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26 army officers test positive for coronavirus

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  • Gen Irefin died of COVID-19, army insists

About 26 officers of the Nigerian army have tested positive for coronavirus.

This came as the army insisting that John Olu Irefin, a major-general, died from COVID-19 complications.

Irefin was attending the annual chief of army staff conference in Abuja before he took ill and died.

Army spokesman, Sagir Musa, in a statement on Sunday night said out of 417 personnel who had so far been tested, 26 cases turned out positive.

“On the confirmation that Gen Irefin’s COVID19 test was positive on 9 December 2020, the Chief of Army Staff directed the immediate suspension of the conference and all participants were directed to move into self isolation in line with FGN protocols on COVID 19 pandemic,” the statement read.

“Equally, comprehensive testing of all participants commenced immediately. Consequently, as of Sunday the 13th of December 2020, a total of 417 personnel have so far been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases.

“Currently, all participants are in self isolation irrespective of their results while Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recommended COVID-19 treatment drugs were immediately issued to those that tested positive.”

But A.A Aminu, spokesman for the Ayetoro Development Association, where Irefin hailed from, the kinsmen of the deceased said they suspected foul play.

They called on the authorities to investigate the general’s death, saying COVID-19 could not have killed Irefin within such a short period.

They also questioned the army over its “haste in the burial” of Irefin.

But army spokesman dismissed the allegations, insisting that COVID-19 was responsible for the death of the late general.

He said an explanation on the death of the general was needed to “combat fake news, unnecessary and wicked insinuations”.

“The sudden death of Maj General JO Irefin is no doubt a great loss to the Nigerian Army (NA), his family and the country at large,” Musa said.

“In view of the fake news, unnecessary and wicked insinuations that started emanating from unknown group or individuals, the NA wishes to inform members of the public the sequence of events that led to the death of the late senior officer.”

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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