A week after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsored a legislation entitled ‘National Health Emergency Bill’, the Senate has commenced work on the controverisal bill.
The Senate Bill is sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu-North). He is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Disease.
The Bill which passed first reading on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday was immediately opposed by a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu-West).
Ekweremadu, referencing Order 41 of the Senate Standing Rule, said the Bill is already generating controversies in the House of Representatives. He insisted that as a senator, he has the privilege of going through the Bill before it passes second reading.
“I rely on Order 41 of the Senate Standing Rule. As a senator, I am entitled to know the details of this Bill. We want to have copies of the gazetted copies. There is controversy over the same Bill in the House of Representatives.
“We don’t want to have the same issue here. We need to be guided to avoid any backlash. I need to read it and prepare ahead of time,” the former deputy senate president said.
Responding, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, presiding, said copies will be given to members. He added that the second reading will be taken next week, while senators go through it.
“The copies are ready and everybody will get a copy. We are not taking the second reading immediately. That will be done next week. So members will have the time to read the contents of the Bill.”
Pope Francis has called for international scientific cooperation so that every country of the world will take share in coronavirus vaccine when it’s ready.
The Pope who was speaking from the papal library at the Vatican while delivering his Sunday service address today, said any successful vaccine developed should be made available around the world to benefit all of humanity.
Pope Francis also thanked all those around the world, providing essential services.
“In fact, it is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments,” he said.
”It is also important to guarantee universal access to essential technologies that allow each infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary medical treatment.”
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has activated the second Molecular Laboratory in Kano State, to enhance detection and prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the state.
The agency via its verified Twitter handle @ncdcgov, on Thursday said the centre had been activated at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK).
“The 18th COVID-19 testing laboratory has been activated at Bayero University, Kano – the second laboratory to be activated in the state.
“We remain committed to rapidly scaling up COVID-19 testing capacity in Nigeria, as outlined in the national testing strategy.”
NobleReporters reports that the centre was designed with 180 daily testing capacity to complement the existing one at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH).
N.Rs learnt that the management of the university earlier announced plans for the centre to begin operation on May 1 to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Prof. Isa Abubakar, the Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Research of the university, said that the idea of setting up the centre came up even before the reported index case of the disease in the state.
Abubakar said that the project could not be completed due to some constraints.
“The operational capacity of the centre was threefold higher than state-owned coronavirus diagnostic centres.
“Adequate measures have been put in place to handle large numbers of samples,” he said.
He noted that the centre, when fully functional, would also embark on study for the development of a vaccine as well as enhance awareness creation of the people through research findings.
According to him, the university has the manpower and the necessary resources to venture into the development of a vaccine for COVID-19.
As of April 30, Kano State had recorded 219 coronavirus cases and five deaths.
A trado-medical expert, Alhaji Hassan Ajeigbe, has urged the government to look for local solutions in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
According to him, trado-medical experts should be consulted to combat the pandemic which now has 1532 cases in Nigeria.
He also advised the government to divert some of the funds spent on testing kits to equip trado-medical experts in researching on the virus towards a cure.
“Sometimes, we do not appreciate what we have and view it as less important. I will suggest that traditional doctors should be involved in the fight against Coronavirus.
“We should invest in traditional medicine and encourage its practitioners to come up with a cure for some deadly diseases. We can achieve it if giving necessary backing,” he said.
The 15-man medical team which arrived in Nigeria from China on April 8, have all tested negative to the coronavirus, following the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Tuesday during the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19.
News that the Chinese experts were coming into the country had split opinion, but the Federal Government explained that they would complement ongoing efforts to tackle the pandemic.
They, however, had to fully observe the protocols put in place by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
Days later, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, also confirmed that they were adhering to the protocols
Beyond that, he also explained the specific mandate of the team on the sidelines of a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, over the maltreatment of Nigerians in China.
