Nigeria’s containment of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Briefs around the country

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It had been established that the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari tested positive for coronavirus. 

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Coronavirus

Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari

Bala Muhammed; Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State

So also were Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed; Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar, son of the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar; and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

Also the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

In the league are the Provost and Deputy Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Professors Ezekiel Olapade-Olaopa and Obafunke Denloye, who have also tested positive to the virus.

Joining a long list of officials who have tested positive to the virus is the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration ServiceMohammed Babandede

It has also been confirmed by the President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, recently that a doctor in the frontline of the COVID-19 treatment at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, has contracted the disease.

Alarmingly, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported the total number of infections of the novel coronavirus across the country as at afternoon of Friday 3rd April, 2020 to be 184 confirmed cases; with 24 treated and discharged after testing negative to the virus; while the country recorded 2 deaths from the deadly disease.

Ogun CONVID-19 Isolation Center

Lagos State Government sets up free food bank for Lagosians

 

In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus the Federal Government has put Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria; and which is the epicenter of the pandemic in the country, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory and Ogun State under strict lock down. 

Meanwhile, virtually all the state governments in the country have put measures in place to restrict movements of the citizens in order to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic from spreading to their states.

In Lagos State, the Executive Governor, His Excellency Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in a passionate appeal to the people of the state to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus said “We’ll be bringing food to you, Lagosians just stay home.”

With an estimation of 6 persons per household, the governor targeted 200,000 households in his first phase with the relief of food packages he planned to drop at the doorsteps of millions of residents in Nigerian’s most populous and boisterous city.

This he fulfilled within a reasonable period of time as he announced economic stimulus package to help the residents cushion the effects of the ‘stay-at-home’ order.

Nigerians have been warned to not further harm themselves in the bid to prevent coronavirus infection Reuters

Cinemas, night clubs, restaurants, cafes and many other businesses that involve large gathering have been banned from operating in Ogun State by the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for an initial period of 30 days, after which announcement he established isolation and treatment centers for possible victims of the virus in the gate-way state.

In Ebonyi State, no fewer than 37 returnees to the state through the bush paths after the state government ordered the closure of its borders had been ordered to observe immediate isolation and be subjected to medical tests daily for 14 days following Coronavirus pandemic.

David Umahi, the Ebonyi State Governor reportedly ordered security operatives to shoot any returnee that tries to escape from the quarantine and isolation centres on sight.

Vandalism crept in like a thief in the night as youths who alleged that the Police prevented them from observing their prayers on Friday 27th March, 2020 in compliance with the state government directive on checking the spread of COVID-19 protested and burnt down a Police station as well as seven cars, two motorcycles and a generator all parked in front of the station in Kusada town in Katsina State.

In a swift reaction, a dusk-to-dawn curfew has since been imposed on the town by the State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, while arrests have been made by the Police.

Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State said his government has launched a manhunt for all the contacts of its first coronavirus case, a returnee from the United Kingdom; as the state has also recently recorded it second victim.

The Governor has also shutdown all land borders within the state with effective midnight of Sunday March 29, 2020.

Rivers Sate Governor, Nyesom Wike has announced the closure of land and sea borders in the state and a placed a ban on vehicles entering or leaving the state as a measure to contain the novel coronavirus.

On its parts, the Ondo State government said it was set to commence immediate fumigation of markets, motor-parks and other public places across the state with a view to contain spread of COVID-19.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who spoke in Akure, the state capital said the Committee on Sanitation and Traffic Rules would carry out the fumigation exercise.

However, Following the confirmation of five suspected cases of the dreaded Corona Virus in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has announced a total cessation of movements and prohibition of all events of any nature for 14 days in the State.

He said this was to enable a thorough process of contact tracing to identify those who might have been exposed to the five confirmed victims.

On Tuesday 31st March, 2020 Governor Diri of Bayelsa State relaxed restrictions in the state. He relaxed the interstate border closure ordered to check the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to allow food, drugs and vehicles conveying personnel on essential duty into Bayelsa State.

The governor revealed that the government was exploring the possibility of providing a COVID-19 testing centre in the state.

Governor Diri also directed the Bayelsa State Electricity Company to provide a dedicated electricity line to the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) to enhance service delivery.

Unlike what happened in most of the states that ordered lock down, the residents of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Tuesday 31st March, 2020 ignored the sit-at-home order given by the State Government.

Correspondents observed there was low compliance with the directives as activities in the state remained as usual with trading activities on the prowl in some areas visited

In the meantime, over 150 vehicles and motorbikes were said to have been impounded and violators were arrested by combined forces of security agents, who patrolled round Ado Ekiti Metropolis and other towns to enforce the order.

In Anambra State, a statement from the government recently said there was no Coronavirus tension in the state following Governor Willie Obiano’s dramatic decision to self-isolate.

