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Kaduna considers another lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise

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Kaduna Central Market

The Kaduna State Government says it may close down schools, markets, offices and places of worship and other public areas should the current rate of COVID-19 infection persists.

A statement by the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni on Saturday gave the warning, following the rise in cases of coronavirus.

The commissioner said, “If the rate of spread retains or exceeds the current pace, then we will have no option than to recommend the temporary closure of public spaces, including schools, markets, offices and places of worship.

She appealed the residents to help stop the spread of the disease and save lives.

He said, “In absolute and relative terms, Kaduna State is now recording high infection figures reminiscent of the first wave of Covid-19 spread in April, May and June 2020.

“The lowering of the infection rate following the first wave encouraged the government to approve the recommendation of the state COVID-19 task force for a significant reopening of the state.

“However, we are saddened to report that the conditions that compelled the 75 day lockdown of the state are now being replicated.”

She recalled that the state on November 26 recorded 74 positive results from 531 samples.

“The quantum of infections since then suggests both high infection rates and the reality that a new wave of infections is spreading across the state,” she added.

The commissioner also said on Friday 11th December, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples, which she noted amounted to almost one in four samples testing positive.

She stated that the ministry of health expected some increase in infections after the reopening of schools, markets, places of worship and recreational centres, noting however, that the figures easily outstripped estimated projection.

The commissioner said, “While infections cut across age groups, this new wave especially affects those aged between 10 and 35. There is now a veritable danger to lives and livelihoods with the renewed COVID-19 infections.

“If the spread continues at the current rate, it may challenge and overwhelm the health system despite our efforts to improve the resilience of that sector.

“We cannot allow this to happen. Kaduna State contained the first wave because, among other measures, most citizens observed and practised the COVID-19 prevention protocols.”

She urged the people to adopt behaviour that would protect themselves and their families from the infection by voluntarily complying with the COVID-19 protocols.

Health

86% of COVID-19 infections in Africa go unnoticed – WHO

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About 86 per cent of all coronavirus infections in Africa go unnoticed, the World Health Organization reported on Thursday.

The WHO puts the number of all infections on the continent at 59 million, over seven times more than the eight million reported cases.

It said: “The high number of unreported cases can be explained by the fact that health facilities have so far focused on testing people. People with symptoms of the disease has led to extensive under-reporting.”

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said with limited testing, the continent is flying blind in far too many communities.

“By comparison, the United States, with about a third of the population, had conducted more than 550 million tests.

“While Britain, with less than 10 per cent of Africa’s population, had conducted more than 280 million tests.”

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In total, more than 8.4 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Africa, including 214,000 deaths.

According to WHO data, less than half of the African countries that received vaccines have fully vaccinated an average of about two per cent of their population.

dpa/NAN. “By comparison, the United States, with about a third of the population, had conducted more than 550 million tests.

“While Britain, with less than 10 per cent of Africa’s population, had conducted more than 280 million tests.”

In total, more than 8.4 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Africa, including 214,000 deaths.

According to WHO data, less than half of the African countries that received vaccines have fully vaccinated an average of about two per cent of their population.

dpa/NAN.

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Entertainment

BBNaija winner, Whitemoney hospitalized in Lagos

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Winner of the 2021 Big Brother Naija, BBNaija, reality TV show, WhiteMoney, has been hospitalized.

 

WhiteMoney was hospitalized on Tuesday morning.

 

Although the cause of his illness was not revealed, he was sighted on drips.

 

Alongside an Instagram video of the 29-year old receiving treatment was a caption that read, ”Good morning, break in transmission. We will be back shortly.”

BBNaija finalists have been going for media rounds since their exit from the house. His tight schedule may be responsible for his breakdown.

 

WhiteMoney emerged winner of the ‘Shine ya Eye edition’ ahead of Liquorose, Pere, Cross, Angel and Emmanuel on the final day of the show.

 

He walked away with N30million in cash and prizes adding up to N60million.

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Health

FG stopped residency payment after strike suspension – NARD

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FRESH crisis may be brewing between the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors and the Federal Government as the association accused the government of already deviating from the understanding reached before it suspended its strike last week.

This was as the association also accused the government of causing confusion among its members and suspending the payment of the Medical Residency Training Funds

The National President of NARD, Dr Dare Ishaya, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.

But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said there was no truth in the claim

The PUNCH had reported last week that the association, after interventions by the Nigerian Medical Association, suspended its industrial action with the aim of holding a meeting of the National Executive Committee to review the activities of the Federal Government six weeks after.

The NARD commenced its industrial action on August 2, 2021.

Sources familiar with the matter told our correspondent on Monday that since the association suspended its industrial action, the Federal Government stopped the payment of the medical residency training fund which it commenced before the strike was suspended.

“They paid 20 centres before we suspended the strike and they promised they would pay everything immediately we suspend the strike and the salary arrears.

“But the moment we suspended the strike, till now, we have not heard anything from them. Thirty-four centres have not been paid (medical residency training fund) and salary arrears, even the one for August and September have not been paid,” one of the sources said.

The National President of NARD, Ishaya, confirmed the development.

However, Ngige confirmed the aspect of non-payment of salaries, saying the case was still in court while government was working towards an out-of-court settlement.

He said the striking doctors would not be paid for the months they did not work.

On the residency fund, the minister said the payment was suspended because some individuals who were not resident doctors were paid.

The minister said, “Do you pay somebody who didn’t work in August, September? The truth of the matter is that the August and September salary is a matter that is still in court. So, when we go to court, we will try to see if we can do out-of-court settlement. But for now, nothing like payment.

Punch

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