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Coronavirus: Briefing Nigerians is not Buhari’s style – Femi Adesina

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Femi Adeshina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has defended the decision of the President, Maj.Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to address Nigerians daily amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Adesina said on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Thursday that it wasn’t Buhari’s “style” to brief Nigerians.

The President’s aide said this while responding to a question on why the President had not been briefing Nigerians like the way other world leaders engage their citizens.

He said the minister of health and the minister of health for the state were already briefing Nigerians daily and when the President gives a job to someone to do, “he leaves them to do it.”

On why the President doesn’t brief Nigerians, he said, “It is a matter of style. If you go back to school, you will remember stylistics class we were told that style is idiosyncratic which means it differs from person to person.

“The style that ‘A’ adopts may not be the style that ‘B’ adopts and there is no style that you can call ‘the style’ for everybody. So, everybody is at liberty to adopt a style that suits him.

“The style our President has adopted is to set up a Presidential task force headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation which briefs regularly, you have the health minister who briefs, you have the minister of state for health who briefs, you have the NCDC which also briefs. There is no lack of information.”

When asked why the President didn’t delegate during the 2019 Presidential campaigns, Adesina said campaigns could not be compared to running a country.

Adesina said:

“They are incommensurate. Campaign is campaign. This, you cannot parallel with a campaign. You cannot compare it with a day to day affair of the country. If it becomes imperative for the President himself to speak, he will speak. But the President’s style is when he gives you an assignment, he leaves you to do it.”

On the health status of the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the President’s spokesman said he could not reveal it because it would be unethical.

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He said he had not seen Kyari for days and he could only vouch for the health status of the President.

Adesina added:

“I have not seen him (Kyari) for a couple of days so I wouldn’t be able to tell you that this is how he is. If you ask me about the President, he was still in his office yesterday and I can tell you yes, the President is doing fine.

“You also need to remember that it is a question of ethics. If the health minister who is a reputed medical doctor came out to brief you and he didn’t mention names, it tells you it is in the realm of ethics. Anybody, who is passing through a health condition, is the one that can authorise that it be revealed.

“Nobody else, not even a doctor treating that person dare release it otherwise he would be breaching the ethics. So, Prince Charles, for instance, tested positive and he said reveal it and a statement was issued to that effect. He authorised it. Our Vice-President tested negative and he said disclose it and his media aide did so. So, that it is the way it is done ethically.”

Coronavirus

Monkeys attack lab assistant, escape with COVID-19 samples

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A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and escaped with a batch of coronavirus test samples, it has been reported.

The bizarre incident saw the troop of primates launch their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India.

According to local media, the animals then snatched COVID-19 test samples from three patients and fled.

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One of the monkeys was later spotted in a tree chewing one of the sample collection kits, the Times of India reported – adding that test samples from the patients had to be taken again.

It is the latest example of the highly intelligent, red-faced rhesus macaques taking advantage of India’s nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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While they have proved an increasing problem in urban areas of the country in recent years, lockdown measures in the last two months have emboldened the monkeys.

Reports have shown them congregating in parts of Delhi normally crowded with humans.

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

Uganda has recorded 36 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 317, the country’s Health Ministry said late Thursday.

Out of the 2,230 samples collected from cross-border cargo truck drivers and communities, 24 Ugandan truck drivers and 12 close contacts of previously confirmed cases under quarantine tested positive for the virus, the ministry said in a statement.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915

Twenty-six foreign truck drivers, who tested positive at the country’s common border entry points, were handed over to their country of origin, it said.

Out of the 317 COVID-19 cases, 69 have recovered and no one has died of the respiratory disease in the country, according to the health ministry.

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FG to use hotels, schools as quarantine, isolation centres

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Covid-19: Prepare for the worst- FG tells Nigerians

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government would require hotels and school dormitories as quarantine and isolation centres because of a shortage of hospital beds.

The minister noted that there were four levels of COVID-19 patients ranging from those on quarantine with zero or mild symptoms to those that would need to be in the intensive care unit.

The minister said,

“We have sadly recorded 254 deaths, most of them are persons associated with other ailments, confirming the general observation that risks are higher for those with illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and non-communicable diseases.

“We need to continue increasing bed capacity to match the probable number of patients, so that we do not experience horrific scenes of bed space shortages seen in some European hospitals.

“In event of overflow, we can require hotels and school dormitories to be prepared for level 1 which is quarantine, and level 2, is isolation of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms, to free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3 which are moderate to severe cases and level 4 which is for the high dependency and the intensive care unit.

“I, therefore, call on activists and philanthropists to work with state governments to scale up non-pharmaceutical measures and beef up infrastructural assets for isolation and treatment in their states.”

Ehanire said Nigeria would review its participation in the World Health Organisation solidarity trial. He also stated that proposals for trial of local remedies for COVID-19 had been sent to the relevant research and testing agencies for scientific evaluation.

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He stated,

“The Madagascar herbs have been received at the Ministry of Health, and were found to consist of two varieties; one labelled to be for prevention and the other for treatment. Samples have been given to three agencies of the Ministry of Health and also to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“These are normal processes for new preparations to be approved for use in Nigeria, and include toxicological and efficacy tests and clinical trials. Government will investigate all genuine efforts to find homegrown solutions to the pandemic.”

The minister said Madagascar’s drugs had been sent to NAFDAC, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.

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