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Nigeria: 5.8 million COVID Infections Averted With 2020 Lockdown

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As Nigeria grapples with rising infections caused by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of international public health researchers have revealed that the lockdown and restrictions imposed in the country between March and May 2020 may have averted not less than 5.8 million infections.

The team of researchers drawn from the United States, South Africa and Nigeria, said their findings “support the use of restricted mobility as a measure for infection control in Nigeria.”

They however, pointed out that, even during the lockdown and restrictions, noticeable spikes in people’s movement occurred on Saturdays and Sundays which could be attributed to social events (e.g. parties [or Ówàmbē in a local dialect]) and religious activities.

The research findings which are based on information from confirmed COVID-19 cases provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from February 27 to July 21 2020 and Nigeria specific mobility data from Google in same period, was published by the highly reputable public health journal JAMA Network Open.

The researchers are drawn from institutions in the United States (i.e. Parexel International, Harvard university and Holly Hill hospital), South Africa (i.e. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University) and Nigeria (i.e. Benue State University as well as Universities of Ibadan, Lagos and Calabar).

The researchers explained that their work was motivated by the need to better understand how the lockdown affected peoples’ movement and community spread of COVID-19: this information could inform future public health responses to subsequent waves of COVID-19.

“.. our study goals were to measure the association of government-mandated closures and restrictions with aggregate mobility, to evaluate associations between aggregate mobility and number of individuals with laboratory confirmed SARS-COV-2 infections and to estimate the number of SARS COV-2 infections that may have been averted.

They observed that the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General , Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had on January 30, 2020 declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, asking all countries to prepare for containment, active surveillance, early detection, isolation, case management and contact tracing.

“Most countries including Nigeria (Africa’s largest economy and the most populous country), responded accordingly, and part of the Nigerian government response included socioeconomic and public health interventions to reduce impact of the pandemic.

“Socio economic interventions included providing cash transfers, lines of credit and food assistance to poor and high-risk households, while public health interventions included government-mandated closures and restrictions on schools, social gatherings and all forms of transportation (locally referred to as lockdown)

The closures and restrictions were initiated on March 30, 2020 and partially eased on May 4, 2020. The researchers used sophisticated statistical techniques to analyze NCDC data on daily infection counts, anonymized Google mobility data from Nigeria (covering about 40 million individuals who activated location history on their smartphone google accounts), and publicly available information on the lockdown (e.g. dates for initiating and partially easing the lockdown).

The cross-sectional study found that government-mandated closures and restrictions in Nigeria owing to COVID-19 was associated with significantly reduced aggregate mobility everywhere (except in residential areas) and may have averted up to 5.8 million corona virus infections. Additionally, they found that community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria may have been faster in residential areas , transit stations (e.g. motor parks) and workplaces (including likely venues of social events).

While stressing that “our findings support the use of restricted mobility as a measure of infection control in Nigeria should there be additional COVID-19 waves in the future”, the researchers pointed out that “restrictions on movement are unsustainable in the long term, and that “future closure and restrictions, if warranted, need to be more effective.

“Suggested areas of improvement include tougher restrictions on movement and more robust contact tracing in residential areas, transit hubs and workplaces, greater testing capacity and more political support for testing; greater access to COVID-19 data for policy and process evaluation to identify opportunities for efficiency gains: and more personal responsibility above and beyond the public health campaign dubbed the 3 Ws (i.e washing hands (or using hand sanitizer regularly wearing a cloth mask over the nose and mouth, and waiting 6 feet apart (or social distancing).”

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Tinubu, S/W Govs Storm Akure As Aketi Is Sworn In For Second Term

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Tinubu, S/W Govs Storm Akure As Aketi Is Sworn

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu a.k.a Aketi of Ondo State has been sworn in for a second term in office along with the new deputy governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa.

 

 

The chief judge of the state, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, administered the oath of office and allegiance for Akeredolu and his deputy at exactly 10:45 am at the International Event Centre, The Dome.

 

Akeredolu then proceeded to the parade ground outside The Dome to inspect the Guard of Honour, accompanied by the parade commander.

 

 

Some of the dignitaries at the event include the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chairman of Governors’ Forum,

 

 

Dr Kayode Fayemi and Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwoolu.

