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10 Updates About COVID-19 You Should Read Today



Lagos remains the state with the highest number of confirmed cases in Nigeria

Lagos State has recorded 88 new cases of coronavirus, making the total number of confirmed infections in the state rise to 1933.  According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), confirmed cases of the virus have increased to 4641 after 242 new infections were recorded in the country on Monday.

As at Monday, there are 242 confirmed cases, 902 survivors have been discharged from various isolation centres across the country, while 150 deaths have been recorded.

The agency also corrected an error it made in its announcement on the 10th of April. They “erroneously announced two new deaths instead of one in Nasarawa State”.


Twitter to commence labelling of misleading coronavirus tweets

Twitter plans to put labels and warning messages on some tweets that contain disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19. In March, Twitter announced that it would remove COVID-19 tweets that could cause a “direct risk to people’s health or well-being.”

It will use labels and warning messages “to provide additional explanations or clarifications in situations where the risks of harm associated with a Tweet are less severe but where people may still be confused or misled by the content.”

According to Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, “Our goal is to make it easy for people to find credible information on Twitter. Today, we’re introducing new labels and warning messages on harmful misleading information — beginning with misleading discussions about #COVID19″.

While false or misleading content can take many different forms, we will take action based on three broad categories:

Misleading information — statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.

Disputed claims — statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.

Unverified claims — information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.

Click here to read the full details.


Update on the evacuation of Nigerians abroad

During the Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed that the evacuation of Nigerians from different countries in the world is reaching its saturation point.

According to the tweets on his personal Twitter page, the Minister said there are now over 600 evacuees from the UAE, UK and US. He further revealed that the ministry will now slow the evacuation process a bit for space, before bringing in more citizens.

The tweet reads:

We have now evacuated over 600 Nigerians from the UAE, UK and US. I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Heads of Missions in Dubai, London and New York, they have worked extremely hard to deliver good results.

Once again, I would like to apologise profusely for what went wrong with the transfer of passengers from Lagos to Abuja on Friday and also the logistics issues faced in Abuja. We have put in place mechanisms to ensure that no such thing occurs again.

We’ve seen the benefits of those new mechanisms put in place because the flight that came in yesterday from the US, everything went seamlessly and that’s how we will want to keep it going forward.

In regards to Evacuation Flights: we are getting to the maximum capacity we can cope with in terms of services and care at this time. We will therefore be staggering our evacuation flights, and dealing with the evacuees in place first before bringing others.

There are still many Nigerians out there who are willing to come back home: from China, India, France, Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan and other countries.

@NigeriaGov is mindful of the need to use local carriers. Arrangements for airlines for the first batch of Nigerians abroad weren’t done by the Government. Flights being arranged henceforth are all Nigerian carriers. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19


President Buhari orders importation of Madagascar COVID-19 ‘remedy

Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the presidential task force on COVID-19 to pick up the COVID-19 syrup from Madagascar after reporting to have a plant-based remedy for coronavirus.

Countries like Tanzania, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, and the Republic of Congo have also indicated an interest in the herbal remedy.

Boss Mustapha further said,

Madagascar has made allocations to various countries, & sent them to Guinea Bissau. We‘re supposed to make arrangements to freight Nigeria’s allocation from Guinea Bissau; it‘ll be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.

Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar #Covid19 Syrup; also given clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals; there will be no exceptions for this.

Nigeria has only one National Response to the #Covid19 pandemic. Where there are differing Strategies is in the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. But as far as the (Health) Response is concerned, there is only one National Response. #PTFCOVID19.


Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the plant used for the herbal medicine grows in Nigeria

Dr. Osagie Ehanire

Osagie Ehanire has disclosed plans by the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Health to get the Madagascar herbal cure for COVID-19. He made known that the plan is to get the herbal product and subject it to analysis to see how it works.

He said the expected samples will be compared with the strain in Nigeria to ascertain its similarities.

