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Laziness, sharp practices not part of African culture, says Coalition



The Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older People in Nigeria (COSROPIN) declated on Sunday that  negative attitudes, including laziness, dishonesty and sharp practices, are not part of the African culture.

Ms May Ikokwu, the Secretary General of COSROPIN, told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja that parents should lead by example by displaying high moral values as well as begin to inculcate cultures of dignity, integrity, hard work and honesty in their children.

She blamed the current societal immorality and desperation for money on the dearth of African cultures of dignity and honesty.

“In the past, there was honour in hard work. Every penny one had was earned through dignity of labour unlike today that smart practices are the order of the day.”

Ikokwu, who is  the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of  Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), reiterated the need for review of value system in Nigeria, called for promotion of hard work over laziness and short cuts.

She urged Nigerians, especially youths, to begin to toe the path of honour in all things for a greater future.

Ikokwu explained that desperate craving for material possession and consequent ill-gotten wealth was alien to Africa especially Nigeria.

She, however, blamed corruption on the materialistic orientation of the youths who saw nothing wrong in cutting corners to make money.

According to her, “money is not everything, honour is better than money especially ill-gotten wealth”.

Ikokwu therefore advised youths to work in tandem with the dictates of diligence, honesty, hard work and honour, which she said were the pillars of African culture.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Ikenna Osuoha: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


COVID-19: Oyo govt plans to conduct test on 10,000 people soon



Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says his government plans to conduct Coronavirus tests on 10,000 people within a short time in the state.

Makinde said this shortly after he resumed work and inspected 100-bed Infectious Disease Centre at Olodo in Ibadan on Monday.

He said that the state was determined to win the battle against coronavirus, noting that if it was able to test 10,000 persons within a short period, it would equally stay ahead in the fight against the disease.

“Testing such large number of people remain the only way to get a handle on the COVID-19 in Oyo state.

”It will be impossible to ascertain the number of people who might have contracted the disease without scaling up the testing,” he said.

The governor noted that though the efforts by the government might not have hit the 100 per cent mark, there are clear signs that the state was ready to fight COVID-19.

He urged residents to continue  supporting his government, while adhering strictly to the directives issued by the state COVID-19 Task Force and medical experts.

”The 100-bed hospital is left in carcass before this administration emerged.

“But this administration took it upon itself to fix the facility and re-designate it to Infectious Disease Centre, with the capacity to serve as isolation centres for 100 patients.” he stated.

The governor further appreciated residents of the state for their prayers and support while he was recovering from COVID-19.

He thanked Prof. Temitope Alonge, a former Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, who served as head of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force while he was in isolation.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi

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COVID-19: Group donates hospital equipment, consumables worth N500m to Niger, Abuja, Kogi



The Mainstream Energy Solutions of Nigeria has donated hospital equipment and consumables worth N500 million to Niger, Abuja and Kogi to help tackle the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Mr Gbenga Adebola, Head Corporate Communication Officer, of the company, disclosed this while delivering part of the items to Niger government in Minna.

The state Head of Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Matane, Dr Mohammed Sidi, the state Commissioner for Health and the Governor’s Wife, Dr Amina Bello received the items on behalf of the state government.

“We are donating these hospital equipment and consumables worth N500 million to help the Federal Capital Territory, Niger and Kogi states tackle the ravaging COVID-19,” he said.

Adebola said the gesture was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to the beneficiaries.

He said  the items included five ventilators, analysers, 50 hospital beds, clinical gloves, face masks, sanitisers and others.

The communication officer said that out of the ventilators, the state would get one ventilator,  50 hospital beds and other items.

He said  the items were certified high quality material of international standards.

Responding, Alhaji Ibrahim Matane, Secretary to the State Government, who thanked the company for the gesture,  said  it would go a long way in assisting the government deal with the pandemic.

Similarly, the state commissioner of Health, Dr Mohammed Sidi, who commended the donor for the items, said that there was no confirmed case of the COVID-19 in the state.

Also, Dr Amina Bello, wife of the state governor who was full of appreciation said the items would be distributed to the 12 approved isolation centres across the state.

Bello said that when the ravaging disease was over,  the equipment would be distributed to the general hospitals in the state.

She advised the people of the state to always observe the social distancing, personal/public hygiene and watch out for the symptoms of the disease and report any case to the state task force on COVID-19.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the company is the operator of Kainji and Jebba power plants in the state.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu

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COVID-19: Mass use of medical masks can aggravate shortage- WHO



The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the use of medical masks by the general population to prevent spread of Coronavirus can aggravate its shortage globally.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said this at a news conference on COVID-19 on Monday in Geneva.

