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‘Chloroquine use not approved for COVID-19’- NCDC

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The Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday reechoed that Chloroquine has not been approved as a cure for the coronavirus disease.

The NCDC in a tweet  diisclosed this, just as it warned Nigerians against self-medicating with the drug.

The tweet reads, “Please remember that the use of chloroquine and its derivatives for the management of coronavirus disease has NOT been validated and approved. Self-medication can cause harm and lead to death. Do not misuse drugs”.

It would be recallled that there has been controversy over whether or not Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug can cure the coronavirus disease especially after US President Donald Trump declared  on March 19 that it had been approved to treat the new virus.

Meanwhiile, Trump’s announcement followed encouraging research into chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine both in France and China, however many in the wider scientific community cautioned that more work is needed to prove they really work for COVID-19.

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WHO expresses concern as COVID-19 cases accelerate in Africa

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With more than 6000 COVID-19 cases reported in Africa, the virus is threatening fragile health systems on the continent. Infections are increasingly spreading not only between African countries but within different localities in the hardest-hit countries.

For instance, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where COVID-19 cases were at first confined to Kinshasa, now a handful of cases have been reported in the easternmost regions of the country that were until recently in the grip of an Ebola outbreak. In South Africa, all provinces have now reported cases. The outbreaks in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal are also widespread.

“Case numbers are increasing exponentially in the African region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa “It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the Region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first thousand. Three days after this, there were 2000 cases, and two days later we were at 3000.”

To contain COVID-19, many countries in Africa are implementing measures, which restrict gatherings and the movement of people. Nationwide lockdowns are in effect in Kenya, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. However, governments must use these measures in a considered, evidence-based manner, and make sure that people can continue to access basic necessities.

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As many people in the region live in crowded conditions or work in the informal sector and need to earn money daily to survive, it is important that countries make provisions to ensure that people can still access essential services. WHO is working closely with national governments and United Nations partners including the World Food Programme (WFP) to plan for these needs.

Dr Moeti and Ms Lola Castro, the WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, addressed the restrictive measures during a virtual media briefing held today by the WHO Regional Office for Africa with the support of the World Economic Forum.

“For socially restrictive measures to be effective, they must be accompanied by strong, sustained and targeted public health measures that locate, isolate, test and treat COVID-19 cases,” Dr Moeti pointed out.

“It’s vital that ports continue to operate to receive food and other essential humanitarian cargo; that borders and roads stay open so it can be moved where it is most needed; and that distributions to vulnerable people are conducted safely,” said Ms Castro.

“It’s also crucial that the international community promptly provide the considerable funding needed to maintain and scale up assistance programmes.”

As well as ensuring basic needs are met, WHO is pursuing innovative solutions to the region’s pressing public health problems. On 1 April 2020, WHO hosted an online training session on the clinical management of COVID-19 cases. Nearly 500 attendees from across Africa logged in to learn about issues including case characterization and triage, treating severely ill cases, infection prevention and control, and how to quarantine and manage cases in the community. WHO also hosted a three-day ‘hackathon’, bringing together Africa’s brightest minds to find solutions to some of the problems COVID-19 has presented.

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Ghana records 195 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 5 deaths as at 01 April 2020

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As of the 1st April 2020, Ghana has recorded 195 cases COVID-19 with five (5) deaths. The number of regions reporting cases remain five (5) (Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Upper West and Eastern).

The Greater Accra Region has the most cases (174) followed by the Northern Region (10), Ashanti Region (9), Upper West Region (1) and Eastern Region (1).

Most reported cases now are from routine / enhanced surveillance activities. Cases from travellers under mandatory quarantine remain 89 (Tamale-10; Accra- 79) whereas the cases from routine surveillance currently stands at 106 (Accra – 95; Kumasi – 8; Obuasi- 2 and Kpong – 1).

All five (5) deaths had underlying chronic medical conditions prior to COVID-19 infection
Recovered & Discharged: three (3) have recovered and discharged; whilst one other is awaiting results of laboratory test to inform decision on discharge.

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Fact Check: COVID-19 is NOT airborne

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has dismissed the message spreading on social media that “COVID-19 is airborne, saying the claim is incorrect.

WHO also explained that the  virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.

According to the organization, “You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 meter of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

“To protect yourself, keep at least 1 meter distance from others and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently. Regularly clean your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose”.

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