According to Channels News, the Minister said:

Concerning the question on the cure from Madagascar, this has been making the news and we have the promise of being able to get a sample of the herb/botanical product for analysis and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities particularly the scientific community on how they use it.

We will also give that to the research community with us here (in Nigeria) to examine and do what they can do with it.

We will like to compare the sample with the strain here in our country whether they are identical or similar and see what properties it has. Things like that are normally subjected to analysis to find out how it works

He pointed out that all countries are interested in finding a cure to the deadly COVID-19 and Nigeria is also looking at all options. He further added that before the Madagascar cure can be used in Nigeria, it will be examined, “to make sure they are safe and they work.”


Catholic Church donates ALL 425 hospitals as isolation centres

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) donated all its 425 health facilities across the country as isolation centres for COVID-19.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who disclosed this at the presidential task force briefing on Monday said state governments can now take advantage of the facilities.

According to The Cable, Mustapha said:

As part of efforts to support the states in the establishment of the isolation and treatment centres, I wish to remind our governors that the Catholic Bishops Conference has volunteered all the 425 hospitals and clinics nationwide for adaptation and use as isolation centres.

Governors are encouraged to please approach Catholic Bishops in their states to access these facilities.

As a further cost-effective measure, I also wish to remind subnational authorities that the Nigeria Institute of Architects has pledged the pro bono services of their members to modify, design and supervise all COVID-19 related projects nationwide. Again, we urge that this offer be taken up speedily.


Kano State extends lockdown by one week

Kano State Government has announced the extension of the total lockdown imposed on the state by one week to help further combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state commissioner for information, Malam Muhammad Garba, made the announcement.

The extension comes as the state recorded 6 more COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, bringing the death toll to 32.


A factory worker infected 533 others with coronavirus in Ghana

Ghanaian deputy minister resigns over negative comment he made during a radio programme

Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo said hundreds of factory workers at a fish processing plant in Ghana have tested positive for the coronavirus. All 533 of them contracted the virus from one worker at the factory in the port city of Tema, the president said in his public address to the nation on Sunday.

The factory infection was detected from a backlog of 921 samples collected for testing last month that health officials just reported, Akufo-Addo said.
A part of the statement reads:
It is important to stress that five hundred and thirty-three (533) out of the nine hundred and twenty-one (921) new cases recorded between last Wednesday and Thursday are factory workers from a fish processing factory 2 located in Tema. All five hundred and thirty-three (533) persons were infected by one (1) person. Again, let me reiterate that these new nine hundred and twenty-one (921) cases were from backlogs dating as far back as 26th April, and not necessarily over a twenty-four (24) hour window.


India coronavirus cases surpass 70,000

A total of 70,756 coronavirus cases have now been reported in India, health officials said today, an increase of more than 3,000 infections since yesterday.

The death toll stands at 2,293. So far, 22,454 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to the country’s health ministry. India remains under a strict nationwide lockdown that has seen state borders shut and transport halted. However, restrictions are slowly being eased in some low-risk areas with few cases.


WHO issues school-related public health measures & detailed workplace guidelines for countries lifting restrictions/lockdown

There was a spike in infections over the weekend in some countries that lifted restrictions, World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

During the Monday briefing, the Director-General said:

There have now been over 4M #COVID19 cases across the world. Over the past week, some countries have started lifting #StayHome orders & other restrictions in a phased way. @WHO outlined the 6 criteria they need to consider before lifting these restrictions.

@WHO recommends countries answer these 3 questions to determine how to release a lockdown:
-is the epidemic under control?
-is the health system able to cope with a resurgence of cases?
-is the surveillance system able to detect & manage the cases & their contacts?

Decision-makers should reflect on a number of key factors when deciding on whether and how to reopen schools.

According to the tweets on Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus personal Twitter page, it states that WHO and UNICEF have published guidance on school-related public health measures.

WHO has also issued detailed new workplace guidelines, which recommend all places of work carry out a risk assessment for workers’ potential exposure to #COVID19. The document also covers the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: DrTedros

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