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COVID-19: Garment Factory workers in Cross River recalled to mass-produce nose, face masks

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Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has recalled workers of the state-owned Garment Factory back to work to mass-produce face and nose masks as part of measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

The workers have been asked to resume work on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 after the factory had been disinfected Monday.

The workers were sent home in line with the partial lockdown declared by the governor last week to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ayade told newsmen Monday at the industrial park, Calabar, that it became imperative for the garment factory workers to return to work in view of the urgent need to tackle the deadly virus.

“The garment factory workers are being recalled for mass production of nose/mouth masks in order to stem this pandemic. As the workers return to start mass production of the masks, we will ensure that they keep a reasonable distance from one another in keeping with the industrial distancing protocol.

“Proper fumigation of the factory has been carried out preparatory to the resumption of the workers,” he said.

The governor said the returning garment factory workers will be properly kitted to ensure that they are fit for the purpose in addition to being paid special allowances.

“We are going to reduce the number of workers per shift and they will keep a distance of not less than five metres. We are producing the masks for distribution to our most vulnerable people,” he said.

“We also are providing medical services to most vulnerable Cross Riverians.I’m equally activating the Cross River state food bank to ensure that we deliver food to most vulnerable in view of the lockdown.”

Meanwhile, the governor has set up another 15-man COVID-19 response team, which has the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu as Chairman.

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According to a statement issued by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the governor, Christian Ita,

“The committee is divided into various sub-committees with their chairmen.The committee will be inaugurated Tuesday, March 31, 2020.”

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Bauchi Commissioner urges follow-up on Child Birth Spacing

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The Bauchi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aliyu Maigoro, has recommended that follow-up appointments be introduced to all clients of Child Birth Spacing(CBS) units to save the lives of mothers and babies due to unwanted pregnancies.

Maigoro stated this during a round table meeting with members of the Bauchi Public Health Media Network (BPHMN) and stakeholders held in Bauchi on Friday.

He said that the follow-up would create a channel for feedback on the use of the various CBS commodities.

“Follow-up appointments to clients of CBS will monitor and generate feedback.

“Some women using the long term method tend to forget to visit facilities for further healthcare,” he observed.

Maigoro said the state would also engage men across the communities as Village Community Mobilizers (VCMs) to create demand on accessing CBS.

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He acknowledged the effort of journalists reporting public health issues for developing messages through news bulleting and facilities to ensure that CBS and other healthcare services, were provided and accessed.

Similarly, the Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency(BSPHDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed that out of the 1,108 primary healthcare centers in the state, over 600 provided CBS services.

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He said that the agency would scale up male engagement on mobilization across the state.

“We have male participating in CBS activities but will do more like heads of the families,” he said.

Mohammed commended the role of journalists in educating the Public on CBS, which is geared at saving the lives of mothers and babies.

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Earlier, the Bauchi State Focal Person, BPHMN, Ms. Elizebeth Carr, said that the network was geared towards saving the lives of mothers and babies in Bauchi.

She said that CBS was key to women of reproductive age towards attaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Farmer urges measures against post COVID-19 food crisis, malnutrition in Africa

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Mr. Daniel Okafor, the National President, Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN), has advised African countries, especially Nigeria, to map out strategies to mitigate the impending post-COVID-19 food crisis and malnutrition.

Okafor gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, stating that there would be massive job losses and other economic challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic.
He urged various heads of government in the continent to take proactive measures to forestall the imminent crisis in the agricultural sector.

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He recommended strategic meetings between governments and agricultural experts that would lead to extensive research to bring about a lasting solution to the crisis.

Okafor stated: “If nothing positive is done to help farmers get it right in this first year of the pandemic, Nigeria is going to experience food shortage, malnutrition, and lack of revenue generation.

“Also, there will be job losses and health issues, among other challenges.

“So, Nigerian farmers require assistance, including adequate agricultural inputs, to produce enough food for the nation.

Okafor, who is also the National Vice President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), expressed concern that Nigeria’s GDP growth was retrogressing because of the fall in the international oil price.

“So, to attain food security, there must be inclusive agricultural policies and timely budget implementation, among other measures,” he said.

He opined that the effect of the pandemic was already being felt in the global economy, hence the need for all hands to be on deck to ameliorate the situation.

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Okafor commended Federal Government’s efforts in combating the pandemic and called for greater efforts to save the economy from the post-COVID-19 challenges.

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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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