In his speech posted on the agency’s website, Ghebreyesus said the use of mask by people could prevent those that needed it from haven it.

“We are concerned that the mass use of medical masks by the general population could exacerbate the shortage of these specialised masks for the people who needed them most.

“In some places, these shortages are putting health workers in real danger.

“In health care facilities, WHO continues to recommend the use of medical masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment for health workers?

“In the community, we recommend the use of medical masks by people who are sick and those who are caring for a sick person at home.

“WHO has been evaluating the use of medical and non-medical masks for COVID-19 more widely,’’ he said.

The director general said that some countries had recommended or were considering the use of both medical and non-medical masks in the general population to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“First and foremost, medical masks must be prioritised for health workers on the frontlines of the response.

“We know medical masks can help to protect health workers, but they’re in short supply globally,’’ he said.

According to him, WHO is issuing guidance and criteria to support countries in making that decision.

For example, he said countries could consider using masks in communities where other measures such as cleaning hands and physical distancing were harder to achieve because of lack of water or cramped living conditions.

“If masks are worn, they must be used safely and properly. WHO has guidance on how to put on, take off and dispose of masks. What is clear is that there is limited research in this area.

“We encourage countries that are considering the use of masks for the general population to study their effectiveness so we can all learn.

“Most importantly, masks should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive package of interventions,’’ he said.

Ghebreyesus, however, said that masks alone could not stop COVID-19.

“ There is no black or white answer, and no silver bullet Masks alone cannot stop the pandemic. Countries must continue to find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.

“Mask or no mask, there are proven things all of us can do to protect ourselves and others. Keep your distance, clean your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and avoid touching your face.

“Less than 100 days since WHO was notified about the new coronavirus, research has accelerated at incredible speed.

“The viral genome was mapped in early January and shared globally, which enabled tests to be developed and vaccine research to start,’’ he said.

In addition, he said more than 70 countries had joined WHO’s Solidarity Trial to accelerate the search for an effective treatment; about 20 institutions and companies were racing to develop a vaccine.

“WHO is committed to ensuring that as medicines and vaccines are developed, they are shared equitably with all countries and people.

He further said poorer countries and fragile economies would stand to face the biggest shock from the pandemic.

“Leaving anyone unprotected would only prolong the health crisis and harm economies more.

“I call on all countries, companies and research institutions to support open data, open science and open collaboration so that all people can enjoy the benefits of science and research,’’ the director-general said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Civil-19: Gombe commences training for health workers



The Gombe State Task Force on COVID-19 has commenced training for health workers on best practices to handle Coronavirus cases in the state.

Alhaji Sale Mohammed, the committee’s Deputy Chairman, said at a news briefing  in Gombe on Monday that the training was in readiness for any eventual entry of the disease into the state.

Mohammed, also the Paramount Ruler of Kaltungo, said the committee was poised to deliver on its mandate of curtailing the spread of the disease in the state.

According to him, the training will equip the health workers with the wherewithal to handle clinical cases of covid-19.

“Already, the committee has started sensitising barbers shops, hair salons, hotel operators and traders to know the symptoms of the disease,” he said.

The committee’s deputy chairman said that the isolation centre  for critical cases of COVID-19 in the state was already fully equipped with Monitors, oxygen and ventilators.

“The isolation centres meant for moderate and mild cases are at the completion stage,” he said.

Mohammed said that so far, Gombe had recorded 17 suspected cases, sating, “out of this number, 16 cases came out negative, the remaining one sample will soon be submitted for test”.

He said the committee had received 25 number of 30-litre water containers and hand sanitizers from the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.

“We urge residents of the state to adhere strictly to all preventive measures given by experts following the outbreak of the disease,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that during the training, the committee distributed hand sanitisers to the health workers as a way of instilling COVID-19 preventive habits in them.

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu

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COVID-19: Abia govt. to begin fumigation of public places



Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has  announced the resolution of the state government to commence  fumigation of public places “within the next 24 hours” as part of its efforts to prevent COVID-19.

Ikpeazu said this on Monday while addressing newsmen after inspecting the relief materials bought for distribution to cushion the effects of the lockdown on the people of Abia.

He said  

the decision to fumigate public places was informed by the desire of the state government to keep the people of Abia safe from the  Coronavirus.

The governor said that “the medical reason for the ongoing two weeks sit-at-home order  is to ensure that any case of COVID-19 which manifests will be contained by God’s grace.”

