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Physical activities reduce impact of COVID-19 on patients — Experts



Health experts have said that physical activities could reduce the impact of COVID-19 infection on patients, even as they warned of an increasing Lung COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

The experts spoke to Good Health Weekly, shortly after the opening ceremony of the 5th scientific conference and Annual General Meeting of the Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria, with the theme, “Physiotherapy in pandemic and beyond”.

They maintained that physical activities were required right from prevention, onset of the disease to the management of the disease at the chronic stages.

According to them, the debilitating lung COVID also known as Viral Post-COVID Syndrome which is gradually increasing in numbers in Nigeria, can be prevented with physical activities.

Speaking, the National President, ACAPN, Dr. Chris Okafor, noted that with adequate care and exercise, the rate of COVID-19 infection can be minimised by introduction of physical activities by physiotherapists.

“Physical activity helps to manage COVID 19.  You can be isolated but you need physical activity even in isolation.

“During infection, physiotherapist helps to boost the lung capacity of the patients by introducing exercises that will make the patients physically active.

“When there is minimal function in the lungs, the patients will have other complications and when it happens, the patients may present with things like weakness, loss of muscle power, muscle tones etc.

“And only physical activities an reduce the impact and prevent patient from having lung COVID or  get into lung collapse.”

Also, speaking, immediate past acting Vice Chancellor of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, CMUL, Prof Folashade Ogunsola, decried the debilitating impact of lung COVID.

She noted that the human body was designed to move, and when people do not use their muscles, such muscles grow smaller and weaker, hence, the need for physical activity.

Ogunshola said COVID-19 attacks, reduces the lung function and physiotherapists are needed to help patients to get rid of these risks when they recover.

She said COVID-19 has been a game-changer, disrupter of life that gives a glimpse into the future and has accelerated the world’s movement into digital technology.

“For the elderly people, in particular, I was concerned about the elderly, many of them were not moving around at all such that by the end of the year, many of them were extremely weak.

“In addition to that, some had started having dementia; physiotherapists are required for this era where there is a lot of atrophy.”

She explained that though there has been an increase in Lung COVID in Nigeria it was not a pandemic but a post-viral syndrome, adding that, “because it is a new disease, it is affecting people differently.”

She said they are seeing a lot of lung COVID even in young people but for some, it is debilitating while for some, it is not so bad and shorter than others.

“We don’t totally understand the disease or what predisposes us to have lung COVID.   It works in progress to fully understand it and how to stop it.”

Speaking, the Chairman, Scientific Council, Dr Chidozie Mbada, said that COVID-19 was a catastrophe that brought the world to a near halt, adding that the delicate and vulnerable nature of the world became apparent during the pandemic.

Mbada who noted that COVID-19 brought in a lot of new and unfamiliar policies said the most significant, for them was the lockdown restrictions which led to economic and health consequences, among other things.

 He said for their profession, there was a shift from skepticism to optimism on the adoption of telerehabilitation (digital therapy) in Nigeria.



We gave Lagos N10b, Kano N5b, others N1b each to fight COVID-19 ― PSC



Chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has disclosed that Lagos and Kano States got N10 billion and N5 billion respectively from the Federal Government to combat the pandemic as part of resources made available to the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.

The Chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made this known on Monday.

Mustapha spoke in a presentation entitled: “National Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria-The Journey so Far,” at the summit on COVID-19 in Abuja.

According to him, while Lagos and Kano got N10 billion and N5 billion each, other states and the FCT got N1 billion each.

The national response commenced under the then Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in March 2020.

It later transformed to the PSC with effect from March 2021.


The SGF said the PTF/PSC has till date submitted two major reports to the government, in December 2020 and March 2021, adding that the response remains a work in progress because COVID-19 has not abated.

He said: “Countries of the world including Nigeria, have experienced the third wave and currently a fourth wave is unfolding with the Omicron variant.

“We have steadily been implementing the COVID-19 protocols, joining the world to ease up restrictions The evolution of the pandemic showed us that remaining vigilant and consistent on our science-based approach is crucial until such time that we are all safe.

“The emergence of the omicron variant of concern highlights how fragile and vulnerable we are global.