“They are on 100 percent quarantine. The NCDC has been there twice; they have to follow the protocol. They are here to deliver medical supplies and on the advisory role only, which is a prevention working group on COVID-19. They will do nothing like practicing as doctors,” Pingjian said.
At Tuesday’s briefing, however, the Health Minister confirmed that they have all tested negative and will go on to face the task they had been invited for.
“The Chinese persons who came in, tests have been done after their 14-day quarantine all of them were negative so the Federal Ministry of Health is done with that particular case,” Ehanire said.
Some officers of the police force in Ondo State have been called to order for allegedly brutalizing a nurse who was on her way to the hospital to attend to an emergency case.
Prince Fasasi, who shared details of the same incident on Facebook wrote;
“Nigerian Police With Their Nonchalant Attitude Sometimes!
While the health workers are at the fore front combating Covid-19, Nigerian police at Irele , Ondo State plot to kill A nurse/midwife who was called to rescue an emergency labor case of twin gestation having fetal distress already.
On her way to assist at work she met three checkpoints of which she explained to them that she is a health worker (nurse/midwife) and there is an emergency to attend to at work showing them her ID card, she was released at the 1st checkpoint, also the 2nd checkpoint released her.
The officers at the third checkpoint threw log of wood at the bikeman, the bike man was hit and lost control of the bike making the both the bike man to fall on motion and and the nurse at the back sustaining degrees of injury. And they left her at the scene unattended to.”
The race is on to produce a vaccine against COVID-19 but it is not certain that one can be found, the head of the global vaccines alliance said Friday.
Seth Berkley said the more competition the better in the scientific fightback against the new coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 200,000 people since it emerged in December.
The head of the Gavi Vaccine Alliance also said confidence in an eventual COVID-19 vaccine would be greatly boosted if political leaders were seen getting immunised, saying he was “quite disturbed” by highly-politicised campaigns against vaccination.
“One of the challenges is we don’t know if we can make a vaccine,” Berkley said at a virtual press briefing in Geneva.
“I’m quite optimistic, from what I know on the science — but we have no proof of concept yet.”
While a vaccine might normally take 10 to 15 years to develop, Berkley said the first vaccines against COVID-19 might be available in 12 to 18 months “if we’re really lucky”.
“You want initially the race for the vaccine. That competition is great,” he said, explaining that rather than having dozens of vaccines being worked on that eventually were identical, it was better to have varied ones that acted differently.
There are currently over 100, and possibly up to 150 different vaccines in various stages of development, he said.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Monday directed investigation to ascertain the cause of the records tens of “unusual” deaths in the state.
No fewer than 40 corpses were reportedly buried since the declaration of the lockdown at Dandolo cemetery in Dala local government area of the metropolis, against the unusual three and at most five corpses daily, NobleReporters gathered.
At Kofar Mozuga Cemetery also in the metropolis, the number corpses brought for burial on daily basis hit 10, a development begging for serious concern, Aminu Abubakar said.
Reacting to the development however, Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba who acknowledged the reported strange death told journalists that government has swing into action to examine the matter.
Although, Garba disagreed that the sudden rise in the case of death in Kano is related to COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that Governor Ganduje has directed the state ministry of health to investigate.
Also reacting to the development, director, Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Bayero University, Kano, Professor Isa Abubakar Sadiq said research has not confirmed the development has anything to do with COVID-19 pandemic.
The Public health Consultant stressed that information so far obtained from on the development indicated death of aged persons who might have suffered from severe age induced illness.
” What we have seen so far is more or less false and rumour because there is no scientific research to prove that the purported mass death was due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“While investigation as directed by the government is still on, we stand to say the reports are false and it is meant to cause panic in the city. I did not subscript to the fact that there is unusual record of death. There are so many interest around and people are ready to generate unfounded stories”. Professor Isa noted.
>>> Sokoto records first COVID-19 case <<<
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has announced the recording of a first confirmed case of Coronavirus in the state.
