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Xenophobia: South Africa finally grants landing permit to Air Peace

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South African authorities have granted landing permit to Air Peace Flight B777 to enable it to evacuate some 320 Nigerians leaving the country over the recent xenophobic attacks, a Nigerian consular officer has confirmed.

Nigeria’s Consul- General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, made the confirmation in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.

Adama spoke against the background of a complaint by the Managing Director of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema.

Onyema had said that the refusal of South Africa to grant the permit made it impossible for the flight to leave Lagos at 1 a.m for Johannesburg to convey the second batch of returnees.

But Adama said the permit had been granted the airline and that the flight would be late in the night of Tuesday.

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Adama said,

“They want Nigerians to arrive during the week, they are taking-off from here midnight.

“I do not know the exact time but they will be leaving (South Africa) midnight.

“I do not know why they were denied the landing permit. I think it is an airline operational issue. They did not get it yesterday but they told me that it came late yesterday (Monday).

“It was weekend and they were going to get it this morning; the airline did not tell me it was deliberate, but they explained to me that they have gotten it.

“Our manifest arrived last night towards the close of work and they were to take-off 1 a.m. Nigerian time yesterday (Monday) but they did not because it was late.

“I have gotten it now so they will be able to make me know the time of their arrival here so that we can know when to take-off.”

Adama said buses provided to convey Nigerians wanting to return home were still at the mission premises and everyone was there.

“We are still really working on the number (320) to see how we can fill up the airline capacity with anyone that is readily available.

“We have more than enough, we are even trying to ensure that the aircraft is filled up that is why we are readily taking people who are on ground now.

“We have more than enough to fill the aircraft, the delay has also helped us because as we call names to board we see some people cleared at the last minute.

“The truth is they are people who have not been cleared, those who are ready to go are all here and we are trying to queue them up.

“We may not even be able to take all of them who are hopeful,” he added.

Adama said that the next batch of evacuation would be based on the Federal Government’s directives.

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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.

MORE READING!  JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915
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JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915

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Nigeria has recorded 182 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 8,915 the total number of confirmed cases in the country.

Announcing this Thursday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos recorded 111 new cases of the disease, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 16, Akwa Ibom 10, Oyo eight, Kaduna and Delta six each, Rivers five, Ogun and Ebonyi four each, Kano three, Plateau, Gombe and Kebbi two each, while Kebbi, Bauchi and Borno had one each.

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It said: “Nigeria had recorded 8,915 cases of COVID-19, while 2,592 persons have been discharged with 259 losing their lives

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VSF supports Edo IDPs with COVID-19 palliatives

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The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has supported the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable Nigerians in Edo State with palliatives to help cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VSF Team was led by the Chairperson of the VSF Task Force on COVID-19, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji who was in the company of the Edo State government that was ably represented by the wife of the Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki.

This comes as the country battles over 8700 cases of the respiratory illness that has affected economies across the globe, including that of Nigeria.

MyNigeria.com reports that the VSF palliative was in the form of 200 bags set that contained 10kg of rice, 10kg of beans, 10kg of garri, 4kg of vegetable oil and 2 small packets of salt per bag.

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During the course of delivery of the items, additional bags of foodstuff were added to the initial amount by compassionate officials of VSF to the amazement IDPs Camp Uhogua.

Speaking on behalf of the management team of the camp, Coordinator of International Christian Centre (ICCM) and Coordinator of the Camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho said the VSF is Godsent for coming at this very critical time.

He said the lockdown caused by Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the welfare of the residents of the Camp.

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The visit to the IDPs Camp Uhogua was a response to an “SOS correspondence they recently received from CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development)” and the VSF intends to visit most states in Nigeria.

According to reports, the current cost of preparing a meal for the four thousand five hundred and seventy-five residents of the Camp is about three hundred thousand naira.

National Coordinator of CSED, Mr Edema Fuludu said that they were forced to reach out to VSF and other bodies having seen the plight of the people, though the CSED work is mainly sport/educational intervention.

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“We cannot afford to walk on by when the children/youths we work with are in dire needs of food and basic daily necessities,” Mr Fuludu said.

Mr Fuludu urged public-spirited individuals, corporate organisations and NGOs to continue to provide palliatives to the IDPs and other needy members of the society, as this is the only way they (vulnerable Nigerians) can survive the hunger and social isolation that has been induced by Covid-19.

He noted that “every effort put in touching the vulnerable in the society is the rent we pay to God for allowing us to live on planet earth.”

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