It said no case or suspected case of the virus had been recorded in the state.

Obiano, it added, was hale and hearty, but self-isolated in the overriding public interest and to show the public that COVID-19 was real.

Governor David Umahi signed the Ebonyi State Coronavirus and other Dangerous Infectious Diseases And Related Matters Bill into law after it was passed by the State House of Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Forum of Delta State NGOs has commended the state government for the proactive measures put in place at containing the global Coronavirus pandemic; while also tasking Deltans and non-Deltans to take the issues of personal hygiene and public health and sanitation more seriously by keeping themselves and the environment clean and healthy.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Following President Muhammad Buhari’s order to lock down Lagos and Ogun Sates as well as Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory; the replication of what the state governments too were doing in their states, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has enumerated federal government’s plan for the welfare of Nigerians as the fight against the pandemic commenced in earnest.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who is also the Chairman of the task force, Mr Boss Mustapha, during the body’s daily media briefing recently in Abuja, faulted claims that President Muhammadu Buhari did not take the welfare of the citizenry into consideration when ordering restriction of movements and activities in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja last Sunday 29th March, 2020.

Boss, who observed that the COVID-19 pandemic was not just an attack on the health of Nigerians, but also an attack on the national economy, pointed out that President Buhari had taken the economic angle to the crisis into consideration, hence his elaborate plan to give various financial and material relief soft-pad to various categories of Nigerians, as spelt out in his nationwide broadcast.

To this end, the Federal Government promptly commenced the disbursement of N5000 to over 1millioin indigents across the country.

It commenced on Wednesday 1st April, 2020 in Kwali Central Area Council of FCT by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq.

The Minister disbursed N20,000 as payment for four months to over 190 beneficiaries at the payment point in Kwali.

The beneficiaries were handed their stipends after their payment cards were verified and scanned by government-approved mobile money operators.

On the number of beneficiaries, Farouq said: “We have over a million people across the country. For the FCT and this particular area Council, we are giving about 5000 households in this area.”

On how the beneficiaries were identified, she said: “It is a very long process and many people like religious leaders, community leaders, and different groups all came together to identify the poorest and vulnerable households in their community.”

On the claim that the beneficiaries were members of a particular political party, she said: “It is untrue and you can confirm from the beneficiaries of the process of selection.”

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC

Meanwhile, as Nigerians of all shades surge Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in order to be tested for the virus, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC recently revealed that its centre was set to increase its capacity to test for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to 1500 per day as against 500 per day which was what was applicable then.

Dr. Ihekweazu, however, said that Nigerians need to reduce the demand side of the testing to those who really needed it.

He noted that the more the people force themselves into being tested, the less NCDC would have the capacity to test those who really need the testing.

According to Dr. Ihekweazu, the people that really need the test would be transmitting it (the virus) into the community and more people would get infected; while those that do not need testing are blocking the system and “there’s a price to pay,” he said. 

Concerning whether garlic, ginger, palm oil can prevent of kill coronavirus, NCDC vehemently disagreed that it would kill coronavirus.

The agency warned Nigerians about fake preventive measures circulating online about the coronavirus.

It seriously warned against using unverified and unorthodox means to attempt to prevent or cure coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

The agency said preventive measures such as drinking palm oil, drinking hot lemon, eating garlic and ginger, gargling warm water and salt, or using special oils are all useless against the disease.

The NCDC noted that spraying of water or Dettol, an antiseptic and disinfectant, all over the body also does not prevent or cure the virus.

In the same vein, an Ibadan based pharmacist, Mr Ayobambo Fajuyitan, also cautioned Nigerians against using hand sanitisers with low alcohol content in preventing COVID-19.

He revealed that: “Not all hand sanitisers in the market are capable of killing the COVID-19 virus because the alcohol contents are low.” 

According to him, hand sanitiser capable of killing the virus must have 40 per cent alcohol content.

“When at home, it’s preferred you use hand washing method: It’s better to use the hand wash in a running tap for 20 seconds when at home,” he advised.

“If you eat with your hands after using hand sanitiser, be cautious as excessive use of sanitiser can make you prone to viral infections as removal of bacteria give ample space for the virus to grow and sanitisers are not capable of denaturing viruses,”  he cautioned.

Commendably however, as the Nigerian Governments intensify efforts in their fights against Coronavirus, financial donations have continued to pour in from every sector to support the battle. 

The Federal Government led the campaign with a donation of N10 billion grant to Lagos State and N5 billion to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, the agency leading the fight against the virus.

So far, both the federal and state governments have received about N40,771,000,000 as donation to the project. 

And as donations to help curb the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus poured in,
President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged, with deep appreciation, the kind gesture of captain of industries, corporate entities, missionaries, musical artistes and individuals that contributed to the fund.

He said he was deeply touched by the consistent support on efforts to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic, which is ravaging the global economy.

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