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Home Grown School Feeding: FCTA screens food vendors




The FCT Programme Manager, Mrs Victoria Aleogena, made the disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

She said that the committee had finished screening of food handlers, and had started testing those screened for the programme.

Aleogena said when the test was completed it would pave way for the recruitment of food vendors that would be cooking for the children.

The programme manager explained that the test was being handled by the officials of the FCT Department of Public Health to ascertain the health status of would-be food vendors.

She explained that the significance of the exercise was to ensure that due process was followed in carrying out the scheme.

‘‘The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme is a multi-sectoral scheme aimed at increasing the nutritional status of the pupils and their enrolment.

‘‘Since January, we have started the food handlers’ test, which is being handled by the officials of the public health department.

‘‘It is progressing as soon as we are done the scheme will fully commence, at least by the second quarter of this year,’’ she added.

Aleogena disclosed that the exercise, which would start by the second quarter of 2019 in the 626 public primary schools across the six area councils, would be for primary one to three pupils.

The NHGSFP was introduced by the Federal Government to boost children’s enrolment in schools in June 2016, and was being coordinated by the Office of the Vice-President.

According to her, each cook will be cooking for a minimum of 70 pupils per day, and must be in line with the acceptable practices.

Aleogena commended the FCT administration’s commitment to ensure the success of the programme, pledging her resolve to fast tracking its smooth take-off across the public schools.


108-year-old Italian woman in nursing home recovers from COVID-19



Fatima Negrini, a 108-year-old woman from northern Italy, has joined the ranks of the very few centenarians who have recovered from COVID-19.

“God forgot about me,” Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Negrini as saying in its Saturday edition, reporting that the woman turned 108 on Wednesday.

The paper published a picture of the wheelchair-bound Negrini in front of a chocolate and cream cake, flanked by a carer with a giant heart-shaped birthday card.

The card said, “Fatima 108 We Love You!!! S. Faustino.”

Negrini has been a resident for many years of the Anni Azzurri San Faustino nursing home in Milan, a spokesman for the facility told dpa.

She caught the novel coronavirus in April and tested negative in mid-May, and was “always” an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient, he added.

According to Corriere, Negrini has three sons aged 89, 88, and 78, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Italy is one of the countries worst hit by the novel coronavirus, and the impact of the pandemic has been particularly hard on nursing homes in Milan’s Lombardy region.

On Friday, the Italian Civil Protection agency reported 33,774 fatalities, the world’s fourth-highest death toll after the United States, Britain, and Brazil.

In Negrini’s nursing home, several residents died. “Fatima hasn’t realized yet who is no longer around,” Laura Catena, the assistant in the birthday picture, told Corriere.

The San Faustino facility is part of the KOS group, an Italian private healthcare operator which last year bought German nursing home group Charleston.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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COVID-19: Lagos begins home-based treatment of patients in 2 weeks



The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says the state home-based treatment for COVID-19 patients will begin in the next two to three weeks.

Abayomi made this known on Friday in Lagos while giving the state’s COVID-19 update.

He said that the strategies for home/community-based management of COVID-19 patients would be defined and start soon.

The commissioner said that the move was to enable the state government to concentrate on patients that were critically sick and to reduce pressure on bed spaces at the isolation facilities.

He maintained that the state would engage stakeholders and enlighten them with relevant information and knowledge about treating infected people in their communities.

According to him, patients that are asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms will qualify for home based treatment, while those with moderate to severe symptoms will be treated at the isolation centres.

The commissioner said the patients that would be managed at home would be monitored through telemedicine.

According to him, they would also be given COVID-19 packs containing medication, thermometer for temperature measurement and tools to check their oxygen level.

Abayomi, however, stressed that if the condition of any home-based patient “takes a turn for the worse, such patients would be quickly transferred to an isolation facility”.

He said that the state has enough volunteers, thus increasing its manpower to ensure the success of the community-based treatment.

On why the state’s fatality rate for COVID-19 had increased, Abayomi said the fatality rate was still low, adding that it was about one per cent of the state’s confirmed cases.

The commissioner disclosed that the state had accredited three private hospitals that met its biosecurity requirements for the management of COVID-19 patients.

He added that one of the hospitals had commenced treatment of patients, while the remaining two would also commence treatment soon.

Abayomi noted that the state had ramped up its testing capacity, and was currently conducting one thousand COVID-19 test daily, with plans to increase the test to two thousands daily soon.

He added that over 22,000 COVID-19 tests had been done in the state since it recorded its index case.

“The more we test suspected cases, the more we find confirmed COVID-19 cases,” the commissioner said.

He, however, urged the public not to be alarmed with its increasing number of daily infections, saying it was proof of the state’s increased testing capacity.

Abayomi appealed to residents to continue to take responsibility by maintaining respiratory
hygiene, physical distancing and wearing of face masks while in public places.

Edited By: Bolaji Buhari/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Kenya coffee farmers adopt home processing to seek better prices




Some small-scale coffee farmers in Kenya have started processing their coffee to protect the quality, aiming to get a share of the lucrative premium export market where quality coffee beans fetch a premium price.

