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  1. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information has said the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC is one of the two things responsible for surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. The minister said those disobeying COVID-19 safety protocols should be blamed for the increase in COVID-19 cases in NYSC camps across the nation. Mohammed also claimed that more positive COVID-19 cases were reported in Nigeria recently because the federal government had increased COVID-19 testing. “Two things are responsible for the high cases of pandemic reported at the National Youth Service Corps camps. One is because of consistent testing that has been taking place in NYSC camps. “The second reason for the high cases is that Nigerians have actually let down their guards,” the Minister said. Lai Mohammed added that Nigerians no longer observe precautionary measures such as spcial distancing, washing and sanitising of hands regularly.
  2. The Federal government has so far spent N502.3 billion to stabilize the economy after being hit by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, the countries Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, revealed. The Sun reports that s hemade the disclosure while speaking at the national dialogue on COVID-19 economic impact and assessment of national and states’ recovery plans and policy options in Abuja on Tuesday, August 10. According to the Minister, Nigeria was deeply affected by the pandemic because it was recovering from recession before COVID-19 led to an all-time fall of crude oil prices being the economic pillar of the country. According to Ahmed, the key interventions the N502 billion was used for include: the establishment of an N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; the creation of a Special Public Works Programme to employ 774,000 people, among others. “You know that in the 2020 budget, N500 billion was appropriated and it was fully funded. But apart from that, we also have the economic sustainability plan totaling N2.3 billion in the form of intervention funds from the CBN, which means loans are given to the private sector and they pay back later.” she said Mrs Ahmed, however, disclosed that lessons were learned from the pandemic, especially the urgent need to fix the challenges of the health sector. According to her, the various challenges plaguing the health sector propelled the incumbent to pursue proactive and people-oriented policies with an emphasis on human capital development and providing critical infrastructure for the well-being of Nigerians.
  3. About 17 corps members deployed in Edo State, who showed Covid-19 symptoms have been admitted to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Osagie Ebomwonyi, has disclosed. Ebomwonyi, who spoke while in company with Governor Godwin Obaseki during an inspection tour of the state’s infectious disease isolation centre at the hospital in Benin, stated that even though the cases were unvaccinated, they were undertaking studies and analysis to find out if there was Delta variant in the state. A personal assistant to the state coordinator of the youth scheme, Mr. Ozeto Waheed, said the 17 corps members serving in the state were currently receiving treatment, noting that they were mobilised to serve in the state. “When prospective corps members report, they are expected to be tested at the gate and anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is usually taken to the isolation centre for further confirmation,” he added. Obaseki, however, expressed the government’s readiness to deal effectively with the Delta variant of coronavirus, noting that there had been no confirmed case of the deadly variant of the virus in the state.
  4. 200,000 Nigerians are set to receive cash from the Federal Government. The beneficiaries are urban poor senior citizens that do not have access to regular income and are impacted by COVID-19. Iorwa Apera, Coordinator, National Social Safety Net Programme, made the announcement on Monday in Abuja. The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management official said identified citizens were authenticated by their respective communities. Apera noted that 4 percent of 35 million poor and vulnerable persons in the national register in 36 states and the FCT were elderly persons. Two million individuals, categorised as senior citizens, were aggregated by location, education, age, status, disability and sex.
  5. Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu has urged Nigerians not to believe that COVID-19 has been eradicated in the country. Ihekweazu made this known on Saturday at a live webinar for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) 2021 Batch B members. The programme was tagged: “Protecting the health of the Nigerian youth – sustaining safe NYSC orientation camps.” The programme was initiated to provide enlightenment on the measures put in place to ensure safe reopening of NYSC orientation camps. Ihekweazu called for collaboration with corps members to ensure sustenance of the measures. He said: “The mistake we can all make is to think the #COVID19 virus has gone away. “Corps members have to work collaboratively with us to sustain the goals we have made in mitigating the risk of transmission in orientation camps.”