“It is therefore important that we maintain pressure on the COVID-19 virus until we deny it the opportunity to continue to circulate and mutate.

“Our overall focus will be to scale up vaccination of our population to reach targets set by the WHO. Nigeria needs to continue to implement public health and social measures in place combined with effective vaccination now that we are getting the vaccines.


“With the emergence of Omicron, Nigeria, like some other countries have become targets of restrictive measures.

“This has to be only on a strong basis of science and data. Nigeria joins the WHO and other countries in calling on countries of the world to implement risk-based international protocols that are in line with international health regulations whilst we are developing a new pandemic treaty that will avert this type of situation.

“Global health security is our collective responsibility irrespective of our economic status.”

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FG: We have enough COVID vaccines to cover 70% Nigerians



Nigeria has enough vaccines that can cover over 70 per cent of the country’s population before the end of 2022, Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said.

The SGF said this at the national COVID-19 summit held at Muhammadu Buhari Conference Centre in Abuja, tagged ‘Pushing Through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better’.

He said, “Nigeria has invested in enough vaccines that can cover over 70 per cent of our population before the end of 2022. These vaccines are safe and efficacious; hence, it is better and safer to be vaccinated against this virus, now.”

He said the summit was to create the opportunity to identify successes, gaps and lessons learnt so far in Nigeria’s national response to the pandemic since March 2020 to date.

He added that the summit is also aimed at developing strategies to actualise the international commitments towards ending COVID-19 before the end of 2022.

“Today, we are here to assess the level of impact of our national response and develop strategies as we push through the last mile to end the pandemic while we build back better,” he said.

The SGF said, “There is no gainsaying that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, which was triggered when the index case was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, precipitated significant disruptions to the healthcare system and socio-economic lives of Nigerians.

​”Due to the evolving dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic with progressive mutations of the virus to more transmissible and deadly variants, the international community has corroborated the insinuation that the pandemic will persist for few more years.

“This understanding has impelled world leaders recently to come to a conclusion that if efforts are not renewed and aggressive measures are not taken, COVID-19 pandemic will continue to ravage humanity well longer than earlier envisaged. Hence, the need to adopt an ambitious (but cautious) agenda to end the COVID-19 pandemic by the year 2022.”

He said the summit is a follow-up towards Nigeria’s commitment to the ambitious global agenda/movement to end the COVID-19 pandemic by 2022 and build back better.

“​Global efforts at ending COVID-19 pandemic are intrinsically linked to the call for nations of the world to take steps towards strengthening their health system and bio-security- which will make for better pandemic preparedness and the ability to respond more robustly and swiftly to future pandemics,” Mustapha said.


He asked stakeholders to encourage all eligible persons to get vaccinated and keep observing the necessary preventive COVID-19 measures.




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It’s apartheid for UK to ban travellers, Nigeria high commissioner reacts



Nigeria has condemned the travel restrictions imposed on the country, describing it as selective and apartheid.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Sarafa Ishola, stated this on Monday in an interview.

A number of countries in Europe have banned travel from countries in Africa after the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant by South Africa.

The UK on Saturday announced that it would add Nigeria to the countries on its red list as a result of Omicron COVID cases linked to the country.

The ban, which is effective from Monday (today), means only the UK residents or citizens of the UK can enter the UK from Nigeria.

Speaking on a BBC radio programme on Monday, Isola said the ban on Nigeria was “travel apartheid”.

The high commissioner said what was expected of the UK was a global approach and not a selective measure, adding that most Omicron cases in Nigeria came from elsewhere through travellers.

“The reaction in Nigeria is that of travel apartheid. Because Nigeria actually aligned with the position of the United Nations secretary-general that the travel ban is apartheid in the sense that we are dealing with an endemic situation; we are dealing with a pandemic situation and what is expected is a global approach, not selective,” he said.

Ishola said Omicron had been classified as a mild variant; “no hospitalisation, no deaths, so the issue is quite different from the Delta variant”.

He said the best way to tackle the issue should be collaborative, adding, “That’s why we in Nigeria believe that we are dealing with a pandemic. Whenever we have a challenge there must be collaboration.”

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