In a special broadcast on Monday, Tambuwal said, “it is with a very heavy heart and sadness that I break this news to my fellow citizens today of a case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) here in Sokoto.
“The index person is receiving treatment at the Usman Danfodio Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, at the moment.
”Now that the case has been confirmed, the patient shall be transferred to the Sokoto state established isolation center at Amanawa.
“I appeal to our citizens to continue to obey and respect all the measures laid out by all the health experts for us to continue to contain the spread of the scourge of this virus, which is a reality.
“We have heard about it before, but it is nowhere with us. We must, therefore, redouble our efforts as a government and as citizens to curtail the spread.
“I, therefore, appeal once again, that all measures put in place should continue to be respected. And, if need be, for the safety of the generality of the people of Sokoto State, we may take further necessary measures,” he said.
The governor further appealed for support and cooperation, in the best interest of all.
“We pray that God Almighty shall Grant him a speedy recovery and that God Almighty shall help us to curtail the spread of this pandemic,” Tambuwal added.
Lagos State government yesterday said that the state had recorded 14 deaths from the COVID-19 out of which only two died in its facilities, while others died in private hospitals and also on their way to the state facilities.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this yesterday while providing update on efforts by the state government to contain the pandemic, said the state government was being proactive because it was better to be over-prepared than to be under-prepared.
Abayomi also said that new isolation centres were being built to add more bed spaces aside the hotel facilities that had been provided by the state government that would be converted to isolation centres.
He implored residents that have symptoms of COVID-19 not to stay at home, as it complicates issues.
The commissioner, who stated that only three of the 20 local councils in Lagos State have not recorded a single case of Coronavirus, said there were no cases of the virus in Ojo, Epe and Ajeromi-Ifelodun local councils while Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland and Ikeja were the three local councils with the highest cases of COVID-19.
He said that if not for the multiplicity of strategies deployed by the state government, there would have been hundreds of cases daily, adding that if the state had done nothing, by now, Lagos would have recorded 6,000 positive cases of COVID-19.
He, therefore, sought more support and co-operation from residents, especially on practising social distancing, saying that community engagement that include residents practising social distancing had greatly helped in containing the spread of the virus.
Abayomi, who said that Lagos State had just between 30 and 40 ventilators though not all of them are designated for COVID-19 patients, disclosed that the state government had decentralised COVID-19 testing across local councils to bring testing opportunities closer to the people.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho said in the coming week, the state government enlightenment campaign would be aggressive, especially educating residents on the need to practise social distancing.
He said that the state government had observed that many residents do not practise social distancing, especially in markets.
In another development, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has lamented shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), as colleagues in Lagos have tested positive to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The association, which claimed that most of the expected PPEs were not available for use, said nurses were being exposed to unnecessary risk with about 25 nurses on self-quarantine after being exposed to cases of COVID-19, while those who tested positive to the virus had presented themselves at the isolation centre for management.
In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, NANNM, Lagos Chapter, Adenike Akinla, and made available to The Guardian, the association said that nurses were being subjected to hardship and diverse risks while performing their duties.
>>> Private hospitals impose restrictions on all patients <<<
The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has declared that all patients who attend any private facility nationwide would be deemed COVID-19 positive until proved otherwise.
The patients will also be required to comply with a protocol, which includes temperature check, compulsory hand washing before consultation, use of hand sanitisers and possible temporary isolation.
The move followed the recent exposure of some medical doctors to the virus by patients, who failed to disclose their true travel history.
This was as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as at 10:40 a.m., Saturday, April 18, announced 49 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 542, with 19 deaths and 166 persons discharged.
According to the breakdown, Lagos has 306, FCT- 81, Kano- 37, Osun- 20, Oyo- 16, Edo- 15, Ogun- 12, Kwara- 9, Katsina- 9, Bauchi- 6, Kaduna- 6, Akwa Ibom- 6, Delta- 4, Ekiti- 3, Ondo- 3, Enugu- 2, Rivers-2, Niger- 2, Benue- 1, and Anambra- 1.
