HEALTH

Falsification of passengers’ details causing more harm ; Edo government laments
Health

Falsification of passengers’ details causing more harm ; Edo government laments
| April 08th, 2020

As epidemiologists trace 286 contacts



The Edo State Government has expressed worry over the increasing number of fake details in the manifest of passengers, noting that the falsification of identity was limiting the government’s contact-tracing efforts.


Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, urged transporters to ensure that passengers give authentic details in the manifest before embarking on any journey.


He noted that the fake phone numbers and wrong addresses in the manifest posed a serious threat to the contact tracing of about 286 persons who have been line-listed.


Okundia, who charged hoteliers not to allow their rooms to be used for self-isolation, said some Persons of Interest (POIs) were residing in hotels and mingling with others, thereby endangering the health and safety of other residents.


The commissioner said, “It has come to the notice of the Edo State Ministry of Health that some unscrupulous passengers now give fake phone numbers and wrong addresses in the manifest provided by transporters, as a way of evading contract-tracing in the eventuality of exposure.


“This is not only a threat to the state government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but jeopardizes the health and safety of family members, and indeed all Edo residents. It is even more unfortunate as the number contacts to infected persons have continued to increase.


“We urge all residents to ensure that they do not give wrong details in the passengers manifest. We also call on transporters and hoteliers not to only adhere to the government’s guidelines to prevent further spread of the infectious disease but ensure that all passengers and clients are properly checked-in with rightful details.”


Okundia added, “As the state government intensifies efforts to contain the pandemic, we urge all residents to stay at home and observe social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures against the disease, including washing your hands regularly with soap under running water and the use alcohol-based hand sanitisers; cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing. Also do well to report anyone with oversea travel history.”

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index case of COVID-19 confirm by Delta State government
Health

index case of COVID-19 confirm by Delta State government
| April 08th, 2020

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has confirmed the index case of COVID -19 in the state, just as he said the disease is not a death sentence.


The governor, in a radio and television broadcast in Asaba, warned that the coronavirus pandemic was real, adding that the stay at home order was not punitive but to check the spread of the virus.


Mr Okowa had on April 1 directed a total lockdown of the state to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

He advised journalists to verify their reports as the period was not for rumour mongering.


He said the rumour making around that a member of the State House of Assembly had tested positive was not true.

He urged the people of the state to cooperate with the government and ensure they comply with the stay at home order and to pray to God to save Nigeria and indeed the world from the pandemic.


He said the government had prepared and equipped four isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 patients in Warri, Oghara and Asaba with several holding places across the state for suspected cases.


He noted the government had also established food banks through the support of well-meaning individuals and organisations to provide palliatives for people during the lockdown.


He also said the government would distribute facemasks free to residents to curb the spread of the disease.


“The lockdown order was given because it was necessary and also lawful because I have already signed into law a regulation which empowers us to take action against those who disobey the law.


“Delta State recorded its index yesterday April 7, 2020, and that case has already been moved into one of our four management centres.


“We have already started the process of contact tracing and I want to assure all residents that our health staff have received the best of training, they are in good spirit and are ready to go.


“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all residents to pray for our health staff and to support them to succeed,” Mr Okowa said.


He added: For the doubting Thomases, COVID-19 is real, it is not for the rich or for the poor, it could affect anybody.

“I want to urge us all to continue to observe the rules of social distancing, regular washing of the hands and the use of hand sanitisers.


“Those who fall sick and exhibit the symptoms of the disease which include fever, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing should call the following numbers; 08031230480; 08031230481; 08031230538 and 08031230529 for direction.


“There is a process of management of the disease and it is unlawful for any private hospital or public hospital to receive, hide or keep quiet over any case that looks like COVID -19, it must be reported to appropriate authority.


“On the use of facemask, I want to encourage residents to use it to reduce the transmission chain.


“As a state, we are already in a process of producing facemasks and when produced will be distributed to our people free.


