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COVID-19: WORK FROM HOME, SANWO-OLU DIRECTS CIVIL SERVANTS FROM LEVEL 1 TO 12

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…Workers On Essential Services Must Not Leave Duty Posts

…Governor Urges Private Companies To Take Similar Measures

 

Lagos State has introduced more preventive measures to break the cycle of transmission of the novel coronavirus among residents.

 

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, directed the State’s civil servants from Grade Level 1 to 12 to stay off office for 14 days.

 

They are to work from their homes, the Governor said at a press conference held at Lagos House in Marina.

 

The latest directive came two days after the State Government shut down schools and suspended public gatherings of more than fifty persons.

 

The measure followed confirmation of additional coronavirus cases across the nation on Sunday, with three more confirmed in Lagos.

 

Sanwo-Olu said the stay-at-home directive did not affect the civil servants on essential duties and first responders whose levels fall in the cadres.

 

He said: “I am hereby directing that all public officers in the entire unified public service from Grade Level 1 to 12, which constitute about 70 per cent of our entire public workforce should stay at home from March 23, 2020 and this will last for 14 days in the first instance.

 

“We will review this measure as time goes on. Members of the public are advised to refrain visiting any of our public offices. They are to transact any businesses as it is possible on the phone or online channels. This stay-at-home order does not affect our first responders. Medical personnel, fire fighters, members of emergency services, those in waste management operations and all those on essential services are meant to still be at their duty posts.”

 

The Governor pleaded with private companies across the State to employ similar measures in curtailing the spread of the virus, urging them to allow non-essential staff to stay off duties for the same period.

 

He said the Government was not unaware of the economic impact that had attended the outbreak of COVID-19 in the State, promising that his administration was ready to cushion the effects on the vulnerable residents.

 

Sanwo-Olu, however, frowned at non-compliance to social distancing order by some organisations, including religious houses, stressing that disobedience to the Government’s measures may aggravate the spread of the virus.

 

The Governor said law enforcement agencies would be embarking actions that would drive strict compliance to measures initiated by the State to protect members of the public.

 

He said: “I want to reiterate that the Government will frown at any organisation, whether public or private, that is not obeying this directive. The social distancing directive is not a religious matter; it is a matter of morality and civic responsibility. Times like this call for heightened commitment to doing the right thing. Our law enforcement agents are to ensure that there’s strict compliance to this important public health tips.”

 

Sanwo-Olu re-assured residents that there was no cause for panic, saying his administration remained fully prepared to work with the Federal Government and international healthcare agencies in containing the spread of disease in Lagos.

 

He said the treatment and eventual discharge of the index COVID-19 patient from Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba was a testimony to the commitment by the State Government to break the cycle of transmission of the virus.

 

As part of proactive steps being taken in the case of escalation in number of patients, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government had identified locations across five traditional divisions in Lagos to build isolation centres where patients can be treated.

 

He disclosed that other secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities in the State would be deployed to support the capacity of IDH in Yaba, adding that the Government had started to set up isolation centre in Gbagada General Hospital.

 

He said: “As part of our strategy to strengthen our efforts, more health workers are also being trained and we have put some of our retired nurses and doctors on notice, who will come to support health personnel who are working tirelessly at this time.

 

“We will not relent in our determination to battle this coronavirus to a standstill. We are sure that we will win this battle as we have always won in Lagos. With the cooperation of the people towards obeying the public health guidelines, I believe this epidemic will also pass by us in no time.”

#covid-19

 

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Health

UNICEF, WHO rally support for breastfeeding

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the  World Health Organisation (WHO) say that they are rallying supports for breastfeeding as the first pathway to preserving a  healthier planet.

The Nutritional Officer of  UNICEF in Ebonyi, Mr Cyprain Ogbonna,  gave the encouragement to people on Saturday in Abakaliki during an event to mark the starting of the  2020 celebration of World Breastfeeding week.

The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.

The event is marked every year between Aug. 1 and  Aug. 7 to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.

Ogbonna said that adequate breastfeeding had, over the years , prevented several childhood diseases and brought  lifelong positive benefits associated with child spacing.

He said  that other benefits include: risk reduction for some breast and ovarian cancers as well as hypertension.

He described breast milk as a nature-given-first food that needed to be preserved for its undebatable benefits to a mother and her baby.

He added that the milk was a critical part of a sustainable food system.

He said that it would be best to start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusively done for the  first six months of life, after which mothers should introduce  appropriate complementary foods to her baby for  two years and beyond.

He  stated that misuse of breast milk substitutes should be condemned.

