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Over 40 Health Workers Test Positive For COVID-19 – Minister

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday, said that over 40 health workers in the country have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), as a result of exposure.

He stressed that it has become critically important for health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion and protect themselves adequately with personal protective equipment (PPE) in the line of duty.

Ehanire, who made this known at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, said that: “I applaud our health workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government will continue to provide you with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and I urge you to take all necessary precautions for your own safety.

“Please do not treat any patient without using adequate PPE, frontline health workers must undertake refresher training on IPC at intervals.
“This advice is become necessary due of the number of health workers who have tested positive, over 40 now, for COVID-19 or been quarantined, in the last 2 weeks due to exposure, and therefore not being able to contribute to the health sector effort. I urge you all to remain vigilant in the line of duty and maintain a high index if suspicion for COVID-19.

“We are still on hazard allowance for frontline health workers, as proposals have to be validated by the PTF. They also have to be validated by other authorities like the Minister of Finance etc. Therefore, there are other processes that will take place before it is announced. it is a work in progress and will not be hidden.”

The Minister decried the underutilisation of the ‘excess’ testing capacity of the country, explaining that even though Nigeria has the capacity to test 1,500 persons daily, daily testing still averages around 600.

According to him, “Today Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratories have capacity to test 1,500 samples per day in 13 laboratories across the country. However, we are testing on average 600 samples per day because that is all the samples collected and sent for testing. This means that there is a certain underutilisation.

“Factors implicated in the process may include surveillance sample collection and mode of transportation, which can be improved to increase operational efficiency.

“In fact, we have excess capacity for the 13 laboratories that are functioning, but our own strategy is that of smart testing, that is, testing where you feel you will have yield. We have to be very careful about our reagents.

“We are also trying to use our resources as wisely as possible because we have an estimated population of 200 million people, so we have to be ready to cater for all of them.

“This is where a little investment can help. The results of such intensification of efforts can be seen especially in Lagos where improved logistic management increased sample collection and significantly reduced turnaround time.

“As we further increase our testing capacity and accredit more laboratories, an even more robust sample transportation infrastructure will be in place, to promptly convey samples to any of the 13 labs activated so far.

“Nigeria’s strategy is to admit all persons who test positive for COVID-19 into designated accredited treatment facilities to contain the spread of the virus and ensure prompt management to forestall complications.”

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Aviation Unions To Shut Down Kaduna Airport

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Aviation workers under the aegis of the National Union Of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association Of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Association Of Aircraft Pilots And Engineers (NAAPE), will on Sunday, from midnight, shut down operations at Kaduna airport over a strike declared by the Nigeria Labour and Congress (NLC).

The unions accused the State government of anti-labour practices perpetrated against civil servants by the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led administration in the state.

In two separate letters jointly signed by the union’s leaders, namely Ocheme Aba, General secretary, NUATE, Abdulrasak Saidu, Secretary-General, ANAP and Ofonime Umoh , Deputy General Secretary, NAAPE, the workers said they will comply with the directive of NLC to down tools in the state between May 16 and 21, 2021, adding that all workers have been directed to withdraw all services at the airport within the stipulated period.

“In effect, there will be no operations of any kind into, at, or out of the airport within the period.

” This information is provided to enable your management to take steps to safeguard valuable property within the airport vicinity during the period of the industrial action.

“This action shall be fully carried out unless otherwise directed by the NLC. And all workers are enjoined to fully comply as no form of sabotage shall be tolerated,” the unions said.

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Southern Governors’ Decisions Decisions Irrevocable, Says Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has replied to persons opposed to the recent decisions of Southern governors on open grazing and other issues saying the governors’ demands are irrevocable.

Wike, insisted that their demands must be respected reminded critics of the governor’s should that no section of the country is inferior to others.

Wike spoke during a grand reception held in his honour by Ogoni nationality in Bori, Khana Local Government Area on Saturday.

The governor declared that he had taken further steps to fulfill the resolutions reached by Southern Governors in Asaba.

He said: “We have taken a position and no going back. Enough is enough. We are not second class citizens of this country. We also own this country.”

Wike charged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) saddled with the responsibility of the cleanup of polluted sites in Ogoni, to relocate its operational office from Port Harcourt to Bori, the headquarters of the Ogoni people.

He said: “You cannot talk of cleaning up a place and keep your office in another area. Bring your office from Port Harcourt and come and stay in Bori, So that you can hear and appreciate the feelings of the people.”

Wike recalled that when he launched his quest to govern Rivers State in 2014, he received tremendous support from Ogoni nationality.

He said in appreciation, his administration had graciously fulfilled the promise to dualise the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road and had gone further to award contract for the phase two of the project from Bori to Kono valued at N14bn.

The governor acknowledged that the people of Ogoni nationality had remained steadfast in their support of his administration.

The governor directed the Commissioner of Power and in-coming Chairman of Khana Local Government Area to ensure the electrification of all communities in the council yet to be connected to the national grid within the next five months.

He charged the incoming chairmen Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme to endeavour to initiate and implement projects that would enhance the wellbeing of their people.

Wike noted that Ogoni was an important part of the state and Nigeria, and urged their leaders to fight against the menace of cultism and other related acts of criminality.

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$65m Fraud: Track Down Buhari’s Son-in-law, PDP Charges ICPC

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had said the revelation of $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), in which President Muhammadu Buhari’s son-in-law, Gimba Yau Kumo, is reportedly involved, is a confirmation that the Buhari Presidency is “a sanctuary for fraudsters, treasury looters and common criminals.”

This is as the party charged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC “not to succumb to reported pressure from the cabal in the Buhari Presidency but to track down Yau Kumo, the former Managing Director of the FMBN, who had already been declared wanted, and bring him to book alongside his accomplices.”

In a statement signed by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the “It speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency had remained silent in the face of this huge fraud involving Mr. President’s son-in-law; a beneficiary of the primitive family patronage in the Buhari administration, only for certain members of the cabal to be reportedly mounting pressure on the ICPC to let him off the hook.”

The statement further read: “The PDP holds as wicked, afflicting and provocative that while millions of hardworking Nigerians cannot afford their daily meals and other basic necessities of life due to the misrule and corruption of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its administration, they are daily assailed by revelations of unbridled treasury looting under President Buhari’s watch.

“Is it not provocative that at the time the Buhari administration is moving to cut workers’ salaries; increased the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs; in a country with over 33 percent unemployment and where citizens have been subjected to the worst forms of poverty; government officials, cronies and relations of those in power are busy looting our agencies and carting away our common patrimony?

“It is even more distressing that the looted FMBN money is part of funds contributed by Nigerians to meet their home needs which has instead fallen under the predatory proclivities of the APC administration.

“The party asserts that Nigerians can now see that while the Buhari Presidency parades a ‘holier than thou attitude,’ the nation’s vaults have been laid open for the ruthless pillaging by family members, relations, cronies in the Buhari Presidency.

“Only last week, the nation was jolted by reports of the looting of over N165 billion in the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) under the suspended Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman and the purview of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, leading to widespread demand for their sack and prosecution.

“This is in addition to the alleged involvement of the wife of the Transportation Minister, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the reported N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

“Indeed, this APC administration stinks!

“The PDP urges the Buhari Presidency to allow for an open investigation of Mr. President’s son-in-law as well as those fingered in the fraud in the NPA and the NDDC.”

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