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COVID-19: Nigeria’s testing capacity very low, NMA, nurses, others warn

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Nigeria’s testing capacity

COVID-19: Nigeria’s testing capacity very low, NMA, nurses, others warn

Olufemi Atoyebi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Olaleye Aluko, Dayo Ojerinde, Bola Bamigbola and James Abraham Some professional associations in the health sector on Sunday said Nigeria must step up its testing capacity to successfully stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The groups, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said it was not enough for the federal and state governments to impose lockdown on citizens without ensuring that those who had been infected with the virus were fished out and tested.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on March 29, ordered lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states to trace and treat people that had contracted coronavirus. Some state governments, including Osun, Rivers, Katsina and Kwara, on their own also ordered lockdown of their states.

According to www.worldometers.info, as of 10pm on Sunday, Nigeria had tested 5,000 people, while 37,954 persons were tested in Ghana. On the other hand, South Africa had tested 80,085 of its citizens.

The World Health Organisation had, last week said there was an urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing in Africa. It advised that testing must go beyond cities. When COVID-19 was first recorded in the country on February 27, Nigeria had five centres, where the virus could be tested.

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The centres were increased to 10 on Friday. Cases more than what govt recorded – Nurses Commenting on Nigeria’s testing capacity, the President of the NANNM, AbdulRauf Adeniji, in an interview with The PUNCH, said COVID-19 had brought to the fore problems in the country’s health sector.

He stated, “The truth is that we are not well-equipped for the virus. Before COVID-19 came to Nigeria, the minister (of health) said we were equipped, but it is clear that our infrastructure cannot handle the testing capacity.

“People can have the virus and will not know it and still mingle with health officials and even their families thereby spreading it.

We are playing with the tail of a rattle snake in this country. “What I am saying is that the number of people, who have coronavirus in Nigeria, is more than the number recorded by government.

“The PTF (the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19) should be able to advise government properly on what should be done. The case definition is a problem. People may have it without all the conditions (high temperature, coughing and sneezing) stated.

Despite lockdown, we still see people walking around. People may have COVID-19 and seek herbal treatment – NANNM “All federal teaching institutions must be able to, by now, test people for it. At least, in each senatorial district, there should be a testing centre.

“People may have it and seek herbal treatment while disobeying social distancing order. The commitment of our health workers is still the grace we have in Nigeria.

” There is under-testing, lockdown not effective – Resident doctors On his part, the President of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Abbah Ugwu, said the government was not doing enough.

He stated, “We have limited cases because our testing capacity is not enough. We have not tested enough people as in other countries. Government is chasing thousands of people who have had contact with established cases, but I cannot say that the number we have is a true picture of the existence of the virus in Nigeria because we are not testing enough.

“There is gross under-testing of the people so the lockdown is not effective. In other countries, they have started doing house-to-house testing of their people. But it is unfortunate that we are not getting enough information from government concerning the testing capacity we have.

Only increase in the number of testing will make the lockdown effective.” Decentralise testing centres, MDCAN tells FG Also, the MDCAN advised the Federal Government to redouble its efforts in the fight against coronavirus in the country. It said testing centres should be decentralised.

The MDCAN President, Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Jos on Sunday, said although state and federal governments were doing a lot to stop the spread of the disease, the anxiety among Nigerians was enough reason to test more people to ascertain their status.

He said that a situation where only those who had symptoms of coronavirus were being tested for the disease leaving the healthy carriers would not solve the problem.

Ozoilo said, “You cannot respond appropriately to coronavirus with the lockdown. It’s true we have low figures in the numbers of recorded deaths and infected persons compared with other countries, but we are not testing enough people considering our population.

“The people who are infecting other people are the healthy carriers of the disease. But what we find in our country is a situation where only people who are already sick as a result of the disease are being tested. That means they would have infected so many people before they become eligible to be tested.

