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WHO “Can Only Give Advice” and “Each Country Takes its Own Responsibility” | #COVID19

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On Monday, the Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a media briefing in Geneva, said the agency “can only give advice, but one thing should be clear, we don’t have any mandate to force countries to implement what we advise them.”

It’s up to the countries to take our advice, or reject it”, adding that the agency gives advice based on “the best science and evidence.”

He said, “On January 30, we declared the highest level of global emergency on COVID19. During that time there were only 82 cases outside China. No cases in Latin America, actually. No cases in Africa. Only 10 cases in Europe.”

“The world should have listened to WHO then, carefully,” Tedros said. “Every country could have triggered all its public health measures possible.”

At the time, the WHO advised the world to find, test, isolate, and contract trace for each case. Tedros said, “You can check for yourselves, countries who followed that are in a better position than others. This is a fact. At the end of the day, each country takes its own responsibility.”

Nigeria records 64 new coronavirus cases, total now 1,337

Nigeria has recorded 64 new cases of coronavirus, no new case of death recorded, and 16 patients discharged from isolation centers, bringing the total number of confirmed infections reported in the country to 1337.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official Twitter on Monday.

Global cases of COVID-19 rises exceed 3 million

3,042,444 cases of coronavirus have been officially recorded across the world, with nearly 80 percent from Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University‘s tally on Tuesday. The tally includes 209,388 deaths, mostly in Europe where there are 1,393,779 cases and 126,233 deaths.

The United States, the country where the pandemic is progressing the most rapidly, has 980,008 cases including 55,637 deaths.

Donald Trump plans for “Opening Up America Again”

Despite warnings that he was done with the daily White House media briefings after rasing up the suggestion of injecting people with disinfectant last Thursday, US President Donald Trump is back new promises to revolutionize testing in America, in order to safely open its economy.

He started his meeting by stating that the United States has conducted more than 5.4 MILLION Coronavirus tests—nearly twice as many as any other country. Celebrated saving more than a million lives with his “good decisions” and boasted that “there’s a hunger for reopening” the nation and it’s “happening faster than people would think,” while leaving a misleading impression that the virus is all but defeated in the nation’s great cities.

He said, “We are deploying the full power of the federal government”.

Trump’s plan for Opening Up America Again outlined a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. During the briefing, he laid out the blueprint for testing and rapid response programs called for in the plan.

An introduction of the blueprint reads:

On April 16, 2020, the President unveiled Opening Up America Again Guidelines, a three-phased approach to reopening based on the advice of public health experts. These Guidelines are helping State and local officials reopen their economies and get people back to work while protecting the health and safety of the American people.

This Blueprint is designed to facilitate State development and implementation of the robust testing plans and rapid response programs called for in the President’s Guidelines. Having these plans and programs in place will help States prevent and contain local outbreaks that may occur as economic and social activities expand across the country.

For Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu provides more details about President Muhammadu Buhari’s televised address

On Monday night, President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the ongoing lockdown and restriction on movement will be gradually eased starting on May 2, 9 AM. According to Buhari’s address which stated that “State Governors may choose to amend adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above on public health and hygiene”.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a tweet on Monday night, shared a brief detail on the next step for Lagosians.

Tonight we listened to H.E President @MBuhari’s address on the lockdown and efforts at stopping the spread of #COVID19 going forward.

While we will share a broader framework in the next few days, I want to reiterate some of the things shared by the President.

#COVID19 is in our communities but our approach backed by our experts, is to balance health, the economy and our collective responsibilities.

We have made face masks compulsory in public and beginning from May 4th, we will start a controlled phased easing of the lockdown.

There will be overnight curfews from 8pm to 6am and a ban on non-essential interstate travel. Work hours will be pegged between 8am and 6pm, with adequate time allocated for commuting. There will also be continued restrictions on social and religious gatherings.

Lagos is the epicentre of #COVID19 in Nigeria. For a lot of industries, the lockdown has shown the many potentials of working from home, please take advantage of this, even as we expand testing, contact tracing and continue to stop the spread of the virus.

Lagos State gave 15 COVID-19 survivors the green light

This is according to a tweet the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Gawat Jubril.

