The Benue First Lady, Mrs Eunice Ortom, her son and some domestic staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.
The governor’s wife announced this in a press statement she personally signed and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Saturday.
According to her the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) notify her of the development through her test result that returned positive on Friday evening.
Ortom further disclosed that she, her son and one domestic staff have all gone on safe isolation as directed by NCDC.
She appealed to all those who came in contact with her in the last two weeks to go for the test.
“A few moments ago, I received my result from the tests earlier carried out on me by NCDC personnel on routine screening at Government House, Makurdi and the test returned that I and my son and some staff are COVID-19 positive.
“We have, from this moment, gone into isolation as required by the protocols and would immediately begin the treatment as advised by medical experts.
“While I have taken the responsibility to personally call everyone, I can recall having had recent contact with to go for testing, I advise anyone, who has had close contact with me in the last two weeks and the general public to go for screening and testing.
“I wish to reiterate that been COVID-19 positive is not a death sentence as evident by the many recoveries recorded thus far so.
“There is no need to panic, but we should continue to be responsible in our actions so as to keep others safe,’’ Mrs Ortom said.
She urged the public to take preventive measures so as to be protected and be safe by observing the primary protocols of wearing face masks, constant hand washing, maintaining social distancing and staying indoors if not necessary to go out.
NAN reports that Gov. Samuel Ortom has earlier appealed to all his appointees to go for the COVID-19 test.
NCDC daily update has indicated that Benue has 32 new cases bringing the total in the state to 97 positive cases.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
New York’s health commissioner resigns over COVID-19 handling
New York’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Oxiris Barbot, has resigned over alleged under-utilisation of the department’s “incomparable disease control expertise.”
“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been.
“Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work.
“The city would be well served by having them at the strategic centre of the response not in the background,” Barbot said in her letter of resignation.
This confirms speculation of disagreement between the Department of Health and the city administration over alleged handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This triggered complaints from officials of the department who felt the mayor made a wrong call by relieving them of their traditional responsibility.
Barbot’s replacement was immediately named as Dr Dave Chokshi, who was the Principal Health Adviser to former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Reports say New York’s Coronavirus contract tracing programme has come under criticism in recent weeks over complaints by contact tracers about lack of coordination and poor working conditions.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)
LASG holds consultative forum for Y2021 Budget, adopts holistic approach to COVID-19
Mr Samuel Egube, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, made this known at the 2021 Budget Consultative Forum on Tuesday in Lagos.
Egube said that in order to minimise the effect of the pandemic, the state government had implemented interventions along the line of aggressive healthcare responses, business support, sustainability measures and relief to the poor.
“We are going to flag off our internship programme by the Ministry of Wealth.
“The idea is to get people to work, and the state government will pay them, while working for SMEs to gather experience and tackle unemployment,” the commissioner said.
He said that for half of the year 2020, the state recorded a budget performance of 57 per cent (N334. 838bn), which was in absolute terms higher than the 73 per cent (N316.676bn) for the same period of 2019.
“The COVID-19 pandemic with its resultant health and economic impacts greatly affected the state, like other geographies around the world and changed the context within which we execute development agenda.
“Within this very difficult context, LASG was able to achieve greater revenues, while managing expenditure with revenue stronger by six per cent against the approved budget.
“We will continue to minimise wastage through tighter expenditure controls and promote prudent spending.
“Plans to invest in comparative advantage areas such as aquaculture for quick wins was underway,” he said.
For the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the commissioner said that the state was providing wage subsidies based on maintaining payroll and enhancing the access of SMEs to short term funding through the State Empowerment Trust Fund.
“Rice Mill at Imota is expected to employ 300, 000 people and is at 75 per cent completion.
“It is expected to produce 120, 000 Metric Tonnes annually, and increase local rice production by 75 per cent.
“Efforts are also ongoing to train rice farmers on the right variety of rice to produce to feed the mill,” he said.
The commissioner said that continued efforts to digitise the state were ongoing.
On the economic outlook for year 2020, he said that forecasts suggest 2020 GDP growth would be severely impacted followed by a sharp rebound of 3.5 per cent.
Earlier, Mr Adebayo Sodade, Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Budget, said the forum was an avenue to update the stakeholders on the half year performance of the budget.
Sodade said it also brought to general knowledge the resources available for the next budget, taking into cognisance all economic variables and externalities such as crude oil prices, inflation, interest rates and the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.
“Rubbing minds with you also provides us an ample opportunity to share ideas geared toward the greater Lagos project, while ensuring that your desired interests are adequately captured in the development agenda,” he said.
Sodade urged citizens to fulfil their civic responsibilities through regular payment of taxes, monitoring of government projects and reporting observed lapses.
He also called for the protection of public facilities and infrastructure, obedience to traffic and safety rules and regulations, ensuring environmental friendliness and security consciousness for a greater Lagos.
The special adviser said government had planned to improve revenue and overall service delivery by widening the tax base to meet citizens’ expectations.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Resumption: Lagos schools comply with COVID-19 protocols
Secondary Schools in Lagos State are complying with the COVID-19 prevention protocols, as students in exit classes resume.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondents, who visited some schools in the state, report that water, soaps , alcohol-based hand sanitisers and infrared thermometer were provided by the schools.
Also, compulsory wearing of nose masks and social distancing in classrooms were observed by students and teachers.
A big banner displaying World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was seen at the entrance of the Honeyland Schools, Ipaja.
At the Senior High School, Alimosho, students wore face masks or shields while receiving lectures in their classrooms.
Mr Oluyemi Faleke, Principal of Honeyland Schools, said that SS3, students of the school were ready for the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Faleke said that during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, the school engaged its students through virtual learning.
He said that participation was compulsory.
“We do not just collect money from parents, we make sure students get good quality education.
“We have many classrooms for students to practise social distancing , it is possible for five students to sit per class during the examination,” he said.
Kehinde Fadaka, Head Boy of Honeyland Schools, said that he was ready to write the examination.
He said that he studied hard with the assistance of the school’s virtual learning and personal timetable.
“The classes we are having now are to help me revise all I have read and prepare me for further.
Miss Opeyemi Hamzat, SS3 students of Senior High School, Alimosho, said that she was very happy to resume.
Hamzat said that she read everyday during the lockdown and participated in the WAEC revision programme aired on television by Lagos State Government.
Mrs Betty Attah, Executive Director, Mandate Schools, Akerman in Alimosho said that the school followed the COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
”We have prepared our boarding facilities for all SS3 students, the arrangement will accommodate three students instead of 10.
“We have six students in each class in order to practise social distancing,” she said,”Attah said.
Mrs Grace Ikazan, Principal of Sophem High School, Ipaja – a private school, said that the school was doing revision for SS3 students.
Ikahan said that only SS3 students resumed, adding that the students’ temperatures were being checked regularly and social distancing observed.
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Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (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)