Covid-19: Wike hints of fresh lockdown in Rivers

Wike signs N448, 67Billion 2021 budget
Governor Nyesom Wike

…22 out of 86 FCT patients in critical condition, receiving oxygen

… Lagos shuts 12 facilities for violating safety protocol, set to prosecute offenders

…Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen tests positive for COVID-19l NCAA imposes $3,500 fine on airlines that fly passengers without Covid-19 compliance

…Issues protocol for passengers originating from UK, South Africa

…Osun orders security operatives to enforce directive against crossover night

…UN calls for preventive measures against future pandemics

By Dapo Akinrefon, Lawani Mikairu, Egufe Yafugborhi, Shina Abubakar & Omeiza Ajayi

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, hinted that the state government, was thinking of locking down the state in January, amidst the resurgence of Covid-19 in the state in the wake of a second wave.

This came as 22 out of 86 patients at the various isolation and treatment centres in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are reported to be in critical conditions and currently placed on oxygen.

In Lagos, the state government sealed no fewer than 12 facilities for breaching Covid-19 safety protocols in line with the ban on operations of night clubs as part of measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, while the state threatened to bring the full weight of the law to bear on all those flouting the directive.

In another development, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has tested positive for Covid-19 after a routine test conducted on her and members of the family and she has gone into self isolation.

Meanwhile,  Lagos State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has, authorized churches in the state to conduct their 2021 cross over services, as it called for the maintenance of all Covid-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

This came as Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, issued protocol for all passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa effective from December 28, regardless of transit arrangements.

It also warned that a $3,500  fine would be imposed on any airline that flies in a passenger that defaults on the new Covid-19 compliance, saying such airline may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to their point of embarkation.

Meanwhile, in Osun, the state government has cancelled the annual countdown to New Year ceremonies and cross over nights in all forms by religious bodies during the New Year eve, while it directed security operatives to enforce the order without exception.

To mark the maiden International Epidemic Preparedness Day, the United Nations, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called on the world to plan for preparation for the next pandemic even as it strives to recover from the current one.

Wike on Rivers

Wike, giving the hint in Port Harcourt, yesterday, expressed worry over the refusal by most churches and markets in the state to comply with wearing of face mask and other established protocols against spread of the pandemic.

He said: “We will re-impose lockdown beginning from January as the number of Coronavirus cases surge in the state.

“Go to some churches, go to markets, they don’t wear masks. They believe Covid is not real. It’s not real because it has not happened to you. When somebody close to you has died, you will know that Covid is real.

“It is real and I appeal to all that we have to be more strict now because the second wave is more dangerous than the first, very, very dangerous. I know how many people we have lost since the second wave started.

“If people won’t comply, I have no choice, but shutdown the churches. No choice because when you have it, who spends the money? It is the state that treats you. We need the money for some other things, and not for Covid-19. So, let’s discipline ourselves.”

22 FCT patients in critical condition, receiving oxygen

Permanent Secretary in the FCT Administration, Adesola Olusade, who toured the centres said, “At Gwagwalada, we have about 42, then 46 at ThisDay Dome. At Idu, we have zero. Not all of them are on oxygen, though.”

The team leader at UATH Gwagwalada, Dr Yunusa Thairu, said,  “we have severe and critical cases coming in and the need for oxygenation cannot be over-emphasised. As of today, 22 of the patients are on oxygen.”

On his part, Medical Superintendent at the ThisDay Dome Centre, Dr Molokwu Victor, said: “All categories of staff are being owed their allowances, but the Secretary for Health has promised that we should expect something soon, that the FCT Administration is working on it.

“We have been here since September; doctors, nurses, hygienic and maintenance teams have all been here and for four months now, no allowances. This place was handed over to FCT last month. All this while, it has been under the Federal Ministry of Health,” Victor said.

Meanwhile, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, FCT  Chapter and Senior Pastor, ECWA Good News, Maitama, Rev Samson Jonah, has tasked government officials on the need to adhere to all protocols.

“We talked to ourselves that compliance should be very high during this second wave because of how dangerous and deadly the virus is. But above all, we are saying that as we continue to comply, let us also see the government functionaries doing the same thing, because leadership should be by example.

“We don’t need an angel to tell us how dangerous the virus is, so we summoned our pastors and talked to them, we disseminated a lot of information and text messages and told them to ensure total compliance.”

Chairman of the Taskforce, Ikharo Attah who led the inspection tour of churches to ensure compliance with Covid-19 protocols noted that there is a “very high compliance” by all the churches visited within the city centre.

Lagos shuts 12 facilities for violating safety protocol, set to prosecute offenders

The Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Safety Commission, weekend sealed no fewer than 12 facilities for breaching Covid-19 safety protocols.

The affected facilities include: DNA Night Club, Buzz Bar, Silverfox, Cocoon, Westend Nightclub, Rumours, Lekki Waterside, Landmark Event Centre, The Wave Beach Club, among others.

It will be recalled that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had last Thursday, reiterated the ban on operation of entertainment sector, particularly night clubs as part of measures to curtail the spread of Covid -19 following spike in the cases of the virus in the country and the state.

The operations led by the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola and his team sealed the facilities, saying that it is an ongoing exercise.