“After the first 14 days, then wearing of facemasks in the state will  be compulsory for everyone. I urge those who can, to provide facemasks for their neighbours,” he said.

Ikpeazu said the state government would commence the distribution of relief materials to the vulnerable and indigent people on April 7.

He said the distribution of the relief materials would be done through the churches, mosques, traditional rulers and town unions.

Ikpeazu said the strategy was adopted to ensure that about 70 per cent of the people of Abia, especially the less privileged, would  receive the relief materials.

According to him,  the distribution will be done in a segregated manner to cover about six churches at a time, adding that the measure is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people.

He commended individuals and organisations who had contributed to the Abia’s food bank and encouraged persons with the wherewithal to support the vulnerable in their communities.

Ikpeazu said that the “Inter-Ministerial Committee will do a review of the lockdown to determine the next step to take” after the expiration of the current lockdown in the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the relief materials included,  bags of rice, bags of beans, bags of garri, tubers of yam, cartons of noodles, hand sanitisers and face masks.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu

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Ebola: DRC to declare outbreak over in 6 days – WHO



 The World Health Organisation (WHO), says if there are no more cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , the government of DRC can declare the outbreak over as early as Sunday.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a statement posted on the agency’s website that the stakeholders were nearing the end of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC Congo.

““We’re not there yet, and we remain on full response mode. We’re continuing to investigate alerts and to test samples.

““This would not have been possible without the incredible health workers who have put themselves at risk for more than 18 months to stop this outbreak.

““Just as health workers are putting themselves in danger to save lives from COVID-19, health workers in DRC faced the double threat of fighting a deadly virus.

“”They face double threat of fighting a deadly virus in one of the world’s most dangerous and unstable regions – exposing themselves to Ebola and bullets,’’ he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Tuesday, April 7, is WHO’s World Health Day.

““This year, we’re paying tribute to the incredible contribution of all health workers, especially nurses and midwives.

““Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system. They’re there from the first moments of life to the last.

““Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are publishing our first report on the state of the world’s nursing, which highlights gaps and makes recommendations for all countries.

““One of the lessons I hope the world learns from COVID-19 is that we must invest in health workers – not only to protect lives, but also to protect livelihoods,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

Meanwhile, in an update earlier posted on Ebola, WHO said that there were no new cases of Ebola reported in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since Feb. 17.

“However, because there is still a risk of re-emergence of Ebola, it is critical to maintain surveillance and response operations until and after the end of outbreak declaration.

“This is as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the Ebola outbreak.

“Unfortunately, the response faces increasing limitations that could result in delayed detection and control of flare-ups.

“These limitations include a funding shortfall, ongoing insecurity and lack of access to some areas, and limited staffing and resources amidst other local and global emergencies,” the statement read in part.

The WHO said from March 9, to March 15, over 32, 000 alerts were reported and investigated.

The global body said of these, 2,550 alerts were validated as suspected cases, requiring specialised care and laboratory testing to rule-out Ebola.

“During this same period, 2,760 samples were tested, including 1,565 blood samples from alive suspected cases, 405 swabs from community deaths, and 790 samples from re-tested patients,” WHO stated.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Donald Ugwu

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LUTH rolls out strategic measures to combat challenges of COVID-19 management



The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, says it has rolled out strategic measures and ready to combat the challenges of management of COVID-19 resolutely.

Prof. Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director, made the assertion while addressing the management and members of staff of the institution in Lagos on Monday.

“We are ready for this challenge and, let me tell you, if we do not combat COVID-19 resolutely, COVID-19 may look for each of us in our homes.

“We intend to record next to zero rates of patient-to-staff infection by adopting internationally recommended best practices,” Bode said.

He said since early February, an all-volunteer group of staff, comprising nurses, pharmacists, doctors, laboratory scientists, hygienists, porters, and drivers, had been planning for their involvement in the fight against Covid-19 scourge.

“Our Virology Laboratory is internationally recognised and was the first to confirm the disease in Nigeria, while more than 30 LUTH personnel have been assisting the Lagos Team in various capacities till date.

“LUTH now has more than 120 warriors and volunteers, who have  been trained and are ready to be meaningfully deployed.

“We had earlier identified the four Wards on the newly rehabilitated Block B as suitable for an Isolation Centre.

“Efforts are in progress to secure enough resources and consumables for us to admit and treat Nigerians afflicted with COVID-19 in LUTH.

“Working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Health, we have enough materials to work with.

“We have also suitably modified the wards to commence admissions from Monday in LUTH, being the biggest tertiary hospital in Lagos,” Bode said.

According to him, we shall do this with love of oneself, love of each other and care for our patients.

