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COVID-19: NCDC Confirms Second Death, Search For 6,000 Contacts

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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.”

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Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.

 

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

 

While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.

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Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.

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The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.

Though no official reports have reached us as to the cause of his death,The Tide learnt that the septuagenerian has been briefly ill shortly before his demise.
The former President, who visited the residence of his late foster father the early hours of Wednesday has not made any official statement regarding funeral arrangement.
Chief Inegite,popularly called ‘holy’ by his admirers and friends was initially reported to have been responding to treatment in an undisclosed health facility where his health later deteriorated before finally giving up  the ghost  at about 11:00 pm,Tuesday 19th day of May,2020.
You would recall that the late Chief Nitabai Inegite was twice reported to have been kidnapped some time between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The late former president’s foster father was survived by his wife,biological children,grand children and numerous relatives.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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Nigerian Senate Considers Bill For Ensure Food Security

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…seeks establishment of Food Reserve Agency
The Nigerian Senate, in a seemingly proactive stop to forestall anticipated food shortfall  in the country ,  on Tuesday, commenced legislative work on a critical bill to ensure food security in Nigeria through  the establishment of  Food Reserve Agency to plan and implement policies for adequate food production and storage.
The bill  sponsored  by Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), scaled second reading at plenary , on Tuesday.
Leading debate on the bill, Senator Adamu noted that Nigeria as a nation needs to develop its Agricultural sector to ensure not only alternate economy but also food security .
He further emphasised that this requires  an vibral  agency to drive all attending policies for the growth and sustainability of the sector.
According to the lawmaker, the Food Reserve agency when established, would be responsible for storing food grains and other food commodities for strategic purposes.
His words “Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the development and growth of every nation. Any country seeking to diversify its economy, alleviate poverty, create jobs and ensure food security should prioritize agriculture.
“Nigeria recognizing the important role Agriculture plays has made efforts to place the sector at the fore by introducing different intervention programmes and policies backed by enabling laws.
“A further step to be taken to ensure food security in our country at all times is to formulate enabling laws that will address food insecurity,”
“The agency will implement the overall National Food Reserve Policy to ensure a reliable supply of designated commodities in the country.”
The lawmaker recalled that, “the recent mandate of the President during the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute 70,000 metric tons of grains from the Grains Reserves shows clearly how important it is for a country to have a Food Reserve Agency.”
 Stressing the importance of food security ,he linked the current Covid 19 situation and its Nigeria’s readiness to  ensure the nation don’t wind up in food crises as well.
According to Senator Adamu, with the Agency in place, Nigeria will be taking the right step in the right direction as replicated in other African countries such as Zambia and Tanzania.
“With the existence of the Agency, emergency food crises will be taken care of especially in the period of a pandemic.
“There will also be a reduction in post-harvest losses as silos, warehouses, equipment, ancillary facilities and other suitable storage facilities will be installed and maintained.”  the Senator explained.
After the debate, the President of  the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development chaired by the sponsor of the bill Adsmu Abdullahi.
The Committee  is given four weeks  to report back to the Senate.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi.
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