Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has bemoaned the astronomical rise of COVID-19 cases in the state, describing it as ‘shocking and disturbing’.
Umahi made the remark on Monday during a news briefing after an emergency meeting with the Ebonyi COVID-19 response team and relevant stakeholders.
He stressed that all the cases were from returnees intercepted at the state’s various boundaries.
The governor said that between April 26, and May 20, the state had 13 confirmed cases of the disease but nine new cases were recorded on May 22, another nine on May 23 and two on May 24.
“We presently have 33 confirmed cases with six victims discharged and it should be noted that there is no community infection yet in the state.
“A breakdown of the cases shows that Afikpo North LGA has nine cases, Izzi – eight, Ishielu – six, Ikwo – four, Ohaukwu – two, Ohaozara – two, Onicha and Ezza North one each,” he said.
Umahi added that the state could not have recorded such upsurge in the cases if the various inter-state boundary lockdowns were working.
“Another problem is that we are ‘holding these returnees down’ at the various centres in our LGAs yet we have issues with test kits from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“You can’t hold people down above 14 days without testing and the Federal Government (FG) should do something about this urgently.
“These people can’t go to their houses to isolate because some people stay up to five in a room in the rural areas.
“We can’t do anything even if they are kept at the centres for 21 days so there should be enough kits to appropriately follow NCDC guidelines,” he said.
The governor declared that the state-floated security outfit, ‘Neigbourhood Security Watch’, would be disbanded from June 1, due to the ineffectiveness of its members.
“Chairmen of various LGAs should strive to pay the members’ May salaries and we have authorised traditional rulers and other stakeholders to recommend 100 persons from various communities to be recruited in the new outfit.
“Their salaries will be N30,000 monthly and they will secure the 50 boundaries of the state alongside the various security outfits.
“We would no longer pay the allowances of security officers at the boundaries through their various heads, but through the monitoring team to be inaugurated by the deputy governor,” he said.
The governor said that all political office holders in the state would be members of the monitoring team including members of the state House of Assembly as would be approved by its Speaker.
“It is disheartening to see the deputy governor running through the bushes to intercept returnees.
“If by May 27, security at the borders does not improve, all political offices at the various LGAs will be dissolved.
“We thank the various LGA chairmen whose tenure expires on May 28 for their services and we will be relying on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the guiding template in conducting our council elections,” he said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Donald Ugwu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/covid-19-umahi-bemoans-astronomical-rise-of-cases-in-ebonyi/
NCDC announces 195 new COVID-19 cases, death toll hits 1,100
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.
The health agency sadly reported two new deaths raising the death toll in the country to 1,100.
It also reported that 105 patients who had been treated and had also recovered from the infection were discharged across the country.
Among other states that recorded new cases were Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), and Ogun (1).
According to the agency, till date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
The health agency said a multi-sectoral national emergency operation centre (EOC) activated at Level three, had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
Meanwhile, the agency has warned that majority of Nigerian states were not testing enough.
It said, “We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.
“So we have to work together; in summary, it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not.”
The NCDC appealed to more states to test consistently so that progress could be monitored on a national level.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Edo speaker congratulates Obaseki, commends Buhari, INEC, others
The Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, on Monday congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu, describing their re-election as a victory for democracy and Edo people.
This is contained in statement signed by the Speaker and made available to newsmen in Benin.
“On behalf of my family, Members and Staff of the Edo Assembly, I heartily congratulate Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Phillip Shaibu for their overwhelming victory.
“Your re-election and triumph reflect the people’s appreciation of your sterling leadership qualities and developmental strides since you assumed office in 2016.
“Declaring you as the winner did not come as a surprise, as it attests to your impressive and intimidating track record of the massive transformation in every sector of the state economy.”
He noted that the transformation had helped to shape and redefine the political landscape of the state.
“This has undisputably redefined the electoral process and set pace for other states in the country to emulate.
“As you strive to consolidate on your developmental work, be assured of our maximum legislative support.
“May God continually protect and enable you to fulfill all your good dreams to reposition the state,” he said.
According to him, to the people of Edo State, thank you for your massive support. You have proved to be models to other Nigerians through your stiff resistance to godfatherism.
The Speaker, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the process and ensuring that votes counted.
He also applauded security personnel and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for their display of professionalism during the election.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
COVID-19: NCDC says Nigeria not testing adequately
Ihekweazu said that the country recorded a 36 per cent decline nationally in August, compared to July, while the positivity ratio dropped from 20 per cent in June to 7 per cent in July.
“You might think that that is good news and we should be celebrating; unfortunately, we cannot celebrate this until we test sufficient numbers in every state in the country.
“One critical issue is the number of tests being done and yes the number of tests have actually declined, but another important indicator that we look at is the test positivity ratio nationally,’’ he said.
According to him, the only states that can confidently celebrate a decline in cases are Lagos and Kano, as well as the FCT, because they have tested high numbers, but the same cannot be said at the National level because some states are not testing.
He decried that the NCDC could not make any interpretation on the data in Taraba Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa and Yobe States.
“We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.
“So we have to work together, in summary; it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not, some interpretation can be made in Lagos, FCT, because they are testing enough, but we can’t do this on a national level.’’
The NCDC boss noted that countries that seem to have seen a decline were seeing a resurgence of cases.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NCDC and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) have launched COVID-19 household Sero-prevalence surveys in selected states in Nigeria, to better understand the burden of the virus in the country.
The surveillance will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos States.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Health Minister says 10% of COVID-19 cases are under-19
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says records show that 10 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases treated are below the age of 19 years.
According to him, with regard to COVID-19 and growing complacency, it is important to stress that, even though adults, especially those 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups.
“Records show that 10 percent of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years.
” They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease.
“Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, to prevent COVID-19 surge,” he said.
Speaking on the need for testing, the minister noted that it was important for the country to generate national and international confidence in the nation’s data by conducting more targeted testing before conclusions were drawn.
“It means that all States and local government areas must cooperate with NCDC by raising sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to a desired rate and to report promptly; as we are still far from the target of two million tests.
“In this regard, we can support States with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation.
“While stepping up surveillance and case finding, states can also ensure that suspected symptomatic COVID cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities.
“The recommended criteria for testing are: persons who have been in contact with a COVID positive patient or are associated with a cluster of persons of interest, those who have any of the four classical symptoms of fever, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell and breathlessness; anyone facing surgery, as well as for any other compelling reason. Testing for travel is assigned to private laboratories.”
He also stated that the distribution of oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions commenced with training of about 176 intensive care specialists, and biomedical engineers, who would use or maintain them in the hospitals.
Ehanire disclosed that the ventilators and training were courtesy of the United States government and it shall complement what they have at the ICUs.
The minister also commended health workers in JOHESU, for putting an end to their industrial action, adding that it was his desire to work with them to resolve issues of concern.
Edited By: Felix Ajide