  6. A deadly COVID-19 variant which is easily transmissible has been confirmed in Nigeria by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The variant is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. According to a statement released by NCDC’S head of Communications, Dr. Yahya Disu, says the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant was detected in a traveler to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja. ”The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries. The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics. 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 statement further read Disu said given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, the NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place. He said proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, 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. ”Additionally, states are urged to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public. 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.” the statement further reads
  7. Indian doctors have urged people not to cover themselves in cow dung and urine as a treatment for Covid, saying it risks spreading the disease faster. Medics spoke out after it emerged that Hindus in western Gujarat state have been visiting cow shelters once a week to douse themselves in excrement, which is then washed off with milk. They believe feces from a cow - a holy animal to Hindus - will boost their immune systems, helping to both prevent and cure Covid. But Dr JA Jayalal, president of the Indian Medical Association, warned the 'cure' doesn't work and may actually help to spread the virus as often-sick people gather in groups to undergo the treatment. Some Indians have turned to unproven 'cures' for Covid as the virus runs rampant in the country and proven treatments - such as oxygen and vaccines - run in desperately short supply. Medics in rural parts of Maharashtra state warned that patients are being brought to them with marks from hot irons held against their skin by witch doctors in an attempt to drive the virus out. Others are coming to shelters such as Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu monks near Ahmedabad, to undergo cow dung 'therapy'. The shelter is located just across the road from the headquarters of Zydus Cadila, which is developing its own COVID-19 vaccine. Gautam Manilal Borisa, a manager at a pharmaceuticals company and frequent visitor, insisted to reporters that bathing in cow dung had cured him of Covid when he caught the virus last year. medics in rural parts of Maharashtra state warned that patients are being brought to them with marks from hot irons held against their skin by witch doctors in an attempt to drive the virus out. Others are coming to shelters such as Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu monks near Ahmedabad, to undergo cow dung 'therapy'. The shelter is located just across the road from the headquarters of Zydus Cadila, which is developing its own COVID-19 vaccine. Gautam Manilal Borisa, a manager at a pharmaceuticals company and frequent visitor, insisted to reporters that bathing in cow dung had cured him of Covid when he caught the virus last year. 'We see ... even doctors come here. Their belief is that this therapy improves their immunity and they can go and tend to patients with no fear,' he said. Believes mix both cow dung and urine - which has been used in Hindu rituals for centuries for its supposed therapeutic and antiseptic properties - and then cover their bodies in the mixture. As participants wait for the dung and urine mixture on their bodies to dry, they hug or honour the cows at the shelter, and practice yoga to boost energy levels. The packs are then washed off with milk or buttermilk. 'There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief,' said Dr Jayalal as he urged people not to visit such centres. 'There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products - other diseases can spread from the animal to humans.' Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9565321/India-Covid-Doctors-warn-against-using-COW-DUNG-cure-virus.html
  8. For Applicants who are trying to apply for the NMFB CBN Covid-19 TCF loan but couldn't because of an invalid BVN issue or other technical downtime being experienced on the portal due to third-party validation services pertaining to loan application, we have good news for you. We have compiled these tips to help you on How you can successfully apply for the COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility Loan for Nigerians! Read on. For Applicants applying for the household loan visit https://nmfbloans.nmfb.com.ng/covid19tcfhousehold For Applicants applying for microenterprises or SMEs loan visit https://nmfbloans.nmfb.com.ng/covid19tcfsme Click on “NEW” and then click on next. Your application reference number will pop up, kindly write it down or screenshot it. It will be required when you try to login to check the progress of your application. Then click on continue to proceed and then NEXT. The new page will request you to fill in your personal information, this includes, your bvn, names, state of origin, etc. Note, do not fill your bvn immediately. Kindly fill in your state of residence, enter your email, confirm your email, enter your marital status, phone number and then answer the rest of the questions you are allowed to answer. At this stage, you will notice you cant still edit your name, gender, and state of birth, kindly ignore and go ahead and fill in your bvn. Your bvn should be the last section to fill. In more clear terms ” Answer all the questions u were given access to. Then input your BVN and press next on your keyboard. This will boot the BVN and once your BVN is verified, all those columns which u couldn't access will automatically fill themselves”. Then click next to continue, if the page doesn’t move further, reload the page and try these steps again, but I am totally sure it will move to the next step. According to NMFB management, the Bank and its partners are working relentlessly to ensure that the technical downtime is resolved within the shortest time possible.
