Coronavirus spreads to Abuja – Daily Trust

Coronavirus spreads to Abuja

3/22/2020 9:14:00 AM

Coronavirus spreads to Abuja

3 Cases Confirmed in FCT, 7 in Lagos Italian Patient Discharged from Lagos Hospital FG Shuts All Airports to Int’l Flights Railways to Offer Conditional Services FCT Restricts Gathering at Worship Centres Abide by Government Directives – JNI Police Begin Enforcement of Ban on Gatherings in Lagos 22 Cases Recorded Nationwide The Federal Ministry of …

3 Cases Confirmed in FCT, 7 in LagosItalian Patient Discharged from Lagos HospitalFG Shuts All Airports to Int’l FlightsRailways to Offer Conditional ServicesFCT Restricts Gathering at Worship CentresAbide by Government Directives – JNIPolice Begin Enforcement of Ban on Gatherings in Lagos

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22 Cases Recorded NationwideThe Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed 10 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria.The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said in a statement yesterday that there were three new confirmed cases in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and seven new confirmed cases in Lagos State, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22.

The minister said the three cases in the FCT were being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) while the seven new cases in Lagos were being treated at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba.All 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals, nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

ADVERTISEMENTHOW OVER 5000 NIGERIA MEN HAVE PERMANENTLY OVERCOME TERRIBLE BEDROOM PERFORMANCE DUE TO THIS RECENT DISCOVERY BY MEDICAL CONSULTANTSThey returned to the country in the past one week, the minister said, adding that all 10 new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving treatment.

“The 10th case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case. As of the 21st of March 2020, 22 cases have been confirmed, two cases have been discharged and there has been no death from COVID-19 in Nigeria,” he said.He said the federal government remained committed to working with states to provide optimal care for all confirmed cases in the country.

In addition, he said contact tracing was ongoing to identify all persons who have been in contact with the new confirmed cases.Italian patient dischargedLagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu yesterday said the first patient of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the Italian who flew into the country via Istanbul, has tested negative and certified fit to go home. He was discharged on Friday night.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, told journalists that it was after he tested negative twice that he was discharged.All his contacts had been traced and only one tested positive. The man, a Nigerian who works with Lafarge, was discharged some days after due to his quick response to treatment. He tested negative twice before being allowed to return to Ogun State where he resides.

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All other new cases according to the commissioner are being attended to at the Mainland infectious disease hospital in Yaba, Lagos.FG shuts all airports to international flightsThe Federal Government yesterday announced the closure of all airports to international flights from Monday, March 23 to April 23.

The Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, disclosed this in a letter to all foreign airlines and operators.This came after the government initially restricted flights only to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

But domestic flights will continue to operate normally, the government said.In the letter, the director general said emergency and essential services were exempted from the restrictions.“Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights. Domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports.

“All airlines are required to submit passenger manifest to Port Health Authorities prior to arrival of flights into Nigeria,” he said.Railway offers conditional servicesThe Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) rescinded its earlier decision to shut down train services nationwide.

The corporation had in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Yakub Mahmood, announced the shutdown of all passenger train services with effect from Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.It said the board and management of the corporation approved the shutdown which affects all train services including Abuja-Kaduna train. However, in a message sent to our correspondent late yesterday, Mahmood said the board and management reviewed the situation and decided to provide passenger train services with conditions.

According to him, passengers would provide full names, address, date of birth and means of identification.“We enjoin all passengers to please co-operate with any other measures put in place to protect ourselves from ourselves,” the statement said.Our correspondent learnt that the decision to rescind the earlier announcement was informed by the intervention of some highly placed Nigerians who patronize the Abuja-Kaduna train.

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FCTA restricts gatherings at worship centresThe Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has restricted the number of worshippers at churches and mosques to a maximum of 50 persons as part of measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Media and Strategic Communications, Malam Sani Abubakar, implored religious leaders and worshippers to comply with laid down health protocols as stipulated by the relevant health authorities for the control of the coronavirus disease while intensifying prayers for the safety of all Nigerians.

“Congregations at places of worship are hereby restricted to a maximum of 50 persons at any given time. This measure also applies to social gatherings at event centers, football viewing centers and night clubs, amongst others,” part of the statement read.

It further explained that the restriction was to make the tracking of suspected cases easier for health authorities, stressing that the decision was based on the advice and guidance of public health authorities, the Presidential Task Force for the Control of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19), as well as the outcomes of the National Economic Council meeting held on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and the FCT Administration’s meeting with religious leaders across the territory.

The statement urged residents not to engage in panic buying and always seek information about the disease from the FCT Public Health Department and other agencies of government.Medical directors want random tests in householdsThe Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has called on the federal government to introduce random tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in households where foreign trips have just been made.

