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Despite drop in COVD-19 incidences, NCDC warns against complacency

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Despite drop in COVD-19 incidences, NCDC warns against complacency

The recent decline in number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 does not translate to end of the pandemic, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned.
Director General of NCDC and a Consultant Epidemiologist, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, indicated that the low Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) or rather death rate of COVID-19 patients in Nigeria is because majority of those infected in the country are between the ages of 31 and 40.
Ihekweazu said from experience gaps in legislation for health security in Nigeria, is not part of global destination for clinical trials of progressive vaccines, like South Africa and Egypt.

He stressed that contrary to some reports that hydroxychloroquine is not recommended for the treatment of COVID-19, the Centre has not dropped the age-old drug, but rather advises the use only in clinical trials, saying COVID-19 has provided opportunity for the rapid scaling up of public health laboratory, emergency preparedness and response capacity.
The NCDC boss said a combination of public health and social measures can only provide 100 per cent effectiveness in the control of the spread of the pandemic with the compliance of Nigerians.
That the pandemic is now under control in Nigeria, Ihekweazu said “The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a virus that had never been identified in humans prior to December last year.
“This means that we are really starting from ground zero to understand the virus and its characteristics, mode of spread, preventive measures, etc.
“In the absence of a vaccine, the world is at risk of continuous transmission. For now, we have to depend on a combination of public health and social measures that do not provide 100 per cent effectiveness.”
He said, the success of these measures does not only depend on the effectiveness of the measures themselves, but on compliance by the people.
“Scientists across the world, including in Nigeria, are working very hard to ensure that we have a better understanding of how to control this pandemic as quickly as possible. It is not an easy task and requires patience as we go through systematic scientific processes. But irrespective of the success of science in developing a vaccine, ultimate control will depend on the behaviour of people.”
Ihekweazu reiterated: “It is still too early to interpret a decline in new cases as flattening the curve. We are learning from countries in Europe and other parts of the world that a decline in new cases does not translate to being at the end of the pandemic.
“In most of these countries, they have begun to record an increase in cases again. In other cases, the virus has continued to spread, but not exponentially. We are proud of the leadership of the Lagos State Government in responding to this outbreak, but will not relent in our response activities.

“Although Lagos State is the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria, various states are at different phases of the outbreak. In some states, we are recording an increase in cases. We are only as strong as our weakest link and will continue to maintain momentum in the response, despite the decline in the number of new cases recorded.”
On what NCDC, Lagos State and the country have done well to achieve the decline, the epidemiologist said: “The Lagos State Government has shown very strong leadership in the response. We supported the state in activating testing capacity in four public health laboratories, including NCDC’s Central Public Health Laboratory. The State Government has also approved the inclusion of seven private sector laboratories to support testing.
“In addition, we worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support Lagos State in establishing sample collection centres in priority Local Government Area (LGAs) to enable increased demand and access to testing. These efforts have really helped us scale-up testing in the state.
“Also, the state has promoted public health and social measures, including the enforcement of use of facemasks, closure of large gatherings, etc. An NCDC Rapid Response Team has been supporting the Lagos State Ministry of Health since the beginning of the response. We will continue to sustain these efforts, so that we do not lose the gains that we have made so far. The ultimate control of this outbreak will depend on the behaviour of people.”
On efforts to sustain the tempo, the NCDC DG said: “A major priority for us in the coming months, is to support states to develop a sustainable approach to the COVID-19 response. This means increased ownership at state level. We have provided guidance to states to set up sample collection centres in secondary and tertiary hospitals.”

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Kogi earmarks N3bn for Nigeria-CARES implementation

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Kogi earmarks N3bn for Nigeria-CARES implementation

By Friday Idachaba

Kogi State Government has set aside over N3 billion to expand access to livelihood support and food security for the poor and the vulnerable under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Program for Results (Nigeria CARES).

Gov. Yahaya Bello disclosed this while declaring open a one-day Key Stakeholders Sensitisation and Training programme on Kogi State Government version of NG CARES Programme for Results at Government House, Lokoja on Thursday.