  9. Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a stimulus package loan to support households and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later stopped, but now it has been reopened. Households, families, SME’s who have been affected by the economic harshness, who have not applied for the Loan before can apply now. Requirements For SME Registered business with CAC BVN Acceptable Type of Business For SME’s Agricultural value chain activities, Manufacturing & Cottage Industries, Artisans, Services, Trade and general commerce, Renewable energy or energy-efficient products and technologies, and Any other income-generating projects as may be prescribed by the CBN. How to Apply First thing is to go to the Nirsal site and apply here https://nmfbloans.nmfb.com.ng/nmfbloanapplicationportal >>Once it opens, Under covid 19 Loan, Click on the Apply button under the COVID-19 TCF. >>Choose “Household Loan” or “SME Loan” depending on your choice. With CAC and TIN, you can get up to N2.5 million and those without CAC and TIN can get between N50,000 and N1million. >>Next step choose New if you are just applying >>Copy your Reference Number number generated >>Enter your BVN and it will automatically update your details. Carefully fill in the rest of the details and click on the Next button. Upon successful registration, you should get a success message. Those who don’t have CAC or TIN can apply for a Household loan. The portal is currently open, apply before it will be crowded.
  10. Nigerians have reacted after Austrian government suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following the death of one person and the illness of another after taking the shots. Although the cause of death and Illness are yet to be ascertain by the Australian authorities, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended while investigations are been carried out. This came after the European Union regulators at the end of January approved the product, saying it was effective and safe to use, while the World Health Organization listed the product for emergency use. Also, AstraZeneca is reportedly in contact with Austrian authorities and is fully support the investigation. Following the ongoing reports, Nigerians are currently talking about the vaccine since some health workers. Also President Buhari and his Vice President Osibanjo have already taken the AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, March 6. See some of the reactions from Nigerians following the new report of death in Australia.
  11. Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has received his own jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, Igbere TV reports. This comes immediately after the President was given his own shot also on live TV. This development comes after some frontline health workers were vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. In one of the videos obtained by Igbere TV, Buhari can be seen peeping from behind the doctor as his Vice is given the vaccine.
  12. President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday morning is seen on live video as he is set to receive his COVID-19 Vaccine, His Vice, Yemi Osinbajo is also expected to receive his own COVID-19 vaccine after the President. Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, at the second edition of the State House weekly briefing, had announced that the duo will be taking their vaccines today. The briefing focused on the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and Nigeria’s response to the pandemic, in the last one year. According to the NPHCDA boss, Buhari and Osinbajo will receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after some frontline health workers are vaccinated on Friday.
  13. Former Nigeria President, Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday disclosed that he once tested positive to the deadly Coronavirus. He, however, revealed that he was relieved 3 days later after subsequent test came out negative. The former president said he was a bit concerned that he had to call his daughter that he was not feeling any symptoms but report from samples taken from him reads that he was positive. He made this known at a colloquium to celebrate his 84th birthday in Abeokuta on Friday. Obasanjo said his daughter, Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello revealed to him that the result might be faulty and required him to do further testing which returned negative 3 days after.
