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Coronavirus – South Africa: StatsSA releases Coronavirus COVID-19 behavioural and health perception survey results

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Respondents were staying indoors and only left their houses to get food or medicine, according to the COVID-19 behavioural and health perception survey results released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

The survey was conducted in the week of 13 to 26 April 2020.

More than half (60,1%) of respondents were very concerned or extremely concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their own health. Many of the respondents (93,2%) were very concerned or extremely concerned about the possible economic collapse of the country due to the COVID-19 epidemic, while 79,7% were concerned about the civil disorder that may result as a consequence of the COVID-19 virus.

The report further shows that respondents adhered to the call not to go out to public meetings, with almost all (99,0%) reporting not attending any public events, e.g. church services. Furthermore, the practice of social distancing when going out was a priority for 98,4% of the respondents. Regular handwashing when going out (97,7%) and upon returning after one went out (98,0%) was also important practices to most respondents.

Furthermore, (96,8%) of respondents indicated that they did not get tested since they were of the opinion that they did not have COVID-19. Of those respondents who suspected that they might have been infected by COVID-19, three-quarters (75,8%) did not get tested either. 7,8% said they did not know where to get tested, whilst 6,8% indicated that they either did not have money to get tested; or did not have transport or money for transport (1,4%) to get to the testing facility.

The findings shows that knowledge about the main signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 virus is almost universal, and knowledge about the two main means of transmission of the COVID-19 virus is also high.

The majority of respondents (93,7%) indicated that they or their household members did not need to access health care, while 4,5% responded that they or a household member needed to access health care but had been unable to do so. Those who wanted to but could not access health care, indicated that they could not do so because they were scared of contracting the COVID-19 virus (54,1%), and 25,5% were scared that they might get arrested or fined for being outside their houses.

14,3% of respondents had a chronic condition. Of these, 7,8% of respondents indicated that they were not able to access their chronic medication. The largest share of this group (45%) indicated that they were scared they would be infected. An additional 37,5% were scared to leave the house because they feared being arrested and/or fined. Approximately one-fifth (17,5%) said that they did not have money to get to the pharmacy, clinic or health facility where they could obtain medicines

64,3% of respondents obtained information on COVID-19 using news outlets. Social media (including Facebook, Instagram and others) was the second most frequently used means of obtaining information on both current public health measures as well as COVID-19 (14,1% and 16,0%, respectively).

According to the findings on self-reported employment, two-thirds (69,1%) of respondents had a full-time job (receiving a monthly salary); 11,6% of respondents were self-employed, whilst 8,1% were unemployed

By far, most respondents (94,2%) were living in formal dwellings: either a free-standing house, townhouse or a cluster house (81,6%), or in a flat or apartment in a block of flats (12,6%). Less than one per cent (0,9%) lived in an informal dwelling.

 

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COVID-19: Personal Protective Equipment Before Treatment, Callous….Dr. Mamora

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The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, while responding to questions from media representatives at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press briefing held on 1st of May, 2020 has declared that if there is any truth in the claims that some health care facilities are demanding that patients should bring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before they can be treated, as “callous, illegal, unacceptable and condemnable.” Dr. Mamora said if the claim is found to be true, “We will pursue remedial measures for the patient.”

The Honourable Minister of State who blew hot against the claimed practice that some health care facilities are insisting that patients who are reporting for COVID-19 treatment must bring Personal Protection Equipment before they could access treatment, appealed to Nigerians to assist to furnish the Presidential Task Force and Federal Ministry of Health with exact culprits, “to enable us deal with them.”

“If it is taking place in our Federal Government Hospitals or in our Tertiary Hospitals or States Hospitals, wherever, we will take appropriate action”, Dr. Mamora emphatically declared. On the Medical Fact Finding Team despatched to Kano State at height of the unexplained deaths in the State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora declared that Federal Ministry of Health has an interim report. “We have an interim report. It was to enable us know the level of engagement with Kano State Government and the State’s COVID-19 Response Team.”

The Honourable Minister of State for Health also said the interim report got on Kano, will help the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to determine the level of engagement that should be in place with non-State actors – Faith based organizations, Civil Society Organizations, etc, even beyond COVID-19″. On what is being done with the interim report on Kano, Dr. Mamora disclosed that “We have assembled enough resources – human health resources and others to help Kano.