GMD President Prof. Femi Dokun-Babalola, in a statement, regretted that three members had died, not because they wanted to treat COVID-19 patients as speculated but because they inevitably came across the sick persons.
Dokun-Babalolaalso appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to assist private hospitals with protective kits, saying the COVID-19 crisis does not mean other illnesses have ceased to exist.
He faulted the Federal Government for allegedly creating the impression that private medical practitioners knowingly treat COVID-19 patients for financial reward.
“The impression that private hospitals in Nigeria are keen to treat patients with COVID-19 infection, perhaps for monetary gain, must be dispelled. Permit me to mention that three of our colleagues have already died. Dr. AliyuYakubu, proprietor of Daura Clinics and Medical Centre in Katsina State, Dr. Dominic Essien of San Dominic Hospital in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Dr. Emeka Chugbo, a well renowned obstetrician who died recently in Lagos.
“The death of Dr. Chugbo is perhaps illustrative of the dilemma faced by private practitioners in Nigeria. He was an obstetrician who carried out a Cesarean Section on a COVID-19 patient and he had no idea the patient was positive. It is clear he would not have undertaken the operation if he had that knowledge.
“At the same time, the patient in question did not display any signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. To Dr. Chugbo, she was just a pregnant patient in distressed labour. The facts of her infection only became known after the surgery was carried out at which point the infection had been passed to our demised colleague.”
The presidency, meanwhile, has directed all State House correspondents and media office staff that covered the burial of the late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari to keep away from the Presidential Villa.
This was contained in a statement yesterday signed by AttahEsa, a deputy director of information, requesting the reporters to work from home for the next 14 days.
Kyari who was buried on Saturday was the most high-profile Nigerian to die of COVID-19.
The presidency further urged the reporters to be careful and observe the measures recommended for preventing the spread of virus.
The move followed a similar restriction placed on senior presidential aides who attended the burial.
The presidency had in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Abuja, scaled down the number of media organisations permitted to cover its activities.
A statement to that effect had read: “In view of the current restriction in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) against gathering of not more than 50 persons at the same time at any venue, as well as to be able to maintain social distancing following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative to drastically review down the presence of the over 100 State House Correspondents who usually rendezvous in the Press Briefing Room in the Presidential Villa during this period since all other departments have scaled down the presence of their staff.”
This came as the president, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, faulted the loss of confidence in public hospitals by Nigeria’s leaders.
He said: “Taking the late Abba Kyari to a private hospital is an indication of their lack of confidence in public healthcare facilities, which have been neglected in terms of infrastructure, capacity building of staff, and maintenance. For some, perhaps it is the penchant to feel different or superior to the masses so as not to be ‘equally yoked.’”
On the failure of attendees at the burial to observe social distancing, Sokomba said: “Sure, many stages and acts during the burial left so much to be desired as far as prevention of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is concerned.
“Regrettably the uncontrolled crowding has increased exposure of many who attended to COVID-19. It has also encouraged the spread of the disease. We hope the relevant agencies will do a diligent tracking of all exposed persons and quarantine and or isolate them where the criteria are met.”
He said further: “The right step for any individual, family and institution bereaved from COVID-19, Lassa fever and other infectious diseases is to contact the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for advice and guidance on safe burial. The NCDC/ State Epidemiology units are meant to have safe burial teams comprised of well-trained professionals including religious clerics who advise and support safe burial service.
“The entire burial was supposed to have been handled by the team, carrying the family and mourners along in keeping with the protocols/guidelines.”
On what punitive measure NARD might recommend for the violations during the burial, Sokomba said: “It is not in our place as NARD to say so.Ours is to educate on health and best practices as regards prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other health challenges. The Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies know better.”
A medical expert, Dr Chinonso Egemba, says users of skin-lightening creams, which contain steroids, are more likely to have severe illness or die from coronavirus disease.
