The Committee of Health Professionals in Cross River has called on the Presidentianl Task Force (PTF) through and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to review the Covid-19 testing claims and results tendered so far from the state.
The Committee made the call on Saturday in a release jointly signed by its Chairman, Dr Agam Ayuk and the Secretary, Mr Dennis Ekpo after an emergency meeting of the committee in Calabar.
Membership of the Committee include Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).
“We demand explanations on why of the well over 25 samples collected; the NCDC records only show eight samples underwent the Polymerase Chain Reaction tests. This unethical practice has endangered the lives of health workers and more importantly, that of the populace.
“The PCR confirmation of five cases of SARS-CoV-2 from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has justified the continuous alarm raised by health professional associations in the state of possible hospital and community transmission of COVID-19 in Cross River.
“For the avoidance of doubt and to dispel misinformation of the unsuspecting public, the five samples that were sent to NCDC accredited molecular laboratory at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki were delivered on Monday, June 29, 2020, following receipt of specimen collection kits from NCDC by UCTH on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
“The samples included two patients who were already on admission at the UCTH Isolation Centre, one patient who was billed for surgery and two Medical Doctors who had respiratory symptoms, both staff of UCTH,” the released stated.
The Committee appreciated and commended NCDC for the approval granted to UCTH as an Independent Test Centre.
The release said that the approval and the subsequent activation of a Test Centre would add trust to the ease of access and authentication of test results and also up-scale COVID-19 testing in the state.
“The Committee calls on the NCDC to provide technical support to the state COVID-19 Task Force for efficient and effective surveillance and contact tracing, while calling on the state to commence contact tracing for the families and known contacts of confirmed cases.
“Given the teeming populace presenting at the various hospitals for suspected COVID-19 needing either isolation and or treatment, the Committee urgently calls for the activation of the Adiabo Isolation Centre to attend to patients in urgent need of care.
“We also urge the state government to scale-up the provision of personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in all health facilities in the state.
“The general public is hereby informed that COVID-19 is real and present in Cross River.
“The Committee advises the public to neither panic nor stigmatize COVID-19 patients but rather take responsibility and steps to protect the vulnerable and adhere to the NCDC protocols/guidelines of regular hand washing, social/physical distancing and use of facemasks to protect themselves,” the release said.
The Committee encouraged all residents in the state who have symptoms to present themselves for testing.
“The Committee of health professionals remain committed to working with the Federal and state Governments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” the released stated.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Risks of COVID-19 infection through breastfeeding negligible — WHO
Dr Laurence Grummer-Strawn, Head of the organisation’s Food and Nutrition Action in Health Systems unit, stated this on Tuesday, according to the United Nations.
In a report, the UN quoted Grummer-Strawn as making the statement at a news briefing on the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week where he appealed for greater support for the practice.
“WHO has been very clear in its recommendations to say absolute breastfeeding should continue.
He said that the advantages included the fact that breastmilk, including milk which is expressed, provides lifesaving antibodies that protect babies against many childhood illnesses.
“This is only one of the reasons why new mothers should initiate skin-to-skin contact and room-in with their babies quickly.
He explained that the conclusion followed the testing of the breastmilk of many mothers around the world in a variety of studies.
Grummer-Strawn said although a few samples had the virus followup tests showed that the virus was not viable and could not be infective.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
FHC Chief Judge, family members test negative for COVOD-19 after 2 weeks
Catherine Nwandu, Acting Information Officer of FHC, made this known, on Tuesday, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
Nwandu, on Tuesday, hinted that the first test was done at the beginning of the 14-day self isolation, while the confirmatory test came thereafter.
“Both tests were conducted by the NCDC.
“These measures were preventive rather than curative.
“Earlier, a close aide to His Lordship tested positive to COVID– 19, hence the precautionary measures that followed.
“The said aide has since been discharged from an NCDC Isolation Centre and is now doing well.
“The Hon. Chief Judge expresses deep appreciation to colleagues, court staff, friends and extended family members, who kept faith with him for their prayers.