“We have established a food bank and in the next few days we will be moving the food to support our people in the various villages, towns and wards in the state.

“We want to thank the people for their support and soon we shall be making public names of all those who made donations to the food bank concerning COVID -19.

“COVID-19 is not a death sentence, a lot more people survived than those who died from it, so, there is need for cooperation and we must not take it for granted, we must work in unison to combat the pandemic.


“I want to urge people to shun rumour mongering, there has been a lot of insinuation that a member of the State House of Assembly has contracted the virus.


“That is not true but that does not mean that anybody in government cannot contract the virus, everybody must be careful, and obey the rules.


“No member of the House of Assembly has contracted COVID-19. It is important that I put the record right.”


(NAN).

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index case of COVID-19 confirm by Delta State government
Health

index case of COVID-19 confirm by Delta State government
| April 08th, 2020

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has confirmed the index case of COVID -19 in the state, just as he said the disease is not a death sentence.


The governor, in a radio and television broadcast in Asaba, warned that the coronavirus pandemic was real, adding that the stay at home order was not punitive but to check the spread of the virus.


Mr Okowa had on April 1 directed a total lockdown of the state to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

He advised journalists to verify their reports as the period was not for rumour mongering.


He said the rumour making around that a member of the State House of Assembly had tested positive was not true.

He urged the people of the state to cooperate with the government and ensure they comply with the stay at home order and to pray to God to save Nigeria and indeed the world from the pandemic.


He said the government had prepared and equipped four isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 patients in Warri, Oghara and Asaba with several holding places across the state for suspected cases.


He noted the government had also established food banks through the support of well-meaning individuals and organisations to provide palliatives for people during the lockdown.


He also said the government would distribute facemasks free to residents to curb the spread of the disease.


“The lockdown order was given because it was necessary and also lawful because I have already signed into law a regulation which empowers us to take action against those who disobey the law.


“Delta State recorded its index yesterday April 7, 2020, and that case has already been moved into one of our four management centres.


“We have already started the process of contact tracing and I want to assure all residents that our health staff have received the best of training, they are in good spirit and are ready to go.


“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all residents to pray for our health staff and to support them to succeed,” Mr Okowa said.


He added: For the doubting Thomases, COVID-19 is real, it is not for the rich or for the poor, it could affect anybody.

“I want to urge us all to continue to observe the rules of social distancing, regular washing of the hands and the use of hand sanitisers.


“Those who fall sick and exhibit the symptoms of the disease which include fever, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing should call the following numbers; 08031230480; 08031230481; 08031230538 and 08031230529 for direction.


“There is a process of management of the disease and it is unlawful for any private hospital or public hospital to receive, hide or keep quiet over any case that looks like COVID -19, it must be reported to appropriate authority.


“On the use of facemask, I want to encourage residents to use it to reduce the transmission chain.


“As a state, we are already in a process of producing facemasks and when produced will be distributed to our people free.


“We have established a food bank and in the next few days we will be moving the food to support our people in the various villages, towns and wards in the state.

“We want to thank the people for their support and soon we shall be making public names of all those who made donations to the food bank concerning COVID -19.

“COVID-19 is not a death sentence, a lot more people survived than those who died from it, so, there is need for cooperation and we must not take it for granted, we must work in unison to combat the pandemic.


“I want to urge people to shun rumour mongering, there has been a lot of insinuation that a member of the State House of Assembly has contracted the virus.


“That is not true but that does not mean that anybody in government cannot contract the virus, everybody must be careful, and obey the rules.


“No member of the House of Assembly has contracted COVID-19. It is important that I put the record right.”


(NAN).

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COVID-19: Don’t Rush To Lift Restrictions Too Quickly, WHO Urges Nations
Health

COVID-19: Don’t Rush To Lift Restrictions Too Quickly, WHO Urges Nations
| April 04th, 2020

 The World Health Organisations (WHO) has urged nations not to be in a hurry to rescind lockdown policies implemented to forestall the coronavirus pandemic.

The WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, made the call at a COVID-19 media briefing on Friday.

Ghebreyesus warned that if countries rushed to lift restrictions, “the virus could resurge and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged.”

“Financing the health response is, therefore, an essential investment not just in saving lives, but in the longer-term social and economic recovery,” he added.

The WHO chief advised countries to focus on three key areas – the implementation of core public health measures, the strengthening of health workers’ welfare and the removal of financial barriers to healthcare for all citizens.

“If people delay or forego care because they can’t afford it, they not only harm themselves, they make the pandemic harder to control and put society at risk,” Ghebreyesus said.

He advised governments to “consider using cash transfers to the most vulnerable households to overcome barriers to access.

“This may be particularly important for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and the homeless.”

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Enugu state government takes drastic measures to curb spread of COVID-19
Health

Enugu state government takes drastic measures to curb spread of COVID-19
| March 26th, 2020

BREAKING NEWS!


COVID-19: Enugu govt approves assurance package for doctors, other health workers


…Mobilizes Volunteers, Town Criers for enlightenment campaign in rural areas


In furtherance of his resolve to strengthen the state’s response to Corona Virus Disease pandemic, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has approved the immediate provision of Group Life/Group Personal Accident Assurance Policy for all medical doctors in the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu.


In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the assurance package is also extended to all doctors in the State Ministry of Health and all other health workers.


Other beneficiaries, according to the statement, include fire fighters, staff of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency and all those involved in other essential services.


Prof. Ortuanya added that Gov. Ugwuanyi is hopeful this goodwill will inspire higher commitment and productivity amongst the beneficiaries.


In a related development, the governor has directed the Presidents General of all Town Unions in the state to mobilize volunteers and town criers in their respective autonomous communities to enlighten residents of their communities on adherence to the protocol for prevention of COVID-19 transmission with effect from Thursday, March 26, 2020.


The Presidents General were further directed to interface with the Enugu State Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team, through the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, for collection of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on Corona Virus disease, for use by the Volunteers and Town Criers.


According to Prof. Ortuanya, the state government has also made provisions for logistic support to the Presidents General for the various Town Criers for this assignment.


 Enugu State is in the hands of God! ##

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Lagos discharges coronavirus index case
Health

Lagos discharges coronavirus index case
| March 21st, 2020

The first case of Coronavirus in Nigeria, an Italian who flew into the country via Istanbul, has tested negative and certified fit to go home, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared.


Mr Sanwo-Olu, who is the incident commander for COVID-19 in Lagos State, said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, on Saturday that after weeks of medical attention by health workers at the Infectious diseases hospital, Yaba that the patient has now tested negative to the virus and has been released to return home.


“As the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Lagos State, I am glad to inform you that the index case, an Italian gentleman is now negative.


“Through a combined effort of Lagos State, Ogun State and Federal Health Authorities, we were able to limit the transmission of the virus to a single contact. This involved aggressive contact tracing and containment strategies.” Sanwo-Olu said.


The governor said there are new imported cases, saying that he hopes that same contact tracing strategy method can be applied along with social distancing practices to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from the new cases.


Mr Sanwo-Olu said the index patient graciously donated a unit of white blood before he was discharged. He said the white blood, otherwise called plasma is rich in antibody proteins that target COVID19 virus.


The white blood plasma, the governor said, is frozen in the State’s Bio-bank and will be useful in handling new cases.


He said: “the blood plasma will be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for COVID-19”.


Governor Sanwo-Olu applauded the professional handling of the index patient by the Lagos State medical personnel, the EOC team and others who collaborated with the State Government and the Federal Government for the success recorded.


Mr Sanwo-Olu, however, reminded all residents to keep safe, saying that the COVID-19 is real and it’s with us in the community but maintained that we can defeat it if we follow basic instructions as being sent out daily by the State and Federal Ministries of health.


He enjoined the residents to scale up their personal hygiene habits, by washing their hands regularly with soap and water, avoid large crowds of more than fifty persons and practice social distancing.