Bello who was represented by Dr Folashade Ayoad-Arike, Secretary to State Government (SSG), said the programme was divided into three areas including Basic Social Cash Transfer under Social Safety Network Program; FADAMA and SMEs.

Bello assured that the release of the earmarked N3 billion for the programme was been captured in the 2021 budget adding, “In Kogi, we do not believe in bureaucratic bottlenecks. We will make sure releases are made without undue bureaucracy.”

Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Asiwaju Asiru Idris (Mukadam), said KG CARES Programme for Results was aimed at mitigating the global effects of COVID-19 on the people and businesses in the State.

“As we know, Kogi State has no evidence of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 induced effects are very much with us, which have reduced our revenues and escalated inflation, thereby putting needless pressures on our people.

“In early 2020, the world started to witness huge disruptions over COVID-19 related issues. COVID forced lockdowns and restrictions across the globe and across sectors, which almost sniffed life out of humanity.

“Expectedly, this led to inability of businesses to cover their recurrent costs, leading to upsurge in unemployment, inflation, poverty and other disturbing social and economic indices” the Commissioner said.

In his keynote address, National Coordinator, Federal Project Suport Unit (FPSU) of Community and Social Development Project CSDP of the World Bank Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, commenced the Federal, State and the World Bank for rising to the challenge.

Obaje who represented by Mr Niyi Oduneye said that the second wave of the pandemic was more virulent and more dangerous than the first one adding that the rate at which it “operates and devastates” is far more than the first.

The state Head of Service (HOS) Mrs Deborah Ogunmola said COVID-19 had affected over 200 countries, territories and areas in the world destroying their economy, food security and livelihoods.

She said that the Pandemic also negatively impacted on livelihoods resulting in loss of wage/income, non-wage income in form of diaspora remittances from abroad, food insecurity as well as impact on household/micro enterprises.

General Manager Kogi State Community And Social Development Agency (KGCSDA), Mallam Momoh O. Dauda, the implementing agency of the programme said that programme was an initiative of the World Bank to assuage the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on livelihoods.

“The world Bank is trying to assist in Nigeria and is giving a loan of about 170 million Dollars to all the states each state will be entitled to 20 million dollars while FCT will have 50 million dollars to quelch the effects of the covid-19”, Dauda added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the key stakeholders invited for the meeting include top State Government officials, all the 21 Local Government Chairmen and their DLGs.

Others are the 21 Chairmen of Local Government Traditional Councils, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), people living with disability, the media, the academics, among others. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Former military administrator dies of Coronavirus related complications

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Former military administrator dies of Coronavirus related complications

Former military administrator of Benue and Kano States, Aminu Isa Kontagora has died of Coronavirus related complications on Sunday night, January 10, after a brief illness at an Abuja medical facility.
It was gathered that a close family member of the former military administrator announced his demise adding that Kontagora died of COVID-19 related complications.

The family source it was learned, said the former Nigerian governor will be buried today, Monday, January 11, in line with the Islamic injunction.
The late Colonel Aminu Isa Kontagora was born in 1956.
He was Administrator of Benue State, from August 1996 to August 1998 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
Late Kontagora was also the Administrator of Kano State from September 1998 to May 1999, under the transitional regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The former Nigerian governor handed over power to the then elected executive governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on 29 May 1999.

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COVID-19 Vaccination: Atiku takes the lead

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COVID-19 Vaccination: Atiku takes the lead

Former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday took the lead as one of the first Nigerians to have taken the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine in the United Arab Emirates.

This was confirmed in a retweet by a member of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Media Team, Abdulrasheed Uba Sharada.

Bulama@Bulama8976His Excellency Atiku Abubakar GCON has become the first Nigerian to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme. Not even any member of PTF A True leader.. #AtikuKawai7:28 PM · Jan 6, 202152

https://twitter.com/Bulama8976/status/1346886486378110977/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1346886486378110977%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.solacebase.com%2F2021%2F01%2F06%2Fbreaking-atiku-takes-covid-19-vaccination%2F

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