  14. #Covid19Vaccine National Immunisation rollout begins as Nigerians join others in the global community to be vaccinated against the dreaded COVID-19 virus. The First Nigerian who Received the first dose of the vaccine is one of the foremost frontline Medical Doctors in the fight against COVID-19 is Dr. Ngong Cyprian, followed by Nurse Faith E. Eragbai, Dr. Nuru Joseph, and Dr. Thairu Yunusa. The vaccination campaign kicks off today 5th March 2021 will be in four phases According to NPHCDA Nigeria and will align with the planned arrival of vaccines in batches. Each phase targets a specific segment of the eligible population ensures equity in vaccine deployment. Before the kick-off of the covid-19 vaccination today, FG Unveiled how Nigerians can Register For the Covid-19 Vaccination. Read it here How To Register For Covid-19 Vaccination In Nigeria
  15. President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday, be among the key national figures to receive the first jabs of Oxford Astra-Zeneca COVID- 19 vaccine scheduled to arrive Abuja Tuesday. The Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib revealed this Monday at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing to unveil the National vaccine roll-out plan. It was gathered that the vaccine will only be administered on the President after a few vials of it are handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFCAC), for analysis over a period of two days- Wednesday and Thursday- after the ceremonies to mark the arrival of the vaccines . Shuaib said that after the vaccination of the President and the Vice President and sequel to the clearance by NAFDAC, the PTF, Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA, the first national vaccination site will be set up at the treatment center of the National Hospital in Abuja on Friday, March 5, 2021, to commence the vaccination of the frontline health workers and support staff. The health workers would also be electronically registered in the COVID-19 vaccine database and would receive their COVID-19 vaccination card which has a QR code that can be verified worldwide. President Buhari is expected to grace the occasion. Afterward, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police, the Federal Ministers, Senators, House of Representatives members, traditional leaders and religious leaders would be vaccinated on March 8, at the vaccination sites to be set up at designated locations, including National Assembly Clinic, State House Clinic and Federal Medical Centre, Jabi. “After this launch and initial roll-out phase, vaccine distribution to the States for the phase 1 vaccination process will begin. This phase is the vaccination of all frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders. Deployment of vaccines to the states would be based on the assessment of their level of preparedness. Some of the parameters that would be used for the assessment include adequate maintenance of their cold chain storage facilities, adequate preparation for logistic transportation to the ward/ health facility, adequate security in place during transportation and at vaccination sites, completion of training of health workers, efficient social mobilization activities in place, adherence to protocol for vaccine deployment,” Shuaib said. He added that in collaboration with CACOVID, plans were afoot for a cargo plane to transport the vaccines to the states by air while states without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road, using vans with fitted Cold Cabins, from the nearest airport. The vaccines are to be stored at the state cold stores, from where they will be transported by road to LGA cold stores. He also reiterated that soldiers and policemen will be deployed to protect the cold stores which are valuable national assets from being vandalized by looters. He noted once activities have commenced in the states, there would be strict monitoring of the vaccination by PTF, Ministry of Health, NPHCDA and independent bodies such as EFCC, DSS, ICPC, and Civil Society Organisations, warning that states/health facilities and health workers that are identified as defaulting from the standard protocol and guidelines for this phase of vaccination would be sanctioned. He stated that the National team would be ready for the arrival of the next batch of vaccines from Harvard facility which is the African Vaccine Action team, a combination AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, for the phase two of vaccination, to involve the elderly from 50 years and above, across all 36 States and the FCT. The phase 3 vaccination process involves vaccination of those between 18 – 49years with co-morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, lung disease, other heart disease, liver or renal disease, etc) while phase 4 vaccination process would involve vaccination of the rest of the eligible population between the ages 18 – 49years. The NPHCDA Executive Director urged all eligible Nigerians aged 18 years and above to be patient as they will eventually, be vaccinated as the vaccines arrive in batches due to limited supply. Also speaking at the briefing the Chairman PTF, Mr Boss Mustapha, assured that vaccines coming to Nigeria are safe and efficacious. He also noted that while the development of vaccines was a ray of hope and a welcome development, vaccines alone cannot be a solution. He also offered deep condolences to the families and associates of all those that have lost their lives to the virus, stating the memory of the loss of lives remains sobering and will continue to propel the nation in the battle to overcome the pandemic.