Egemba, who is popularly known as ‘Aproko Doctor’, said on Wednesday, that some bleaching creams and soaps contained steroids, which reduced body immunity. NobleReporters learnt
He described the immune system as the body’s defense force against disease-causing bacteria and viruses such as coronavirus and other organisms that humans touch, ingest and inhale every day.
“If you are bleaching, stop it because it is reducing your immunity and people or patients with low immunity suffer more and may likely die from the virus.
“Steroids are basically anti-inflammatory drugs and inflammation is one way our bodies dispose of foreign substances. It could be via body swelling in the form of boils or redness of the skin.
“So steroids reduce the body’s response to anything that could cause inflammation.
“Now, there are different types of bleaching creams and soaps but some particular types contain steroids and it can bleach the skin or cause skin lightening.
“When you use such cream or soap for a long time, it’s not just on the surface, your skin absorbs the steroids in the cream and it reduces your body immunity,” he said.
Egemba said some unlicensed aestheticians or skin specialists also give their clients steroids, as tablets under the guise that it would help lighten their skin.
“When you take such tablets you are reducing or weakening your immune system.
“So in relation to COVID-19, having strong immunity is one of the major ways patients are surviving the disease and if you have low or weak immunity as a result of bleaching, you suffer more and may likely die from coronavirus disease,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to imbibe healthy lifestyles so as to help boost their immune system.
“Stop smoking, drink little or no alcohol, sleep well, eat a balanced diet, take fruits and vegetables, take regular moderate exercise and reduce stress.
“These acts help our immune systems to be in the best shape possible to tackle pathogens and even coronavirus,” Egemba said.
A Nigerian doctor, Chugbo Emeka, has died after being exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lagos.
Emeka who was a private medical practitioner, died today April 15, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital isolation ward.
Announcing his death via Twitter, the Nigeria Medical Association Lagos state chapter, wrote
”NMA LAGOS regrets to announce the death of Dr. Chugbo Emeka at the LUTH isolation ward. He died on 15/04/2020.He was a Private Medical Practitioner who was exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. We condole with his family and d medical community for this painful loss. NMA Lagos”
A friend of the deceased, Emeka Okoro, wrote
First case of Nigerian Doctor who has fallen to the #COVID?19 here in Nigeria. Dr Emeka Chugbo MBBS Lagos (1990), a LUTH trained Consultant. Pray God gives his family the strength to bear his loss. So sad now!!! May His Soul Rest in Peace!!!
Nigerian doctor exposed to a COVID-19 patient, dies in Lagos
Lagos remains the epicenter of the Coronarus pandemic in Nigeria with 214 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.
A nurse who is 8-months pregnant has died and her husband has been accused of beating her to death.
The woman, identified as Ms Anya Adaeze, aka Mummy David, was allegedly beaten by her husband, Olabode Oluwasanmi, in Akure, Ondo State.
According to sources, the incident happened last week. The deceased was 8-months pregnant when the domestic violence incident occurred.
It was revealed that she had a misunderstanding with her husband and he allegedly beat her up with an iron rod.
The beating was so serious that she was rushed to Federal Medical Centre, in Owo, and upon examination, it was discovered that her uterus had been ruptured.
An emergency Caesarean section was done to bring out the baby but the baby didn’t survive. Adaeze was placed on oxygen and died on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020.
It was gathered that Adaeze, who was the breadwinner of the house, had allegedly revealed to her colleagues at Federal Medical Centre, Owo, about the abusive nature of Olabode before her death.
The deadly coronavirus could be spreading through farts, according to doctors. But farts are unlikely to transmit the virus provided pants are worn.
Tests carried out have shown that the virus was present in the faeces of more than half of patients with COVID-19. They said more research needed to be done to rule out passing the disease on to people through omitting bodily gasses.
A doctor that raised the issue on social media, highlighted work by Australian doctor Andy Tagg which he called “an enjoyable thread about whether farting can cause coronavirus”.
