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COVID-19: Sirika clears air on demanding bribes before approving flights



Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has denied asking or receiving a bribe to approve flights.

Sirika, speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily briefing on Monday, dared anyone who has evidence to prove otherwise to come forward.

According to him, the clarification became necessary, after rumours on social media that the Ministry is taking money from airlines.

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Sirika also insisted that flight approval is free.

“I’ve been minister for five years now and I challenge anybody before all of these cameras.

“There’s not a single aviation business man or woman owning an aeroplane or any airline or doing any kind of business, catering, taxi, hotel, whatever it is, any business whatsoever within the aviation industry, or any permanent secretary, director or any civil servant or any public servant or whatsoever that has given me or I asked, who he offered, or I take any money and I challenge anybody today,” he said.

On Monday, PTF advised the aviation industry to develop protocols for the resumption of domestic flights.

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This is ahead of a possible resumption of flights on June 21.


Kwara has spent N1.6bn on Covid-19- Rafiu Ajakaye



The spokesperson of state Technical Committee on COVID-19, Rafiu Ajakaye has said that Kwara State Government has spent N1.6 billion on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The breakdown of the spending, according to Ajakaye, include the running (cost) of the activities of the technical committee (N132,931,510); medical supplies and equipment (N713,480,100.90); palliatives (N525,277,030.00); COVID-related renovation works N149,928,753.80; and security, health workers’ allowances and logistics (N47,490,550.00).

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Ajakaye, who is also Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s spokesperson said: “These expenses covered the purchase of military-grade Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulances; automated ventilators and several other Intensive Care Unit (ICU) gadgets/equipment; production of hand sanitizers; and the cost of running the activities of the technical committee and its subcommittees.”

He added the expenses also included the cost of the palliatives distributed during the lockdown; renovation of the Sobi Specialist Hospital and the Hajj Camp; mass production of face masks, purchase of surgical masks, digital thermometers, N95 and respirator-sperien 5311, and other Personal Protective Equipment; medical supplies and consumables; security expenses; trainings; allowances for medical personnel and other supportive staff in charge of the pandemic; part-renovation of the Offa General Hospital as an isolation centre; and patients’ management, among others.

“It is important to add that the government has not spent a kobo from these donations as the funds have not been appropriated by the House of Assembly. However, materials including foodstuffs donated have been distributed accordingly,” he said.

He also announced the receipt of N243m as financial donations from private individuals and corporate bodies between from March 27th.

MORE READING!  WHO again discontinues use of hydroxychloroquine, others for treating COVID-19
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WHO again discontinues use of hydroxychloroquine, others for treating COVID-19



The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday announced the discontinuation of the hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir, for the treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

It said results from its solidarity trial arm with hydroxychloroquine and a combination of the HIV drugs, produced little or no reduction in mortality (death).

The Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee, therefore, recommended the discontinuation of trials with hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir.

It, however, said its decision will not affect any other studies of how the treatments can be used as a pre- or post-exposure drug or by patients not in hospitals.

A statement by WHO said,

“WHO today accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms.

“The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.

“The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation.

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.”

It added,

“For each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality. There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity trial. These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.

“This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity trial in hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.

“The interim Solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication.”

The WHO is however still leading the trial with remdesivir, to determine its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 infections.

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Recall that on the 25th of May 2020, the WHO suspended the use of hydroxychloroquine in Solidarity Trial, multi-country trial, for the treatment of COVID-19, over safety concerns. It said a report published by Lancet, indicated that more people were dying from the use of the drug to combat COVID-19.

Later on the 4th of June 2020, it announced the resumption of clinical trials of the anti-malaria drug – hydroxychloroquine, to determine its efficacy in the prevention and treatment COVID-19. The WHO based its decision to rescind on its prior stance on the fact that there was no cogent reason to halt the drug use for trial based on a review of available data by its Safety Committee.

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On the 18th of June, it said outrightly that hydroxychloroquine had no effect whatsoever on COVID-19.

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Covid-19: Enugu State records 30 new cases



The Enugu State Government has announced 30 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 372.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday.

Obi stated that the ministry confirmed the 30 new cases in the update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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He added that the number of patients undergoing treatment was 182, while 181 had been discharged.

“The number of cases on treatment is 182, number of cases discharged – 181 and number of confirmed COVID-19 related deaths  is nine,” he said.

The commissioner called on residents be responsible, adding that COVID-19 is real.

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He urged them to adhere to all the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) precautionary measures in order to stay safe.

“If in spite of your efforts, however, you develop symptoms or know anyone who may have developed symptoms, please call the following numbers; 08182555550 or 09022333833 or the NCDC number 080097000010,” he advised.


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