The tweet reads:

FLASH: The Incident Commander of the #COVID19Lagos and Governor of Lagos State, Mr @jidesanwoolu has announced the discharge of 15 persons (11 females, 4 males) at the isolation centres in the State .. Total recoveries in the State is now 138.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu loses Chief Security Officer, Lateef Raheem to coronavirus

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, said in a statement that his late Chief Security Officer, Lateef Raheem, died from coronavirus complications.

According to PUNCH, the statement explained that another aide who also tested positive after the death of the CSO had been isolated in accordance with the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The former Lagos State governor, Tinubu and his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, have, however, tested negative for the virus.

According to the statement shared by PUNCH, it reads:

Following the death of our well-respected and beloved Chief Security Officer, Alhaji Lateef Raheem, NCDC medics took the wise precaution of taking samples from his body for testing to actually determine the cause of death. Today, the test results are back. The samples tested positive for COVID-19.

As a precautionary measure taken soon after the death of Alhaji Raheem, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and all their aides took COVID-19 tests on Saturday, April 25. The results of the tests were returned this (Monday) morning. Test results for both Asiwaju and Senator Tinubu were negative.

The result of one of the aides was positive. The rest of the members of staff was negative. The one staff member has been isolated in accordance with the NCDC guidelines. Further contact tracing and COVID-19 tests are being conducted by the NCDC with regard to the relatives and possible contacts of that staff member.

It continues, “We cannot overcome this challenge by acting like it does not exist or by trying to conceal that someone may have it due to social shame. The culture of denial is counterproductive and will do great harm in our current situation”.

Africa CDC receives the third donation of medical supplies from Jack Ma Foundation

On Monday, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) received a third donation of medical equipment and supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The donation is to support COVID-19 response by African Union Member States and it includes 4.6 million masks, 500,000 swabs and test kits, 300 ventilators, 200,000 sets of protective clothing, 200,000 face shields, 2,000 temperature guns, 100 body temperature scanners, and 500,000 pairs of gloves.

The Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight carrying part of the consignment departed Guangzhou, China, and landed in Addis Ababa, Africa CDC reports.

John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC said, “Getting diagnostics and medical equipment for COVID-19 response is a global challenge. Africa is in fierce competition with the developed world with respect to the availability of commodities. These donations from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have been an incredible initiative helping to feed the need for medical supplies by African countries”.

A statement shared by Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) reads:

The Jack Ma Foundation is now taking its support to public health in Africa to the next level as it collaborates with Africa CDC to hold a special webinar entitled Global MediXChange for Combatting COVID-19 (GMCC): The Experience of China tomorrow, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 at 3.00 pm East Africa Time (8.00 pm China Standard Time). The webinar will feature remarks and presentations by Jack Ma; Dr John Nkengasong; Dr Chen Wang, President, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences; Dr Bin Cao, President, China-Japan Friendship Hospital; and Dr Raji Tajudeen, Head of the Division of Public Health Institutes and Research at Africa CDC.

This webinar will enable medical experts from Africa, China and other parts of the world to share knowledge, experience and best practices for treating COVID-19. It is open to the public and interested individuals can join through the GMCC X Africa CDC Livestream Link.

GMCC was launched last month by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to facilitate open knowledge sharing and online communication to combat COVID-19. Supported by technologies and tools from Alibaba Health and Alibaba Cloud, GMCC features three main components: digital access to epidemic prevention resources, videos and webinars, and tools for online discussions. Nearly 3000 medical professionals have already joined the platform globally and thousands of medical staff from hospitals across Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe have participated in live exchange sessions organized by the GMCC to better understand how to respond to this new virus disease pandemic.

This new collaboration is in line with the African Union Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT): Trace, Test & Track (CDC-T3), and supports implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19. It paves the way for long-term, more structured and more strategic support to public health initiatives in Africa.

“Partnership is key to winning the war against COVID-19. In our strategy we have highlighted four things: cooperation, collaboration, coordination and communication. If we do not want Africa to be the next epicentre, we must foster multisectoral partnerships at the community level, at the national level, at the continental level, and at the global level. This important collaboration is a major milestone in achieving this,” said Dr Nkengasong.

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