serious adverse effects in a Phase 1 trial with 216 participants, re-engineering a fix could take another 12 months, they sai


CSL and the Australian government had together decided to stop Phase 2 and Phase 3 trial


“While this is a tough decision to take, the urgent need for a vaccine has to be everyone’s priority,” said UQ professor Paul Youn


CSL, which had a contract to produce 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine, will instead produce an extra 20 million doses of the Oxford vaccine being developed with Britain’s AstraZeneca, taking the total to 53 millio


The government said it has also secured additional doses of Novavax vaccine

s.n.g.s.d. vaccines.

Sanwo-Olu and Demolition Of 5,000 Shops In Lagos, further demostration of their wickedness

Sanwo-Olu and Demolition Of 5,000 Shops In Lagos, further demostration of their wickedness


According to a report by SaharaReporters, early this week, traders and other stakeholders at the busy Oyinlola market, FESTAC Town, Lagos State, are presently counting their losses following the demolition of the market on Saturday.


Whatever evil that the APC administration at all levels are hellbent undertaking and doing for their selfish arrogancy in the face of hardship and misgovernance that the country has been undergoing since the inspection of the ruling party in the country will only be the further demostration of their wickedness which are no longer knew to the populace.


Teports confirmed that the security operatives, who were present during the demolition, fired gunshots to scare the people away as hoodlums also used the opportunity to cart away millions of goods from the traumatised traders. The demolition, according to the traders, was unexpected as there was no prior notice to that effect.


However, the local government authorities stated that the demolition was carried out due to the structural defects of the buildings.


A shop owner told SaharaReporters that the reason claimed by the LGA was false and baseless as the shops were in good standing. 


She said, "I was shocked when I heard of the demolition. l heard them saying that they demolished them because of the structural defects of the building; there was nothing like that. Who carried out the test as to whether the shops were in good condition or not? People didn't know it was going to happen. If not, we would have taken pictures of their shops before the demolition. For how many years have those shops been there and there was never for once a building collapse?" 


She added that the government ought to carry the traders along, considering the peculiarity of the bad economy at this period.


Another victim, who leased out her shop to a woman and mother of 11 children, who paid N40,000 yearly, said the business had since stopped and the children were without reasonable care.


"This woman wanted to pay her rent to me recently, but I asked her to hold on still. Thank God I had not collected the money from her. She fainted while the demolition was going on. So many other people make their livelihood from this same market. 


"Some of the traders stocked their Christmas goods recently. You know what the country is; they had to get loans so they could stock and sell; school fee is there, the rent too," she lamented.


SaharaReporters gathered that while the demolition was going on, some thugs came and made away with people's goods.


The solicitor for the traders, Ike Onyefulu, in an interview, said he was disappointed in the local government authorities for demolishing the shops without prior notice.


He said, "There are laws in Nigeria. There are extant laws, but the problem is the enforcement of those laws by people. The urban and regional town planning law of Lagos State made specific provisions for any demolition of property either private or public but this is not adhered to.


"No matter what you have as the reason for the demolition of a market, not only law; common sense should tell you to give people notice to move their property, paste it so that people will know that they are using the property at their own risk. That is how things should be done. They should have given notice even if it is for seven days, but that was not done."


Onyefulu also confirmed that police officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army were present at the site with guns, thereby causing confusion that allowed the hoodlums to have a field day on people's property.


"The police and the army were there with their AK-47 rifles, shooting into the air so that people were more traumatised and confused. Some people had travelled for the weekend; they were not around. Some that didn't travel were in their houses. It was a Saturday and those that were even in the shops, it took them by surprise that they were not able to save their goods.


"How do we account for the property worth billions of naira that was looted there, when there were over 5,000 shop owners? This is coming at a time that people are yet to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the EndSARS protest."


Onyefulu said he had written letters to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the council chairman, and the FESTAC Residents Association since three weeks ago, but he has yet to get a reply.


