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Coronavirus: Hand washing cheapest way of fighting diseases — C’ Rivers Health Commissioner

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Coronavirus: Hand washing cheapest way of fighting diseases — C’ Rivers Health Commissioner


COVID-19: Hand washing cheapest way of fighting diseases — C’ Rivers Health Commissioner

Diseases

By Christian Njoku

Calabar, July 9, 2020 (NAN) The Cross River Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, on Thursday said that the cheapest way to fight various diseases was through effective hand washing.

Edu said this in Calabar while receiving over 200 hand washing stations donated by United Purpose, a non governmental organisation, for the Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Cross River.

The commissioner, who said she was grateful that the state had partners who were always ready to support it in the area of health, stressed that when sanitation fails, healthcare suffers.

“Although the state had not recorded massive number of the ravaging COVID-19 infections and deaths residents are advised to have a high index of suspicion.

“We encourage everyone to effectively use the available resources in the health facilities in the state and have a high index of suspicion.

“I call on the health workers in the state to bring the Infection Control Protocol (ICP), they have been taught to bear.

“We will be signing the Clinical Governance Agreement today to ensure that when our clients go to our facilities they are protected and the care giver is also protected,” she said.

The commissioner encouraged residents of the state to build their immunity because it was a way of protecting themselves and their loved ones.

She added that anyone who felt any symptoms of COVID-19 should go to the state’s testing centre.

Dr Janet Ekpenyong, Director General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), lauded  United Purpose and other partners for assisting the state.

Ekpenyong said it was not the job of the government alone to fight the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the state but the job of everyone.

Mr Nanpet Chuktu, the Programme Manager of United Purpose, said his organisation partnered the state because it wanted to help in pushing back the virus from the state.

“We the United Purpose, through the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, are making a donation of 10 hand washing stations per Local Government Area (LGA).

“These hand washing stations are for emergency and would be delivered to the state’s Primary Healthcare Agencies.

“We are looking at about 250 of them and each of the primary healthcare facilities would get at least one.” (NAN)

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Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

BP posts second-quarter post-tax loss of $16.8bn

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Global energy giant BP on Tuesday reported a post-tax loss of 16.8 billion dollars in the second quarter amid lower oil prices and writedowns.


The loss compared to a post-tax profit of 1.8 billion dollars in the April to June period a year ago.

The company said that costs for writedowns of inventories and exploration charges weighed heavily on the results.

Second-quarter oil prices were down by over one half compared to a year ago in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia earlier this year.

“These headline results have been driven by another very challenging quarter, but also by the deliberate steps we have taken as we continue to reimagine energy and reinvent BP,” chief executive Bernard Looney said.

By the end of decade, Looney said BP would be investing around 5 billion dollars in low-carbon projects a year, and during the same period expected daily oil and gas production to drop by 40 per cent from 2019 levels.

The company said it would cut its dividend payout for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Shareholders were to receive 5.25 United States cents per share, compared with the previous quarter’s 10.5 United States cents per share.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Coronavirus

Oil prices fall as rising coronavirus case numbers cast shadow over fuel demand pickup

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Oil prices slid on Tuesday amid concerns that a nascent recovery in fuel demand could stall as a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections around the world sparks tighter lockdowns.


This is just as major producers ramp up output.

United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 30 cents, or 0.7 per cent to $40.71 a barrel at 0414 GMT, while Brent crude futures fell 37 cents or 0.8 per cent to $43.78 a barrel.

The slide comes after WTI rose 1.8 per cent and Brent climbed 1.5 per cent on Monday on better-than-expected data on manufacturing activity in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The activity is showing factories were emerging from the worst of the early coronavirus pandemic impact.

“On the demand side, we had quite encouraging global manufacturing (data) … but there’s still quite a bit of evidence of the oil demand recovery stalling in quite a few markets with a resurgence of COVID-19,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, Head of commodity research at National Australia Bank (NAB).

Denting fuel demand, cities from Manila to Melbourne are tightening lockdowns to battle new infections, while Norway has stopped cruise ship traffic in the latest European travel alarm.

In a further sign of a patchy rebound in demand, analysts estimate United States refined product stockpiles rose last week, according to a preliminary Reuters’ poll ahead of data due from the American Petroleum Institute industry group later on Tuesday and the United States government on Wednesday.

Five analysts estimated, on average, that United States inventories of gasoline rose by 600,000 barrels.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, likely grew by 800,000 barrels, while crude stocks fell by 3.3 million barrels in the week to July 31.