Data from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange shows that top quality coffee known as AA grade fetched up to 45,326 shillings (about 427 United States dollars) per 50-kg bag compared to a price of 199 dollars fetched by the majority of the coffee during the auction that ended on May 24th.

Samuel Muchiri, 44, a farmer in Kirinyaga County in central Kenya is among small-scale farmers who have embraced home-based processing to avoid mixing their coffee with the rest of farmers in order to maintain quality and therefore get a better price.

“Coffee has money. But it needs to be of high-quality coffee. That is why I decided to do home processing to ensure I maintain high quality,” Muchiri told Xinhua on Friday at his farm.

When the coffee is processed at home, it is then taken to a miller where it is also milled separately and then graded ready for auction in the capital Nairobi or direct export.

Traditionally in Kenya, green harvested coffee is taken to a common processing factory owned by farmers where different grades are mixed.

Although grading happens later when the coffee is milled, the final payment is usually an average of the price fetched by all the grades, meaning that those farmers who have to take care of their coffee to get a better grade are not rewarded.

According to Muchiri, processing his coffee at home has enabled him to earn at least double and sometimes triple the amount of money earned by other farmers who sell through the cooperative societies.

“My coffee goes to the market as organically grown and therefore specialty coffee, which fetches a premium,” he said.

Gichuki Wambari, 54, from Nyeri County also in central Kenya, said he invested some 1,000 dollars in machinery to process his coffee.

“The pay from home processed coffee is better than processing and selling collectively,” he said.

He said although he is yet to establish a stable market for his coffee which he processes and then outsources the milling services, he is realizing better returns.

Home processing is part of the ongoing formal and informal reforms taking place in the coffee industry which was once Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner.

President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed a committee to advise and steer reforms in the industry in 2016. The final report from the committee will be ready in July, said its head, Joseph Kieyah.

Kenya’s ministry of agriculture has also been pursuing new markets for coffee in China and the Middle East to reduce dependency on the traditional European market.


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Over 20 pct of Latvians work from home amid COVID-19 pandemic




Like in many other countries across the world, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led an increasing number of employees in Latvia to work from home, showed a survey released on Thursday by the national statistics office.

In April, more than one in five employees in Latvia, or 22 percent, switched to work from home, according to the statistics office’s survey.

While an estimated 19,000 people had been working from home already before Latvia was hit by the COVID-19 crisis, the number of employees doing their job remotely has increased to 148,400 now.

More than one in four employees, or 27.4 percent, had the remote work option in April, while 72.6 percent of the working population had to go to work during the virus emergency. Meanwhile, 5.4 percent of the people who had the option to work from home preferred not to use it.

The financial and insurance sector reported the highest proportion of employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic (82.5 percent), while the lowest proportion of employees working remotely was recorded in manufacturing (6.9 percent).

The labor force survey, which was conducted in April, included 1,400 respondents, aged 15 to 74, from 996 households.


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COVID-19: Jigawa govt. extends work-from-home order by 2 weeks



The Jigawa State government has extended its earlier order for workers to work from home by another two weeks.
Gov. Muhammad Badaru announced this, while updating newsmen on the level of containment of coronavirus on Wednesday in Dutse.
The News Agency of Nigeria
, recalls that the state government had, on March 24, directed civil servants to work from home for two weeks, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus in the state.
Badaru, however, said that the policy would soon be lifted, as government would continue to observe, notice and sustain improvement in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that government was informed by medical experts that it needed to spend two consecutive incubation periods performing active case-search and testing.
“As we continue to notice and sustain improvements, we will open up government offices and lift the policy on working from home soon.
However, I was informed by medical experts that we need to spend two consecutive incubation periods performing active-case search and testing.
“Where no cases are confirmed, we pop our chests in pride and say we are out of the woods; but for now, we are not yet there.
“Nonetheless, we may not have to reach this milestone before lifting this policy.
“Consequently, we are extending this policy for another two weeks. By June 15, it will be subjected to another review,” he said.
The governor further announced that the state’s molecular laboratory, which was currently on a test run, had given the government confidence to tackle the disease headlong.
According to him, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is expected to accredit the laboratory soon.
“The accreditation of our molecular laboratory will come on stream soon, as NCDC has assured us that it will embark on an accreditation visit in the coming days,” he said.
Badaru further stated that all tests being conducted in the laboratory were retested in the accredited laboratory in Bayero University, Kano (BUK), adding that the results showed over 90 percent concordance.
The governor, who described the development as “excellent scientific procedure”, said it gave the government a course for celebration.
Badaru also announced a donation of N3 million by Unity Bank to the state as its contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So let me use this opportunity to thank individuals and corporate organisations that are supporting the state with donations, both in cash and in kind,” Badaru said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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UK to go ahead with 2-week quarantine for new arrivals despite potential impact: home secretary




People arriving in Britain by any means, including air and sea, will have to go into self-isolation from next Monday at a designated address for 14 days as a condition of being allowed through frontier posts, Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs Wednesday.