Prof. Femi Dokun-Babalola, the president of the guild, said in a statement yesterday that there was need for more robust protocol for the detection of cases because it was possible that more cases of COVID 19 may have entered Nigeria un-detected.He said similar measures were taken in Ghana, Sudan, South Africa, and some other countries in Africa.

Prof. Dokun-Babalola said enhanced measures would go a long way in further protecting Nigerians from the ravages of COVID-19.He said hundreds of cases were found in African countries, many of which were either returnees from countries with significant endemicity or primary contacts of such returnees.

He said Nigerians who had come from China, South Korea, Europe in general and in particular Italy, Spain, Norway and Sweden should be quarantined for 14 days as required by the World Health Organisation (WHO).“Nigerians coming in from the UK in particular should all be tested beyond the usual temperature check, and advised to go on quarantine for fourteen days at home if negative,” he said.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire had Friday said that the country was experiencing an influx of imported COVID-19 cases by travelers, including returning Nigerians.He said eight of the 12 cases as at Friday were travelers from Italy, United Kingdom, United States of America and France.

FIRS debunks claim on staffThe Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has debunked claims in the media its staff tasted positive to coronavirus.A statement signed by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, the Director, Communications and Liaison Department, described the report as fake.

“The service hereby states unequivocally that no member of staff of the FIRS has tested positive to COVID-19 as being peddled on social media.“The service can confirm that a member of staff who went to pick his wife from the airport following her return from a trip abroad is currently and voluntarily observing the federal government advisory of self-isolation alongside his spouse at the couple’s home since Monday.

“Both husband and wife have not visited any FIRS office or event since the wife retuned to Nigeria last Sunday.“More importantly, both husband and wife have only been in self-isolation for five days and have not tested positive to Covid-19,” the statement said.

Returnee FUDMA lecturer tests negativeThe Acting Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), Dr Babangida Dangani, said yesterday that a lecturer of the university who recently returned from Malaysia has tested negative to coronovirus.Dangani said at a press conference in Katsina that the lecturer had returned from Malaysia after his study leave and developed symptoms which necessitated urgent medical actions, and tests carried out turned negative to coronavirus.

He said the lecturer first reported to the university clinic and complained of having cholera, malaria and general body weakness for two days.“It was on account of this that the Director, University Health Services, Dr. Salami Avosi, reported the case to the Katsina State Epidemiological Unit to handle the patient.

“The relevant unit in the state Ministry of Health took the samples of the patient, and we received a report from the ministry that the result was negative,” Dangani said.He urged parents, students and the university community to dispel comments on social media that the university was engulfed with the disease.

Emirates suspends flights to Lagos, AbujaEmirates Airline yesterday announced suspension of all flights to Lagos and Abuja from its operational base in Dubai effective from March 23, 2020 because of COVID-19.The airline said in a message to its partners that it would also cancel three already booked flights while apologizing to passengers for the inconveniences.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the aviation industry, Emirates will be suspending operations into Lagos and Abuja.“EK785/786, EK781/782 and EK783/784, the above listed flights are canceled from March 23, 2020. We regret any inconveniences that this may cause. As the situation is being reviewed, we will keep you posted. Passengers may visit our website for the latest travel update information,” the airline said.

Many airlines have suspended flights or cut down operations. Emirates has already suspended over 60 flights as a result of the global travel restrictions occasioned by the novel coronavirus.Police enforce directive on social gatheringDetectives from the Lagos State Police Command have started the enforcement of the ban on social gathering in the metropolis.

The enforcement, according to the police, is targeted at those who may want to disregard the state government’s directive.The command warned club owners, party-goers, mourners and religious organisations against gatherings of more than 50 persons, noting that anyone found disregarding the directive would be made to face the law.

Lagos police spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana, said in a statement said that the command, in compliance with the guidelines and directives issued by both the federal and Lagos State governments on prevention of the spread of coronavirus, had embarked on massive enforcement of the ban order.

“To that effect, the command has deployed adequate resources across the state to ensure that the orders are fully obeyed. The order imposed bans on social gatherings such as wedding ceremonies, naming ceremonies, burial ceremonies, parties, clubs and religious gathering of people more than 50. Commercial vehicles carrying passengers above capacity (overloading) are also part of this order. Members of the public are encouraged to avoid overcrowding at bus stops, market places, business places and scenes of incidents.

“For information or complaints regarding Covid-19, call the following toll-free number 080097000010 or text Coronavirus to 24453,” the statement added.Kano upgrades isolation centreA press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Malam Abba Anwar, says as part of the state’s proactive measures to check Covid-19 outbreak, the governor has upgraded the state’s isolation centre by making available required equipment.

