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Don’t reopen schools, viewing centres, stadiums now, FG warns states

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Don’t reopen schools, viewing centres, stadiums now, FG warns states

The Federal Government on Monday warned state governments that were planning to reopen schools to withdraw the plan. The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the warning during the PTF press briefing in Abuja.

Mustapha said it was not yet safe to reopen schools, television viewing centres, stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place.

Last week, Kano State reopened football viewing centres. There were reports on Monday that Cross River State, which had yet to record any COVID-19 case, was planning to reopen schools.

On Monday, Mustapha ​ appealed to state governments to embark on wider community testing and enforce rules on social distancing.

He stated, “​We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place. The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guidelines should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.​”

Mustapha added that the PTF, through its monitoring, had observed that Nigerians were not observing social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene in markets, motor parks and places of worship

He said, “We wish to re-emphasise that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes. The breach of the ban on inter-state travels is also a point of concern.”

The SGF attributed the increase in the number of COVID-19 to the increasing number of tests being conducted across the country.

He said the battle against COVID-19 had reached the level of individual and collective responsibility.

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“The fact that restrictions have been lifted is not a license for carelessness. We may have returned to a new normal but not normal of the past. My appeal as I conclude is that where we are now is about individual and collective responsibility that will determine where we are heading to,” he added.

He said COVID-19 cases in the country would continue to rise in the country. The SGF, however, said the rate would depend on Nigerians’ adherence to protocols.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, expressed concern that COVID-19 patients who were not seeking treatment on time were dying of the virus.

He said COVID-19 symptoms could start mildly with slight fever, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, but suddenly escalate to shortness of breath.

The minister added, “Lagos State reports that people who delay going to hospital and treating themselves first at home are the majority of victims, some barely making it to the doorstep of the hospital.”

He also disclosed that the ministry of health had developed three years response to COVID-19 because the virus would not end soon.

Ehanirestated, “COVID-19, will be with us for a long time. We shall keep learning as we go along. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has developed a Health Sector Response Plan to cover the next 3 years divided into near, medium and long term. This plan therefore should be able to project into the future for at least three years. No doubt, it will require modification.”

Nigerians sending samples with fictitious names, addresses, NCDC laments

Also, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the centre was receiving samples with fictitious names and addresses making it difficult for the states to track down the positive cases for isolation and treatment.

He expressed concern over what he described as the increase in high-risk behaviour by Nigerians which was leading to more transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

Ihekweazu admonished Nigerians to learn from what was happening in Brazil which had the second-highest COVID-19 deaths in the world.

Commenting on the challenges facing the agency and the standard of COVID-19 tests at its labs, Ihekweazu stated, “Samples come to us with fictitious names and we get samples with fictitious addresses, so if the state now has a positive result, they go to look for the person, but can’t find the person.

“So, there are many challenges we have to deal with every day in our country which is reflective of other things but we keep trying to improve this, but in terms of the testing, we are doing the same standard across every lab. There is a very stringent quality assurance process.”

As of Saturday, the NCDC has carried out 92,924 tests across the country.

The NCDC boss observed that there were many undetected positive cases in the country, warning Nigerians to take responsibility for their safety by adhering strictly to the coronavirus prevention guidelines.

He added, “We have seen many people pass away. Prominent people have been infected, including four governors who announced they have been infected; so what else is there for people to doubt about the numbers we release.

“For all intents and purposes, we don’t think we are finding all the cases in Nigeria, so there are many more cases out there that we are unable to find.

“I really urge everyone to take those numbers very seriously; behind each of those numbers are people. Each time we announce those results, the next morning, somebody is going to get a result across the country. Every one of them would get a call to tell them about their status.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the PTF was targeting the evacuation of 1,000 persons per week, adding that the committee hoped to conclude the exercise within four weeks.

The PTF Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, P disclosed that the donations by Nigerians, which constituted one of the streams of funds for the nation’s response to the pandemic, had reached N850m.

Aliyu also said that of the N22bn set aside by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), as the COVID-19 intervention fund, only 0.02 per cent of it had been spent.

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NCDC Launches Online Course On COVID-19 And Other Infectious Diseases

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NCDC Launches Online Course On COVID-19 And Other Infectious Diseases

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has launched a course on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

The course, which will be taught online, is aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases amongst the general public, particularly the health care workers in Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement that was made available to the general public by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

According to the latest report by NCDC as at July 6, 2020, a total of 29,286 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 654 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria. Additionally, as at 02 June 2020, about 812 health care workers have been infected in-country, compared to over 230,000 infected health workers around the world.