Laboratories which were hitherto shut down have been reopened. Even what you called verbal autopsy has been carried out, we have begun to strengthen all facilities on ground – testing kits, plans and equipment for isolation centres, PPE, ambulances, have been despatched to Kano.”

The Honourable Minister of State for Health further disclosed that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 would have been to Kano but for the demise of the father of the National Coordinator of the Interventionist body.

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Some states making false claims about Covid-19 infected persons – Northern Elders

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The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said some states have made false claims over the number of COVID-19 infected persons in order to attract attention and get huge amount of money from Federal Government.
Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Convener of the forum in a statement on Thursday, in Kaduna, said with the little resources available, the country can turn around its fortune of this nation in transparent and professional manner, but some states were playing politics of number with the current situation with a view to divert attention.
He added that what the country needed at the moment were good policies and facilities that would protect the citizenry.
The statement reads in part, “The forum regrets the appearance of attempts by many state governments to play politics with numbers for what appears to be expectations that more funds from Federal Government and foreign donors will be allocated to them.
“It is public knowledge that what the entire nation needs are good policies that protect all Nigerians; equipment and facilities for testing and treatment and resources to support people who will find it hard to stay at home without some palliatives during lockdowns.
“The forum acknowledges the assistance, in funds and equipment, from the international community. These gestures of support for our efforts at a time when they face their own problems are particularly appreciated, and it is important that our governments put them to prompt and effective use.
“The Forum similarly appreciates the tremendous assistance of Nigerian individuals and corporate bodies in this fight.
“We hope that all governments will utilise the vast assets in expertise, goodwill and integrity available in the private sector and professional groups and individuals in the country and involve them in all stages in the fight against this pandemic.
“These requirements can be met with resources currently available, but they need to be put at the service of the public in a transparent and professional manner.
“Policies that waste progress in some parts of the country and others which trample on the rights of vulnerable groups must be discouraged. States should adopt policies that suit their peculiarities, but the nation as a whole must agree on, and implement basic policies that protect the entire population,” it said.
“In particular, we commend the decision to deploy a strong medical team to, among others, verify the causes of many deaths that are being popularly attributed to the pandemic as well as assist the government of Kano State to improve its facilities, investigations and treatment of suspected infections and those who are infected.
“We cannot overemphasise the need for government of Kano State to take steps to regain confidence and support of the citizens of the state; to open its medical assets and give medical personnel the protection and confidence and other resources they need, and support the population to stay at home and observe other regulations with material support.
“Government of Kano State also needs to improve its strategic communication strategies. These will include higher levels of openness with regard to causes of recent deaths and more effective means of convincing the public over the realities of the dangers we all face,” the forum said

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NBA in Ekiti petition CP over planned sitting of Federal High Court amid pandemic

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The Ekiti State chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has written to the Police Commissioner, urging the stoppage of sitting of any court in the State, in view of the lock down order of the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, which was occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Ado Ekiti NBA Chairman, Olakanmi Falade, in a letter dated April 29, 2020, said the call had become necessary in view of the rumoured plan by the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti to begin sitting tomorrow.

The NBA chairman urged the Police Commissioner “to put a stop to any court sitting, until when the government deems it fit to reopen the court and suspends the lockdown.”

The letter read; “I have information from a reliable source that the Federal High Court sitting in Ekiti State wants to commence sitting tomorrow despite the lockdown order which is an executive order of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ekiti state.

“It is a known fact that as lawyers, we have been unable to access the courts for over a month now in respect to the order of the Executive Governor and to avoid spread of the virus.

“Let me believe that it’s a rumour, but no matter how unauthentic a rumour is, there are elements of truth therein. As lawyers, we have retired tour houses in respect to the government order and for the safety of our lives.

“To my mind, it will be a great catastrophe, God forbid, that after all the months of staying at home, the order is disobeyed and lawyers in a rush move to the court tomorrow and any unplanned news is occasioned.

“For the posterity and lives of lawyers in Ekiti, and those already on their way traveling into the State, we urge you to put to put a stop to any court sitting, until when the government deems it fit to reopen the court and suspends the lockdown.

“What urgency can be more than the protection of lives?

“I urge you sir to use your good office to protect the lives of lawyers in Ekiti and those planning to attend court sitting.”

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