On welfare, he said: “We shall give respect and dignity to each others as Covid-19 warriors and patients to whom we represent the only hope in these difficult days.

“Non-resident staff working on this will be housed within or near LUTH.

“Life insurance will be provided for each LUTH staff working as Warriors in this drive to rid Nigeria of Covid 19.

“It is only human to be afraid. We, however, must reign in our fears as healthcare workers and give hope and care to those who need us to be brave.”

The chief medical director implored them to commence the assignment with courage in their hearts and “smiles on our faces, knowing this is what we are best known for”.

On measures in place, he said:

“We have scaled down the admission of routine cases, while all in-patients are being transferred to Block E for ease of care.

“Frontline officers must wear N95 masks and stay at least six feet away from anyone while triaging any patient.

“They will as usual, call in the Infectious Diseases Unit to see any suspected cases.

According to him, suspected cases will be kept in the old Isolation Centre near the building, while confirmed cases are to admitted through a dedicated route onto the B Block through the gate opposite the Oxygen Room.

“The B Block is cordoned off from all access routes and non-Covid-related hospital traffic shall be rerouted around the Block B Isolation Centre.”

He said the WHO, Lagos State Government and other partners had promised to assist LUTH in this collective efforts.

“We have the fullest backing of the Federal Government, the FMOH, NCDC as well as the assurances of our the state governor in this gallant drive,” the chief medical director said.

Bode, therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of NCDC for making available 60 beds, PPEs, Masks and other consumables to LUTH.

He also commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi for the trail-blazing leadership of the COVID-19 Response Team in Lagos.

“We have been promised more beds are coming shortly and that all needed materials for our noble efforts will be given utmost priority,” he said.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye

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COVID-19: Benue Speaker distributes protective materials to constituents



The Speaker, Benue House of Assembly, Mr Titus Uba, on Monday distributed protective materials against COVID-19 to traditional rulers, motorcyclists and commercial drivers in his constituency.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Uba is representing Kyan Constituency, Vandeikya Local Government Area, Benue, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The distribution was done in zones namely, Ihugh, Mbaakon, Tse-Mker, Branch Akehe, Branch Atser and Vandeikya.

Uba told his constituents that Coronavirus was real, stressing that it should not be taken for granted.

“It is killing people at alarming rate. It is not something to play politics with.

“It is on this note that I and Uja Matyu, who contested against me during the 2019 general elections, were on Sunrays Radio to sensitise you in order to take precautions,” he said.

He advised them to desist from handshakes and staying around crowded areas to avert contracting the disease.

“I advise you to be washing your hands with soap regularly and using hand sanitisers. Also, avoid picking your nose, touching your eyes, ears and mouth.

“Be drinking warm water regularly and not Ogogoro as erroneously emphasised by many people. Ogogoro will destroy your intestines.

“Some of its symptoms include, fever, cough and sneezing.

“If you notice any of the symptoms in your body, go to the Federal Medical Centre, Apir or Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, for testing.

“You do not need to worry about money because government will take care of your medical bills,” he said.

Responding, the Chairmen, motorcyclists and commercial drivers union, Comrade Kwanbe Stephen and Comrade Terhemen Daga, respectively, commended the speaker for donating the materials to them.

They promised that their members would make judicious use of them for their overall good and the society.

The materials include hand sanitisers, liquid soap, hand gloves, plastic buckets and face masks.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle

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Edo orders wearing of face mask, ban isolation in hotels



The Edo Government on Monday directed residents who must leave their homes to wear face mask as precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the state COVID-19 Response Committee, Mr Philip Shaibu told newsmen that government has concluded plans to collaborate with local tailors to mass produce face mask in the state.

“We have held several meetings with stakeholders today and we agreed that all residents who must leave their homes during the partial lockdown must wear a face mask.

“We are working with local tailors to mass produce these face mask that will go round everybody.

“I want to encourage us to stay at home and if you must go out please wear a face mask and maintain social distance,” he said.

According to him, anyone found outside without a face mask will be prosecuted.

Shaibu also said that government has banned the use of hotels as isolation centres by those who returned to the state from other countries.

He said “we have discovered that some returnees use hotels as isolation centres and we are saying it is no longer acceptable.

“Those who are even isolating themselves at home do not adhere to the rules so it is banned with effect from today.

“Only the four designated isolation centres in Auchi general hospital in Edo North, Irrua Specialist hospital in Edo Central, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and Stella Obasanjo hospital in Edo South will be used from now on,” he added.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Ismail Abdulaziz

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