At the same time producers in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, are stepping up output this month, adding around 1.5 million barrels a day of supply.

United States producers also plan to restart shut-in production and inventories remain near historical highs.

“I think it is fair to say that most oil market participants expected more downward pressure on oil to start the week with COVID-19 ravaging the landscape and OPEC+ adding more barrels into play,’’ said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at AxiCorp, in a daily note.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Sport

NFF appoints caretaker committee for Anambra FA

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday constituted a 6-man caretaker committee to steer the affairs of Anambra State Football Association for the next three months in the first instance.


This came less than 24-hours after the Jude Anyadufu led electoral committee set up late May concluded its task on Aug. 2 with a virtual election which returned Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, the incumbent chairman for second term.

In a statement issued on Monday, the NFF said the caretaker committee became inevitable following the expiration of the Ubah led board on July 28 and the inability of the electoral committee to conduct the elections.

It would be recalled that the board and local football council elections were scheduled to hold on July 27 and July 28 before the Anambra government ordered the suspension of the exercise on July 25 citing breach of COVID-19 safety protocols.

The NFF said the caretaker committee led by Emmanuel Okeke had the mandate to conduct elections into the board and the LFCs between Aug. 4 when their appointment became effective and Nov. 2 when it would elapse.

The interim committee would be inaugurated on Aug. 5.

“Recall that the tenure of the Board of Anambra State Football Association and the Anambra State Local Football Councils elapsed by effluxion of time on April 30 and May 2 respectively.

“Arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the general lockdown, including football activities, the ASFA Congress was convened on April 28 leading to the extension of tenure of the Board and the LFCs, for another three months, which again expired on August 2.

“The Electoral Committee was unable to conduct elections into the Board of ASFA and LCF on July 27 in view of the Anambra State Government’s letter to the Electoral Committee complaining of the violation of the COVID-19 protocols of the State.

“Art. 85 of the NFF Statutes 2010 provides that ‘the Executive Committee shall have the final decision on any matter not provided for in the Statutes or in cases of force majeure.

“Consequently, the Executive Committee of the NFF in its wisdom, and in order not to create a vacuum do hereby constitute a Caretaker Committee for ASFA as follows: Emmanuel Okeke, Chairman and Victor Nwangwu, Vice Chairman.

“Others are Nonso Philip, Member; Charity Okonkwo, Member; Onyeabo Chimezie, Member and Onyedika Chijioke Secretary.

“The Caretaker Committee is to administer the activities of the Anambra State Football Association and also conduct elections into the Board of ASFA and LFCs within three months, effective from Aug. 4 to Nov. 2.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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COVID-19

We’re working to ensure Nigerians have access to COVID-19 vaccines when available – NCDC

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Vaccines

Abuja, July 23, 2020 The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is working hard to ensure that Nigerians have access to the coronavirus vaccines when available.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, gave the assurance during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that the centre was working with the global community to ensure this access.

He informed that data on research and development of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the global scientific community showed that results on a possible vaccine were expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The DG, while noting that a vaccine was the best weapon in taming the virus, however, stressed that equitable access was key.

He added that the health agency was working together with other colleagues around the continent, through the Africa CDC, to start advocating for some of the trials to be done with African institutions in the short term.

“To do this, we have to build capacity, gather sufficient data and include African institutions in these efforts.

“We have to start preparing Nigerian population for vaccine delivery when it becomes available.

“Access is a very key issue when it comes to vaccines; that a vaccine is developed do not necessarily translate to being available to those that need it the most.

“So, through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with GAVI to ensure that vaccines are available to countries regardless of their ability to pay.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that GAVI is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.

“It’s a work in progress and we are all working with Africa CDC and GAVI to ensure that when a vaccine becomes available, Nigeria’s can have access to it,’’ NCDC boss said.

He also said that it was important to involve the private sector and academia in vaccination manufacturing.

Ihekweazu hinted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) would lead the distribution and planning.

The DG pointed out that campaign to enlighten Nigerians on the benefit of the vaccine was important.

This, according to him, is because a small part of the population resisted vaccines for different reasons.

“So, the time to start the risk communication about the benefits of the vaccine is now.

“As soon as a vaccine becomes available, it’s our collective responsibility to prepare Nigerians for the implementation of the vaccination campaign for whatever form they take.

“So, it’s important that we start thinking about this,’’ the DG said.

Ihekweazu stressed that a vaccine was the biggest weapon to get the virus under control and by far the most important medical tool known in history.

“Vaccine development normally takes 10-20 years, but we’ve made incredible development in the last six months,’’ he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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