“He prays for showers of blessing upon all people of goodwill,” the statement read in part.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Ogun schools comply with COVID-19 protocols as students resume
Private and public secondary schools in Ogun on Tuesday reopened for students in the exit class in compliance with the directive of the state government.
Various schools in the state had resorted to online method of teaching to ensure that their students continued to learn.
Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday, however, directed that schools be opened for students in SS3 to enable them write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scheduled to commence on Aug. 17.
NAN correspondents, who visited some schools in Abeokuta metropolis, observed that they all had hand washing buckets and sanitisers at their entrances, corridors and other strategic points in the premises.
Health officials were also on ground at the gates of the schools to take the temperature of students, teachers and visitors before allowing them into the premises.
The students, who wore face masks, also maintained social distancing in sitting arrangement.
“Out of a total number of 148 students in our SS3 classes, no fewer than 97 of them representing about 90 per cent, resumed for classes today,” he said.
He gave an assurance that adequate safety measures had been provided for the students within the school premises.
” We have extended the classes by making use of the ones in the Junior Secondary School and this has enabled us to limit the number of students in each class to 15 to enable us observe social distancing of at least two metres.
“In the event that the temperature of any of the students rises above the normal, such student would be taken to the sick bay.
” If we notice any COVID-19 symptom , such students will be referred to our isolation centre before the parents and officials of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control are contacted for proper verification,” he said.
The Principal of African Church Grammar School, Mr Adetunji Elegbede, in an interview with NAN at the school said the teachers and other staff members had undergone physical and online training by the government on COVID-19 ahead of resumption.
Elegbede told NAN that in compliance with the the government directive, the school did not insist on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate before admitting boarding students into the hostels.
He, however, gave an assurance that adequate arrangements were in place to monitor both the day and the boarding students to ensure that they complied with the COVID -19 protocols.
The principal explained that the task of monitoring the students in the hostels would be much easier since it was only SS3 students that were around.
Elegbede, who could not give the specific number of students who resumed on Tuesday, said ” about 80 per cent of the 481 students in our SS3 classes resumed today.”
The Proprietor of Paragon Secondary School at the Oke-Aregba area, Mr Lawrence Holumide, told NAN at the school that the school had arranged regular health talks for the students in addition to other safety measures that were put in place.
Holumide, who is the National President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools(NAPPS), added that the school had reduced the number of students in each of the rooms in its hostels from eight to four in observance of social distancing.
He commended Abiodun for cancelling the order on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate as a mandatory requirement for admitting boarding students into the hostels.
“Boarding students in the private schools had earlier been asked to pay N25,000 for the test and we considered such amount too high.
” We, however, thank the governor for reversing such directive to enable all the students to resume,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Dollar slips after political wrangling slows rally
A dollar rebound faltered on Tuesday as political wrangling over a United States relief plan and the gloomy outlook weighed on the currency.
After its worst month in a decade in July, the greenback started August on a firm note as some investors trimmed their short positions.
That only carried it so far, and the dollar edged down 0.2 per cent on Tuesday against a basket of currencies.
The euro – which gained five per cent at the dollar’s expense in July – inched up on the day, last up 0.2 per cent at $1.17875.
“I think the eurozone recovery will be a lot faster than the United States recovery and that growth differential will continue to drive higher,’’ Marshall Gittler, FX analyst at BDSwiss, said in a note.
The Aussie dollar edged ahead nearly 0.3 per cent after the central bank delivered no surprises by holding policy steady.
Australia’s central bank predicted the economic recovery will be uneven as the country’s second biggest state Victoria locks down to fight a resurgence of the virus.
Despite a slowdown in new United States virus cases and encouraging factory data, investors are reserving judgment on whether a United States economy with 30 million people out of work can really lead the world’s recovery.
Talks on a potential further economic relief package are ongoing, though top Democrats in the United States Congress and White House negotiators on Monday said they had made progress.
“The fiscal wrangling in the United States is the next key test for risk sentiment and if they manage to get a deal – which seems likely – that could be supportive of risk sentiment.’’
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)