Scientists and researchers at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, and the ABUAD Multi-system Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Thursday, said they had a breakthrough in understanding why humans were more vulnerable to infections by the new variant of COVID-19, popularly known as N501Y SARS-CoV-2 mutant.
The bio-medical scientists and researchers, led by Dr Olaposi Omotuyi, stated that “ABUAD is on the verge of bringing out an indigenous herbal product to combat the new variant in order to reduce its spread in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
Omotuyi, according to a statement by the Director, Corporate Affairs, ABUAD, Tunde Olofintila, titled: ‘ABUAD records scientific breakthrough on COVID-19’, advised that “since the country is not on total lockdown, people should adhere to the laid down non-pharmacologic preventive procedures.”
He stated that humans were more vulnerable to the COVID-19 variant because “the new variant is 80 times more effective at binding to human cells and is characterised by faster human-to-human transmission, more rapid progression of symptoms and death.”
He said, “This scientific breakthrough becomes more important and germane bearing in mind the coming of the second wave of COVID-19, which boasts of more deaths and infection than the parent pandemic.”
Recall that shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year, the ABUAD founder, Aare Afe Babalola, challenged scientists in the institution to engage in research in order to join other scientists in other parts of the world to find a lasting solution to the ravaging disease.
The Edo State Government has said 39 health care workers in the state have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 72 hours.
The Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, during a press briefing in Benin, who expressed worry over the increasing rate of infection among health care workers, noted that they were critical to the fight against the spread of the disease.
He said, “We have the challenge of health care workers infected with COVID-19. In the last 72 hours, we have had 39 health care workers infected with the virus.
“This is critical to us because they are at the frontline taking care of persons who have tested positive. It is important to ensure that they are duly protected.”
He said the 39 health workers who tested were from the health care centres managing active cases in the state.
“It is our duty to pull the infected healthcare workers out of the system so that they will not infect others,” Irowa added.
He said the government had procured additional Personal Protection Equipment for distribution to health facilities to address rising health care workers’ infection.
Similarly, the Kano State Government has warned that it will bring the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organisation caught breaching COVID-19 protocols.
It added that it had mandated security agents to ensure full compliance without exception.
This was contained in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, on Thursday.
The statement said the ban imposed on the activities of viewing and event centres had been extended to clubs, concerts, street parties and other large social gatherings.
It said that all the restrictions had to be enforced “because the safety of our people and their welfare are priorities that cannot be toyed with.”
In the same vein, the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre in Nasarawa State has called on Governor Abdullahi Sule to issue an Executive Order and create mobile courts to try citizens who refuse to comply with the coronavirus preventive measures.