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Prison Service in Israel To Vaccinate Palestinian prisoners

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The Israel Prison Service said Sunday it will begin vaccinating all incarcerated people against Covid-19, including Palestinians, following calls from right groups, Palestinian officials and Israel’s attorney general.

Israel has given at least one vaccine dose to more than two million of its citizens, a pace widely described as the world’s fastest per capita.

But the Jewish state faced harsh criticism when Public Security Minister Amir Ohana said Palestinian prisoners would be the last to get inoculated.

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit wrote to Ohana condemning the comment as “tainted with illegality”, Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper reported.

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Israeli and global rights groups, including Amnesty International, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization have also issued public calls for Israel to vaccinate the estimated 4,400 Palestinians held in its jails.

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According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, about 250 Palestinians in Israeli prisons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced last week that the first vaccine doses would be distributed to prisons over the coming days.

The prison service issued a statement Sunday saying, “following the vaccination of staff… the vaccination of detainees will begin in prisons in accordance with medical and operational protocol established by the Prison Service”, adding later that prisoners would be vaccinated starting Monday.

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A prison service spokesperson told AFP the directive applied to “all prisoners, without distinction”.

Reacting to the announcement, a spokesman for the Hamas Islamists, who control the Gaza Strip, said Israel “had an obligation to provide vaccines to prisoners”.

Human Rights Watch on Sunday also called on Israel to provide vaccinations for the 2.8 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the two million Palestinians in Israeli-blockaded Gaza.

Israel and Palestine director for HRW, Omar Shakir, particularly criticised the practice of vaccinating Jewish settlers in the West Bank, but not their Palestinian neighbours.

“Nothing can justify today’s reality in parts of the West Bank, where people on one side of the street are receiving vaccines, while those on the other do not, based on whether they’re Jewish or Palestinian,” Shakir said.

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“Everyone in the same territory should have equitable access to the vaccine, regardless of their ethnicity,” he added.

The Palestinian Authority has said it has signed contracts with four vaccine providers, including the makers of Russia’s Sputnik V.

The PA said it expects to have sufficient doses to vaccinate 70 percent of the Palestinian population, in both the West Bank and Gaza, with doses expected by mid-March.

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Covid-19

2.3 Million Nigerians Registered For COVID-19 Vaccination Under 24 Hours

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corona virus Vaccine

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that 2.3m Nigerians registered for COVID-19 vaccination under less than 24 hours after it announced the launch of a portal for registration for getting vaccinated.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib disclosed that there is enthusiasm in Nigeria over Monday’s arrival of 4m doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 jabs in an interview on Channels TV.

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Shuaib said; 

“I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement [about the vaccine arrival]. I know some people have their concerns and we are trying but I want to give you an example of the enthusiasm that Nigerians are showing around wanting to take these vaccines. 

“Around midday on Monday when we launched the e-registration platform, in less than 24 hours, we already had up to 2.3m Nigerians who had registered. And that number continues to increase.” 

He added that the first batch of vaccines is a major boost in Nigeria’s fight against the disease which has been contracted by over 150,000 people in the nation

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Shuaib added; 

“So, we take that very seriously and this is why we are going to be working very hard.

“Yes, the vaccines are here, but there is even harder work that needs to go on to make sure that we deliver the vaccines into the arms of Nigerians in a way that is respectful, in a way that is stress-free.”

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Buhari, Osinbajo, Others To Recieve COVID-19 Vaccine On Saturday

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bUHARI AND OSINBAJO

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and other executive Nigerians would recieve the COVID-19 vaccine on live television on Saturday March 6.

The disclosure was made by the Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib on Monday March 1 at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, ahead of the arrival of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country on Tuesday March 2.

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Shuaib said prominent Nigerians will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the vaccine to drive awareness on the virus and the vaccine administration in the country when it finally arrives.

He urged Nigerians not to be hesitant about the vaccines when they arrive.

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‘Nigeria To Escape Second Wave Of COVID-19 Soon- Dr. Ehanire Osagie

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Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie has said that the country might soon exit the second wave of the COVID-19 virus.

Dr. Osagie spoke at a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday February 22.

He said the country has been recording a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The Minister also disclosed that the decreased positivity rate from sustained testing in states, is synonymous with global trends.

He said; 

“This trend in reduction compares with global observations of seeming decline in COVID-19 cases, signifying that the second wave may be receding.

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“On 21st of February 2021, 521 new infections and 8 deaths occurred in 20 states. The sustained testing in states has decreased positively rate.

“We are, however, not drawing conclusions yet and certainly not declaring victory, but rather watching developments as they unfold nationally and internationally, ready to make use of comparative advantages that may emerge.”

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On the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Osagie said the Nigerian government is closely monitoring the situation and also collaborating with the West African Health Organization (WAHO).

He added; 

“Nigeria is closely observing developments on the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea and working with West African Health Organization (WAHO) to contain it in the outbreak country of Guinea and prevent the spread to other countries in the region.

“We are pleased to note that the ECOWAS countries adjacent to the epicenter are taking strict measures with regard checking movement of persons.”

The Minister stated that though Nigeria has been classified as a moderate Ebola risk country because of its distance from Guinea, Port Health Service officers have been on high alert to step up border surveillance of travellers arriving by air or overland from destinations around the outbreak country  to avert disease importation.

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Nigeria Records 521 New COVID-19 Cases In A Day

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nIGERIA covid-19 cases today

521 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on Sunday 21st of January.

NCDC made this know during their daily COVID-19 report in the country.

Lagos had the highest number of cases for the day with 166 new cases.

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Ogun came distant second with 52 new cases, Rivers had the third highest cases with 47 new cases.

Adamawa and Ebonyi both had 37 new cases for the day.

Here is a breakdown of the cases:

Lagos-166
Ogun-52
Rivers-47
Adamawa-37
Ebonyi-37
Akwa Ibom-25
Osun-21
Bayelsa-18
Kaduna-17
Oyo-16
FCT-15
Ekiti-14
Kano-12
Edo-12
Borno-9
Yobe-8
Ondo-6
Nasarawa-4
Bauchi-2
Kwara-3

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As at the time of this report, Nigeria has recorded 152,074 confirmed cases, 128,619 discharged patients and 1,839 deaths so far.

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Biden Set To Announce $4 billion Donation For COVID-19 Vaccines To Poor Countries

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JOE BIDEN

The President of the United States, Joe Biden is expected to announce on today, Friday that the United States will make first contribution of  $2 billion to a United Nations backed program seeking to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in the poorest countries in the world, according to senior Biden administration officials.

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ABC News reported that Congress had already allocated the money in December for the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide to Gavi, an international vaccine distribution alliance. The congress provided a total of $4 billion and officials said that the U.S. would give the rest to Gavi over the course of this year and 2022.

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President Biden intends to announce during a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven leaders.

To date, 10 countries have administered 75% of all COVID-19 vaccines, while more than 130 countries have not yet received a single dose, the United Nations said Wednesday.

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The United States has so far purchased 600 million vaccine doses, but it does not intend to give any of them to other countries until “there is sufficient supply in the United States.”

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