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Kano Now Epicentre of COVID-19, Lacks Adequate Manpower As FCT Runs Out of Test Kits

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 at the House of Representatives on Tuesday said Kano State had become the epicentre of coronavirus in the North.

The  PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; who led other members of the task force, including the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this while briefing the House on the war against the virus in the country.

He said Kano State lacked adequate manpower for surveillance and contact tracing.

Also on Tuesday, the Lagos State Government said it was battling with a shortage of reagents. The Federal Capital Territory on its part said it was facing a shortage of test kits.

In March, there was no COVID-19 case in Kano State, but since April 11 when it recorded its index case,  there has been a surge in the number of persons infected with the virus.

Currently, the state with 365 cases is second only to Lagos State with 1,183 cases as of 5pm on Tuesday.

Mustapha expressed concern over the spread of the disease in Kano State. “Kano is fast emerging as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the North, which necessitated Mr President’s specific directives in his broadcast of Monday, 27th April, 2020,” he said.

The President, Major General  Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the broadcast,  imposed a total lockdown on the state and also dispatched a team of experts to help curb COVID-19 spread.

The SGF on Tuesday, said,  “A key weakness of the Kano COVID-19 response is the lack of adequate manpower for surveillance and contact tracing. The PTF has mobilised resources from across the health sector, including multilaterals, bilaterals, the MDAs and the private sector, to push through an accelerated expansion of the rapid response team from 21 to 50.”

“Working with partners, we are establishing at least one sample collection centre and two facilitators per local government area. In addition to a seven-day motorised campaign across major urban areas in Kano. We have mobilised about 3,300 informants through the WHO (World Health Organisation)/polio programme for house-to-house search and reporting of suspected cases.

“The Federal government will in due course announce significant additional material and technical resources to complement the state government’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Kano.”

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See Full List of 14 Countries Lagos Placed on COVID Watch List

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The Lagos government has placed 14 countries on its COVID-19 watchlist as a measure to prevent a third wave of infections in the state.

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said this on Wednesday at a media briefing to highlight the state’s COVID-19 third wave mitigation strategy.

He noted that the Lagos state government is outlining measures that will guide the management of inbound passengers of interest (POIs) from other countries.

The commissioner explained that travellers coming from other countries into Lagos have been classified into three groups — the red countries, the amber countries, and the green countries.

According to him, India, Brazil and Turkey where new variants of COVID are causing an increase in infection rate are as the ‘red countries’.

“From the Lagos perspective, we’re also looking at what we describe as Amber Colour countries, where we know that mutants are circulating. And this is important for us to be able to define how strict our monitoring of your isolation at home and how your testing is performed. We are monitoring countries where we know the mutants are circulating, but the situation is still severe,” he said.

According to him, the ‘amber countries’ are Canada, US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

He listed the ‘green countries’ as countries with no records of variants from red countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.

“Our protocol for management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include: a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a 14-day isolation in a government approved facility paid for by the passenger,” he said.

“Passengers of interests from the Amber Countries are also required to do PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED teams.”

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Former Defence Chief, General Joshua Dogonyaro Dies at 80

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Lt. General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro (Rtd) is dead.

The officer, who heralded and read the coup speech that ended the regime of Nigeria’s current President, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) and brought General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) to power on August 27 1985 died in Jos, Thursday morning after a brief illness.

He turned 80 on 12 September 2020. General Dogonyaro was a former Chief of Defence Staff and is survived by his wife Zainab Esther Dogonyaro and seven children.

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Let’s Pray Against Kidnapping, Banditry – Buhari Urges Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliation, to pray against kidnapping and banditry.

In recent times, there has been a spate of killings, kidnapping and banditry in different parts of the country.

The president, in a statement to celebrate the Eid festival, noted that the country can overcome its problems if Nigerians come together.

Buhari urged Nigerians to ignore those using religion as a tool of division for their own “selfish advantages”.

“On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all,” Buhari said in a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential aide, on Wednesday.

“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

The president advised Nigerians to continue to observe the COVID-19 measures, amid the celebration.

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