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COVID-19 Third Wave: 85 die in 12 days – NCDC

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Latest epidemiological report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed that in the last 12 days, 85 people have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Between August 16 and August 27, 2021, the number of deaths rose from 2,223 to 2,308, while new confirmed cases increased by 7,246, that is, from 183,087 to 190,333 cases. Also within the same period under review, 2,505 persons were discharged.

With the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across states in the country, the NCDC has continued to encourage Nigerians to adhere to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures of regular hand washing with soap and flowing water or hand sanitising, proper wearing of face masks, avoiding large gatherings, and maintaining social distance.

Also, the Federal Government, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has urged Nigerians to receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccines available in-country in order to ensure that the country achieves herd immunity by next year. Also, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, and the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, continue to reiterate that the vaccines are effective against the COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant.

Concerning what the agency is doing to protect Nigerians from the ravaging effect of the pandemic, the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said: “As Nigeria continues to record an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, adequate testing is critical to identify cases quickly, prevent spread and accurately measure the burden of COVID-19. Testing allows health authorities to monitor disease trends, identify new clusters of cases and initiate contact tracing to prevent further spread of the disease.

“Although scientific evidence continues to evolve, we know that the more the virus spreads, the higher the risk of new variants emerging. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) continues to coordinate testing activities, including support to increase testing across states.

“The NCDC has led the establishment of at least one molecular laboratory in each state of the federation and has continued to ensure continuous supply of laboratory commodities and reagents; support with setting up of sample collection sites; provision of guidelines; training of laboratory scientists and so on. These are efforts towards ensuring testing is more accessible to Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, Enugu State government says it has opened additional COVID-19 vaccination centres in major markets, shopping malls and public places.

These are additional to the more than 100 conventional vaccination centres previously opened in the state.

Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday that the move was to make COVID-19 vaccination centres more accessible for residents.

Ugwu said that having more vaccination centres would help the state to achieve its target of getting every eligible resident vaccinated against the pandemic.

According to him, centres have been opened in major markets like Ogbette Market and Kenyatta Market in Enugu; at Shoprite and SPAR malls as well as other designated public places notwithstanding the 100 vaccination centres already available.

“Another thing we will do differently this time, which came as a result of challenges in the first phase, is that of increased advocacy and public sensitisation.

“We have planned to officially communicate and use various grassroots leaders, traditional, religious and opinion leaders, to press home the message of the need for the vaccination, its safety and efficacy.

“We are desirous to go to the hinterland and check all falsehoods and unfounded information militating against the people to freely get vaccinated, especially in the rural areas.

“Our teams will be visiting worship centres, community meetings and other public gatherings to sensitise our people on the need to receive their COVID-19 vaccination for the protection of all,’’ he said.

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Nyako denies Kanu fresh bail, says application abuse of court process

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Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja federal high court on Tuesday dismissed an application for bail filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Thejudge, in her ruling, described the application as an abuse of court process having been previously denied.

Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.

However, on April 8, the judge struck out eight of the 15-count charge.

While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.

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Breaking: President Swears in Nigeria’s New Chief Justice

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in the new Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola.
The President performed the swearing ceremony today in Abuja.

The brief ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa.

NPO Eeports that Ariwoola will be serving in acting capacity pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Ariwoola was born on 22 August 1958).
He was formerly a Justice of the Nigerian courts of appeal and on November 22, 2011, he was appointed to the bench of the supreme court of Nigeria as Justice, sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He was appointed and awaiting Nigerian Senate’s approval as Chief Justice of Nigeria on the 27th June 2022 following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

His appointment comes amidst clamour for better condition of service at the apex court.

NPO

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Fireworks mistaken for gunfire cause stampede at New York parade

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A stampede occurred at a Pride Parade in the city of New York, United States, on Sunday, with hundreds of people attempting to flee after mistaking the sound of fireworks for gunfire, police said.

“There were no shots fired in Washington Square Park. After an investigation, it was determined that the sound was fireworks set off at the location,” the NY Police Department said in a tweet shortly after the incident.

Police told newsmen “there were no serious injuries” from the stampede.

Terrified people ran or walked briskly along a street adjacent to the square after the scare, videos on social media showed.

Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s LGBTQIA+ Pride parade, which wound its way through the streets of lower Manhattan under the blazing sun.

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The atmosphere was largely festive, although the shadow of Friday’s US Supreme Court decision to abolish a constitutional right to abortion — leaving states to legislate on the matter themselves — loomed over proceedings.

New York’s Pride parade is the second-largest in the United States, after San Francisco, and Sunday’s gathering was the first time it had taken place since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Organisers also said the US Supreme Court decision on abortion was “devastating.”

“This dangerous decision puts millions in harm’s way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy,” the organisers said.

Many rights groups fear that the verdict on abortion could be the beginning of a broader push by the Supreme Court, currently dominated by a conservative majority, to curtail other freedoms won in recent decades, such as rights to contraception or same-sex marriage.

AFP/Punch

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