In his findings, Tagg cited tests carried out earlier this year which showed 55 percent of patients with SARS-CoV-2 had it present in their poo. “Well, SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in faeces and has been detected in an asymptomatic individual up to 17 days post-exposure.”
The doctor added that previous tests have shown farts have the power to spray talcolm powder long distances. It was warned, however, that if the infected patient was not wearing pants, and they released a large amount of gas, then someone else – if they took a close sniff at the gas – could be at risk. “
Perhaps SARS-CoV-2 can be spread through the power of parping – we need more evidence. “So remember to wear appropriate PPE at all times and stay safe!”
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday announced the recovery and discharge of five COVID-19 patients.
Sanwo-Olu said in an email statement”4 females, and 1 male have been discharged to reunite with their families and the society.”
“With the newly discharged patients, we now have a total of 55 people that have been successfully managed for #COVID-19 at our isolation facilities and discharged to the community,” Sanwo-Olu added.
Do you know that there are 9 reasons that could cause a woman’s vagina to smell?
When a woman’s vagina smells, it makes you feel uncomfortable and might even make you feel less of a lady.
Here are the reasons why a woman’s vagina will smell.
1. Excessive Washing:-
Even if you’re just washing your vagina with warm water, excessive washing can still mess with the vagina’s flora, causing an odor.
2. Allergy To Condoms:
Some women are allergic to certain materials in condoms, which can throw off vaginal bacteria and cause odor.
This can mess with the pH levels of the Vagina and even cause numerous bacteria to grow.
There are good and bad bacteria that can be down there, but the bad bacteria can cause a strong smell.
4. Tight Clothing:
Wearing very tight pants or underwear can cause it to sweat, which can cause vaginal odor.
5. Spicy Food:
Spicy food can cause a sudden increase in your vaginal discharge, which can cause vaginal odor.
6. Sleeping With Underwear At Night:
According to reports, sleeping in the nude to air out the vagina is the best way to go.
7. Laundry Detergent:
Laundry detergent with perfume or fabric softeners can irritate it, once again causing the odor. Wash your underwear separately with unscented detergent.
During pregnancy, many vitamins and minerals are passed along to your baby, and this can throw off the pH levels in your vagina.
You may notice vaginal odors accumulating directly after sex.
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has advised state governors against relaxing the lockdown order declared to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
In a statement on Friday, signed by its president, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Secretary-General, Olumuyiwa Odusote, respectively the NMA said its attention “has been drawn to some isolated statements negating the established measure of preventing COVID-19- social distancing; and orders by some state governors authorising the mass observance of Jumat prayers and Easter Sunday services.
“Of particular concern are: The declaration by the Cross River State Governor that social distancing is not needed while wearing a face mask;
“A moratorium on the lockdown to allow mass gathering in mosques and churches starting from Friday to Sunday in Rivers state;
“The lifting of the ban on Friday prayers by Katsina and Kogi States government.
“We are aware that similar orders have also been given in Ondo, Ebonyi and Imo states which have approved mass attendance of Easter services.
“While appreciating the prime place of religion in our national lives and especially the value Christians place on Easter, we place on record that there is now the evidence of community transmission of COVID-19. As such, relaxing any guideline that promotes mass gatherings in any part of our nation now can only heighten and not flatten the curve of transmission dynamics.
“We, therefore, pray all authorities concerned to rescind their decision in the interest of the safety of lives and implore the Nigerian Police force and other security agencies to ensure that such gatherings do not take place.”
President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday held a surprise meeting with the Marseille-based French medical professor who has caused controversy within the country’s scientific community for insisting the anti-malaria drug chloroquine can beat the coronavirus.
Professor Didier Raoult met Macron at his specialised infectious diseases hospital in Marseille, in a visit that was not announced in advance, the French presidency said.
The meeting lasted three and a half hours and, unusually, media were allowed no access.
