Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2020 Israel will hold first trials of a COVID-19 vaccine with 100 volunteers, Sheba Medical Centre in central Israel said on Thursday.
The trials are scheduled to begin in October at Sheba hospital and Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, both selected for the task because they have large centres for clinical trials.
The vaccine, developed by Israel’s governmental Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), is based on another virus that is not harmful to humans.
One component of this virus has been replaced by a component of the novel coronavirus, which is responsible for its binding to human cells.
The body’s immune system is supposed to identify the binding site and develop antibodies against it, preventing the coronavirus from binding to the cell.
In June, the IIBR announced success in the vaccine trials on hamsters, as it was that the vaccinated hamsters’ blood did not contain residues of coronavirus, and they also developed antibodies against the virus.
In the first stage the safety of the vaccine will be tested, after the volunteers will receive the vaccine at one dose, through a muscle, hand or buttocks.
If it is proven that the vaccine has no significant side effects, the trials will be expanded to hundreds of volunteers, and then its effectiveness will also be tested.
Zeev Rotstein, Director-General of Hadassah, told the Hebrew news website “Ynet” that the hospital staff is ready, including special facilities needed for the first phase of the complex trials.
“We will have to do it according to the rules and in a perfect way that will be good, efficient and without additional risks,” he added.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
COVID-19: Africa needs urgent trade finance boost, says report
Africa needs urgent financing to re-energise its trade in the continent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint report has stated.
This is according to the latest trade finance report, jointly released by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on Sunday.
The report, titled: “Trade Finance in Africa: Trends Over the Past Decade and Opportunities Ahead”, built on two previous studies released in 2014 and 2017.
It was also based on a survey of over 600 unique commercial banks in 49 countries across Africa for 2011 to 2019.
The report established a benchmark for trade finances in Africa before the COVID-19 crisis and recommended policy responses to the industry in the wake of the pandemic.
According to the report, only 40 per cent of Africa’s trade is bank-intermediated (goes through the formal banking system), which is a far lower share than the global average of 80 per cent.
The trade finance gap was also stated to have remained unacceptably high at 81 billion dollars in 2019.
The report found that these were some of the structural challenges that hindered banks’ abilities to effectively intermediate Africa’s trade with the world.
It also highlighted the critical role of development finance institutions in supporting the industry.
The study also found that unintended regulatory bottlenecks were one of the key constraints driving these patterns.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for financing to re-energise the region’s trade is urgent.
“The good news is that Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including the African Development Bank, are playing a more active role in supporting the trade finance industry in Africa,” the report said.
According to the report, more than half of banks engaged in trade finance activities between 2015 and 2019 received support from DFIs to expand their transactions.
Yet, DFI support was skewed toward particular sub-regions and financial intermediaries, mainly foreign-owned private banks.
The report made recommendations to boost trade finance supply in Africa.
The recommendations included, raising awareness about the impact of strict regulatory requirements on sector intermediaries and addressing geographical and institutional differences in DFI support to the sector.
Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director of the Financial Sector Development Department, noted that the report series had become the main reference document for the industry on the continent.
“It reflects the Bank’s increasing thought leadership role on this important subject.
“We hope that the findings of this report will motivate policymakers and industry experts to devise and implement strategies in fragile states and low income countries to make trade finance more accessible to African traders, especially SMEs in fragile states and low income countries,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
Ligue 1: Mbappe shines as PSG hit top gear against Nice
France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Mbappe, who missed the opening three games after contracting the coronavirus, fired PSG ahead with a 38th-minute penalty.
He also had a big part in Angel Di Maria’s strike before Marquinhos headed home the third in the second half.
PSG made a sluggish start to their campaign as they lost the opening two matches and eked out a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday but they tore Nice apart with sublime skill and crisp one-touch passing.
Mbappe blasted his spot-kick into the roof of the net after he was fouled by Khephren Thuram and Nice goalkeeper Waller Benitez could only parry the forward’s crisp low shot for Di Maria to sweep home the rebound.
The visitors missed a string of chances in the second half with striker Mauro Icardi hitting the post, before Marquinhos added the third with a glancing header from a Di Maria cross.
Ander Herrera also hit the woodwork with a deflected shot in the first half while the home side were denied by acrobatic goalkeeping from Keylor Navas.
The result lifted PSG to seventh place on six points from four games, with Nice slipping to 10th also on six points.
In Sunday’s other stand-out fixtures, second-placed St Etienne, who have a maximum nine points from three games, visit 14th-placed Nantes and Olympique Marseille in eighth are at home to fourth-placed Lille.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Peter Ejiofor)
Gov. Ishaku’s wife commends Fidelity Bank’s free medical outreach to 829
Mrs Anna Darius Ishaku, wife of Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba, has commended Fidelity Bank Plc for providing free medical assistance to 829 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kona community of the state.
Mrs Ishaku gave the commendation in a statement signed on Sunday in Lagos by Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director (MD) and the Chief Executive Officer ( (CEO) of the bank.
The three-day outreach was organised by Hope Afresh Foundation in collaboration with the bank’s employees as part of Fidelity Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
According to the statement, the foundation and the bank, driven purely by altruistic values and an innate desire to make the world a better place, pulled their resources together to offer free qualitative healthcare to the people.
Also, Ishaku was quoted in the sratement to have advised the beneficiaries of the outreach to always go for regular medical checkups in order to reduce cases of diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, and high blood pressure.
Ishaku, also the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Hope Afresh Foundation, encouraged other organisations to emulate the bank.
“I urge other corporate bodies, non-governmental and governmental organisations and other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the bank by giving back to the society,” she said.
Okonkwo, who was represented by Mr Chris Nnakwe, Head, CSR & Sustainability, said that corporate philanthropy remained an effective way to positively influence the society.
He said that the bank had invested in the health sector through infrastructural development, medical outreach and others.
“At Fidelity Bank, we understand that good health and well-being are fundamentals to sustainable development.
“As much as the world has made significant progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, basic access to healthcare remains a challenge in Nigeria,” he added.
Also, Chief (KURU) of Kona,Augustine Njenmang Vengkani , expressed gratitude to the bank and the foundation for the kind gesture.
The statement stated that the outreach provided opportunities for employees of the bank to bond and build mutually beneficial relationships with the people of Kona community and the state.
“By collaborating with Hope Afresh Foundation, the bank provided a variety of medical tests and prescribed drugs that will help promote the general health and well-being of IDPs in Kona community of the state,” it added.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Peter Dada