COVID-19 claims lives of NCDC supervisor, LASIMRA boss, task force VC

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An official of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr.s J.J. Shalanga has died of COVID-19.

Shalanga was posted to Zamfara State by the Nigeria Centre for the Disease Control.

According to report, Shalanga had been in the state since the beginning of the spread of the disease three months ago.

The Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Yahaya Kanoma, said, Shalanga fell ill and was rushed to the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, but died before reaching the hospital.

The commissioner said when his samples were tested, it was discovered that he died of coronavirus.

“His remains have been taken to his home town in Plateau State for burial,” the commissioner said.

Benue COVID-19 committee VC dies

Also, the Vice Chairman of the Benue State Action Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Godwin Achinge, has died of coronavirus complications.

A member of the committee on Sunday said Achinge, who had earlier tested positive for the virus, died on Sunday at an undisclosed hospital in Jos, Plateau State.

The source said, “Yes, we lost Prof. Achingi this afternoon. He was also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of Benue State University, Makurdi.”

The state Commissioner for Information and the member of the committee on COVID-19, Mrs Ngunan Addingi, said she had yet to confirm the report from the chairman of the state action committee on COVID-19 and deputy governor of the state, Benson Abounu.

Ex-LASIMRA boss dies

Meanwhile, a former General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency, LASIMRA, Chief Jide Odekunle, is dead.

Odekunle, who served under former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration, died of COVID-19 complications.

He was said to have been treated at the Onikan Isolation Centre, where he died on Saturday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, confirmed this in a post on Facebook.

Also, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Drainage, Joe Igbokwe, wrote, “I am diminished once again as a mortal as my successor at LASIMRA, Jide Odekunle, dies of COVID-19 complications at the Onikan Isolation Centre in Lagos. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”

Ogun health workers test positive

Meanwhile, palpable fear has gripped health workers at the Ogun State General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, following the discovery that six of their colleagues have tested positive for coronavirus.

A health worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Sunday, said the identities of the affected health workers – five nurses and one doctor – was kept from others.

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The source said, “A pregnant female doctor was said to have attended to one nurse when she was in respiratory distress.

“On Saturday, she heard that the nurse she attended to was positive. She made a scene at the emergency department and left home angrily, refusing to work.”

Attempts made to get reactions of the government failed as both the Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications, Remmy Hazzan, could not be reached .

Cross Rivers Govt. invited residents to come for testing

Meanwhile, the Cross River State Government has begun free sample collection and COVID-19 testing in Calabar.

A statement by the Commissioner for Health and Chairman of the state COVID-19 Response Task Force, Dr Betta Edu, said the exercise was to strengthen the state’s response to the spread of the virus.

She said, “The Cross River State COVID-19 Response and Task Force is calling on citizens having symptoms related to coronavirus to avail themselves for testing at Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Infectious Disease Hospital, Calabar Road by Edgerley.

“It is important to get yourself tested if you have signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or you have made contact with persons who have tested positive.”

FG decries disregard for COVID-19 guidelines in offices

The Federal Government has expressed regrets that the guidelines issued to civil servants to curtail further spread of COVID-19 are being disregarded in government offices.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, made the government’s position known in a circular marked HCSF/109/S.I/137 and dated July 2, 2020.

One of our correspondents obtained a copy of the circular titled, ‘Need for strict compliance with the directives and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures,’ on Sunday.

The government had asked that only workers on Grade Level 14 and above and those on essential services should be reporting for work.

The guidelines also recommended that the number of visitors to offices should be limited.

But Yemi-Esan, in the latest circular, said she noticed that the directives were being observed in breach.

The circular read, “It has therefore become very important to reiterate that: (a) only officers on GL14 and above and officers performing essential services are to report for duty;

“(b) as much as possible, other categories of officers should be encouraged to work from home;

“(c) security operatives at the gates should be directed to demand for the identity card of staff coming to the office to ensure that they are on GL14 and above; while the list of those performing essential services but are below GL14 should be sent to the gates for clearance;

“(d) officers are strongly advised to limit, to the barest minimum, the number of visitors they receive.”

‘Lagos not planning lockdown in LGAs’

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, has said the state is not considering a lockdown in local government areas with a high incidence of COVID-19.

Omotosho, in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, said the state would increase advocacy, testing and awareness in the affected local government areas.

“It is not automatic that a lockdown must be declared where we have a high incidence of COVID-19. Lagos, which is the epicentre of COVID-19, never declared a lockdown. What we did was restrictions of movement, it was the Federal Government that declared a lockdown.

“I do not think that a lockdown is being contemplated, and we have not been told that there should be a lockdown in those local government areas with a high incidence of COVID-19,” Omotosho said.

FG decries ‘reckless confidence’ among Christians

The Federal Government on Sunday expressed pessimism that coronavirus “has come to stay with us.”

The government also expressed disappointment in some Christians for exibiting “reckless confidence” over the COVID – 19 pandemic.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, spoke in Abuja at the interdenominational church prayer service titled, ‘Nineveh,’ organised by the Nigerian Interreligious Council with the theme, “O Lord, heal our land of COVID-19 pandemic.”

While decrying what he described as “reckless confidence” of Christians, Mustapha stressed the need for Nigerians to take responsibility and strictly adhere to the measures put in place to contain COVID-19, as there was no vaccine or cure in sight.

He said, “COVID-19 is real; whether you want to believe it or not, because 80 per cent of people infected are asymptomatic, they do not exhibit any symptoms.

“I see a lot of Christians exhibiting reckless confidence and the Bible describes them as fools in Proverbs 22:3 which says the wise sees danger ahead and avoids it but fools keep going and get into trouble. Stay at home if you have no business leaving your home; that is the safest place you have.

“My admonition to the church is that we must take action and stop exhibition of reckless confidence and tell our people the truth.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, said social distancing as occasioned by the pandemic should not be an excuse to be distant from God or neglect the godly virtues of neighbourliness.

PN

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