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JUST IN: Nigeria records second death from coronavirus

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COVID-19: NCDC announces two more molecular laboratories

Nigeria has recorded yet another death from the coronavirus outbreak.

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, disclosed this during the presidential task force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday.

Ehanire said the victim, whose identity was not disclosed, had serious underlying health issues.

He added that most of the confirmed cases recorded were people who came into the country from overseas.

“Majority of them are persons who came from overseas and the others have been traced as close contacts of such returnees,” he said.

“The high number of imported cases in Lagos and Abuja is directly due to their function as the country gateway for air travels.

“Till date, three persons have been discharged after successful treatments but sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had severe underlying illnesses.”

He said the ministry has intensified contact-tracing and plans were in place to increase its testing capacity.

“We have intensified contact-tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat in order to reduce the spread of the infection,” he said.

“The federal ministry of health is working closely with states and the presidential task force on COVID-19 to review response activities and institute measures to protect the health and well being of Nigerians while the NCDC-led multisectoral emergency operation centres continue to coordinate national response activities.

“The NCDC has expanded its capacity by engaging hundreds of ad hoc staff to support various areas of responses including the call centres.

“On the order of the President, all retired but essential and able-bodied staff are to be recalled to service at this crucial period.”

He added that training are being conducted for medical personnel to support the ongoing activities to prevent the virus from spreading to other states.

“Members of the public are to note that testing is free of charge and anyone demanding to be paid should be reported to the appropriate authorities,” he said.

Ehanire said social distancing remains one of the major containment strategies and urged citizens to practice all preventive measures in good faith and join collective efforts against the disease.

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He noted that the elderly ones are the most vulnerable and should be protected from needless contacts with children and persons who could be positive from the coronavirus and other diseases.

Suleiman Achimugu, former managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), is the first victim of the disease in Nigeria.

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Achimugu, who died last Monday, also had underlying medical issues and had been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Coronavirus

Monkeys attack lab assistant, escape with COVID-19 samples

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A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and escaped with a batch of coronavirus test samples, it has been reported.

The bizarre incident saw the troop of primates launch their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India.

According to local media, the animals then snatched COVID-19 test samples from three patients and fled.

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One of the monkeys was later spotted in a tree chewing one of the sample collection kits, the Times of India reported – adding that test samples from the patients had to be taken again.

It is the latest example of the highly intelligent, red-faced rhesus macaques taking advantage of India’s nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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While they have proved an increasing problem in urban areas of the country in recent years, lockdown measures in the last two months have emboldened the monkeys.

Reports have shown them congregating in parts of Delhi normally crowded with humans.

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

Uganda has recorded 36 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 317, the country’s Health Ministry said late Thursday.

Out of the 2,230 samples collected from cross-border cargo truck drivers and communities, 24 Ugandan truck drivers and 12 close contacts of previously confirmed cases under quarantine tested positive for the virus, the ministry said in a statement.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915

Twenty-six foreign truck drivers, who tested positive at the country’s common border entry points, were handed over to their country of origin, it said.

Out of the 317 COVID-19 cases, 69 have recovered and no one has died of the respiratory disease in the country, according to the health ministry.

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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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