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The NCDC pointed out that the national strategy in response to COVID-19 has been in different forms and in the absence of a vaccine or cure for the virus, compliance with IPC measures remains one of the most effective interventions to control the ongoing outbreak.

The NCDC has made efforts to rapidly strengthen the capacity of frontline healthcare workers in infection prevention and control wherever health care is provided. Since the first case in Nigeria was confirmed in February, NCDC has supported the training of about 17,436 health workers in IPC and works in collaboration with the Departments of Hospital Services and Food and Drugs of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), to ensure that health workers are provided with the required personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of health workers’ infection.

To ensure that IPC training, knowledge and information is easily accessible to everybody that needs it, the Infection Prevention and Control Unit of the NCDC, with technical assistance from eHealth Africa, has developed a COVID-19 IPC online course. The course features modules on standard and transmission-based precautions, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential aspects of infection control in healthcare. A certificate of participation will also be awarded at the end of the course by NCDC.

The online course is also designed to document vital information to monitor IPC compliance across health facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both in public, private and faith-based facilities in Nigeria. Infection prevention and control measures cuts across all other components of the COVID-19 response in Nigeria and is critical for strengthening national health security.

Please note that registration for the free online course on infection prevention and control can be done using the link here- https://elearning.ncdc.gov.ng/courses/infection-prevention-and-control-for-covid-19/.

The NCDC is Nigeria’s public health institution, which has the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce.’

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FG To Shut Down Third Mainland Bridge For Six months

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FG To Shut Down Third Mainland Bridge For Six months

The Federal Government has announced plans to seal the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos for maintenance work from July 24, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, during an interaction with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, July 6, 2020.

In the conversation, Popoola said that consultations were on for another phase of repair works to commence on the Third Mainland Bridge. He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the consultations were towards developing a perfect traffic management architecture that will be very efficient and effective.

According to Popoola, “We want to do maintenance work on Third Mainland Bridge very soon. Most likely on the 24th. We may close it from 24th of July.’’

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“We are still working out the modalities and when we perfect the traffic management plan we will move to site. Everything being expected for the repairs of the bridge arrived the country that is why we want to start the repairs now,’’

The 11.8km bridge which has gone through series of rehabilitation works was last closed for repairs in August 2018 for 3 days of investigative maintenance check.

Thereafter, some components needed for completion of repairs were sourced abroad because they were not available locally.

Meanwhile, a monitored report from Channels suggests that the closure might last for a period of 6 months.

There has been reports of some worn-out joints of the bridge, which has raised some s roerious safety concerns for the users of the bridge. The federal government will be working with the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) on how best traffic during this period.

The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland.

The bridge starts from Oworonshoki which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.

It was opened for use 1990 and was the longest in Africa until 1996 when The 6th October Bridge in Cairo was completed.

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Health Minister – Report Anyone Who Demands Payment For COVID-19 Test

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Payment For COVID-19 Test NCDC

Health Minister – Report Anyone Who Demands Payment For COVID-19 Test

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has asked Nigerians to report any Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) worker or Ministry of Health personnel that demands payment before COVID-19 test is carried out in the country.

 

There have been reports circulating since last week that the Federal government charges as much as N50,000 for Covid-19 testing and the Health Minister has now rubbished those reports.

 

Speaking on Monday July 6, during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said COVID-19 testing remains free.

“I wish to remind everyone that government-run testing for COVID-19 is free. Please report anyone who demands payment for necessary action,” he said.

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According to Ehanire, Nigeria has recorded a total of 28,711 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, 11,665 discharged patients and 645 deaths out of 152,952 tests conducted as of July 6.

 

Ehanire also revealed that June alone recorded half the total number of deaths recorded so far.

“It means that just under half of the total fatalities so far recorded occurred in that single month of June. While we more than doubled the tests done and the number of cases detected.

“The reduction in case fatality rate is down to about 2.2 per cent as opposed to about 5 per cent we have seen on global average,” he added.

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http://news.ncbn.ng/2020/06/04/coronavirus-and-the-adversity-of-the-asymptomatic-bala-ibrahim/

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The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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