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COVID-19

Fake COVID-19 certificates on sale in Lagos, says commissioner

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Lagos State Government has alerted to the sale of fake COVID-19 certificates in the state by some dubious characters.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos, warning that his ministry was working with law enforcement agents to track and arrest the illegal sellers.

He also said the number of positive cases for the virus was rising in the state as more people returned from overseas countries for the Christmas and new year festivities.

The Federal Government had earlier said it would not welcome travellers coming into the country without producing certificates that they were COVID-19-free.

Also, those travelling out of the country as well as some transactions require people to present the certificate.

Abayomi said, “It has come to our attention that a number of people are patronising individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results.

“We are currently putting in processes to identify both buyers and sellers and we will not hesitate to prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”

The commissioner also said some Lagos residents who had tested positive were observed to be giving fake contacts and phone numbers at the isolation facilities, making contact tracing difficult.

He said, “Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise as Nigerians in the Diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos.”

”On December 26, the state confirmed 253 new COVID-19 infections, increasing the total confirmed cases of infections in the state to 28,774,” Abayomi said.

He added that 75 confirmed cases were currently being managed at the isolation centres while 3,716 active cases under home-based care were under the state’s Eko Telemed.

Abayomi said that one fatality was recorded on the reported day, adding that as the COVID-19 pandemic continued, residents would need to make lifestyle adjustments to live with the pandemic.

“Living with the pandemic means that you should wear your face mask everywhere, follow physical distancing rules, avoid social gatherings, ensure regular hand washing or hand sanitising.

“If you feel unwell, get tested; if positive, self-isolate or present to any isolation centre or follow up clinics,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner also said the state government would soon inaugurate 10 Oxygen and Sampling centres to improve management of severe-to-critical COVID-19 cases.

Abayomi said that the state would deploy oxygen therapy centres in high burden local government areas to manage severe-to-critical COVID-19 patients.

According to him, the centres are sited at the Mother and Child Centre, Eti-Osa; General Hospital Alimosho; General Hospital Isolo; Aguda Primary Healthcare Centre, Surulere; and General Hospital Gbagada.

Others are the Mother and Child Centre, Ifako Ijaiye; Ibeju-Lekki Primary Healthcare Centre; General Hospital Apapa; Odi Olowu Primary Healthcare Centre, Mushin; and Amuwo-Odofin Mother and Child Centre.

Abayomi said that the oxygen centres at Mother and Child Centre, Eti-Osa; General Hospital Alimosho and General Hospital Isolo were already completed, while the remaining seven centres would be completed in the next two weeks.

He said medical oxygen had been the primary treatment for the majority of patients who were suffering from severe COVID-19 symptoms.

”Many of these patients present late to the isolation centres, thus leading to fatalities. This life-saving gas helps patients breathe when they cannot do so on their own, and timely access to oxygen is critical to ensure the patient’s survival.

“If anyone is breathless, go to any of these centres, and the doctors and nurses there will assist to stabilise you with oxygen before moving you with the ambulance to the isolation centre,” he said.

 

COVID-19

US to halt J&J COVID vaccine after blood clotting cases

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The United States federal health agencies on Tuesday recommended suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The development comes after six recipients of the vaccine — all women– developed a “severe type of blood clot”.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they would stop using the vaccine at federal sites and asked states to do so as well while they investigate safety issues.

The agencies, in a joint statement, said they were “reviewing data involving six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare”.

“Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered,” they said.

“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause. This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

It is the third COVID-19 vaccine that has received FDA’s authorisation, and also the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine available in the US.

About seven million people in the US have received the vaccine.

Similar reports of blood clot development in recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine made several European countries to suspend use of the product in March.

They have, however, resumed using the vaccine after European Union and British regulators said there was no link between the vaccine and the reported side effects.

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COVID-19

COVID-19: PTF transforms into presidential steering committee, completes task December

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COVID-19: PTF transforms into presidential steering committee, complete task December

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transition of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to the presidential steering committee.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said President Muhamadu Buhari, stated this at a media briefing on Tuesday, adding that the mandate of the PSC would end on December 31.
According to him, the PSC will focus on ensuring effectiveness in the roll-out of the vaccine, and promote policies that will result in the development of the country’s health sector.
“Mr president has considered the report and has approved the following: That the PTF will transition to a presidential steering committee on COVID-19, effective from 1st April, 2021, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of COVID-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic,” he said.
“That the structure of the PSC shall reflect the new focus of the response with a targeted approach on vaccine oversight, risk communication, international travel quarantine processes and sub-national engagement; that the tenure of the presidential steering committee shall last till 31st December, 2021.
“The presidential steering committee would maintain the present constitution, functions and strategies of the PTF; be supported by a slim technical and administrative structure.”

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Lagos shuts 430 event centres, night clubs

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The Lagos State Safety Commission says it has shut 430 event centres and night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols.
Director General at the commission, Lanre Mojola, said at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja that the commission was saddled with developing safety guidelines for the state’s reopening of economic activities in post COVID-19 lockdown.
“The commission was involved in the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and this led to the shutting of 30 event centres and 400 clubs across the state,” he added.
On construction safety, the DG said the commission carried out risk assessment and unscheduled safety inspection of construction sites to ensure safety compliance, as well as adherence to COVID-19 protocols, to prevent accidents, incidents, illnesses and loss of lives.
He said the commission issued provisional safety compliance certificates for 90 days and safety compliance certificates thereafter if compliance status was maintained.
Mojola said the enforcement was carried out in 609 construction sites for repeated failure to comply with safety regulations.
He said the annual World Safety Day would hold across the world on April 28 to create awareness, sensitise and educate people on the importance of keeping the workplace safe and free from occupational hazards, accidents, incidents and preventable illnesses.

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