A community leader in Agege Local Government Area, Bishop Tunde Olusanya, has commended the Council Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Egunjobi, for converting miscreants’ hideout in the community to health centre.
Olusanya, who is also the Chairman, Black Spots Committee, in Agege council, gave the commendation in a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.
“We are using this opportunity to express gratitude to the council under the leadership of the Executive Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Egunjobi, for deeming it fit to build a health centre at the spot.
“This step is for the greater good and in the right direction.
“With this, the council has killed two birds with a stone by tackling insecurity in Dopemu and environs in general.
“This is in view to having a health centre at the doorsteps of residents of Awori, Markaz, Kadiri, Bode, Tobun, Alhaja Sifau, Shodipe, Ijaiye and Oniwaya in Agege area,” he added.
He said that the committee set up by the local government comprising of eight members to check crime in the area.
“Our mandates are to identify black spots, criminals’ hideouts and recreational drug joints with the view to tackling the menace of youth restiveness bedeviling our local government.
“I’m sure that you are all aware of the menace of the infamous Awawa cult group, a gang synonymous with our area,” he said.
The committee chairman said that the council under the leadership of the Egunjobi had been doing its best to change the narrative about Agege regarding insecurity.
He noted that the council adopted carrot and stick approach, one of it, was to create more vocational training units and encourage miscreants to enrol.
He said that the council also established the committee to fight insecurity at the dens of Awawa cult group across the area.
“The committee hit the ground running, identified some trouble spots and meeting places of the cult group, mostly abandoned property and uncompleted buildings.
“Based on our recommendation and spurred by overriding public interest, the council mounted its signboards at some of the buildings.
“The hideouts include 51, Olusanya St. 32, Market St. Me & You, along Oba Ogunji, 5, Oshitelu St. and the controversial 33, Awori St., now turned to health centre.
“The issue surrounding that of 51, Olusanya Street was resolved after a claimant approached the council to prove ownership of it with documents to back claim,” he said.
Olusanya said that it was against this backdrop that the Black Spots Committee recommended to the council to step in and do the needful to ensure that peace and tranquility return to the area.
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa/Dada Ahmed
News analysis: Experts say Egypt’s COVID-19 coexistence plan to benefit economy, while urging caution
“These measures would completely stimulate the economy, ease the sufferings of the daily workers, and increase the levels of factories operation,” said Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University.
Lifting the night curfew is very important to facilitate the movement of workers, many of whom are working in places far away from home, Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Association for Political Economy, told Xinhua.
Restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen on July 27, with a capacity initially capped at 25 percent, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press briefing on Tuesday.
Mosques and churches will be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers on Friday and Sunday will remain suspended. Beaches and parks will continue to be closed.
Public transport will be allowed to run from 4 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) until midnight, while shops and malls will be closed by 9 p.m. and restaurants by 10 p.m.
The economic expert said the “Egyptian economy has lost 125 billion Egyptian pounds (7.74 billion United States dollars) of the GNP (Gross National Product) since the virus appeared in February,” adding that the growth rate, expected to reach 5.8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in June, has declined to less than 4 percent.
The state budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which is difficult to be changed based on the constitution, puts the government before challenges because it allocated high expenditures for education, health, and increase of salaries, according to the expert.
The government will be forced to raise the rate of borrowing or take strict austerity measures if the revenues from tourism and taxes could not cover the gape of expenditures, he added.
Whether the Egyptian economy could restore its level before the spread of coronavirus, it also depends on the international partners, he said, adding that the Egyptian decision to resume air traffic and international tourism wouldn’t be effective without other countries’ approval.
He further added that the return of international trade will positively impact the Suez Canal revenues, and the opening of activities in the Gulf countries would attract the Egyptian workers and increase Egyptians’ transactions abroad.
Magdy al-Dahshan, former deputy manager of Al-Azhar Medicine University, agreed that the recent government decisions are “good for gradually restoring the ordinary life.”
“Reopening of cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers at 25 percent could contain further increase of the infections,” al-Dahshan told Xinhua.
The number of infections is high now, but the virus seems to be going to stay for the time being and no country could afford to endure more economic losses, he said.
Gamal Esmat, consular to the World Health Organization, warns that the lifting of restrictions would possibly further increase the COVID-19 cases.
He said he would prefer the government to open activities in provinces with fewer cases, adding that though the death rate in Egypt is “moderate,” the spread of the virus has lasted for five months which is a long time.
Egypt reported 61,130 cases of COVID-19 and 2,533 deaths in the lastest update of the health ministry on Thursday.
UN Security Council condemns attack on peacekeepers in Mali
The Security Council on Monday condemned Saturday’s attack on a convoy of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, which resulted in the killing of two peacekeepers from Egypt.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to Egypt and to the peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali), said the council in a press statement.
The council members called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to Security Council resolutions.
The council members expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region. They urged the Malian parties to fully implement the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali without further delay.
They stressed the importance of MINUSMA having the necessary capacities to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the UN peacekeepers.
They further stressed that these heinous acts will not undermine their determination to continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Mali.
COVID-19: Rural dwellers ignorant of pandemic — Community leader
A Community leader in Anambra, Chief James Uyamadu, says most rural dwellers in Anambra have yet to come to terms with the reality of COVID-19 spread in the state.
