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One in five Lagosians tested positive in Jan – Sanwo-Olu

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  • Over 50 person-indoor gathering banned
  • Wearing of face mask now compulsory in Lagos

One out of every five Lagos residents who took the COVID-19 test this year was found to be positive, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

He said this on Sunday amid fears of unbearable spike in the virus infection in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, who gave the figure in his monthly coronavirus update for January, announced the prohibition of over 50 people in an indoor gathering except a religious event; just as he insisted that wearing of face mask now a must in Lagos.

He said as of January 29, the state had recorded 47,871 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 34,094 have recovered, while 9,856 are currently active.

He explained that over the last 12 months, about 3,988 COVID-related patients had been admitted into the care centres across the state; with a registered fatality rate of approximately 0.63 per cent (301 deaths).

Sanwo-Olu said, “Currently, Lagos State has 21 private and four public health laboratories accredited for COVID-19 testing. So far, a total of 316,801 samples have been tested, with 47,871 diagnosed as positive.

“The test positivity ratio for January 2021 is 24 per cent, which means that one out of every five tests returns positive. This is the highest monthly average recorded in the last six months.

“It should be stressed that testing is free at all Lagos State public health laboratories, for all persons who fall within the case definition — that is, have symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, inability to smell or taste, headaches or general body weakness — or those who have come into close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms. Testing at our public health facilities will continue to remain free but cannot be used for travel purposes. Anyone wishing to test as a requirement for either outbound or inbound travel or other work-related requirements must do so at any of the 21 private laboratories accredited by Lagos State for COVID testing.”

The governor noted that oxygen demand had spiked to between 300 and 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, adding that the government was working hard to ensure that availability and supply “are very easily able to meet and even surpass this demand”.

“To this end, a second oxygen plant is under construction at the Gbagada General Hospital and will come on-stream within the next seven days.

“It is expected that this will boost the in-house capacity and availability of oxygen across state government-managed treatment centres.”

To shore up the state’s containment and management capacity for the virus and its variants, Sanwo-Olu said he had approved N200million to support the ongoing patient management and treatment efforts of two Federal Government treatment centres in the state.

“To this end, LUTH will be receiving N150million and the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Meta will be receiving N50 million. These sums will be disbursed on Monday, February 1,” he said.

In line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor directed that “no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.

“A breach of the provisions of the Presidential Regulations attracts upon summary conviction, a fine or six months imprisonment and or both. Our enforcement agencies have been appropriately tasked to ensure maximum compliance.”

Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu has directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons will be allowed in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes.

He said it was in line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed last week by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “The state government has observed with dismay the widespread flagrant disregard and non-adherence to guidelines and protocols aimed at stemming and curbing the tide of infection.

“We particularly note that some event centres have been operating their premises outside the acceptable parameters for operation/usage and continue to be recalcitrant in this regard.

“This is to sound a very serious note of warning that henceforth all those found culpable and in breach of the existing regulations and guidelines would be swiftly and decisively dealt with in full accordance with the provisions of the law.

“Furthermore, and in line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, it is hereby directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.”

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Total power blackout in Kaduna as Labour unions begin strike

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The Management of Kaduna Electric has said that the current total power blackout in Kaduna State was due to the ongoing five-day warning strike embarked by labour unions.

Abdulazeez Abdullahi, Head of Corporate Communication of the company made the announcement in a statement issued on Sunday in Kaduna.

“In compliance with the NLC directive, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN has knocked off all our 33KV lines in Kaduna State.

“Consequently, we are appealing to all communities, security agencies and vigilante groups to be vigilant so that men of underworld will not cash in on the situation to vandalise power supply installations.

“Any suspicious movement around distribution sub-stations (transformers) should be reported to the relevant security agency”, he said.

He stated that it is the collective responsibility of citizens to protect critical national assets in their neighborhood.

