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RSG Begins Contact Tracing Of 3rd COVID-19 Patient

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike has announced that contact tracing for the third confirmed COVID-19 case in Rivers State has taken off in earnest by health workers in the Rapid Response Team in the fight to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus
Chike, who made this known at a press briefing, in his office in Port Harcourt, yesterday, noted that a 61-year-old male hotel manager, who attended to his sick boss, the owner of Mingi Suites in the Rumuomasi area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, who later passed away, tested positive to the virus after the State Rapid Response Team received a call on the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the owner of the hotel, last week.
According to him, “the Rapid Response Team was notified of the sudden and mysterious death of the owner of the hotel, last week, and decided to place all his contacts under watch. Once the testing guidelines were expanded, samples were collected from the hotel manager for COVID-19 testing and his result is positive”.
The commissioner stated that the 61-year-old man has since been “evacuated to the treatment centre for further management and all his contacts and timelines will be adequately followed up.
“Contact tracing has commenced and samples collected from all his high-risk contacts for RT-PCR analysis, while risk communication and community engagement will continue unabated as usual”.
Chike also warned private hospitals and pharmacies to desist from treating COVID-19 patients.
According to him, “In line with our targeted case search, one of the five results received yesterday night for Rivers State was positive for Covid-19.
“A 61-year-old hotel manager, who had attended to his boss, the owner of Mingi Suites, who returned from Abuja in February, 2020.
“The rapid response team was notified of the sudden and mysterious death of the owner of the hotel last week and decided to place all his contacts under watch.
“Once the testing guidelines were expanded, samples were collected from the hotel manager for COVID-19 testing and his result is the positive sample for COVID-19 in the state.
“He is currently being evacuated to the treatment centre for further management and all his contacts and timelines will be adequately followed up including necessary environmental decontamination as the case may be.
“Contact tracing has commenced and samples will be collected from his high-risk contacts for RT-PCR analysis while risk communication and community engagement will continue unabated as usual. Be rest assured, no stone will be left unturned.
“All health facilities should ensure strict and appropriate IPC at all triage points. The Rivers PHEOC will continue to provide updates and guidance while implementing all necessary measures to ensure public health safety.
“Therefore, no cause for alarm as the state government is taking care of the situation.”
He also said that all necessary decontamination processes would be carried out to reduce the risk to the public.
Chike assured that no stone would be left unturned, stressing, “the State Public Emergency Operations Centre is and will remain on Response Mode with dedicated and experienced health officers and volunteers doing their best to conquer this pandemic in our setting”.
He thanked the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his commitment to seeing the end of the pandemic, and charged residents of the state to remain steadfast while keeping to the recommended safety measures put in place to contain the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.
The commissioner also enjoined the public to contact the telephone numbers: 08056109538,08031888093 and 08033124314 for enquiries and further information.
The statement reads in full, “You are aware of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world with over 2.3 million confirmed cases globally. The number for Nigeria has also continued to rise in the last few weeks with a total of 782 confirmed cases as at yesterday. The first two cases that were diagnosed in the state has been discharged home and have reunited with their families.
“Yet, we have continued to follow up travellers and persons of person of Interest as well as several alerts and rumours reaching the State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre. In line with our targeted case search, one of the 5 results received yesterday night for Rivers state was positive for Covid-19.
“A 61-year-old Hotel Manager who had attended to his boss, the owner of Mingi Suites, who returned from Abuja in February, 2020. The rapid response team was notified of the sudden and mysterious death of the owner of the hotel last week and decided to place all his contacts under watch. Once the testing guidelines were expanded, samples were collected from the hotel manager for COVID-19 testing and his result is the positive sample for COVID-19 in the state.
“He is currently being evacuated to the treatment centre for further management and all his contacts and timelines will be adequately followed up including necessary environmental decontamination as the case may be.
“Contact tracing has commenced and samples will be collected form his high risk contacts for RT-PCR analysis while risk communication and community engagement will continue unabated as usual. Be rest assured, no stone will be left unturned.
“As I mentioned earlier, the State Public Emergency Operations Centre is and will remain on Response Mode with dedicated and experienced health officers and volunteers doing their best to conquer this pandemic in our setting.
“The treatment centre is active and staffed for efficiency of service delivery in the containment effort. We will continue to monitor them and give you updates as events unfold.
“Let me use the opportunity to thank the His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, for his exemplary commitment to the health sector in this pandemic.
“There is need to re-emphasise that public vigilance is important while asking that patients should confide in their physicians the true case history of their ill health. Furthermore, with the expansion of the country testing strategy, the State has commenced active health facility case search for any case of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) in our hospitals in order to have a sentinel insight into the importation of COVID.
“Let me reiterate that we still believe in the opportunities and the gains of prevention and early detection while building our capacity to manage COVID-19 seamlessly.
“To this end we join the rest of the global community to advise as follows: Regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water; the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser is also recommended.
“Social distancing is key. Maintain at least 1 and half meters (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone. Avoid crowds and follow the stay-at-home advisory.
“Endeavour to practice good respiratory hygiene: when sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve at the flexed elbow or with a tissue. Then dispose-off the used tissue safely, immediately.
“Exposed persons should stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing and notify relevant authorities immediately.
“Do not spread fake news. Citizens are advised not to abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause panic and lead to danger.
“All health facilities should ensure strict and appropriate IPC at all triage points. The Rivers PHEOC will continue to provide updates and guidance while implementing all necessary measures to ensure public health safety. Therefore, no cause for alarm as the State Government is taking care of the situation”, the statement added.

 

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence

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The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.

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Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC

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The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.

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Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death

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The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.

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