“That is absurd and wrong. So, we should be testing both the sick people and any other person that has contact with a suspected person even if he does not get sick” The MDCAN President, who identified testing centres as crucial in the fight against coronavirus, urged the government to decentralise the centres for the benefit of Nigerians.

Limited testing means we don’t know number of cases – NMA The President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, called for increase in the country’s testing capacity for COVID-19. Faduyile, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the more cases would be discovered if more tests were carried out.

He said, “There is no doubt that we need to step up our testing capacity. Not doing enough tests means we don’t know the total number of cases we have.

We cannot plan appropriately to take care of those who are infected and those who have not been tested and do not know their status.

Such people are sources of transmission to the general populace.

” Without lockdown compliance full blown transmission imminent – NMA The NMA president also warned that Nigeria risked full blown transmission of COVID-19 if people continued to flout the Federal Government lockdown order.

Despite the lockdown order, a lot of people are still seen on the streets, especially in Abuja and Lagos where the curve for coronavirus cases has been on the rise. Faduyile said although economic reality in the country had made it difficult for people to stay at home, it was important to make the sacrifice to stay at home to avert a major health crisis.

He said, “We still have a heightening of the slope and it will take some time to flatten it. That will, however, depend on how much our people obey the government order on stay at home and the FG’s commitment and intervention to ensure the order on physical distancing is obeyed.

“Economic reality makes people rebuff the order, but if we have a full blown epidemic in Nigeria, we will know why it is important to obey the stay at home order.”

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Buhari Arrives Imo for Commissioning of Projects

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Buhari Arrives Imo for Commissioning of Projects

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Imo State for the commissioning of major projects.

Buhari arrived at the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, the state’s capital on Thursday and was received by state officials and other luminaries.

Governor Hope Uzodinma had revealed that the president would be visiting Imo to commission some “major projects” his government has executed.

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“While in Abuja, I secured approval for the president to visit Imo on Thursday, Sept. 9, to commission some major projects put together by the Shared Prosperity Administration,” the governor said during an interview after he visited the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

More details soon…….

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F.G. asks L.A.S.G. to Provide Land For Mass Housing Programme

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F.G. asks L.A.S.G. to Provide Land For Mass Housing Programme

The Federal Government has appealed to Lagos State Government to provide land for the takeoff of the present administration’s mass housing scheme in the state.

The Federal Controller of Housing in Lagos State, Margaret Adejobi, made the appeal in Lagos on Sunday. She stated that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had explored various means to ensure immediate take off of the mass housing programme in Lagos State but was constrained by lack of land.

Adejobi said that Lagos State Government had in the past allocated a waterlogged land in Abijo near Epe, adding that the cost of sand filling the area would make the houses unaffordable.

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Adejobi said that the ministry was also exploring other options to get suitable land for immediate commencement of mass housing for residents.

She appealed to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to donate some of their vast parcels of land for mass housing for Lagos residents.

According to her, several MDAs have vast land not being put to use for decades which could make a huge difference if used for mass housing for Lagos residents.

Adejobi, who assumed office in Lagos last month, further promised to collaborate with all stakeholders to make Lagos a better place.

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NNPC MD Charges Staff to Sustain Profitability Trend

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NNPC MD Charges Staff to Sustain Profitability Trend

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, has charged the staff of the petroleum corporation to work hard to sustain the profitability trend as Nigerians will no longer condone losses from the Corporation.

Kyari at a Town hall meeting which was held in Abuja, assured that the corporation would continue to imbibe the best practices.

He applauded the staff for breaking the profitability jinx, adding that things cannot be the same with the Corporation again, especially with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act which mandated it to run under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

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He stressed that a back slide into losses for three consecutive years would mean liquidation for the Corporation while noting that the principles that propelled the Corporation from loss into profitability include cost control, transparency, ethical conduct among others.

He further urged staff to desist from every conduct that could prove inimical to the progress of the Corporation by either reporting such directly to him or deploying any of the whistle-blowing platforms that have been activated by the Corporation.

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