Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi has urged citizens of the state to remain calm as the State Government has the capacity to tackle the menace of Ebola disease.
He gave the assurance shortly after visiting the Ebola Isolation Centre in Oduoha Community yesterday in Emohua Local Government Area.
Amaechi said, “I am not saying that Ebola virus is bad as we think, and it doesn’t just kill the way people think. Professional doctors have said, if Ebola virus infection is well managed, the possibility of tackling the virus is there.”
Calling on citizens not to feel shy to report any symptom of infection through the state emergency lines, Amaechi noted that doctors are at hand to attend to patients.
He said plans have been concluded to upgrade the facility to enable experts and professional medical doctors properly manage and control the spread of the Ebola virus in the State.
Amaechi assured that the involvement of technical partners like the World Health Organization (WHO), Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) also know as Doctors Without Borders, the American Embassy and the Federal Government will ensure drastic measures are put in place to tackle and eliminate the disease.
“This is a temporary approved quarantine site for the Ebola virus and we are working on it to upgrade the facility. The place is a bit out of town and we want to start from here while we continue to search for a permanent site. I am going to address the State on the issue. I am not saying that Ebola virus is bad as we think and it doesn’t just kill the way people think. Professional doctors have said, if the Ebola virus infection is well managed, the possibility of tackling the virus is there. The World Health Organization (WHO), Doctors without borders, the American Embassy and the Federal Government are involved and so we are sure and confident that we will control the Ebola virus from spreading and possibly eliminate it in our state,” he said.
“I don’t want anybody infected to feel shy and possibly take it to the rural areas because it could affect your children, family and relations and any result to death. That will be too disastrous. When you have high fever you cannot account for, please don’t go to any Primary Health Center, come to the corridors of government and our doctors will pick you and give you adequate treatment,” he said.
He lauded the people of Oduoha Community for assisting government to fight the menace, assuring them that the disease is not airborne hence they should not panic at the location of the Isolation Centre in their area.
Meanwhile, Rivers State has now recorded two cases of Ebola infection in the state.
These include the medical doctor who attended to a diplomat who visited Port Harcourt two weeks ago and his wife.
An autopsy test carried out on the body of the late medical doctor, Dr Ikye Enemuo, who treated the diplomat revealed he died of Ebola disease Commissioner for Health, Dr Sampson Parker announced on Thursday to journalists in Port Harcourt.
“A few hours ago the result of the test carried out on the medical officer showed it positive of Ebola virus,” he declared.
Dr. Parker revealed that the widow of Dr. Enemuo, a medical doctor had equally taken ill after contracting the disease from her husband and had been quarantined with about 100 persons currently being placed under watch.
According to him, those in the watch list may have made contacts with the dead medical officer either through the clinic or the hotel where the diplomat was housed.
Explaining how the disease came into the state, Parker stated that a staff of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who had made contact with Patrick Sawyer in Lagos, visited the state and was checked into a hotel from where he was attended by late Dr Enemuo.
Explaining how the scourge came into the state, the Health Commissioner disclosed that the diplomat had consulted Dr. Enemuo due to illness from where he checked into a hotel. Enemuo took ill after the departure of the diplomat who is now fully recovered.
It was the physician who was taking care of Dr. Enemuo that became suspicious after his colleague showed signs of diarrhoea, fever and stooling and died two days later on 22nd August.
Already, the Health Commissioner stated that the hospital and hotel have been decontaminated in an effort to check further spread of the disease.
He therefore assured residents of the state to remain calm and go about their normal businesses as government was on top of the situation.
Parker added, “ Ebola is not a chronic disease once you are treated you are immune. We have more people who have survived than those that died, but people must avoid unnecessary bodily contacts and maintain strong hygiene”.
Noting that, “We have all the material and human resources to fight and defeat the deadly virus. Officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and other international agencies are already working with the state Ministry of Health.”
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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