The statement said Governor Ganduje described the task force recently inaugurated as an all-important body that would pave way for the consolidation of designed response in the state, adding that the government would do everything possible to support it for effective and efficient intervention.

It also stated that the Deputy Governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, will serve as the chairman of the task force, co-chaired by Prof. Abdul-Razaq Garba Habib, Head of Infectious Disease Unit from Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, while the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, is a member and Dr Imam Wada Bello, Director Public Health and Disease Control, will serve as secretary, among other members.

Imo places watch on airports, bus terminals, hotels, schoolsGovernor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has assured the people that he would provide the necessary tools and expertise needed for maximum protection from coronavirus.In an address to the people, Uzodinma said the Sam Mbakwe Cargo airport, bus terminals, schools, hotels and other public places had been placed under 24-hour surveillance to ensure that anybody with symptoms of the disease is promptly quarantined and given adequate care.

He said the state would establish a specialist hospital for the control of contagious diseases, while a modern ambulance equipped with necessary medical gadgets for quick analysis and tests for the virus will be on 24-hour standby to respond to any emergency anywhere in the state.

Sokoto dispels rumour of COVID 19The Sokoto State government yesterday dispelled rumours of suspected cases of coronavirus in the state.“We have received a report of suspected case, the case did not meet the case definition of COVID 19 in anyway,” the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inname, said.

“In view of the rapid evolution of the transmission we recommend that the general public rely on official sources of information and avoid rumours,” he said.He added that the state Ministry of Health was constantly monitoring the situation across the state and assured that the general public would be updated with the findings on weekly basis.

According to him, the state government has designated isolation centres at Amanawa Infectious Diseases Hospital, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital and the Specialist Hospital, Sokoto.No need to shut public schools – Gov. EmmanuelThe Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has said there is no need to shut public schools in the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking in a broadcast on the coronavirus pandemic yesterday, Emmanuel debunked rumours that there was a confirmed case of the virus in the state.He said the state government had taken comprehensive measures unparalleled anywhere else in West Africa to check the disease even before the first confirmed case of coronavirus was recorded in the country.

He said screening had been instituted at various entry points to the state, while the state Ministry of Health was in constant communication with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).Kebbi, Bayelsa close schoolsThe Kebbi State government has directed indefinite closure of all primary and secondary schools in the state with effect from Monday.

The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Muhammad Magwatta Aleiro, made the announcement yesterday in Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi State.He added that the decision was reached during a North-West zone governors meeting, saying the directive was with immediate effect and boarding secondary schools were expected to vacate by Monday.

Similarly, the Bayelsa State government has ordered the closure of all public and private primary and secondary schools from Thursday, March 26, 2019.Governor Douye Diri who gave the order during a broadcast yesterday said all schools in the state should proceed on vacation till the present situation on coronavirus is contained.

The government also suspended gatherings in religious centres, night clubs and public gatherings above 50 persons from Monday.He disclosed that the state government had already set up a multi-sectoral COVID-19 task force charged with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the state’s response to the pandemic.

Abide by govt directives – JNIThe Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI) has advised all religious institutions and organisations to abide by decisions taken by the government in curtailing the Coronavirus pandemic.JNI further advised Nigerians to desist from making mockery of the outbreak, as it could lead to the wrath of God on mankind.

Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the Secretary-General of JNI, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said the body was on high level consultations with senior Muslim scholars on the next step to be taken.Abubakar said, “JNI under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto is disturbed over the increase in the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid 19) and also perturbed on the threat it poses to life of the citizenry in our dear country, Nigeria.

“It is not right for people to be spreading fake news all over the place on the worrisome life-threatening scourge, baselessly.“It is also inhuman and immoral, creating unnecessary panic which in the end causes more harm than the real virus. Nigerians are already put into serious stress more than they can bear in stocking food, coping with social isolation, closure of schools and banning of meetings,” he said.

“Nonetheless, government should direct all relevant agencies in redoubling their efforts and providing the necessary medical equipment and facilities needed to tackle this menace in order to save the citizenry from this dangerous virus.“This trying time calls for introspection and sober reflection for humanity to appreciate the greatness of Allah (SWT), His might and power in testing humanity with the weakest creature of the simple air we breathe and can’t catch or reverse it.

“We are therefore urged to take necessary recourse and refuge in Him, The Most High, for relief and healing.”He urged the government to also take decisive, wise and proactive measures on the pandemic, after taking experts’ advice and called for uniform action nationwide, in order not to have a divided attention and arbitrary decisions.

Nasarawa family tests negativeThe family of five earlier isolated on suspicion of being infected with coronavirus in Keffi, Nasarawa State, has tested negative to the disease.The Commissioner for Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Yahaya, said yesterday that tests conducted on the family turned out negative, with means Nasarawa State presently has no case of the disease.

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