COVID 19: Back To Square One

New Strains Variant OfCOVID 19: Back To  Square  One

 Barely Stephen Ubanna

 Barely one year  after the Asian country of China  emerged Coronavirus , popular,  COVID 19, spread like wild fire and claimed millions of lives in over 200 countries I the world, a new variant  of the  sickness , named VUI-202012/01, also known as lineage B1.1.7, described  as worse and 70% more transmissible than the earlier  variants  has emerged in the United Kingdom, UK.

The new strain coronavirus, according to informed sources   was first identified  in UK, on September 20, 2020, but the  Boris Johnson led British  government  was said to have announced the existence of the variant  to the world  on December 14, 2020 after being confirmed by  the Public Health of England and the UK’S COVID 19 sequencing consortium AAuthorities.

Given the emergence of the new strain variant of the coronavirus, Emmanuel  Macron, home country, France, was said to have  shut its borders with UK, for two days. The two days border closure  with  the  neighbouring UK, had made  it very  difficult for   lorries  and ferries to leave from the port of Dover . The policy  measure  was said to have blocked the flow of trade between the two countries for the two days, forcing , the British Prime Minister, to reach out to his Counterpart in France t to resolve the issue .

The British government on its part  had  made efforts  to contain the transmission  of the disease that the health Authorities say could spread  faster than COVID 19 and other variants of the Pandemic. The action may not have stopped the over 40 countries  in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, from  restricting  international flights l from the Johnson home country, UK, and other countries that were alleged to have confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant. The variant, according to a report by the World Health Organisation,  WHO,  has  also  been detected  in Denmark, Netherlands, Australia  thus making the COVID 19 situation worrisome.

Countries Restrict Brtish Flights Due To new Strain Variant, COVID 19

Some of the countries that were said to have restricted travels from UK, include Argentina, Belgium, Bulgarian, Canada, Chile, Colombia and Czech Republic. Others are Denmark, El- Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel,  Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia,  Lithunia and Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman and Pakistan.This is in addition Peru, Republic of Ireland, Russia,  Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ecuador, Greece,   and Portugal among others.

  This may have informed why there is a call on the President Muhammadu led All Progressive Congress government to join other countries in the world that  have restricted flights  from UK, over  the COVID 19 new strain variant  to do so.  Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party ,PDP, in the 2019, general elections, particular,  had said that it is the only way to prevent  the spread of the disease into the country.

Abubakar: Called On The FG. To Impose Travel Ban On UK Due New Strain Variant COVID 19

 Boss Mustapha, Secretary to  the government of the Federation an Chairman  of the Presidential Task Force , PTF,  on  COVID,  may have spoken the mind of  the Katsina state born Nigerian President when he said that the government will take  decision  on the  restriction of  international  flights  from  UK, based on  the report of the aviation and  health Authorities including the WHO, which are’’ assessing the situation closely’’.

Mustapha, the TTF, COVID 19, Chairman,  was  said to have told those that cares  to listen that the government  would ‘’take a position  on the matter as soon  as  cogent specific  basis  was established’’. As a prelude to ensuring that the new strain Variant  COVID 19, would not spread into Nigeria, the government had already  shut down night clubs and recreational centers, across the country.  The PTF COVID 19, Chairman, was said to have also directed that ‘’all restaurants operating in  different parts of the country should  be closed down.  The  PTF, on COVID 19, boss, may have exempted the  restaurants  providing  services to  hotel  residents, takeaways, home deliveries and drive-ins  to avoid making things difficult for travellers.

The Mustapha led PTF, on COVID 19,  was said to have  also restricted  ‘’all informal festivity  events, including weddings, conferences,  congresses, office parties and end of year parties,   to not more than 50 people’’ to forestall the spread of the deadly disease.

 Acting on the instructions of  the Nigerian President, he  was said to have equally limited all gatherings  linked to  religious events  to less than 50 percent  of the capacity  of the facility of use, insisting that’’ physical distancing  and use of Face marks should be strictly enforced’’. As part of the anti-new strain COVID 19 measures,  the PTF COVID 19, Authorities, said  ‘’events where more than 50 people  are attending should be  held outdoors only .