  16. “Getting tested despite my obvious symptoms was very difficult. It was as though the testing equipment were being hoarded just as they did with the palliative. “It was no longer free. And I didn’t have the amount demanded by the laboratories I went to. “After calling the state helpline, I did not get a response and I needed the results presented at the office to obtain a sick leave…”, Yetunde, a COVID-19 survivor narrates her experience in an exclusive interview with 9jaonline. The novel coronavirus first hit Nigeria in February 2020, with the first case being that of an Italian citizen who traveled back to Nigeria from Milan, Italy on the 25th. According to the official report issued by the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), the index patient was quarantined at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos after displaying mild symptoms upon confirmation of the diagnosis on the 27th. The Federal Ministry of Health immediately swung into action as a public message was passed to Nigerians stating that precautionary measures be adhered to in order to contain the spread of the virus. These include frequent washing of hands in the absence of hand sanitizers, wearing a face mask in public, and observing physical/social distancing. In response to COVID-19, governments around the world, including Nigeria, adopted lockdown measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. As expected, these measures were generally unfavourable to businesses and livelihoods. Nigeria is yet to recover from the blows to its already faltering and largely informal economy. Second Wave The end of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the mass #EndSARS protests in major cities – including Lagos and Abuja – across the country. This period saw Nigerians troop out in large numbers to protest against police brutality without fear of the virus. And, despite the government’s warnings and pleas that the large gatherings at protest grounds would result in mass infections, the protests continued with an apparently greater aim on the minds of the protesters – an end to the injustice meted out by inhumane officers meant to protect lives and property. Shortly after the protests came to an end, many Nigerians returned to their daily activities with sober minds considering the destruction that characterized the last phases of the demonstrations. The immediate concern at the time was no longer containing the spread of the virus but finding succour for the loss of lives and property. Hence, citizens threw caution to the winds and relaxed on adhering to the preventive measures as they went about without nose masks in public. Physical distancing soon became a thing of the past as public transport vehicles could be seen carrying above the stipulated number of passengers. Frequent handwashing also stopped. This continued until the number of positive cases began to increase exponentially and health care workers were left with no choice but to raise alarm and resume the awareness both offline and online. They also made a shocking revelation: the virus is not just being spread at a faster rate during the second-wave but it is also killing infected persons at a much quicker rate. A survivor who did not believe in the existence of the virus until she experienced the harrowing symptoms revealed that it was an experience she does not wish upon anyone else, not even her enemies. She simply identified herself as Yetunde and went on to explain the difficulty in accessing test kits despite her frequent trips to the nearest private medical centre. According to her, “getting tested despite my obvious symptoms was very difficult. It was as though the testing equipment were being hoarded just as they did with the palliative. “It was no longer free. And I didn’t have the amount demanded by the laboratories I went to. “After calling the state helpline, I did not get a response and I needed the results presented at the office to obtain a sick leave.” “I had to use the herbs at my disposal. My mum was of great help to me. She gave me local herbs to drink – I can’t even remember what she called them. I also tried to stay away from the AC despite my love for being in a cold environment. “It was hard to breathe or even eat because I couldn’t taste anything. I thought I was going to die. My fears also increased when I heard that the oxygen ventilators were not enough to go round for all patients.” She finally advised Nigerians to stay away from crowded areas. “Don’t go out if it is not absolutely necessary. If you must, wear a mask, please! COVID-19 is real. Don’t play with your life. The second wave is here and it is dangerous.” Shortage of Oxygen Plants Popular online doctor, Dr Funmilayo, raised an alarm about the dangers of the second wave of the pandemic. He wrote on his Twitter page: “Yesterday 23 people died in Nigeria from Covid-19. That’s the highest we had since 2020. On June 16 2020, we had 21 deaths and yesterday is the first time after 7 months we broke that 24 hour death record. The second wave is officially here. Don’t downplay this virus. I beg you.” His tweet is in light of the public opinion that the virus is not real. However, the blatant flouting of COVID-19 preventive measures by many Nigerians indicates that although they are aware of the virus, they do not care due to the circulating claims of herd immunity. However, the increasing numbers and higher mortality rate that do not seem to scare the general public is a source of worry for health care workers who are privy to the dangers of the second wave. A health care worker who pleaded anonymity said there is a shortage of oxygen at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). She said: “Lagos is in trouble now. The spike in cases is overwhelming the system. The B blocks closed in LUTH after the first wave, has now been reopened. “Do you know that they are now full of COVID-19 