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COVID-19: Oyo govt tells civil, public servants to stay off work for two weeks

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As part of measures put in place by the Oyo State government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the government, on Wednesday, directed civil and public servants in the employment of the state, local governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to stay off work for two weeks.

According to a statement made available on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, it indicated that civil/public servants across all cadres in the state should stay off work as the state studies the situation.

The statement, however, noted that only persons on essential services are allowed to remain on duty for now.

The statement read in part: “The Oyo State civil service will shut down for two weeks from, Friday, March 27, 2020. Only workers rendering essential services will be required to report for duty.“We still have one confirmed case of Coronavirus in Oyo State, the Bodija case, who is receiving treatment at the isolation centre – the Agbami Chest Centre, Jericho, Ibadan.

“Additional numbers have been added to the Emergency Operations Centre’s Helplines. Please call these numbers for any issue related to Coronavirus: 08095394000 / 08095963000 / 08078288999 / 08078288800“The returnee from the USA in Oluyole Local Government Area is still asymptomatic. She has completed her 14-day self-isolation period (March 8-22).

“New guidelines on public transportation have been issued by the Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation to ensure proper hygienic standards and social distancing.

“All transport operators and park managers are to provide at the entrance of their respective parks/garages, hand washing facilities with soap and running water. They are to provide alcohol-based sanitizers in their vehicles for the use of drivers, conductors and passengers. Standing is prohibited in public mass transit buses and there must be a minimum of one seat interval between passengers. Tricycles are limited to three passengers and commercial motorcycles are limited to one passenger only.

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“Enlightenment campaigns on Coronavirus in English and Yoruba have commenced in the media. Street to street public announcements using megaphones have commenced in the rural areas.

“We have received reports of a few private schools flouting the directive for closure of schools. A task force from SUBEB, TESCOM and the Ministry of Education have been authorised to take appropriate action against any school flouting this directive.

“Any school acting in breach of the directive can be reported by calling the Emergency Operations Centre Helplines; 08095394000 / 08095963000 / 08078288999 / 08078288800.

”According to the statement, the directive to shut down the state and local government secretariats was coming on the heels earlier directives to close the schools and the ban religious and social gatherings”.

The statement added that a team of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was already in the State to support activities aimed at containing the virus by the government.It noted that the government has put in place all precautionary measures needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the good people of Oyo State.

The statement further stressed  that a number of those who have had contact with the index case were already in self-isolation.According to the statement, Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force Enforcement Team and a number of sub-committees have been put in place, while an enforcement committee flagged off activities on Wednesday.

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It stated that the surveillance and contact-tracing of some persons who recently returned to Nigerian from different Coronavirus-infected countries have been ongoing, while those who have been tracked are being closely monitored.

The statement further read: “Our Emergency Operation Centre is already fully operational. It will interest the public to know that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has already sent a team of experts that is working in collaboration with our technical team on COVID-19. The area of collaboration covers training as well as the immediate setting up of a Diagnostic Centre that will make testing less stressful while at the same time eliminating the time length between sample collection and results.

“I am also pleased to tell our people that the NCDC team has completed training for our officials who will man the Diagnostic Centre and that the Centre would be ready for NCDC certification by the end of the week.

“Some persons would want to question why we are spending big to put up a Diagnostic Centre. The time lag between the collection of samples and receipt of results make the setting up of the Centre imperative. The experience we have with the index case appears almost frustrating as the sample took hours before getting to the National Reference Centre in Lagos.

“When the Diagnostic Centre is eventually set up, it will make a huge impact in the health infrastructure in place for the management and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Oyo State.

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”The statement also indicated that besides locking down the State Secretariat and local governments in the state, the COVID-19 Task Force and other sub-committees have commenced engagement and sensitisation drives around the markets, motor parks and mechanic workshops.

“They are also engaging with other artisans and the message is simple; it is only when you are alive that you can ply your trade or make money,” the statement added.

The statement indicated that the government thanked the management of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, the NCDC and other Nigerians who have positively collaborated with the state government to combat the virus.

The statement, however, admonished residents of the state to stop making frivolous calls to the Emergency Operating Centre, adding that people should only call the centre when they have genuine and serious cases.

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Health

CONVID-19: Death toll rises 63,437 worldwide

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The worldwide number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus rose to 63,437 on Saturday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources.

More than 1,169,210 declared cases have been registered in 190 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 219,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are only testing cases that require hospitalisation.

A total of 5,964 new deaths and 86,745 cases have been reported since a count compiled at 1900 GMT on Friday.

The United States registered the highest number of new deaths (1,399) followed by France (1,053) and Spain (809).

Italy, which recorded its first coronavirus death at the end of February, has 15,362 fatalities, with 124,632 infections and 20,996 people recovered.

Spain recorded 11,744 fatalities and 124,736 infections, followed by the United States with 8,098 deaths and 297,575 cases — the highest in the world.

France has reported 7,560 deaths and 89,953 infections, followed by Britain (4,313 deaths and 41,903 cases).

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 3,326 deaths and 81,639 cases, with 76,755 recoveries.

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Since Friday at 1900 GMT, Angola, Georgia, Kuwait, Liberia and Suriname announced their first deaths from the virus.

Europe has listed 627,127 cases and 46,033 deaths to date, the US and Canada together have 311,447 cases with 8,342 deaths, Asia 116,129 cases and 4,137 deaths, the Middle East 71,739 cases and 3,623 deaths, Latin America and the Caribbean 28,166 cases with 891 deaths, Africa 8,129 cases with 375 deaths and Oceania 6,480 cases with 36 deaths.

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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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