 

Other governors present were Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and other leaders of APC across the country.

 

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Wabba Opens Can Of Worms As NLC Pickets CAC Headquarters

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Wabba Opens Can Of Worms As NLC Pickets CAC Headquarters

President of The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Ayuba Wabba, on Wednessday made serious allegations against Corporate Affairs Commission’s Registrar-General, Garba Abubakar.

He made the allegations during a protest rally he led to the CAC headquarters which disrupted activities around the area.

The protest led Civil servants working at Aguyi Ironsi area of Maitama in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, stranded following picketing of the headquarters of Corporate Affairs Commission by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

The protesters, led by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, were in solidarity with the staff of CAC under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), , of stalling their promotion who had accused the commission’s Registrar-General, Garba Abubakar

The entrance and exits of the building were blocked as early as 8:00 am by the visibly angry protesters – a development that also restricted vehicular movement.

They insisted that they would paralyse the activities of the Commission for three days.

Addressing newsmen at the protest ground, Wabba also alleged that the CAC’s boss committed various anti-union offences, ranging from corruption, illegal redeployment of married women out of the commission, stopping staff’s promotion arrears among others.

Wabba said Abubakar brought in environmental experts to fumigate the agency for N35 million in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, including contracting someone to paint the Zone 5 annexe office for N25 million.

The AUPCTRE, through its branch chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Makirfi, had given an ultimatum to the Federal Government to avert a crisis in the commission after series of letters detailing offences of the CAC boss.

“The issue we have with the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has to do with the promotion of staff of the commission and other issues.

“There are some entitlements meant for staff that are not negotiable. For instance, the issue of promotion.

“There is no motivation to any worker anywhere except promotion,” Makirfi had complained.

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Maiduguri Explosion: How Rockets Crushed 9 Boys On Football Field

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1,525 Nigerians killed in six weeks of 2021
Maiduguri Explosion: How Rockets Crushed 9 Boys On Football Field

 

Many people have been killed and scores injured on Tuesday when Boko Haram fighters launched multiple attacks on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Nine boys were killed while playing football at Gwange, near the house of the late General Mamman Shuwa, when rockets landed in the area, witnesses said.

“Four people have been confirmed dead in our area, known as Adam Kolo,” said a Maiduguri based journalists, Ali Chiroma.

“The explosive fell a few metres from our house. All the people that sustained injuries have been rushed to the UMTH for treatment,” he said.

Adults including men and women as well as children were among the fatalities, with sources saying some of the victims have lost their limbs.

The areas worst affected are Kalere, behind the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH); Gwange; Adam Kolo, not far from the Shehu of Borno’s Palace and adjoining densely populated areas.

Residents and security sources said following the first set of bombs launched at densely populated areas of the city, the terrorists made attempts to use the opportunity to go into the town but were repelled.

It was the first major and audacious assault on Maiduguri in years, heightening fears among residents that the terrorists might be lurking around, observers said.

A top security source said the terrorists deployed mortar bombs and rocket launchers from the outskirt of Maiduguri and targeted the civilian population, killing many and inflicting serious injuries in others.

It was learnt that the terrorists fired the first assault around 6.04 pm and sustained the attacks for over 30 minutes, prompting thunderous sound that caused a scare as people scampered for safety.

Some of the victims were rushed to UMTH while others were taken to the Specialists Hospital around the Post Office area.

Governor Babagana Zulum was at the UMTH where he sympathized with the injured.

Victims soaked in blood in hospitals

Reports monitored by The Page News indicate that at the UMTH along Bama Road, humanitarian workers, family of victims and acquaintances rushed their injured loved ones for treatment.

There was high traffic at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital with relatives struggling to get the attention of health workers to treat the injured.

“We would most likely stabilise some of the injured but the case of some of them is bad,” a doctor said, asking for anonymity.

“Some of the victims would require surgery and others would need blood transfusion. There are some who lost their limbs…” he said.

Another source at the hospital confirmed that they have 9 dead bodies brought to the facility following the multiple blasts in Maiduguri.

“It is an overwhelming situation; we have many injured persons currently receiving treatment now,” he said.

It was learnt that in other areas that similar attacks were launched, families of people that sustained serious injuries were treated at private clinics and taken back home long before the arrival of humanitarian workers.

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