patients struggling for their lives? “Oxygen is now in short supply. Provision of oxygen to the patients is critical to staying alive. “As I’m speaking to you right now, all non-emergencies in LUTH have been suspended and all resources are channelled to COVID-19 care”, she added. Another COVID-19 survivor who shared her horrendous experience with 9jaonline said she didn’t know she had the virus and thought it was just malaria. “I was at work when I started feeling very feverish. It felt unusual because I’m an AC freak and the temperature wasn’t cold enough for me to be feeling feverish. It continued even after I turned off the AC. “Then, I began to feel extremely weak and had no other choice than to go home. I took a malaria drug for that day. The whole thing died down and I became better.” She continued: “Three, four days later I noticed I lost my smell and I couldn’t taste. I was also always out of breath. My mum made me believe it was the side effect of the malaria drug I took. “I believed her not until my friend who is a doctor said it’s obvious I had Covid-19. The mere thought of not being able to smell drove me nuts. I couldn’t climb the stairs without being out of breath.” Asked if she self-isolated during the period, she said: “I didn’t stay at home throughout. My boss didn’t want to believe I had Covid. I wasn’t coughing and sneezing – at least not too often. “I didn’t go to the hospital. But I went to the pharmacy, and I was given a very strong Typhoid drug which I had to take for just one day. I spent N13,000 on malaria and typhoid drugs.” “COVID-19 is real! I have a friend who about 30 of his colleagues tested positive for COVID. I also have another friend who is presently battling for her life – breathing is really a big problem for her. COVID-19 is real; the second wave is more real and dangerous.” It has also been reported that the second wave presents more dangers for Nigerians because of the new variant discovered. This more dangerous and deadly variant was found in two patient samples collected on the 3rd of August and on the 9th of October in Osun state, says a working research paper seen by The Associated Press. With over a hundred thousand overall cases in Nigeria and over 20,000 new cases between January 4 and 17 alone, the second wave indeed calls for more attention and caution.
  17. Edo State Government has announced that secondary schools in three local government areas of the state are to run two shifts. The State Government explained that this is to ensure strict adherence to the state’s guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Stella-Maris Imasuen made this known in a statement. She noted that the directive was in line with the earlier announcement by the Edo State Government on the resumption of schools on Monday, February 1, 2021. The local governments affected by the directive include Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, and Egor LGAs, which she stated are students’ densely populated areas. Imasuen disclosed that for the three LGAs, Junior Secondary School students are to resume 8am in the morning, while Senior Secondary School students will resume by 12:30pm.
  18. The Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) has confirmed that its Director of Academic Planning, Mr. M.A.O Omoighe, has died following complications from COVID-19. Omoighe reportedly died on a Sunday, January 24, 2021 at an undisclosed hospital. The institution’s board ordered all lectures to now be delivered online, while students are to vacate their hostels latest by Thursday. All members of staff in the Academic Planning Unit were also ordered to go on self-isolation for two weeks. The medical centre was also ordered to be shut for two weeks while those who may have had direct contacts with the deceased were told to undergo COVID-19 test and proceed on self-isolation
  19. How Nigerians Will Be Enrolled For FG Covid-19 N5000 Rapid Response Register (RRR) Scheme. The Rapid Response Register is an intervention by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to identify and document the urban and semi-urban poor who have lost their income streams and consequently become poorer from the harsh economic impact of Covid-19. The Register is being built nationwide as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP) to target those in this category of non-traditional poor in urban and high-density locations and/or slums where the pandemic has affected economic life. Individuals/households in the Rapid Response Register will be paid N5000 monthly for at least six months under an expanded Cash Transfer Programme of the Federal Government. This will boost their consumption and help to build resilience. Identifying The Urban Poor For The Covid Rapid Response Register To identify Nigerians who have been made poorer in Urban and semi-urban areas for registration, geographical satellite remote sensing technology to locate urban poor wards and high-density settlements is deployed. Targeting and enrolment of affected individuals will be done using cellphone short messaging service (SMS) technology that allows residents of identified communities register to be assisted by following simple steps via USSD codes. This technology approach is integrated with the National Living Standard Survey assessments and will be complemented by existing databases of NGOs, local self help-support groups and neighborhood structures in the communities. Mobile phone numbers of applicants validated and deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive N5000 monthly stipends. This is one of different ways the Government of Nigeria is spreading safety nets to address Covid-19 shocks. Around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many already poor and struggling people deeper into poverty. The economic impact of the pandemic has disrupted livelihoods, hurt businesses and in some situations halted incomes.
