COVID-19: Chinese medicines to be certified by NAFDAC before use – Minister
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has anounced that the Chinese drugs brought into the country by the Chinese government for the fight against the coronavirus will be first cleared by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before being used by Nigerians.
Furthermore, he explained that the purpose of the medical team from China is to provide technical support to our healthcare workers, especially on tactics and strategies they used to reduce the cases of coronavirus in their country.
The Minister disclosed this during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Friday in Abuja.
He said: “The team from China are under quarantine. We asked where they intend to observe the quarantine and they said they have a compound. So, we sent the NCDC to go and inspect the compound before they came.
“We also told them that every day the NCDC will have access whenever they like to come and inspect. So, that is what they have agreed to.
“Whatever it is that they brought will have to be certified by NAFDAC, also whatever medicines they brought. The medicines will be certified by NAFDAC before Nigerians will take those medicine”.
“Our main interest in these people is to see from a scientific point of view, what actually the processes were that they used in their country. What are the tactics that they applied? This is because if you want to know something, you ask somebody who has suffered it before.
“They have various lessons and learning that they have, we ourselves want these lessons. We want to know how they dealt with their problem It is part of our own preparedness to protect our people.
“I have told them that even though they are in quarantine, they can join us by videoconference. This way, we can begin to ask questions already so that they don’t waste the period. So, as from next week, we will join by video conference so that we start asking them questions”.
“If we do offer an advisory around masks, it will be in addition to everything else; it will not be in place of it. So, we have to understand the reasons for these measures.
“We have one of the highest population density in the world and especially in Africa. Just four countries have a higher population density than us. This has the greatest implication for us and the transmission of viruses than just our numbers.
“It is our closeness to each other that really enables the virus to transmit from one to the other.
“Physical distancing is the most important to know whether we talk about wearing of masks, whether we talk about interruption of mass gatherings, whether we talk about any of the other interventions that we have suggested.
“There are people that carry this virus without presenting symptoms. Critically, the most important thing is that people can be infectious two days before the symptoms appear. We call it the pre-symptomatic phase. While everybody has been talking about the asymptomatics, the most important are the pre-symptomatic.
“People that have become infected, will become symptomatic but don’t know yet because there in a few days before that has happened and that is why we have to increase the distance between us”.
NCDC records 1 death, 272 new COVID-19 infections
By Gistflash News
July 25, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded one death and an additional 272 coronavirus infections in Nigeria as at July 24.
The NCDC released the information on its official website early on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the latest infections figure shows a decline, compared with 317 cases announced on July 23, an 18-week high in infections.
The public health agency said that COVID-19 related deaths in Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country currently stood at 2,132 since the pandemic hit the country.
The agency said that Nigeria had also tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus out of the country’s population, estimated at 200 million.
It noted that Lagos State, Nigeria’s epi-centre of the disease and economic hub, again recorded the highest number of new infections with 182 confirmed cases.
Rivers, Nigeria’s oil capital, came a distant second with 34 positive samples and Ondo State coming third with 24 cases.
States that recorded fresh infections include Oyo State (10), Abia (7), Ogun (7), Ekiti State (5), Delta (2) and Plateau (1).
NCDC disclosed that three states, including Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto States recorded zero cases and that as at July 24, Nigeria’s COVID-19 active cases stood at 3,975.
The agency said that eight people were discharged on July 24 after recovering from the disease.
It noted that out of a total of 170,895 positive infections confirmed across the country, 164,788 patients had been discharged.
According to the agency, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre, activated at level 2, continues to coordinate national response activities.
Meanwhile, the NCDC has alerted that COVID-19 infection rate has worsened at entry points with 32 per cent rise in one week.
It disclosed that over 10,000 in-bound travellers from overseas had shunned the compulsory COVID-19 testing and isolation after arriving in Nigeria.
The travellers came into Nigeria through the premier Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
While over 9,000 in-bound Lagos travellers shunned testing, no fewer than 1,000 in-bound Abuja passengers also shunned testing, according to the NCDC.
COVID-19 Quarantine: 18% in-bound passengers not traceable — Sanwo-Olu
By Gistflash News
July 12, 2021
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says 18 per cent of passengers that arrived Lagos through Murtala Mohammed Airport cannot be traced for COVID-19 quarantine.
Sanwo-Olu made this known on Sunday in the update of the coronavirus pandemic situation in Lagos State.
He said that between May 8, 2021 and July 7, 2021, a total of 50,322 passengers of interest arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport.
”Of the 50,322 passengers, 18 per cent could not be reached by EKOTELEMED because of the provision of either wrong numbers or wrong Nigerian contact details to be reached on,” the Chief Incident Commander said.
He said that it was the responsibility of passengers to ensure they provided the right details for them to be reached for proper monitoring.
”Going forward, passengers that do not provide the right details, including a phone number they can be reached for monitoring and an address for isolation, will face serious sanctions, including fines and imprisonment according to our Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
”As dictated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation.
”So far, we have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos State. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that sanctions were being recommended and had already been meted out to defaulters.
The governor said that the sanctions for foreigners were revocation of their Permanent Residency and deportation; while for Nigerians were prosecution to the full extent of the Lagos State COVID-19 Law.
He also said that greater vigilance was required at this time in the churches and mosques and other places of religious worship.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state was pleased that religious houses were now open for worship, after the lengthy closures of 2020, however, worshippers must not be carried away by the illusion that all was now back to normal.
”This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.
”The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
”For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols.
”There must be compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces,” he said.
NCDC confirms deadly Delta variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria
By Gistflash News
July 9, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has detected a confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2, known as the Delta variant in Nigeria.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja.
NAN reports that the deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern.
The WHO said that the Delta variant was ‘dangerous’ and continued to evolve and mutate, and thus requiring constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response.
Ihekweazu said the variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
“As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, NCDC has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) and other laboratories within the national network to carry out genomic sequencing.
”This is to enable the detection of variants of concern and initiate response activities.
“All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data.
”Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travelers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.
“The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has initiated several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.
”This includes the introduction of travel restrictions for countries where there is a surge in cases associated with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.
“The national travel protocol which includes compulsory seven-day self-isolation and repeat test on the seventh day after arrival, are in place to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.
”It is very important that this is strictly adhered to, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria,” he explained.
Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, the NCDC boss urged all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing and proper use of face masks prevent infections and save lives.
”The COVID- 19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease,” he advised.
Additionally, he urged states to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 was accessible to Nigerians.
“Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population,” he added.
He said although Nigeria had seen a low number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in the last eight weeks, it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful.
“Please protect yourselves and the people you love by adhering to the known public health and social measures, getting vaccinated if you are eligible and getting tested if you have symptoms.”
The NCDC boss said the recommended control measures to limit the spread of the new variant was continued testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.
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