Mojola, however, said recalcitrant establishments who broke the government seal would be charged to court once documentation had been properly processed.

Lagos CAN approves cross over services

CAN in a statement by its chairman, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, said the overwhelming enquiries and agitations by many Churches and Christians in Lagos  necessitated the need for the approval.

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Adegbite, however, urged churches in the state to follow all Covid-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said: “There will be cross-over night service on December 31, 2020, in many Churches that  observe the annual service. However, it must be noted that the curfew imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic is a  Federal Government directive. Hence, Churches who want to observe the cross-over night  shall be allowed to hold service till 12:15am into January 1, 2021 morning.  Service must  end by this time.

“However, for Churches which observe their watch night or cross-over night service till the  middle of the night, no Church member must be allowed to leave the Church premises or  service venue till after the end of the curfew period (4am) as directed by the Federal Government.”

Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has tested positive for COVID-19 after a routine test conducted on her and members of the family.

The minister in Twitter handle @PaulineKTallen, said she was asymptomatic but was advised to go for the test.

The tweet read: “This is to inform the general public that after personally undergoing a test as well as members of my family, my result returned positive while that of members of my family tested negative.

“Following interaction with individuals that later show asymptomatic signs of Covid-19, I was advised by my medical team to undergo the test and self isolate for observation over the past few days.

“Currently, I am asymptomatic and have gone into isolation for the period of treatment. Please keep me in your prayers and I implore you all to stay safe and observe all Covid-19 protocols as we grapple with this pandemic.

“I urge you all to please take responsibility for yourselves and family in order to protect our dear country even more at this time,” the minister added.

NCAA imposes $3,500 fine on airlines that fly passengers without Covid-19 compliance

NCAA will from December 28, 2020, impose $3,500  fine on any airline that brings a passenger into Nigeria without the new covid-19 compliance from United Kingdom and South Africa.

The airline may also be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation for non compliance to Nigerian government’s rules concerning the United Kingdom and South Africa.

NCAA in its latest AOL issued by its Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, said that repeated non-compliance by any airline would lead to a suspension of the airline’s approval or permit to fly into the country.

The notice reads: “With the recent spike in cases of Covid-19 in Nigeria and the reported transmissible new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the Nigerian government through Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has reviewed the quarantine protocols.

“Passengers originating from  United Kingdom  and South Africa: For flights and passengers originating from the UK and South Africa with final destination being Nigeria the following shall apply: “Passengers must present the following two documents in order to be allowed to board their flights to Nigeria: (a) Pre-departure permit to fly/ QR code generated from the Nigeria International travel portal (https://ift.tt/32VJurl) showing evidence of payment for the post arrival day seven Covid-19 PCR test and (b) Documentary evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR result done within 96 hours (four days) of boarding from verifiable laboratory or health facility.

“On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by public health authorities. All passengers will be required to self isolate for seven days after arrival followed by COVID-19 PCR test.

“Passengers with a post arrival negative Covid-19 PCR result can exit self isolation and further management. A dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa will be opened and enhanced for surveillance and active enforcement of these protocols.”

According to the NCAA, the rules apply to all airlines with passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa regardless of transit arrangements.

It also said the new rules were applicable to scheduled and non scheduled flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

“(i) Airlines shall be fined $3,500  for each defaulting passenger. (ii)Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation. (iii) Repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to the suspension of the airline’s approval/permit to fly into the country.”

Osun orders enforcement against crossover night

The state government also cancelled the annual countdown to New Year ceremonies and cross over nights under whatever guise by religious bodies during the New Year eve.

Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji who made the announcement in a statement directed the security operatives to enforce the directives without exception.

He said, “The ban on youth carnivals still subsists. Also, all social clubs, hotels, departmental stores, supermarkets, event centers and allied centres are to henceforth operate at half of their capacities and observe Covid-19 protocols.

“Wearing of face masks at public places is equally compulsory.   We want to appeal to all residents and citizens to cut down on social gatherings, including weddings,  naming ceremonies and funeral ceremonies so as to reduce the spate of exposure and contact with possible carriers visiting the State during the Yuletide period.

“Also all  towns and cities are to put on hold the annual days through physical attendance and change such to the virtual version.

“We assure all citizens and residents that Government is insisting on all these measures in their collective interest. Therefore, let’s all join hands with Government to keep Osun safe.”

UN calls for preventive measures against future pandemics

In a message to mark the maiden International Epidemic Preparedness Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, stressed the need for countries to strengthen their disease prevention capacities to prevent another pandemic.

“With Covid-19 having now killed more than 1.7 million people, devastated economies, upended societies and exposed the world’s vulnerabilities in the starkest ways, the value of health emergency preparedness has hit home like never before.

“Unfortunately, it is easy to imagine a virus just as infectious but even more lethal. We can already draw many lessons from the experiences of the past year.  Preparedness is a sound investment, costing far less than emergency expenditures.

“Societies need stronger health systems, including universal health coverage,” he said.

Guterres called for more social protection for people, timely support for communities on the frontlines and more effective technical cooperation by countries.

Noting that most new human infectious diseases were from animals, the Secretary General advocated greater attention to the “encroachment of people and livestock into animal habitats.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

The post Covid-19: Wike hints of fresh lockdown in Rivers appeared first on Vanguard News.



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