The statement said the index patient appreciated the care and support given to him by staff of the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, and all members of the EOC and Lagos State Government.

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Nigeria hasn’t approved chloroquine for coronavirus treatment — Minister
Health

Nigeria hasn’t approved chloroquine for coronavirus treatment — Minister
| March 21st, 2020

Nigeria has not recommended the use of chloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus in the country, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said on Friday.


Mr Ehanire said this while answering questions from journalists on the status of Covid-19 in the country.


He said Nigeria has not approved the use of chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Mr Ehanire said it had not been proven that chloroquine is active against coronavirus.

He said Nigeria would not adhere to the recommendations of U.S. president, Donald Trump, but will rather follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.


“We no longer use chloroquine in Nigeria. Donald Trump made this announcement but we are not following that announcement.


“We look at what the WHO recommend and we also ask our scientists here what for their recommendations.


“So far, what has been said about chloroquine is it was active in vitro test (test performed in a test tube, or elsewhere outside a living organism) and not in vivo (in the living organism) that is what we know so far about the chloroquine but the situation might change tomorrow,” he said.

Mr Ehanire said the country is “not going to necessarily look at that but we are not ignoring that either possible option”.


He said for the cases Nigeria has had so far, “they did not require the use of chloroquine or any medication”.

He said it had largely been ‘supportive treatment.’


NAFDAC approves production


While the minister said there are yet no plans for the use of chloroquine in the country, Nigeria’s drug monitoring agency, NAFDAC, on Friday said it has approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials in tackling COVID-19.

Channels TV reported that the Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, on Friday in Lagos, said NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 but for clinical trials to find treatment for the virus.


“In the case of Chloroquine, it has been demonstrated in the literature and with clinical research which is still ongoing, that Chloroquine is superior to the placebo.


“NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine as a product that can be used for Coronavirus because there is no submission to us for registration but because it is under clinical trials, NAFDAC approves medicines meant for clinical trials.

“Therefore the medicine is being approved just for the clinical trials,” Mr Adeyeye said.


Controversy

Chloroquine has been in use for decades for the treatment of malaria. It was phased out for malaria treatment after researchers discovered the disease was becoming resistant to the drug

At the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in China where the virus originated, some researchers claimed to have used chloroquine as one of the treatment procedures to patients and said these were successful.


However, WHO expressed doubt about its efficacy saying more research was needed.

According to the UN health agency, research on the Covid-19 virus is still ongoing and there has been no specific approved treatment protocols.


This is because the virus is relatively new and nobody understands the pattern of the disease until weeks ago.

Meanwhile, several researches are still ongoing as many countries try different protocols to combat the outbreak.


Scientists are still rigorously working on the DNA sequence analysis to determine the right treatment and produce vaccines for the virus.

Mr Trump on Thursday said he had approved the use of chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 in the U.S.


He said the drug has been around for a long time, so we know if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to killing anybody.”

His words had sparked concerns among public health experts across the world.

While Mr Trump said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the use, the health agency denied this.


The FDA, also known as USFDA, is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments.

The commissioner of the FDA, Stephen Hahn, appeared to contradict the president, saying chloroquine “was undergoing clinical testing in order to gauge its effectiveness.”


Drug abuse

While the controversy on the use of chloroquine is still ongoing, some Nigerians have been reported to have begun abusing the drug.

The chief press secretary to the Lagos state governor, Gboyega Akosile, had tweeted on his twitter handle @gboyegaakosile, that some hospitals in Lagos state have been receiving patients suffering from chloroquine poisoning.


Mr Akosile warned people against “massive consumption of chloroquine as a measure to fight coronavirus.”

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Coronavirus: Nigerian CSOs want public gatherings limited, travel restrictions
Health

Coronavirus: Nigerian CSOs want public gatherings limited, travel restrictions
| March 18th, 2020

A coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria has called on the government to consider immediate measures to limit public gatherings and promote safe social contacts among citizens.


