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COVID-19: Again, Trump tests negative

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President Donald Trump said he underwent a second coronavirus test on Thursday, using a new diagnostic that produced a result in less than 15 minutes, and it determined he has not been infected.

“I think I took it really out of curiosity to see how quickly it worked,” said Trump, who also tested negative last month after coming into contact with a Brazilian official who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

A White House official said Trump took the newly released Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) test that offers results in 15 minutes or less.

At his daily White House news briefing, Trump said Americans should wear protective face masks if they wish. “If people want to wear them, they can” he said. Scarves work just as well, he said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on a recommendation about masks to add to U.S. guidelines on how Americans can best protect themselves. It is critical, she said, that people do not “get a false sense of security” that they are protected from the virus by wearing a mask, because there are plenty of other ways that infections can occur.

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Trump took issue with states that are letting some low-risk prisoners out of jail because of the risk of coronavirus contagion and said his administration was looking to see “if I have the right to stop it in some cases.”

“Some people are getting out that are very serious criminals in some states, and I don’t like that. I don’t like it,” he said.

Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is expected to announce on Friday a plan to compensate hospitals for treating and testing uninsured coronavirus patients.

“We don’t want any American to worry about the cost of getting tests or the costs of getting treatment,” said Pence. “The president will be addressing that tomorrow.”

Trump announced that the U.S. military and federal personnel will operate a makeshift hospital set up in the Javits Center convention center in New York to help the city grapple with a flood of patients. The Javits Center operation will treat non-coronavirus patients, freeing up hospitals to care for those with the virus.

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New York has become the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic with more than 47,000 confirmed cases in the city.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, a member of the coronavirus task force, said the government will send to the New York public hospital system 200,000 N-95 protective masks to help medical workers get through the next month.

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Trump, who had initially played down the threat from the virus, made use of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to order companies to produce hospital ventilators essential in keeping alive patients hit hard by the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. He said he also used the law to get General Motors Co to produce more N-95 masks.

“We have over 100,000 (ventilators) being built right now or soon to be started,” Trump said.

He said he had just spoken with General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra, who told him the company will soon be ready to start production of ventilators.

Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a letter released by the White House that Trump was tested with a new, rapid point-of-contact test and the result came back in 15 minutes. “He is healthy and without symptoms,” Conley said.

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Just In: Nasarawa records three deaths, nine additional COVID-19 cases

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Nasarawa State has recorded three additional deaths and nine confirmed cases of coronavirus bringing the total death to four.

The total confirmed cases in the state is now 90.

State Governor Abdullahi Sule announced this Thursday during a review meeting of COVID-19 in Government House Lafia the state capital.

He explained that out of the 90 confirmed cases in the state, four died while 705 samples were taken from the state to the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for testing in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic in the state.

“Out of the 705 samples taken, we have so far received 659 results and 90 were confirmed positive, while remaining results were still being awaited”

According to the governor, “the state unfortunately recorded four dead including the member of the State Assembly representing Nasarawa-West who had died earlier of the coronavirus.

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Details later.

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Plateau’s COVID-19 index case battling stiigma after her identity was leaked

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Hauwa’u Yakubu’s name was leaked as the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Plateau State. After three weeks in isolation, she was released without showing any symptom but she has returned to a world in which she is being stigmatized over a disease she thinks she never had.

On April 17, a team of National Centre for Disease Control and Plateau State Government officials drove into the Dogon Karfe area of Jos, the capital. They came for a certain Hauwa’u Yakubu, who was completely oblivious as to why they had come for her.

Apparently, Hauwa’u, 20, a secondary school leaver and tailor had just returned from Kano, where she had attended a relative’s wedding. But Kano already had an outbreak of COVID-19, which by the time had reached community transmission level, and it was based on this that they came for Hauwa’u to collect her samples for tests and to put her in isolation.

By April 23, when those test results came back as positive and were made public, Hauwa’u life would change in ways she had not imagined before. She became the Plateau State COVID-19 index case.

The news threw the state into some confusion and Hauwa’u suddenly became the subject of gossips and insults for allegedly bringing coronavirus to the state. Insults for allegedly travelling, upon her return from Kano, to Yelwa and Gindiri to see relatives and inadvertently spread the infection.

“Immediately I arrived Jos [from Kano] on April 17, I was picked up by government officials even before I entered the house,” Hauwa’u said. “I didn’t spend much time on my arrival before I was picked up, not to talk about travelling to Gindiri and Yelwa. In fact, I have never known the two places mentioned in my life.”

She has been deeply hurt by the information spread about her, which have left her stigmatized, even now that she had been cleared. She believes those behind the rumours are mischief-makers.

