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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

NGF: States to reintroduce COVID protocol, fast-track vaccine procurement to prevent third wave

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says states will reintroduce measures for curbing the spread of the coronavirus to prevent a third wave of infections.

 

This was part of the resolutions reached by the governors after a meeting on Wednesday.

 

The decision was taken following a presentation by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, on the concerns about a third wave of infections in the state.

 

On July 11, Sanwo-Olu had warned Lagos residents of a possible outbreak, following a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, which he said may lead to a third wave of infections.

 

In a statement issued after the meeting on Wednesday, Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the forum, said the governors also agreed to liaise with the federal government on ways to speed up the procurement of additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

“The Forum received an update from the Governor of Lagos State, H.E Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and call for consensual action to prevent a third wave in the country,” Fayemi said.

 

“Following the update, the Forum called on all State Governors to revive their COVID protocols and collaborate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take appropriate and immediate actions to flatten the transmission curve.

 

“The Forum will interface with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to accelerate processes required to fast track the delivery of additional vaccines for the country.”

 

During the first wave of infections, guidelines such as restriction of movement, compulsory use of face masks, and strict adherence to physical distancing were in force, but with the drop in infection numbers, such measures have been relaxed across the country.

 

However, with concerns raised over a possible increase in infections, following the confirmation of the “highly infectious” Delta variant in Abuja and Oyo, it isn’t yet clear what exact measures the governors will reintroduce.

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Delta COVID variant, linked to high infection rate, detected in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the index case of the delta variant of the coronavirus in Nigeria.

The NCDC disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

According to the NCDC, the variant was detected during routine tests for in-bound travellers in Abuja.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2. The variant was detected in a traveler to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja,” the statement reads.

“The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries.

“The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.”

The development comes days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed concern over the “speedy” spread in infection rates in Africa as countries battle a third wave of COVID-19.

In a statement issued on July 1, the WHO had raised concern over variants of concern, especially the delta variant, adding that infection rates are doubling every week, and the virus is spreading faster than previous records.

However, according to the NCDC, the federal government is stepping up efforts through collaboration with the “Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing”, in order “to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities”.

“Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place. Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease,” the agency said.

“Additionally, states are urged to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public. Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population.

“The recommended control measures to limit the spread of the Delta variant continue to be testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FG declares 132 violators of COVID-19 travel advisory wanted

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The Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has declared another 132 travellers wanted for violating a recently issued travel advisory.

The PSC, on May 1, 2021, issued a travel advisory, instructing travellers arriving from India, Brazil and Turkey, or who had visited the countries within 14 days of their trip to Nigeria, to observe certain protocols, including compulsory quarantine and testing in designated facilities on arrival.

However, the committee observed that many travellers had been violating the advisory, leading to earlier announcement of 90 violators as wanted persons on May 9.

A statement on Thursday by the Chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the Committee announced the 132 additional violators of the advisory, who entered through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, advising members of the public to be on the lookout, describing the persons as immediate health hazard.

It stated, “The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on 1st May, 2021 issued a Travel Advisory for Passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey.

“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population.

“Under the new measures, passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days prior to the visit to Nigeria, are required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.

“The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) has however observed that while most of the arriving passengers dutifully observed the guidelines, some (Nigerians and Foreigners) have violated them in contravention of the provisions of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Health Regulations Protection, 2021.

“Accordingly, the underlisted persons who arrived in Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and whose names and passport numbers are displayed, have been declared Persons of Interest (POI) on account of posing considerable danger to overall public health and for the violation of Nigeria COVID-19 travel protocol by evading the mandatory seven-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.

“Members of the public are by this notice advised that these persons of interest constitute an immediate health hazard to the society.

“They must therefore transport themselves safely, to the nearest state public health departments within 48 hours of this notice for immediate evaluation and call the Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health.”

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