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80% COVID-19 Patients Don’t Require Hospital Admission

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has advised against keeping asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 in the isolation centres.

National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, gave the advice during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja, advising rather that such persons, who were about 80% of those infected were better treated with more comfortable places like hotels.

Aliyu, who particularly directed his advice at state governments, also charged states to start preparing and equipping isolation centres, with not less than 300 beds.

He explained the advice to keep those with little or no symptoms away from hospitals and regular isolation centres were because they would not need serious treatment or monitoring, adding that this would make the available spaces more adequate for those with serious symptoms, just as it would come cheaper for state governments to manage.

He however appealed to all citizens to take the outbreak with seriousness, warning “we must do everything to prevent another spike in the spread of the virus during the eased lockdown phase.

“In terms of case management, we’ll like to again appeal to state governments, particularly those who are yet to ensure the provision of isolation facilities, to please make sure that they have at least 300 beds available per state so that they can isolate persons that are positive with COVID-19 infection.

“It is particularly important that when it comes to isolation facilities, that appropriate prioritisation is placed on those that have mild or no symptoms. This group of persons with COVID-19 infection should not be placed in a hospital environment, they are better off being placed in a non-hospital environment, such as hotels, where they’ll be comfortably looked after because they do not require any specific monitoring or treatment and it will be much cheaper for state governments to adopt this approach for the 80% of those that will be positive with COVID-19 infection and allow hospital beds and medical facilities to be used for those that require them most.

“I’ll like to again emphasise the need for us all to take personal responsibility for our health as well as the health of our loved ones and our community. We need to be aware of our physical space, we need to be very observant of the persons around us and of the need to maintain physical distancing as well as avoiding mass gatherings,” he said.

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Business

Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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Nigeria Needs $2.3tn To Address Infrastructure Deficit, Says FG

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that the country need $2.3tn to address its national integrated infrastructure masterplan.

He said this in Abuja on Thursday at a town hall meeting themed: ‘Nigeria’s infrastructure revolution: Road to a new future’, organised by Business Hallmark.

According to him, the 23-year masterplan (2020-2043) is for the development of infrastructure including roads, railway network and maritime sector.

The event was chaired by a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

Mustapha said, “Conscious of the economic disruption caused by 2016 recession and COVID-19 as well as challenges of previous reforms, the Federal Government revised the 23 year (2020-2043) national integrated infrastructure masterplan that identified critical enablers.

“For the 23-year period, $2.3tn will be required, translating to about $150bn annually and the private sector and other partners have to provide 56 per cent, while Federal Government and state governments will provide 44 per cent of the share of the investment.

“The Federal Government has made important strides towards providing much of our infrastructure and has, in recent years, conducted several infrastructural reforms.

“Specifically, we are extending and upgrading the nation’s railway network and introducing more locomotive couches. The port sector has been converted to landlocked model and terminal.

“Similarly, Public Private Partnership style infrastructure company with an initial seed capital of N1tn envisaging to grow over time to N6tn in assets and capital has been established and will soon commence operation.

“It will be one of the premier finance entities in Africa and will be wholly dedicated to Nigeria’s infrastructure development.

“The reduction in Nigeria’s infrastructural gap will also give the country a competitive advantage under the newly signed Africa Free Continental Area Trade Agreement.”

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, deplored the water crises in Nigeria saying no community in the country enjoyed water supply always.

He said, “In 1992, 30 per cent of the Nigerian population was enjoying pipe-borne water and as of 2015, it had dropped to seven per cent.

“In 2015, we were at 68 per cent national coverage for access to water and as of today, we are at 70 per cent and maybe by the time the result for 2021 comes out, we might be at 71 per cent to 72 per cent.

“As for water quality, 90 per cent of water consumed, including water from the boreholes, are contaminated and water is the basic necessity of life.”

Oyegun, in his contribution at the event, said six years going, the performance of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had been mixed.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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