Amid criticism from opposition politicians, Patel insisted that the measure was proportionate and was aimed at preventing COVID-19 being brought into Britain from other countries at a time when coronavirus cases in Britain are falling.

Patel said the quarantine controls, backed by fines of up to 1,000 pounds (1,260 U.S. dollars) for breaching the rules, would be reviewed at the end of June and regularly afterwards.

The rules will not apply to people arriving in England from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

As to worries that these restrictions would hit the aviation industry, Patel said in her statement to the parliament that the government understands how tough the public health measures to prevent a second wave of coronavirus are for this sector, noting that it will continue to work closely with companies and carriers.

“We will tomorrow (Thursday) host a roundtable to work across the travel sector and the broader business sector as well on how we can innovate and move forward together,” she said, adding that “a long-term plan” for industry will be formed.

As to tourism, she said the government knew these measures will present difficulties for the industry, noting that it has an unprecedented package of support for both employees and businesses.

“These measures are backed by the science, supported by the public, and essential to save lives…We will all suffer in the long run if we get this wrong. That’s why it’s crucial that we introduce these measures now,” said the secretary.

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire from main opposition leader Keir Starmer over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another 359 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 39,728, the Department of Health and Social Care said Wednesday.

Starmer said this was a critical week in Britain’s response to COVID-19 as lockdown measures were eased with many schools reopening.

“This is the week, of all weeks, where public trust and confidence in the government needed to be at its highest,” Starmer said.


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Palestine urges ICC to investigate Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem




Palestine on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official investigation into Israel’s demolition of homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that Israeli authorities are demolishing homes and private constructions in East Jerusalem as part of its plan to expand its own settlements in the city.

“Israel is fighting the existence of the Palestinians in Jerusalem in order to consolidate the presence of Jewish settlers and change the characters of the holy city by force,” said the ministry in a statement.

“Demolitions may be considered as war crimes under international law and the Geneva Convention, as well as being a flagrant violation of UN resolutions that state that East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” added the statement.

According to Israeli and Palestinian sources, Israel demolished six commercial shops under construction and a house belonging to a family of seven members in East Jerusalem, citing a lack of licensing that is extremely difficult to obtain for Palestinians.

Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of 27 residential and non-residential structures in East Jerusalem during the first quarter of 2020, according to UN figures.


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Homegrown food distribution, a success in Lagos State – LASUBEB



The Lagos State Universal Education Board (LASUBEB) says  it has recorded success in the ongoing  Homegrown School Feeding Programme launched in Lagos on May 21.

This is contained in a statement by Mrs Eniola Adewunmi, Public Relations Officer of the board, in Lagos on Tuesday.

Adewunmi said  the targeted 37, 589 households of pupils in public primary school. one to three  had been concluded.

She  said the Feeding Programme was anchored and financed by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.

She said the programme also   supported by the Lagos State Government through LASUBEB was designed to see to the continued sustenance of primary school pupils in spite of the schools closure.

“Immediately after the flag-off, the distribution of Take-Home Rations to households of pupils started in earnest in 202 centres across the 20 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEA) in the state.

“Each beneficiary received a Take-Home Ration made up of 5kg Bag of Rice, 5kg Bag of Beans, 500 ml Vegetable Oil, 750ml Palm Oil, 500mg Salt, 15 pieces of eggs and 140gm Tomato Paste.

“During the exercise,  the Executive Chairman of LASUBEB, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, Board Members, and the Board Secretary effectively monitored the distribution exercise.

“At most of the centres visited, the chairman expressed satisfaction with the conduct of government officials at the various centres as well as the orderliness of the parents being attended to,  describing the exercise as transparent,’’ she said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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NIMR, Mobihealth launch first home COVID-19 self-swab test



The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, in partnership with the Mobihealth on Tuesday launched the first home Teleconsultation COVID-19 self-swab test in the country.

Prof. Babtunde Salako, Director-General of NIMR, said the do it yourself swab testing would help to increase the number of testing.

Today, NIMR and Mobihealth launched a do it yourself swab sampling to expand coverage and the number of test per day via telemedicine approach run by Mobihealth,” Salako twitted.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that NIMR had earlier in a statement said the partnership would help to pilot research into the efficacy of developing telemedicine guided COVID-19 home self-swab test sample collection.

It said the programme would involve 2,000 sample collection over a period, while individuals will be guided on how to conduct a self-swab test sample collection.

The institute added that the objective is to collect rapidly and safely in order to test large samples of people for the virus.

The statement said the system will limit face to face testing and reduce the spread of infection, especially among health workers.

Mobihealth, in partnership with medical logostics firms and Lifebank, will facilitate the contactless smooth delivery and collection of self-swab test to the subject home.

Mobihealth is an international innovative telemedicine and digital healthcare platform with a mission to provide everyone on the planet timely access to quality healthcare services from around the world.

NAN reports that the institute started a drive through testing of COVID-19 on March 30, in strong partnership with Lifebank, led by Temie Giwa-Tubosun.

NIMR was established in 1977 to conduct research on diseases of public health importance in Nigeria.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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