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But how did she come to be in this situation?

“When I arrived Jos at about 4 pm, some people within the community informed NCDC that I had arrived from Kano and I had seen COVID-19 patients and had interactions with them. That story is fabricated. I hadn’t interacted with COVID-19 patients,” she said.

Whatever the case, on the strength of that information the team arrived to pick her up. She was first taken to an isolation centre in Hipang, in Barikin Ladi LGA, where she spent a week. It was there that her sample was first taken for tests. She received news of the test results on social media.

The Plateau State government said it was investigating the “unprofessional” leak of information.

“Plateau State Government is investigating the circumstances surrounding the leak of the confidential laboratory result of some suspected COVID-19 cases carried out at the National Veterinary Research Institute  Testing Centre in Vom which has been circulating in the social media,” Dan Manjang, the commissioner of information and communication said in an April 25 statement.

The leak, however, baffled Hauwa’u and her family as even though it was her name, the picture that made the rounds on social media was not hers. That gave her some false hope that perhaps she was not the person in question.

After a week at Hipang, Hauwa’u was moved to another isolation centre at Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), where she spent almost two weeks.

“Since the time I was picked up from home to the time I was discharged and brought back home, I was asymptomatic,” she said. “There was no sign of coronavirus in my body if what we see on TV and hear on the radio are the symptoms of the disease. All I know is that even before the incident, I have ulcer and that has been my health problem for some years.”

In her three weeks in isolation, she was only administered with a dose of chloroquine on one occasion. She doubts she actually tested positive for the virus.

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Now though, her business and social life have been affected by the stigma of the whole episode.

“My customers are running away from me now because of the news that I tested positive for coronavirus. Since I came back from Kano, nobody has come for my service,” she said. 

“But I thank God that I have been cleared. All I know is that I am healthy and have left everything to Allah.”

Her paternal grandmother, Adama Muhammad, who stays with her is saddened by the damage done to her granddaughter.

“I am not happy because some people have lied against my granddaughter which has spoiled her name,” she said. 

“Her customers have ran away from her. Hauwa’u is a good tailor and has been assisting the family from what she earns but this incident has made everything difficult for her now because of stigmatization.”

She said the stigmatization has extended to other members of the family and blames the leak and called it a “blackmail meant to tarnish the image of our family.”

On rumours on social media that the state government had given the family N150,000, to calm them down, the grandmother said, “We haven’t received any cash or item from anybody. They brought her back home without anything. That story is not true.”

Despite the stigmatisation, the grandmother said the family is happy with Hauwa’u’s return, adding that she was embraced by all and sundry and wished her success and prosperity in her future endeavours.

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A youth leader at Dogon Karfe, Muhammed Shugaba, who spoke on behalf of the community described the development as an unethical and unprofessional from some officials at the NVRI, from where the leak occurred.

“Leaking the result to the public is unacceptable to us and we will never accept it. Thus, we demand an explanation on this embarrassment and public defamation of character of the community and our daughter whose confidentiality was bridged.

“The situation seems to be politically influenced. We, therefore, as a community, demand a public apology and immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to this unwarranted and unacceptable situation from the state taskforce on COVID-19. We will not be deterred to initiate legal proceedings in the matter is not addressed properly, “ he said.

Contacted on how far the government has gone with the investigation, the state commissioner of health, Nimkong Larndam told Daily Trust that investigation is ongoing.

“Those who worked on the sample are currently being investigated. However, nobody has admitted to leaking the results but we must get to the button of the matter. We have handed the case over to an expert body. We have involved the security in the matter. They have gone far and we are just waiting for them to submit their reports,” the commissioner said.

The family and the community are waiting to see how those responsible for the leak would be punished as the government said but for Hauwa’u, the journey to regaining her image is going to be long and slow.

Source: Daily Trust

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37 health workers test positive for COVID-19 in Kaduna

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Kaduna government to enforce the use of face masks

The Kaduna state government has said that at least 37 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.

The Deputy Director of the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Hamza Ibrahim Ikara, said this on Wednesday, after a COVID-19 sensitization program for district heads and traditional title holders under Zazzau Emirates.

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Ikara noted that 20 health workers have already been discharged from the isolation centre out of the 37 patients. Ikara, however, confirmed that the state has over 200 active cases with eight fatalities.

“As we speak, since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, we have 37 health workers that have been affected by COVID-19 but almost 20 of them have been discharged while the remaining ones are under admission.

“So the virus is real,” he said.

Speaking further, the official added that the COVID-19 virus has spread to nine local government areas in the state such as Chukun, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Zaria and Sabon Gari, as well as Soba, Giwa, and Makarfi.

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