A non-governmental organisation, Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development, has urged the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to stop “wasting limited test kits” on political office holders and government officials amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The group, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Seun John, on Thursday, said the unchecked usage of the scarce test kits for COVID-19 on government officials and politicians was appalling and a disservice to common Nigerians, who deserved to be truly tested.
The statement read in part, “We have noticed with utmost dismay the unending wastage of scarce testing kits for COVID-19 on politicians and political officeholders at the detriment of the masses.
“We find this endeavour a disservice to the people of Nigeria who should be the primary focus of the NCDC and the Ministry of Health.
“From several reports, the NCDC conducts an average of two tests on governors, senators, House of Representatives and state assembly members, and the Chief of Staff to the President, among many influential figures in the corridors of power.”
According to the group, the political officeholders are solely responsible for the decades of decay and backwardness of the country’s health care system.
“They stood aloof and budgeted billions of naira for frivolous expenses while the citizens suffer in penury. They do not deserve to enjoy the benefits from magnanimous philanthropists who have inconvenienced themselves to help Nigerians.
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“It is also on record that most, if not all, of the cases recorded or perceived in the corridors of power, have been caused by the sheer refusal to submit to simple emergency protocols and checks at the airports. Nigerians should not then be the ones suffering for the ego and pride of these few ones.
“While we acknowledge that not every Nigerian will get tested for COVID-19, it is extremely important that these test kits are kept safely for the primary use of the average Nigerian,” it said.
It added that the statistics by the NCDC of ”less than 200 individuals” who have received tests was disgraceful for a population of almost 200 million people.
The group noted that the NCDC must channel its resources towards improving the testing rates for Nigerians.
“The NCDC should leave the politicians alone and focus on Nigerians who are more in number and at a greater risk.
“If any politician feels the need to get tested, such politician can charter a flight to Europe, Asia or America where they get their routine medical check-up,” the statement said.
COVID-19: Anambra to fine face masks defaulters N10,000
The Anambra State Government will fine any resident who fails to wear a face mask the sum of N10,000.
This was disclosed by Governor Willie Obiano in a state-wide broadcast to the people of the state.
Obiano also warned traders in the state to keep to the COVID -19 rules or he would shut down the market again.
“We have 69 individuals on home quarantine and two individuals in the facility based quarantine.
“We shall continue to push back at this pandemic until we have reduced its presence in Anambra State.
“We are ramping up our testing capacity to ensure that we slow down the spread of this pandemic in our dear state.
“The Covid-19 Committees that we have set up in wards and local governments across Anambra State are helping us in driving the campaign to every nook and cranny of the state.
He said he had signed the COVID-19 Bill into law, adding that it was now an offence to be seen in the public without a face mask.
“The offence attracts a fine of N10,000 or some hours of community service. I would like to re-emphasize that my administration is determined to enforce this law, adding
“The information we received from different quarters indicate that our people have started lowering their guard on the COVID-19 protocols.
“I have it on good authority that traders in various markets no longer comply with the enforcement of the wearing of face masks and the washing of hands.
” I want to warn that we may consider shutting down the markets if this trend is not halted with immediate effect.
“I have also received similar reports from churches and other religious groups in the state most of whom have discarded the wearing of face masks.
” I urge the leadership of all religious bodies in Anambra State to ensure compliance with the standard protocols of COVID-19 without further delay.”
Covid-19: Brazil records largest daily increase in deaths
Brazil, on Tuesday, recorded its largest daily increase in deaths related to the novel coronavirus, data by the country’s Health Ministry showed.
The country confirmed 1,262 new virus-related deaths, bringing the total toll to 31,199, according to the latest official figures.
Tuesday’s daily jump was the steepest since the first victim was confirmed on March 17, the data showed, surpassing the record set on May 21 of 1,188 deaths in a day.
The ministry also reported almost 29,000 new infections for a total of 555,383 cases.
After the United States, Brazil is the country with the highest number of officially recorded infections worldwide.
Brazil’s death toll is in fourth place globally, behind the U.S., Britain and Italy, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.
Seeing as the biggest nation in Latin America is carrying out relatively low levels of testing, the real figure is likely significantly higher.
There have been at least 29,314 coronavirus deaths so far in the country.
In many cities in Brazil, hospitals have reached capacity.
Authorities have set up makeshift clinics in football stadiums.
Meanwhile, a dispute between President Jair Bolsonaro, several governors and congress has paralysed the country.
Right-wing populist leader, Bolsonaro, sees the COVID-19 lung disease as a “mild flu” and has rejected protective measures.
But many state leaders have put in place their own restrictions on movement and public life to stem the spread of the virus.
On Sunday, clashes were reported between Bolsonaro supporters, anti-government protesters and the Police in several Brazilian cities.
COVID-19: Bauchi deputy governor tests positive
The Deputy Governor of Bauchi state, Mr Baba Tela, has tested positive to the novel Coronavirus, a statement issued by the state government revealed on Wednesday.
The statement, signed by Mr Muktar Gidado, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on media to the state governor, indicated that test by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the development.
According to Gidado, Tela, who is also the Chairman, State Task Force Committee on COVID-19, was tested after exhibiting noticeable symptoms of the virus, adding that all his primary contacts had been taken for screening.
“This is to inform the general public that His Excellency, Sen. Baba Tela, Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, was confirmed positive of Coronavirus.
“The confirmation was sequel to a test carried out on him by NCDC when he exhibited noticeable symptoms of the disease.
“He contracted the disease while discharging his onerous responsibility as Chairman of the State Committee on COVID-19.
“Consequently, he has gone into self-isolation in Bauchi and health professionals are properly managing his situation.
“Similarly, samples of all his primary contacts have been taken by NCDC for tests and they are advised to remain in isolation pending the outcome of their results,” Gidado said.
The SSA further stressed that Gov. Bala Mohammad had sympathised with his deputy and solicited for prayers from all for his speedy recovery.
He said that the governor also called on the citizens to adhere strictly to the protocols against the dreaded virus to curtail its spread in the State.
Newsmen report that Bauchi state, as at Tuesday, June 2, had recorded a total 241 cases of COVID-19, out of which 221 had been discharged while eight had died.
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