The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is trying to identify 6,000 people who have had close contact with Coronavirus cases.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this, yesterday, when he appeared on Channels Television.
Nigeria, world’s most populous black nation, currently has over 111 cases.
Ihekweazu said the numbers are expected to keep rising, but assured that the NCDC was on top of the situation.
“We expect cases of COVID19 to rise as we improve the capacity to detect and test. Our laboratories are activated to function 24/7.
“We appeal to Nigerians to work with us in compliance with the measures instituted by the President,” he said.
Ihekweazu noted that Nigeria has been lucky not to have had too many severe cases.
He disclosed that the NCDC has currently tested well over 2,000 people and has also increased the number of laboratories in its network.
The NCDC boss lamented that the agency was being bogged down by people who do not require the test.
“So, we have to manage demand. We have to focus on those who need it the most.”
He confirmed that the duration between testing and results depends on several factors.
“But it is between 24 to 48 hours. Our target is to get results out in 12 hours,” the NCDC boss added.
However, the Federal Government has confirmed the second death from Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced this, yesterday, during the Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He said, “Till date, three persons have been discharged after successful treatment. But sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had severe underlying illnesses.
“We have intensified contact tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them, and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat, in order to reduce the spread of the infection.
“As of today, the 30th of March, 2020, we have recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria of which 68 are in Lagos, 21 in the FCT, seven in Oyo, three in Ogun, two in Bauchi, two in Edo, two in Osun, two in Enugu, and one each in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna and Rivers states,” Ehanire added.
He stressed that Nigeria has 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19, saying a majority of them were persons who came in from overseas.
According to the health minister, the highest number of confirmed cases is in Lagos and Abuja because they serve as the major gateways to the country.
He also informed the gathering that all retired but able-bodied staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health were being recalled.
Ehanire warned Nigerians to protect the elderly among them, as well as those having underlying health issues as they were the most vulnerable.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, informed the audience that the briefing would be a daily event.
He explained that the purpose was to give an update and minimise the incidence of fake news in the country.
Mustapha stressed that the briefing would be the only approved briefing of the task force, although appearances on TV by relevant members would be allowed.
He announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a committee headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to care for the economic challenges that the situation may bring for the time being.
The SGF also clarified the controversy triggered by the restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He allayed the fear of Nigerians, saying workers in the financial institutions were not included in the stay-at-home order declared by the President in his Sunday broadcast to the nation.
Meanwhile, the government, yesterday, discharged five Coronavirus patients at the Infectious Disease Centre, Yaba Mainland Hospital, Lagos, under the supervision of Lagos State Government and Lagos State Ministry of Health.
This brings to eight the total number of discharged patients from the centre.
The patients are said to have fully recovered from the virus and tested negative after being quarantined for weeks.
Although the discharged patients preferred anonymity, they expressed joy and satisfaction over the treatments they received.
While thanking the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his support and proactive response, they pleaded that the workers at the centre should be given life insurance.
Speaking to the press, one of the patients said, “I came in here on the 15th and after the test showed positive, I was asked to come back the next day. So, I was admitted here.
“Initially, there were hitches but it later turned out fine. The health workers did fine; all our challenges were attended to. I’m a living witness together with my other colleagues.”
He gave an impressive hope, saying people should not panic as the virus could be defeated.
“We can beat it; I want to assure others that this is not their resting place. Encourage yourselves, take your medications, and in no distant time, you will get out of here.
“I want to appeal to the Federal Government and Lagos State Government that, they should remunerate all those workers who have volunteered to work accordingly, so as to serve as an encouragement to others”, adding that, “If they are not here as first responders, many would have died.”
Another patient said, “I was admitted last Sunday. Initially, there were challenges, the following day, they brought bed, mask and some equipment.
“Apart from what my colleague said, the workers should be insured. Proper insurance will let people do what they have to do”.
He narrated a scenario where the workers could not attend to him because he tested positive, saying “they went back and I slept off, I woke up around 3 a.m. So, they deserve life insurance to encourage them to do their job.”
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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