Abdullahi added that the company appeals to both labour unions and Kaduna State Government “to strive at an amicable resolution for normalcy to return”.

NAN

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Osinbajo offers scholarship to Ekiti artist Abosede Okeowo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has offered a gifted physically challenged artist, Ms Abosede Okeowo,  a US online scholarship to enhance her skills.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the presentation was made recently at the palace of Oba Adekunle Adeagbo, the Oore of Otun-Ekiti in Ekiti.

The 27-year-old artist had presented Osinbajo with his pencil portrait during his courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife in 2020.

Inspite of her limitations, Okeowo focuses on her artistic skills and has gained recognition because of her talent.

Okeowo, an indigene of Otun Ekiti in Ekiti State, suffered an illness when she was a child which resulted in her current state of health.

The self-taught artist who, nurtured her talent in drawing to her current stage of expertise, is known for making drawings of many dignitaries.

Okeowo first caught the attention of the vice president when she drew a portrait of his wife, Dolapo.

She yet again enthralled Osinbajo with her skills when she drew and presented a lifelike portrait of him.

Osinbajo, the statement said, was represented at the presentation by a team led by Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters.

Also in the team was Dr Ebi Awosika, Senior Technical Assistant to the Vice President on Community Engagement.

In her remarks, Awosika expressed gratitude to God for Okeowo, saying it was just the beginning of greatness for the young artist.

She presented to the talented artiste a special wheelchair, laptop and a scholarship in Hyper-Realistic Portrait Course, a virtual course offered through an American online programme.

“This scholarship will help Okeowo to realise her dreams and desire to own an establishment where she can teach others how to draw and help those who are physically challenged to also fulfill their life ambitions,”the statement quoted her as saying.

In his remarks, Adeagbo, who received the delegation on behalf of Okeowo’s family and Otun Ekiti community expressed gratitude to the vice president and his wife for making life meaningful for the artist and her family

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Ekiti to embark on Rice pyramid project

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Ekiti State Government on Sunday said it intends to produce of over one million metrics tonnes of rice within the next couple of years.

Mr Olabode Adetoyi, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, made this known in Ado Ekiti at a news conference ahead of the official launch of the ” Ekiti Rice Pyramid Project” and flag off of the 2021 Wet Season Rice Cultivation, scheduled for Tuesday.

According to him, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, would perform the inauguration of the rice pyramid project while Gov. Kayode Fayemi, would be the chief host.

The commissioner said the state was embarking on massive production of rice so as to be able to meet both local demands and for export.

He explained that the state government had brought in investors, who were ready to invest in planting and processing of rice, adding that the product would be of high standards and stone free.

Adetoyi added that the state government was working assiduously towards ensuring that youths ventured into farming by making it more attractive and lucrative, through various agricultural incentives

He assured farmers in the state that the government would not fail in providing adequate security for them to enable them go to their farms anytime without entertaining fears

Adetoyi disclosed that 23 new investors had already been allocated lands to plant rice, cocoa and palm oil, among others, as the government was doing all to attract investors through provision of enabling environment.

“ Top notch rice processing plant like Stallion, Dangote and Jumlar rice have been allocated land in premium location in Ekiti Knowledge Zone for quality rice production.

“ Land clearing and development of over 5,000 hectares of land for commercial agriculture is also on, out of which 1,000 is cleared for swampy rice along the river banks and valleys in the state. Over 40,000 hectares is to be made available as time goes on,” he said.

The commissioner said that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, had conceived the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide easy access to credit for farmers and processors at low interest rate, among others.

He added that the government of Japan had also brought in some equipment such as harvesters to provide high quality rice production in the state.

Adetoyi warned people in the habit of setting fire to bushes while hunting game to desist from such acts to avoid causing damage to peoples’ farms.

According to him, some farms had been destroyed in the process.

The commissioner said that government had approved money to buy seedlings that would be distributed to those farmers who lost their farms in such preventable fire incidences.(NAN

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