COVID-19

WHO ramps up COVID-19 support to hotspot countries in Africa

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The first members of a surge team of health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa to bolster the country’s response to COVID-19.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa located in Brazzaville, Congo stated this in a statement posted on its website.

The office said as the continent nears one million cases, WHO was expanding support to countries experiencing a significant uptick in cases.

“South Africa is among the five countries in the world most affected by COVID-19. After their arrival, the WHO surge team went into quarantine in line with the national regulations.

“ A second group of experts will deploy next week. Altogether more than 40 public health experts are expected to provide surge support, working with national and provincial counterparts on key areas of the response.’’

The statement quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying “As the impact of the virus intensifies in a number of hotspots in Africa, so too are WHO’s efforts.

“At the request of the South African government, our experts will be embedded with the national response teams, working closely with local public health officials to address some of the urgent challenges the country is currently facing.”

Across the continent, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken varied trends: 10 countries accounted for 89 per cent of new cases over the past two weeks.

New cases have increased by more than 20 per cent in 16 countries in the African region in the past two weeks compared with the previous fortnight.

WHO is increasing support to 11 countries which have requested assistance as they experience a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The Organisation is mobilising more technical experts on the ground, scaling up trainings to build up local capacity, particularly at the provincial and district level.

With community transmission occurring in more than half of countries in Africa, WHO is beefing up community engagement and health education and providing direct material support to strengthen testing capacity.

The statement further quoted Moeti as saying,“Lack of testing is leading to some under-reporting of COVID-19 cases and preventing us from understanding the full picture of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

“We need to turn this around so countries can calibrate their response, ensuring it is most effective, and as cases move into the hinterlands, testing must be decentralized from the capital cities.”

To help meet demand for essential medical equipment across Africa, WHO and other United Nations agencies have formed a global procurement consortium which leverages their networks, expertise and product knowledge to support countries that have limited access to markets.

The WHO-led consortium has secured critical volumes of testing kits and other key diagnostic supplies from major manufacturers.

According to the statement, so far, the consortium has shipped 1.8 million testing kits to 47 countries in Africa over the past month.

“Another 1.1 million testing kits are expected to be dispatched in the coming weeks.

“Testing for COVID-19 in Africa remains low by global benchmarks, but capacity has expanded significantly since the outbreak began. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 6.4 million polymerase chain reaction tests have now been performed.

“Eleven countries are now performing more than 100 tests per 10 000 population, compared with just six a month ago. July saw a 40 per cent increase in the total number of tests performed compared with the previous month.”  

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

 

https://nnn.ng/who-ramps-up-covid-19-support-to-hotspot-countries-in-africa/

Environment

3-storey school  building collapses in Lagos

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A three-storey building of the Excell College, a private school  in Ejigbo, Lagos, collapsed on Saturday, two days to  reopening of secondary and private schools in the state.


The building is located at No. 15, Ansarudeen St., by Ile Epo Bus stop, Iyana Ejigbo.

NAN reports that public and private primary and secondary schools in Lagos State are to re-open on Monday after about six months closure due to COVID-19.

Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions re-opened on Sept. 14.

The Director-General of  the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, told newsmen that no person was trapped in the collapsed building.

He noted that the school had been under lock and key since March due to the COVID-19-induced restrictions.

According to the LASEMA director-general, the building, which collapsed at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, is part of a conjoined (twin) three-storey building.

He said that the collapse was attributable to “visible distress”, adding that the collapsed portion affected the second wing, as shown by visible cracks on the walls, pillars and decking of the second portion.

“Distress calls received established that the building collapsed at about 8:15a.m.

“Information gathered from some officials of the school revealed that the building had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate and refortify the structure.

“The three-storey building has two wings; the wing that collapsed seriously affected the second wing, as visible cracks can be seen on the walls, pillars and decking.

“Fortunately, nobody was trapped.

“Responders to the incident are LASEMA, Lagos State Building  Collapse Agency and the police,”  he said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/3-storey-school-building-collapses-in-lagos/
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Politics

Electorate, observer commend conduct of election in Edo

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Electorate and observer at Ugboko Ward 5, Unit 26, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, agree that the conduct of the state governorship election is peaceful.


Some of the electorate who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Saturday, said that the conduct was well organised.

They also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the electoral process.

Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.

Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.

“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.

An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.

“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.

“The electorate are cooperative and they are obeying the rules of COVID-19 and INEC officials,” he said.

She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.

Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.

“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process”.

Edited By: Constance Athekame/Kayode Olaitan
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/electorate-observer-commend-conduct-of-election-in-edo/
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COVID-19

Edo Election: European Centre decries non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols

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The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), on Saturday said voters in Ologbosere primary school, ward 4 with 40 units and other polling units they visited were not observing the COVID-19 guidelines as stipulated in the INEC policy.


Mr Wilson Manji, the deputy project coordinator, told the News Agency of Nigeria , that although the voters were all wearing face masks but they did not maintain social distancing.

“So far the election is going smoothly and calm. We are at Ologbosere primary in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state.

“So far everything is peaceful and calm here. Just that the INEC staff just arrived at about 10a.m. and accreditation and voting started at about 10.30a.m. instead of 8.30a.m,” he said.

According to him, the polling officers came with hand sanitisers and thermometers to check the temperature of every voter.

On his part, the Head, INEC Voter Education and Publicity, Timidi Wariowei, told newsmen at INEC office in Benin that most of the polling units and voting points started voting at 8.30a.m.

“But we are aware that there are some few isolated cases that started 9.a.m. or after 9.a.m. because of some issues they needed to sort out.

“From the reports we are getting, almost all the polling units have started voting,” he said.

Wariowei, however, said he observed that the voters were all wearing face masks but did not maintain social distancing.

According to Wariowei, before I left the polling units I visited, I educated the people on the need to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 regulations by maintaining social distancing for the safety of all.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/edo-election-european-centre-decries-non-compliance-to-covid-19-protocols/
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Politics

Edo 2020: Card Readers fail to authenticate fingerprints in Esan West, Central

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The Card Readers provided for the Edo Governorship election to authenticate fingerprints of voters in Esan West and Esan Central Local Government Areas of Edo on Saturday failed to recognise some voters.


Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria , who monitored the election in the areas, report that while the Card Readers easily identified the voter cards, they failed to authenticate their fingerprints.

This abnormally was noticeable at the polling units in Ward 5 (Uhunmudumu Primary School), and units 14, 15 and 16 (Emado Primary School) in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area.

The same was applicable in units 5 and 6, Ward 6 (Idumebo Primary School), in Esan Central Local Government Area.

However, NAN reports that the voters were still allowed to vote after the cases were incidented on INEC form after which the voters were made to thumb print in the form.

Meanwhile, Mr Victor Edoro, a politician in the area and an ex-commissioner in Edo, Mr Gideon Obhakhan, have described the exercise as impressive.

They described the voting process as peaceful and orderly, with compliance to COVID-19 Pandemic containment protocols.

Edoro, who voted at his voting centre in Idumebo Primary School, Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area, described the voting process as “peaceful and hitch free.”

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/edo-2020-card-readers-fail-to-authenticate-fingerprints-in-esan-west-central/
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