He advised that breastfeeding should be maintained, but hygienically done during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Ogbonna said: “Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their child or children within 30 minutes of birth.

“While mothers doing exclusive breastfeeds go for the first six months of life.

“Also mother or caregiver timely introduces complementary feeding based on local food products at six months while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond,” he said.

Also, the Nutrition Manager of UNICEF in Enugu, Hanifa Namusoke, said that she had championed the cause in Ebonyi to increase the valve and improve the well being of mother and child.

Namusoke said in line with the theme, WHO and UNICEF called on governments to protect and promote a critical component of breastfeeding support.

“Breast milk is complete for a healthier planet and that is why WHO and UNICEF recommend optimal infant and young child feeding practices with emphasis on early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth,” Namusoke said.

NAN

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Covid-19: FCT Minister tasks health professionals on synergy

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The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Friday enjoined all health professionals to collaborate with each other to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bello gave the advice when a delegation from the FCT Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) paid a courtesy call on him in Abuja.

He noted that the successes recorded in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was largely due to the synergy between the various health professionals in the FCT.

Bello, therefore, urged them to continue to function as a unified team in the fight against COVID-19.

The minister commended the good works of all the health workers in the FCT especially for their efforts at combating the Coronavirus disease.

He pledged that the FCT Administration would continue to partner with the PSN as a large number of its members are staff of the FCTA who are also involved in the fight against the COVID-19.

Bello urged the PSN to forge a robust relationship with the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in order to reduce the menace of drug abuse among residents of the territory.

Earlier, Chairman of the FCT PSN, Mr Jelili Kilani, commended the FCTA for the support it has always rendered to the association.

Kilani emphasised the need for greater collaboration between the PSN and the FCTA.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PSN used the visit to donates Personal Protective Equipments, First Aid materials and hand hygiene products to the FCTA.

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Health

Africa records 30% increase in COVID-19 cases– WHO

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By Cecilia Ologunagba

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there has been 30 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the African Region in the past week.

WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, disclosed this in COVID-19 Situation Report posted on its official Twitter account @WHOAFRO on Thursday.

In external situation report number 19 issued on July 8, it stated that COVID-19 outbreak continued to grow in the WHO African Region.

It said the virus continued to grow since it was first detected in Algeria on 25 February, 2020.

“Since our last External Situation Report 18 issued on 1 July, 2020, a total of 91, 038 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (a 30 per cent increase) was reported from 45 countries.

“Of the 91, 038 reported new cases in the region, the majority 71 per cent (64, 646) were recorded in South Africa.

“South Africa remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region and the country is now among the top 15 most affected countries globally.

“South Africa has the cumulative number of cases (215, 855) exceeding that for Turkey (206, 844), Germany (196, 944) and France (159, 568), which previously reported the highest numbers.

“On 4 July 2020, the WHO African Region and South Africa recorded their highest daily case count of 13, 474 and 10 853, respectively.’’

Similarly, it said the WHO African Region and South Africa registered the highest daily death toll of 225 and 192, respectively, on 7 July 2020.

“During this period, five countries in the region observed the highest percentage increase in incidence cases.

“Lesotho recorded 237 per cent increase (from 27 to 91 cases), Namibia 166 per cent (from 203 to 539 cases) and Madagascar 57 per cent (from 2, 214 to 3, 472 cases).

“Also, Malawi recorded 48 per cent increased (from 1,265 to 1, 877 cases) and South Africa 43 per cent (from 151, 209 to 215, 855 cases).

“Equatorial Guinea and United Republic of Tanzania did not officially submit reports indicating any confirmed case.

“A total of 119 new health worker infections were recorded from three countries: Ghana (70), Malawi (38), South Sudan (7), Sierra Leone (2), Gambia (1) and Lesotho (1).

“Two countries: Gambia and Lesotho reported their first health worker infection this reporting period,’’ it stated.

In addition, it stated that from 1 to 7 July, 2020, 1, 221 new COVID-19 related deaths (20 per cent increase) were registered in 33 countries, with 845 (69 per cent) of the deaths recorded in South Africa

This was followed by Nigeria, with 79 (6.5 per cent) deaths and then Algeria with 56 (4.6 per cent) deaths.

The report further stated that currently, 33 (70 per cent) countries in the region were experiencing community transmission, seven (15 per cent) have clusters of cases and seven (15 per cent) have sporadic cases of COVID-19.

It stated that the region had also observed increased incidence of importation of cases from affected countries within the region, largely fueled by long-distance truck drivers and illicit movement through porous borders.

(NAN)

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