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Coronavirus

Zimbabwe Agriculture minister dies of COVID-19

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Perrance Shiri

Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister, Perrance Shiri, has died of Covid-19 at 65, a day after two legislators tested positive for the disease.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the death of retired air force marshal Perrance Shiri on Wednesday.

“I am deeply saddened to inform the nation of the death of the Minister of  Agriculture Retired Air Marshall Perrance Shiri, a long-time friend and colleague,” President Mnangagwa said.

“Comrade Shiri a genuine patriot who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country.”

Shiri was the commander of Zimbabwe’s Air Force until the 2017 military coup that toppled long time ruler Robert Mugabe.

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He then joined President Mnangagwa’s first Cabinet.

A veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war, Shiri was the commander of a North Korean trained army unit blamed for the massacre of over 20,000 civilians soon after the country’s independence.

They hospitalised him on Tuesday just days after his driver succumbed to Covid-19 at the weekend.

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Kwara records eight new cases of COVID-19

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Kwara has recorded eight new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as at 11.45p.m on Monday, Aug 10.

The state now has a total of 865 confirmed cases of the virus, while one patient was discharged.

Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement on Tuesday day in Ilorin.

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According to him, out of the 865 confirmed cases, 516 patients were discharged leaving 330 active cases in the state.

Ajakaye said 19 deaths have been recorded out of the 3, 853 people tested for the virus.

He added that 2, 922 tested negative for coronavirus with 66 tests being awaited.

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(NAN)

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US gifts Nigeria 200 ventilators [Photos]

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The US ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mary Leonard handing over the 200 ventilators to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire in Abuja on Tuesday. Credit, Adelani Adepegba

The United States has handed over 200 ventilators to Nigeria in fulfilment of the promise made by US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation with the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in April 2020.

The medical equipment were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard at a ceremony in Abuja this morning.

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President Trump while making the promise said the US would support Nigeria during the pandemic.

Some of the ventilators

Speaking while accepting the ventilators, Ehanire said

“We shall be taking delivery these ventilators to shore up our intensive care response capability courtesy of the President of the United States and the US people.

“It is my pleasure to be here at the Premier Medical Warehouse Abuja at the invitation of  USAID Nigeria on behalf of the
USA government to receive valuable medical equipment that will support the Nigerian government in their fight against the COVID19 pandemic.”

Adding,

“This donation consists of 200 ventilators which are critical components of the response strategy that will help to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by #COVID19. These ventilators will be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria.”

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Coronavirus

Russia develops COVID-19 vaccine 

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President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety.

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Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.

“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.

He said he hoped the country would soon start mass-producing the vaccine.

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Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.

Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.

Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments’ efforts to rapidly-produce such a vaccine.

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Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine’s approval, a source told Reuters last month.

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.

Reuters

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