The findings of Raoult, a prominent figure in France with shoulder-length blond hair and a grey beard, have divided opinion, with some hailing him as a saviour but others deriding his work as fake.
The Elysee has said that Macron intends to consult a broad spectrum of voices before giving his third address to the nation on the coronavirus epidemic on Monday.
A French presidential official insisted that the meeting did not represent any kind of “recognition” of the professor’s methods ahead of his speech on Monday.
“The president wants to take into account all the tests and studies, including those of professor Raoult. It is not for him (Macron) to settle the debate, this must be done by scientists,” added the official.
Macron is expected to announce that a lockdown that began on March 17 will be further extended beyond April 15, and further measures amid a persistently grim daily death toll, but also signs of gradual improvement.
Raoult has claimed that a new study he has conducted confirms chloroquine’s “efficiency” at combatting the virus.
He was expected to share the findings at the meeting with Macron who has yet to publicly share his opinion on the controversy.
Frederic Dabi, deputy director general of polling firm Ifop, said Macron was seeking to show he was consulting a broad body of opinion.
It is a “way of controlling the comments of Didier Raoult because now he cannot say no one ever listened to him” while also a “strong legitimisation” of a figure who remains hugely controversial.
Raoult, whose theory has been taken up by US President Donald Trump, said his new study of 80 patients showed that four out of five of those treated with the drug had “favourable” outcomes.
He had earlier reported that after treating 24 patients for six days with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin, the virus disappeared in all but a quarter of them.
The research has not yet been peer reviewed nor formally published in a medical journal.
France on Thursday reported its first fall in the number of patients in intensive care suffering from COVID-19 since the coronavirus epidemic began, with 82 fewer people in intensive care units compared with the day earlier.
The total combined death toll in hospitals and nursing homes now stands at 12,210
The Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, said the Chinese experts who arrived Nigeria late Wednesday, came to reciprocate the gestures demonstrated by Nigeria during China’s trying times in fighting Coronavirus.
Speaking with newsmen after the arrival of the team along with more medical equipment, the Ambassador acknowledged that the Nigerian government had shown China great solidarity when it struggled with the Coronavirus pandemic. NobleReporters reports
He said the support coming from the Chinese government and its companies in Nigeria was China’s way of reciprocating.
He noted that so far, it had cost China’s construction company, CCECC, about two million dollars to bring in the experts and the medical equipment.
The ambassador said that he could not understand the rationale behind the attitude of some Nigerians who were against the coming of the experts.
“I am struggling to understand the logic; for us, at the most difficult stage of our fight, we received support from Nigeria, it is time for us to reciprocate the friendship and the kindness.
“This is the first time I met the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, since early February and I appreciate the strong support for us from him and the government.
“For the government and Chinese businesses, what we are trying to do is to address the concerns of our dear friends.
“According to the information the CCECCE gave to me, the value of the equipment and medical supplies is around $1.5 million and including the other costs like the flight it is around $2 million,” he said.
He disclosed that the experts were originally billed to stay for one month but noted that the mandatory quarantine may also determine how long they will stay.
The ambassador said the major secret which worked for China, especially in Wuhan the epicentre of the virus, was the lockdown and the success in breaking the chain of transmission.
“The lockdown in Wuhan lasted 76 days, since January Wuhan had been in lockdown, today has been the very first day that the lockdown has been lifted.
“One key measure for us to fight the Covid-19 is to try every means to break the chain of transmission,” he added.
A 15-member medical team from China will arrive in Nigeria today.
The Chinese medical team will arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, via a chattered Air Peace aircraft.
They are coming to Nigeria despite opposition by the Nigerian Medical Association.
However, the visiting medical team includes experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology.
They are expected to arrive with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in the country.
The Executive Director, CCECC, Mr Jacques Liao, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
Liao stated that “the primary purpose of the team is to provide CECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare.”
He added, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.
“The primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary health care assistance. They are also coming with adequate personal protective equipment and medical items for the employees.”