"How would the state governor give such order as some of the people are claiming? Our letter was delivered. I want to believe the governor is not aware of this madness. In Lagos State, if a landlord wants a tenant to leave, the law says he has to give the tenant notice to quit and if that one refuses to go, you have to go to court to obtain the order but that didn't happen in our case," he explained.


When contacted by SaharaReporters, the LGA Chairman, Valentine Buraimoh, said he had consulted with the stakeholders and there was no way the traders would say they were not aware. 


He promised that another market would be built within the next three months and "the original allottees would be given utmost priority."




According to a report by SaharaReporters, early this week, traders and other stakeholders at the busy Oyinlola market, FESTAC Town, Lagos State, are presently counting their losses following the demolition of the market on Saturday.


Whatever evil that the APC administration at all levels are hellbent undertaking and doing for their selfish arrogancy in the face of hardship and misgovernance that the country has been undergoing since the inspection of the ruling party in the country will only be the further demostration of their wickedness which are no longer knew to the populace.


Teports confirmed that the security operatives, who were present during the demolition, fired gunshots to scare the people away as hoodlums also used the opportunity to cart away millions of goods from the traumatised traders. The demolition, according to the traders, was unexpected as there was no prior notice to that effect.


However, the local government authorities stated that the demolition was carried out due to the structural defects of the buildings.


A shop owner told SaharaReporters that the reason claimed by the LGA was false and baseless as the shops were in good standing. 


She said, "I was shocked when I heard of the demolition. l heard them saying that they demolished them because of the structural defects of the building; there was nothing like that. Who carried out the test as to whether the shops were in good condition or not? People didn't know it was going to happen. If not, we would have taken pictures of their shops before the demolition. For how many years have those shops been there and there was never for once a building collapse?" 


She added that the government ought to carry the traders along, considering the peculiarity of the bad economy at this period.


Another victim, who leased out her shop to a woman and mother of 11 children, who paid N40,000 yearly, said the business had since stopped and the children were without reasonable care.


"This woman wanted to pay her rent to me recently, but I asked her to hold on still. Thank God I had not collected the money from her. She fainted while the demolition was going on. So many other people make their livelihood from this same market. 


"Some of the traders stocked their Christmas goods recently. You know what the country is; they had to get loans so they could stock and sell; school fee is there, the rent too," she lamented.


SaharaReporters gathered that while the demolition was going on, some thugs came and made away with people's goods.


The solicitor for the traders, Ike Onyefulu, in an interview, said he was disappointed in the local government authorities for demolishing the shops without prior notice.


He said, "There are laws in Nigeria. There are extant laws, but the problem is the enforcement of those laws by people. The urban and regional town planning law of Lagos State made specific provisions for any demolition of property either private or public but this is not adhered to.


"No matter what you have as the reason for the demolition of a market, not only law; common sense should tell you to give people notice to move their property, paste it so that people will know that they are using the property at their own risk. That is how things should be done. They should have given notice even if it is for seven days, but that was not done."


Onyefulu also confirmed that police officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army were present at the site with guns, thereby causing confusion that allowed the hoodlums to have a field day on people's property.


"The police and the army were there with their AK-47 rifles, shooting into the air so that people were more traumatised and confused. Some people had travelled for the weekend; they were not around. Some that didn't travel were in their houses. It was a Saturday and those that were even in the shops, it took them by surprise that they were not able to save their goods.


"How do we account for the property worth billions of naira that was looted there, when there were over 5,000 shop owners? This is coming at a time that people are yet to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the EndSARS protest."


Onyefulu said he had written letters to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the council chairman, and the FESTAC Residents Association since three weeks ago, but he has yet to get a reply.


"How would the state governor give such order as some of the people are claiming? Our letter was delivered. I want to believe the governor is not aware of this madness. In Lagos State, if a landlord wants a tenant to leave, the law says he has to give the tenant notice to quit and if that one refuses to go, you have to go to court to obtain the order but that didn't happen in our case," he explained.


When contacted by SaharaReporters, the LGA Chairman, Valentine Buraimoh, said he had consulted with the stakeholders and there was no way the traders would say they were not aware. 


He promised that another market would be built within the next three months and "the original allottees would be given utmost priority."



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