  20. Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has approved January 25 as the resumption date for tertiary institutions in the state. This was made known in a statement on Sunday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Phoebe Yayi. Phoebe Yayi stated that the new approval coming after the government had assessed all tertiary institutions in the state to ensure their level of preparedness and plans for reopening. She disclosed that the COVID-19 assessment team confirmed full compliance with the state’s COVID-19 preventive protocols and for safe learning environment against the pandemic. The permanent secretary appealed to managements of all the tertiary institutions to ensure strict adherence to all the guidelines and protocols put in place by the state government. “Resumption by all tertiary institutions will be in phases, as provided by the institutions and according to their academic levels and subject to their compliance with the guidelines in place. “Unscheduled monitoring visits to schools across the state will be conducted by the task force team to ensure continuous compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines,” she added.
  21. The Nigerian Correctional Service in Kaduna State has dismissed accusation that Zeenat, the wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky tested positive for COVID-19. The statement followed calls from the IMN for the release of Zeenat El-Zakzaky after her son announced she has tested positive for the disease. Reacting to the allegation, the comptroller of the facility, Ibrahim Maradun, stated that he was yet to receive the test result after a sample was taken from the woman on Wednesday by officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). “As far as I am concerned, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) officials took her sample on Wednesday around 5 p.m. and I am yet to receive the result,” Mr Maradun said. “She has been in isolation since that day. Her personal physician has been seeing her from time to time in the company of the doctors representing the state and the correctional service.”
  22. Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi has warned Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to tread with caution, over his recent statement suggesting that the COVID-19 vaccines are being introduced to kill the masses. Recall that Governor Bello in a recent address stated that the COVID-19 vaccines being produced in less than one year are used to introduce new diseases that will kill many. Reacting to Bello’s claim, Governor Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, appealed to his Kogi counterpart, urging him not to risk the lives of the citizens. He made this appeal during an interview on Channels Television Politics Today program on Thursday evening. Fayemi expressed that while the Kogi State Governor has a right to his reservations, the most appropriate to respond to a matter of such import is not to be dismissive. Fayemi also stated that the consensus at the level of the Nigerian Governors Forum believes that COVID-19 is real. He also added that there is a need to respond to the challenges that have emanated from the pandemic.
  23. Dubai has ordered the suspension of hotels, hospitals and other entertainment activities as the records daily increase in coronavirus UAE. In a circular released online, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing called for a temporary hold to all entertainment activities from Jan. 21 until further notice due to the increase number of violations following inspections of activities. In the statement, the health authority also asked government and private hospitals to suspend “all elective therapeutic surgeries that require deep sedation or general anesthesia,” According to the circular published on Thursday, January 20, the order were given to ensure medical facilities have the capacity to deal with a possible surge in hospitalization, comes into effect from midnight on Thursday until Feb. 19 and could be extended. There has been a rise in infections as tourists escaped lockdowns across Europe for the country’s sunny weather and beaches during the winter, Bloomberg reports. The country has reported about 264,000 infections and 762 deaths so far. There has been an extensive vaccination campaign as the country’s economy relies on travel and tourism.
  24. “The crowd is too much and most of the centers are not observing the Covid-19 guidelines, we need a longer period to achieve the registration of NIN and SIM because of the pandemic”, a male applicant, Kenneth Wagap Dayil, laments over the mandatory registration of the Nation Identification Number, NIN in Lagos enrolment centres. The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) had directed all telecommunications operators to deactivate all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that are not duly linked with the valid National Identification Numbers, causing panic among millions of people in the country. The directive was issued after the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami convened an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on December 15, 2020. This came a week after the government had put a stop to the sale, registration, and activation of any SIM cards as part of its audit of the country’s subscriber registration database. It is no longer news that Nigeria has the largest population in Africa. The current population of the country is estimated at over 208 million while the total number active of mobile lines has reached 198 million. The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has also tied the issuance of driver’s license, renewal, and other services to the possession of the National ID number. The country’s lead agency for road safety management disclosed that the provision of the National Identification Number (NIN) is now mandatory for the obtainment of a new driver’s license, renewal, and for all categories of vehicle registration, with effect from the second quarter of 2021. The introduction of this new policy by the agency is in full compliance with the directives of the Federal Government on the harmonization of citizen’s data. Clueless and visionless government? Following the directive given by the government, a number of Mobile subscribers flocked to the nearest National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices to get enrolled. The situation raised eyebrows as some people expressed their displeasure on social media over the time allotted for the process. After much persuasion, the NCC caved in by extending the deadline by three weeks for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021; and six weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021. Picture of the crowd at NIMC office in Alausa, Lagos In December 2020, there was a multitude of people at NIMC office and this became a cause for concern due to the exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases. Pictures circulating on social media showed tightly-packed people at the office of the NIMC in Alausa, Lagos, and Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. 