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Hydroxychloroquine ineffective at preventing COVID-19 – Trial

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clinical trial Hydroxychloroquine COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine ineffective at preventing COVID-19 – Trial

Taking hydroxychloroquine shortly after being exposed to COVID-19 does not help prevent infection in a statistically meaningful way, scientists reported Wednesday following a clinical trial.

The medicine has been touted by US President Donald Trump, who has said he used it as a prophylaxis against the novel coronavirus.

But an experiment involving 821 people across the United States and Canada showed it did not work significantly better than a placebo for this purpose.

The study was led by a team at the University of Minnesota, and their paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers enrolled adults who had come into contact with someone who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes at a distance of six feet (about two meters) or less.

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The majority of them – 719 – were deemed to have had “high-risk” exposure because they wore neither a face mask nor an eye shield at the time, while the rest were “moderate-risk” because they covered their face but did not have goggles.

All participants were randomly assigned to receive either hydroxychloroquine — which is certified for use against malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus – or a placebo, within four days.

The researchers then looked at how many patients went on to develop COVID-19 over the next two weeks, which was confirmed either by a laboratory test or by clinical signs.

They found that 49 of the 414 given the medicine got the disease caused by the coronavirus, compared to 58 of the 407 on the placebo.

This translates to 11.83 percent on the drug were infected, versus 14.25 percent on the placebo.

The absolute difference of about 2.4 percentage points in favor of the medicine was not considered statistically significant given the sample size, meaning it could have occurred because of chance.

Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with the placebo — 40.1 percent versus 16.8 percent — but no serious adverse reactions were reported.

“This randomized trial did not demonstrate a significant benefit of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for COVID-19,” wrote the authors.

The results of the study were eagerly awaited because it was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), a carefully designed experiment that is considered the gold standard for investigating clinical outcomes.

Several previous studies on the drug that have made headlines were “observational,” meaning they looked back at what had already happened. As such, more variables are left to chance and it is generally harder to draw firm conclusions.

Nevertheless, Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said more research was needed to know for sure whether hydroxychloroquine might have a moderately positive effect.

“The study is too small to be definitive,” said Landray, who was not involved in the trial.

The results “makes it very unlikely that there is a large effect (e.g. a halving in the risk of infection) but cannot rule out a more modest difference (e.g. a reduction of one-quarter or one-third) which would still be very valuable,” he added.

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Labour Force

Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers

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Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers

Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has approved the implementation of N30,000 as minimum wage for the workers in the state.

 

The secretary to the state government, Folashade Ayoade disclosed this on Tuesday after an extensive meeting with the organized labour in Lokoja

 

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She blamed the delay in the implementation on the inability for the committee to meet regularly due to the covid-19 pandemic which has been overcome.

 

The SSG equally commended the organised labour for their understanding and patience, which she said has resulted into the signing of the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Read Also: FCTA Set to Implement Minimum Wage for FCT Workers

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Finance

CBN to End Forex Sales to Commercial Banks in 2022

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Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) on notice that it will stop selling forex to them by the end of 2022. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the end of the Bankers’ Committee Meeting where he also introduced the RT200 Programme.

 

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Emefiele said the time had come for the banks to go out there and source for forex by funding entrepreneurs with ideas. The CBN, Emefiele said, will support the banks by granting rebates and other support until the banks find their feet in sourcing their forex by themselves.

He also disclosed that the apex bank’s policies and measures have led to a significant improvement in diaspora inflow from an average of US$6 million per week in December 2020 to an average of over US$100 million per week by January 2022. He added that the CBN would be reviewing these intervention programmes going forward to ensure that they continue to achieve the desired results.

He said international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country.

 

Read Also: CBN Encourages Nigerians to Accept E-Naira

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Customs Corner

Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command

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Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command

Author: Gift Wada, Abuja

The Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) has approved the deployment of 37 Comptrollers to various Units, Departments and Commands across the country.

This was disclosed in a release signed on Tuesday by the Customs Deputy National, DC Timi Bomodi for the Comptroller General of Customs.

Among those deployed are the present National PRO of Customs Comptroller Joseph Attah who will assume the office of Area Controller of Kebbi Command, Comptroller AAS Oloyede who shall be moving from ICT/MOD to Tin Can Island Port Command, while Comptroller SI Bomoi to FCT Command. Other postings are Comptroller BA Jaiyeoba to Oyo/Osun Command, Comptroller A Dappa-Williams to Eastern Marine Command, Compt. MA Umar Kano/Jigawa, Compt. KC Egwuh ICT/MOD, Compt. LM Mark Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi, Compt. T Tachio CTC Kano, Compt. AA Umar Western Marine, Compt. M Dansakwa North Eastern Marine, Compt. AC Ayalogu T & T and Compt. KD Ilesanmi will assume duty as Comptroller Board among others.

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Ali in postings released on 7th of February, charged the newly posted Comptrollers to justify the confidence reposed in them by NCS Management by bringing to bear their years of experience and training in trade facilitation and anti-smuggling activities on their new assignment.

 

Given the enormous expectations of government regarding revenue generation in the current year, the Comptroller General reiterated the need for all Area Controllers and Unit heads to take full charge of the affairs of their Commands by ensuring absolute compliance with extant fiscal policies while leveraging on the efficient management of data to optimize trade facilitation and revenue collection.

Furthermore, the CGC directed all officers to be extremely vigilant in protecting the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians by ensuring the full fortification of our borders against the incursion of smugglers and other cross border criminals.

Read Also:

Customs Raises Concerns over Finance Act as Senate Sets N3trn Target for Revenue Agencies

Comptroller Ali Ibrahim Assumes Duty as New Customs FOU Zone ‘C’ Boss

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