The director explained that under the directive of the Embassy of China in Nigeria and in response to the Federal Government’s request, the team may also share with their Nigerian counterparts effective methods on COVID-19 containment.
Liao explained that in keeping with CCECC’s corporate value, ‘stride with Nigeria,’ the firm would be participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the Federal Capital Territory for free.
Top officials of Edo state government-owned Central Hospital in Benin City, on Tuesday allegedly abandoned their respective duty posts, just to avoid receiving customised hand sanitizers donated by a governorship aspirant in the state, Dr. Pius Odubu.
The incident caused a mild drama in the premises of the Hospital, as the campaign team of the former Deputy Governor got stranded.
Odubu who is one of the frontline aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who have vowed to stop Governor Godwin Obaseki from securing the party’s ticket for a second term.
He said the donation of the hand sanitizers was part of efforts to assist health care personnel in the containment of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
Confirming the incident, the Director-General of Odubu Campaign Organisation, Barr. Henry Idahagbon, said, “the Hospital management had agreed on 11 am last Wednesday, to receive the donation.”
He expressed concern that no official of the Hospital was on ground to receive the donations on behalf of the health workers when the organisation visited on the agreed date.
According to him, “When we got to the hospital, we called the Medical Director, Dr. Edomwonyi, to intimate him of our presence in the facility.
“His response was that ‘My brother I am not around and you know this is politics’.
“At that point, we left and proceeded to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), where we made the donations.”
The MD, Dr. Edomwonyi Ekuase, could not be reached for comment as calls to his mobile lines did not go through.
However, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, said he was not aware of the development.
“It is not to my knowledge. You need to also find out whether some people have picked them and kept them somewhere,” Okundia said.
A group of Nigerian nurses protested in Enugu state, over the lack of medical equipment, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus is an ongoing global pandemic, which has affected over 900,000 people, and left over 46,000 people dead.
In Nigeria, the recorded cases of coronavirus continues to rise, as the NCDC earlier confirmed 23 new cases, taking the total number of cases in the country to 174.
Some states in the country are on lock down as the government looks to curb the spread of the virus, though the protesting health workers feel the government is not doing enough.
The nurses were seen singing songs asking the state government to provide Personal Protective Equipment including hand sanitisers, face masks and hand gloves to fight the coronavirus.
The nurses said they would no longer work until government provided the equipment for them, thereby leaving patients in the hospital at their mercy.
An Italian nurse allegedly strangled his doctor girlfriend to death because “she gave him Coronavirus.”
After committing the crime, 28-year-old Antonio De Pace reportedly called cops to tell them he had murdered young medic, Lorena Quaranta, 27.
When Police arrived at the scene, they found her dead in their apartment in Italy, while De Pace was found on the floor having cut his wrists but his colleagues were able to save his life at their hosiptal.
The young couple had been working in a local hospital in Messina, Sicily after they were drafted to help during the coronavirus crisis.
De Pace allegedly confessed: “I killed her because she gave me coronavirus.”
A police source said: “She was a doctor who was working hard to save others. It’s such a tragedy.”
NobleReporters gathered that tests were being carried out on both, but it came back negative, meaning neither Lorena or De Pace had the virus.
Lorena had been very vocal on social media about the coronavirus outbreak.
Italian Man Murders His Girlfriend For ‘Infecting Him With Coronavirus’
In a Facebook post just days before her death Lorena wrote: “Now more than ever we need to demonstrate responsibility and love for life.
“You must show respect for yourselves, your families and the country.
”You must think and remember those that dedicate their lives daily to looking after our sick.
“Let’s stick together everyone staying at home. Let’s avoid the next one falling sick is a loved one or ourselves.”
Last month, her boyfriend posted a message congratulating her after she passed a test and said:
“To reach our dreams you have to work hard with determination and you are proof.
“I wish you to keep chasing your dreams, always live the life you always imagined. Well done!