The 21 groups made the call barely 24 hours after Nigeria confirmed its third case of Covid-19.


The group includes Policy and Legislative Advocacy Centre, Centre for Liberty, Stakeholders Democracy Network SDN, Silverchip Fox, TechHer, Butterfly Effect Empowerment Initiative, YIAGA Africa, Concerned Nigerians, Free Nigeria Movement, Adopt A Goal Initiative, Dinidari Foundation, Rule of Law Development Foundation, Education as a Vaccine, Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER), Centre for Democracy Development, Girl Child Africa, Tap Nitiative, Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA), Raising New Voices Initiative, Global Rights and Connected Development (CODE)


In a statement jointly signed and issued on Tuesday, the coalition expressed its worries over continuous exposure of the country to travellers from areas heavily exposed to the virus.


It said the confirmation of the third case of Covid-19 in Lagos calls for more stringent measures in protecting borders and managing movement in and out of Nigeria.


Covid-19


Nigeria is one of the countries which have reported at least a case of the Covid-19 since it was detected in Wuhan, China in December.


Nigeria now has at least three confirmed cases of the disease.

Two of the cases were imported into the country and the third was a contact person of the index case.


The Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said Tuesday that the latest case is a Nigerian national in her 30s, who returned from a short visit to the UK on March 13.

He said the woman had been diligent in observing 14-day self-isolation and is not expected to have been in contact with lots of people.


He said intensive contact tracing had begun to help identify all persons who the patient had been in contact with since her return.

“We expect the number to be small, because of her sensible decision to go into self-isolation from the time of her arrival,” the minister said about the latest patient.


Stringent Measures


The civic coalition said it is necessary for government to take ”drastic measures to protect the country and a fragile health system that has been neglected for too many years”


It said the federal government and states must recognise that this is a urgent national security matters.

The group urge the government to place ”restriction to travellers coming from any country overseas that has an on-going outbreak of Coronavirus.


”For both Nigerians returning home and any travellers deemed essential by the Nigerian government, there must be mandatory and closely monitored self-isolation or quarantine measures for at least two weeks.

”NCDC should immediately receive funds that will be adequate for it to radically scale activities and make a major urgent investment in testing for coronavirus.


”State Governments should move immediately to provide their own technical teams with adequate resources for an effective response to a health emergency and any state that has not acted yet should be pressured to do so immediately.

”Effort should be put in place to closely monitor our land borders and ensure basic health protocols for prevention of coronavirus spread.


“Governments at all levels (Federal, state and local) should consider immediate measures to limit public gatherings and promote safe social contacts amongst citizens,” the group said.


The group also calls for better resources and adequate life insurance policies for frontline workers of NCDC, state and federal ministries.

“We need both the federal government and state governors to act to forestall unnecessary losses of life,”


The group advised Nigerians to adhere to advice issued by NCDC on social events.


“By being cautious early, we can protect our country from undetected outbreaks spreading dramatically.


“We will need to work together as a society, and we will need to work with our neighboring countries to protect each other in this time of danger,” the coalition said.

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Liberia did this to Corona virus victims
Health

Liberia did this to Corona virus victims
| March 17th, 2020

Liberia’s President George Weah has suspended a government official who tested positive for Covid-19 after he returned to the country from Switzerland, becoming the West Africa nation’s first case.


Mr Weah said Nathaniel Blama, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, had refused to be quarantined as required by health protocols set up to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.


But Mr Blama denied the accusations, saying he had complied with the health rules and that he regretted that state officials were “misinforming the public”.



Meanwhile, President Weah has suspended all school activities including those of universities for one week from 17 March, a statement from the information ministry says.


The measure will allow the health authorities to conduct surveillance and trace those said to have arrived in the country on the same flight as Mr Blama.


Many Liberians are anxious, with many worried that if the virus is not controlled it could create a health crisis similar to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people in the region.

(BBC)

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