The Mustapha led  PTF on COVID 19, may not have  spared the Commercial transporters.  The COVID 19, PTF Chairman was said to have made it clear that they mus t not  carry Passengers  more  50% of the capacity of the  bus, in compliance  with the  PTF ,social distancing rules. This is bad news for the bus drivers and their conductors who would not keep to the rules. With the new order,  Passengers may  have been given the ammunition by the NMustapha led PTF on COVID, 19, to protest any infringement by any bus driver to break the social distance rules.

The worry of many was that this new strain variant  of coronavirus that  has emerged in UK has come, at a time  when countries in the world including Nigeria,  await for an effective COVID 19 vaccine or the treatment.  The vaccine manufactured by Moderna, Pharmaceutical Company, are currently being administered to patients in the North American country of the United States, US. 

The discovery  of the new  strain variant of the China emerged coronavirus  has posed a lot of questions whether  it will have any impact  on the vaccines that had been produced for the treatment of the Pandemic or stop the coronavirus new strain? The British Prime minister  had said that the new COVID 19 variant  was going to have a big impact   on the Pandemic severity   in the country. He is right.

The Value learnt that  the first time the COVID variant was discovered in UK, hospitalization was over 115,000 patients.  Informed sources told The Magazine  that as at Monday,  December 21, 2020,  the confirmed carries of the number of infected persons  have reached  18 million  as against 17 million  that were infected on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

The UK emerged  new  strain  COVID 19 variant  appears to have tasked Johnson  who is working round the  clock with the country  health officials to forestall further spread of the disease.    Note that about six million doses  of the  newly authorized  moderna vaccine   was said to have been shipped to 3, 700 locations  around the country, this week alone.

 These have  added up   to   the  nearlier  three million doses  of the Pfizer  BioNTech vaccine  that  were dispatched to several health centers in the country recently. The UK  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , reported that 614,117  doses had been  administered  on the Patients  as at Monday, December 21, 2020.

Enahire: Ministerr Of Health

 Prior to the emergence of the  new strain COVID 19 variant  in UK, last September, which was said to have been made public on December 14, 2020, The Nigerian government, according to Osagie Ehanire , the minister of health had  signed  up with  the WHO, and  Gavi for access  for the procurement  of the COVID 19 vaccine immediately they are available.

 The vaccines, the minister had said  are in packets, which may  have informed why the Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are not giving any immunity  to buyers.  Although, there is no evidence suggesting that the COVID 19  vaccines  will be any less effective  against the new variant coronavirus, but  experts believe that’’ there is every reason  to believe   that  the COVID 19 vaccines  will still work against   this new strain , although, it has to be thoroughly tested.

The minister  is  optimistic that the pressure on the  WHO and  Gavi  will be able get reserves for other countries  that are not manufacturing the vaccines like Nigeria.  The Nigerian government was said to have earlier signed up  for advanced market participation  with Covax to facilitate the country getting its own share  by January 2021. Covax, was founded by the WHO, European Union, EU,  and France in 2020,  to celebrate the development , production and equitable access to COVID 19  treatments and vaccines. Investigations shows that there are  two types of the COVID 19 vaccines: those that have to be  in  ultra deep  freezers and the MRA types of vaccines, which has  to be in freezers that must  give the owner 80% type of degree.

 Ehanire, the minister of  health,  had  said that the government is also working on the cost of procuring the  COVID 19 vaccines to be able to get enough that would  take care of the population. This may have informed why he said that ‘’ the country have  to get the vaccines  that would work well with good cost  storage and cost of delivery as soon as they are available’’.

  The worry  being expressed in medical circles  is that while  the  COVID vaccines have been manufacture, there is no cure for  the virus. The US, Food and Drug Ad Administration, FDA  had  approved  the anti-Viral medication, remdesvir (Veklury)  for the treatment of infected COVID 19 , patients, alleged to have helped their recovery rate but that  was how far it could go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *