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Hydroxychloroquine: PTF on COVID-19 backs WHO, cautions NAFDAC

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The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has thrown his weight behind the decision of the World Health Organisation [WHO] to suspend clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of the novel coronavirus.

The PTF Chairman also cautioned the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control [NAFDAC] and other relevant agencies to ensure that all claims to treatment by scientists and researchers were subjected to scientific certification protocols.

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The WHO had on Monday suspended the hydroxychloroquine trials due to the high mortalities among patients the drug was administered on.

On Tuesday, NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said the agency would go ahead with the trial on the grounds that it had been effective in the treatment of COVID- 19 patients, especially those at the mild stage of the virus.

But  Boss Mustapha urged NAFDAC  to subject all claims to scientific investigations.

He said,

“In our briefing of Thursday May 21, the PTF categorically advised Nigerians against self-medication in treating COVID -19. Particularly, the use of hydroxychloroquine was discouraged because it had not been certified for use in treating COVID-19.

“We have read in the media about the side effects of the use of this drug from COVID-19 patients that survived as well as those who took it outside clinical supervision.

“The World Health Organisation has temporarily suspended all clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19. This advice was informed by a study which identified that the use of hydroxychloroquine, either alone or with other drugs, has been responsible for a high number of deaths.

“This precautionary measure by the WHO underscores the importance of not only seeking expert medical advice but also ensuring that all claims to treatment by scientists and researchers, whether conventional or traditional, should be subjected to scientific certification protocols by NAFDAC and other relevant institutions so as to guarantee the efficacy of the discovery.”

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COVID 19: FG releases 7,813 inmates to curb virus spread in correctional centres

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The federal government says 7,813 inmates have so far been released from the Nigeria Correctional Service Centres across the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 to curb the spread of the virus among inmates.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said this on Tuesday in Abuja, to celebrate the achievement of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion, since inception in October 2017.

Malami said the measure was taken to reduce risk of inmates contracting the virus.

“The Committee, since its inauguration, has visited and appraised about 39 prisons in 18 states and has released a total of 7,813.

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“It is pertinent to note the inadequacy of Nigeria’s correctional facilities, which are currently operating at more than 150 per cent of their capacity.

“There is an ongoing construction of 3000-capacity maximum security custodial centres in Karshi, Abuja and in Janguza, Kano State,’’ he added.

He said that undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed its own peculiar challenges in light of the worrisome and dilapidated state of the correctional centres nationwide.

“As part of measures to decongest the custodial centres nationwide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dangers posed to the centres, my office, the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with Presidential Committee on Correctional Service and Decongestion, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy and State Executives and Other relevant stakeholders were galvanised to develop measures to overcome the challenges.

MORE READING!  COVID 19: FG releases 7,813 inmates to curb virus spread in correctional centres

`The initiatives we adopted have so far led to the release of the inmates while simultaneously reducing the instances of unnecessary test and we intend to sustain this momentum”.

The Chairman of the committee and Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello said that during the visits to the correctional centres nationwide, carried out inspection exercises where a number of facilities were discovered to be in dire need of urgent rehabilitation.

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“We made recommendations as a matter of urgency to the relevant authorities for the renovation/construction of these facilities.

He said the committee, after a review of cases of inmates eligible for Prerogative of Mercy and condemned convicts on death row for over 10 years, has written and keeps writing letters of appeal to several State Government Executives to act on some special cases encountered during the visits to some states as well as to exercise their powers of clemency in deserving cases or commute to live sentence those condemned to death.

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Malaria: Kwara Govt begins advocacy visits to traditional leaders

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Dr. Raji Razaq, the Kwara Commissioner for Health, on Tuesday commenced advocacy visits to traditional leaders in Ilorin on the forthcoming 2020 Net campaign in the state.

The commissioner, who was represented by Alhaji Abdullahi Negeri, the Programme Manager, Malaria Elimination Programme, assured the traditional rulers at a meeting in Ilorin of the state government’s commitment to curbing Malaria in the state by reducing it to the minimal level.

He stated that all relevant funds to make the exercise a successful one has been released and that the state was set to kickstart the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Net.

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Razaq urged the traditional leaders to help sensitise the people of their communities on the importance of the insecticide-treated nets and the need to use the nets as directed.

According to him, malaria still constitutes a great threat to people, particularly pregnant women and children in the community.

Razaq also commended the traditional leaders for taking their time to attend to the health team for the sensitization.

MORE READING!  COVID 19: FG releases 7,813 inmates to curb virus spread in correctional centres

Mr. Femi Olatunbosun, the Chairman of the Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation Core Group, explained that this year’s net campaign would be conducted house-to-house.

Olatunbosun appealed for the full support and cooperation of the traditional leaders and members of their communities for the success of the campaign, adding that serious monitoring is needed from the traditional leaders for a smooth exercise.

Responding, Alhaji Adebayo Mohammed, the Balogun Gambari of Ilorin, commended the efforts of the health team in reducing malaria in the communities and assured them of the traditional institution support.

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Mohammed said that they would commence the mobilization of their communities on preventive measures.

Also speaking, the Magaji Are of Ilorin, Alhaji Aremu Suberu, appreciated the Abdulrazaq’s administration for the net campaign and reiterated the commitment of the traditional leaders to ensure the success of the program.

The Newsmen reports that other traditional rulers who declared support for the programme included the Balogun Ajikobi of Ilorin, Balogun Alanamu, and Balogun Fulani of Ilorin.

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Kwara discharges 15 Covid-19 cases

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Kwara has discharged 15 coronavirus patients which brings the number of persons so far discharged in the state to 161.

This was disclosed by the Kwara State Government Technical Committee on COVID-19.

The committee added that the state had conducted a test on no fewer than 2,187 persons in the state.

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Spokesperson of the committee Rafiu Ajakaye said that the state had thus far recorded five deaths since the outbreak of the novel virus in the state.

He said that 1,699 persons tested negative to the deadly pandemic, noting that 186 cases are pending.

Ajakaye, who doubles as the spokesperson of the state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq put the number of confirmed cases in the state at 297, adding that 131 were active.

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Governor AbdulRazaq had last week expressed worry on the daily rising cases on the pandemic in the country.

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