Uyamadu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Sunday in Igbakwu, Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra.
NAN reports that Ayamelum is an agrarian clan in Anambra and predominantly rural.
The community leader said that the state Task Force committee on COVID-19 needed to step up its enforcement measures jointly with communities if the virus must be contained within the state.
“This time should not be business as usual because we have got a challenge in our hands, which if we fail to face squarely may wipe out the people of the state.
“There is need for government to keep a close eye on the activities of the COVID-19 task force team, so that they are made to be on their beats for greater results,” he said.
Uyamadu said that a high level of ignorance of the reality of the deadly virus among rural dwellers existed adding that vigorous sensitisation needed to be given to them through various channels.
“It is a feat that needs to be tackled fast before the wild spread of the virus gets into the communities of the state and wipe out the residents.
“The churches, kindred meetings, age grade meetings, among other channels are required to be engaged well for a high positive result to be achieved,” he said.
Uyamadu said that ignorance of the existence of the virus among the people especially the rulers dwellers would remain a major factor responsible for community transmission if not checked.
“As a catechist in Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Igbakwu, I have had various encounters with people and with my interactions with them, majority of the rural dwellers believe that Coronavirus does not exist.
“Across the state, common belief of the people is that the issue of the Coronavirus does not exist.
“To them, it is a scam and a platform for siphoning the nation’s wealth by the government,” he said.
“Government should help matters and operate in a very open manner as well as create awareness against stigmatisation and explain how the virus moves.
“This is important so that people who contract it will not be seen as evil persons,” he said.
He said that the traditional ruler of the community, in his efforts to support government on the fight against the virus, had continued to use local town criers to inform the people about their parts in the fight.
Uyamadu urged religious leaders to dwell more on informing the people about the existence of the virus in the state and the need for them to observe the precautionary measures to avoid the spread in the communities.
“The relaxed measures do not imply non existence of the virus. This must be drummed into the ears of the people in the manner they would understand,” he said.
Uyamadu also said that the community leaders should educate the people on the COVID-19 law and advise them to strictly observe the rules and regulations put in place by the governments.
He said observation of social distancing, hand washing with soap and running water, use of sanitisers, as well as the use of face masks should be well talked about.
He urged religious leaders to keep a service at a time which should last for only one hour while burial rites performers should keep to the 30 persons per gathering rule.
Uyamadu said that more stringent measures needed to be applied for huge success to be achieved in the fight against COVID-19.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Lagos needs 260,000 units of blood annually– Health Commissioner
Abayomi made this known through a virtual meeting organised on Sunday by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually on June 14 globally, to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.
The theme for the Blood Donor Day 2020 is “Safe Blood Saves Lives”, with the slogan “Give Blood and Make The World A Healthier Place”.
Abayomi noted that the state was making efforts to meet and surpass its requirement through recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors.
“To maintain an adequate blood supply, one to two per cent of the population needs to become regular blood donors.
“This is about 260,000 in a growing population of over 26 million in Lagos State.
“The regular supply of blood is essential as the life span of blood is very short. Each unit of blood donated remains viable for 35 days,” he said.
The commissioner said that the state was collaborating with the private sector, non-governmental organisations, religious bodies, and youth organisations to achieve its target requirements.
On the theme of the World Blood Donor Day, Abayomi said that encouraging and promoting voluntary blood donation in a safe and conducive environment was the goal of the state.
“The need for blood transfusions and medications based on blood components has, however, continued in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The LSBTS voluntary blood donation centres were opened, all through, with an extension in our opening hours.
“Scientifically, there are no confirmed reports of Coronavirus being transmitted by blood transfusion anywhere in the world.
“Strict additional safety measures, including more handwashing sites, use of hand sanitisers, use of personal protective equipment, as well as maintaining social distancing are being practiced at the blood collection sites for donors and staffs,” Abayomi said.
He added that making the world a better place was not only about blood collection from donors, but the collection of convalescent plasma from recovered patients of COVID-19.
According to him, the plasma collection is in preparation for an interventional study in the treatment of patients with severe Coronavirus.
Abayomi noted that there was no substitute for blood, adding that the lives of hundreds of patients, including pregnant women, children with severe anaemia, accident victims, patients with cancer and haemoglobinothies were saved by blood transfusion.
He added that adequate and timely supply of safe blood was needed to continue helping those people who are in need of blood transfusion.
“We, therefore, cannot over emphasised the need to ensure availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all voluntary blood donors who have made it a duty to give the gift of life– blood.
“I would also like to use this medium to encourage citizens who are healthy and fit, and aged from 18 to 65 to please give blood.
“People in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, should begin to do so,” Abayomi said.
Also, Dr Bodunrin Oshikomaiya, Executive Secretary, LSBTS, said the campaign to increase voluntary blood donation drive had been intensified and sustained to meet with the blood transfusion needs in Lagos State.
She noted that LSBTS was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve access to blood transfusions and promote blood safety.
Oshikomaiya said that the work with WHO was centred on centrally coordinated blood transfusion service, collection of blood exclusively from voluntary donors from low-risk populations.
Others are testing of all blood for compatibility and transfusion-transmissible infections, and reduction of unnecessary transfusions.
She added that health workers involved in blood transfusion had been trained on documentation, quality assessment and on the rational use of blood and blood products to reduce unnecessary transfusions.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)