9jaonline observed that the crowds at the locations flouted the COVID-19 protocols by not observing the social distancing and using their face masks. For this reason, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) closed down its center in Lagos state. The government is inept to manage these situations as it seems COVID-19 cases are likely to rise. When asked if the government was encouraging the spread of COVID-19 through SIM card registration, interviewees gave affirmative responses. Most shared their sentiments on the sheer callousness of the authorities for putting citizens’ lives at risk. Agboola Olawale Oladunsi stated that the federal government is facilitating the spread of the virus out of ignorance. “The federal government is behind the spread of COVID 19 due to ignorance. They should be responsible for the increase in the number of cases in the country. “Other countries are looking for ways to contain the spread of the virus but the Nigerian Government is forcing citizens to register for NIN, despite the pandemic, and they are not even prepared for the second wave.” Sandra Nwanne also condemned the government over their latest directive amid the ravaging pandemic. “The government is curbing the virus and at the same time fueling and encouraging the spread. Clueless and visionless government. “This is just another mindless decision they choose to take at a very delicate time like this,” she said. Ebere Oforjimba advised that the exercise be done online to avoid the mammoth crowd. “Please let this exercise be done online from our phones and laptops. What is the sense in bringing thousands of people together in one place amid the pandemic?” she responded. Sunny Bright Ogbonna asked if it possible for a platform to be created so that lives can be made easy. In his words; “Why can’t the government create a platform where one can register easy and simple instead of this punishment?” Eseoghene London mentioned that even if the government gives people one year to complete the process, it would not be possible due to the fact that they are ill-prepared. “If they give one year to do that they can’t finish all because their working material is very very poor. The telecommunications operators will be the ones to suffer if all the numbers are blocked. People need to fend for themselves so they cannot spend their entire day at the center.” Prince Taiwo Adeji suggested the process should be discontinued. Adeji said; “I will suggest the process should be halted but if that is not possible then the individuals-in-charge need to be assisted by employing more hands. This will go a long way in ensuring that the COVID-19 is contained.” Why NIN? The Federal Government’s latest move to make sure that every Nigerian acquires a National Identification Number (NIN) has piqued the interest of people. The government explained that the NIN is compulsory because it basically binds every recorded information about an individual such as demographic data, fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture, other bio-metric data, and digital signature, thus, any one can easily be identified when he or she engages in transactions. In clear terms, the national ID number serves as a tracking device. Millions of registered mobile users do not have the national ID number. However, they have other means of identification such as Bank verification number (BVN), drivers’ license, and international passport. Many had hoped that they would not have to go through the stress of obtaining the national ID number since one had been generated for them with their Bank Verification Number (BVN). The federal government had their hopes shattered after invalidating SIM integration using BVN generated NIN as they insisted that applicants must visit NIMC offices for complete registration. The agency explained that national ID number generated by the BVN can only be used after it has been updated at the NIMC enrollment center. Hence, the process is unavoidable. Nigeria has confirmed over 108, 943 at the time of filing this report. Major cities affected by the outbreak are Lagos, Abuja, Plateau, Rivers, and Kaduna. Some hospitals are having a hard time accommodating critically ill patients coupled with the fact that there is shortage of oxygen gas cylinders. The death toll in the country is over 1,435.
  25. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to stop relying on imported COVID-19 vaccines. The body advised the federal government to encourage universities and research institutes to find treatment. Dipo Akomolafe, ASUU Chairman, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH) spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday. “If our universities and research institutes are mobilised and encouraged by the Federal Government, they will find a solution to the scourge of coronavirus,” he said. The union leader stressed that the closure of schools to curb COVID-19 spread was not the solution. He told the authorities to ensure provisions of facilities in schools to enable them function safely. “From the presentation of the government so far, most deaths recorded were from the ages of 60 above and the range of youths was not much. The closure of schools over COVID-19 is not the option,” he added.
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