Covid-19: Again, FG defies WHO, continues with Hydroxychloroquine Trials

Says, Nigeria has one thing to supply

.Worried over improper disposal of used PPE

.812 healthcare staff contaminated thus far

.75 % of infections not traceable

.Lockdown open to additional evaluate

.’We haven’t reached our testing goal’

.Asks states to just accept their actuality

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: The Federal Government has once more defied directives by the World Health Organization WHO to droop the scientific trial of Hydroxychloroquine, saying the trials would proceed as a result of Nigeria has one thing to supply to the physique of data.

This was because it expressed considerations over the improper disposal of Personal Protective Equipment PPE utilized in managing Covid-19 instances within the nation, saying the event constitutes an ideal hazard to the nation.

The authorities equally introduced that it’s monitoring developments each domestically and internationally, including that its present containment protocols are open to additional evaluate.

Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha disclosed these alongside the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire throughout the every day briefing of the Taskforce on Tuesday in Abuja.

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While the federal government conceded that the nation has not reached its testing capability as a result of points relating to the gathering of samples, it, nonetheless, urged state governors to just accept the truth of the incursion of Covid-19 into their states.

It mentioned regardless of the comfort of its protocols on worship homes, it’s nonetheless higher and safer for Nigerians to worship at dwelling.

The authorities equally added that about 812 healthcare staff have thus far been contaminated, amongst who’re 29 employees of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC.

Continued trials

Vanguard recollects that the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC had final week mentioned it could additionally proceed with the trials.

Speaking on Tuesday throughout the PTF briefing, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire mentioned the trials would proceed as a result of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee has assured him that “Nigeria has something to offer”.

He mentioned; “A couple of weeks in the past, I introduced that Nigeria will take part within the COVID-19 drug trial, which the WHO was main however partly suspended. After consultations with high Nigerian scientists of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee, I’m suggested that Nigeria has one thing so as to add to the physique of data round these trials. 

“I have therefore approved the continuation of the trial, as recommended, under strong precautionary conditions to be built into it. The Leadership of the Ministry also had the first briefing with the Ministerial Advisory Panel of Experts yesterday, led by a foremost virologist, Prof. Tomori, and received a series of very useful advisories that will be discussed and shared with Heads of Agencies and Departments of the Ministry”.

Citing security considerations, the worldwide well being physique had final Monday introduced the momentary suspension of the scientific trials of hydroxychloroquine as a possible remedy for COVID-19.

It mentioned it determined following reviews of a research in a medical journal, The Lancet that the drug may enhance the probability of deaths in Covid-19 instances.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus mentioned.

Unreached testing goal

Ehanire additionally disclosed that although the elevated variety of instances within the nation might be attributed to rising neighborhood transmission and increasing laboratory community, Nigeria has nonetheless not reached its testing goal.

“The expanding laboratory and testing capacity all over Nigeria and the growing community transmission rate both contribute to the increase in the number of COVID-19 positives we are observing in recent days. We have nevertheless not reached our testing targets as yet and therefore ask all persons who fit the case definition of fever, cough sore throat, loss of sense of smell, or taste to first use a mask or face covering and find the nearest testing Center. Those testing positive should report to the nearest treatment facility in the interest of self-preservation. We shall include it in our social mobilization and community engagement messaging”, he mentioned.

Ehanire mentioned the ministry is working with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, to finalize plans on the engagement of current neighborhood volunteers and brokers to conduct home to deal with sensitization on COVID-19 on the neighborhood stage, particularly within the 20 excessive burden Local Government areas in Nigeria.

Accept your actuality

In a veiled reference to Kogi state which has continued to dispute the 2 index instances recorded for the state by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC, the minister requested states to just accept their present actuality.

“COVID-19 is a worldwide phenomenon affecting almost all components of the world. All nations are working collectively and I urge all State authorities in Nigeria to just accept the truth and in addition work with one another and Federal Government, and play their half within the technique to preserve the individuals secure. This consists of the decentralization that requires making a minimal of 300 Isolation beds prepared in order that the nationwide well being system doesn’t run out of COVID-19 mattress areas. As the President has suggested, it’s best to be totally ready even in the event you didn’t have to make use of it. 

“In this regard, the Federal Ministry of Health stands able to help all States of their efforts to construct resilient and responsive methods for residents of their States. The FCT, for instance, is not below mattress house strain, having been nicely supported with belongings to satisfy all ranges of care, safety, and wishes. There will, subsequently, be no motive for a COVID-19 optimistic individual to be exterior a delegated Isolation and Treatment centre, particularly with the ThisDay Dome Isolation centre able to take instances. It might be headed within the introductory part by the Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, one of the crucial skilled virus illness hospitals in Nigeria. The FCT managed Idu COVID remedy centre with 500 beds can be prepared.

“We continue to advocate for states to strengthen their response activities and have begun a programme to strengthen the capacity of all Federal Health Institutions in Nigeria to deal with COVID-19 challenges in their States by additional training, supplies, and equipment. Federal Medical Center Lokoja and University of Calabar Teaching Hospital will be prioritized for the deployment of Gene Xpert machines as soon as the test kits are validated by the Medical Laboratory Science Council, so that citizens in Kogi and Cross River State, among others, will no longer have a shortage of opportunity to be tested. Our observation is that states are at varying levels of readiness and it is important to re-strategize to meet all citizens at their points of need”, Ehanire said.

According to him, the ministry has performed an evaluation of Health Care Worker Infections and recognized important areas for focused intervention, to incorporate steady updates and retraining, including that greater than 13, 000 well being staff have been skilled, which is able to consequence within the diminished charge of an infection, particularly within the line of responsibility.

Disposal of used PPEs

The SGF on his half spoke of the inherent risks within the improper disposal of used Personal Protective Equipment and urged well being staff to observe the related pointers in discarding such PPEs.

“Shortly after the briefing of 1st June 2020, the social media was trending with the {photograph} of two youngsters carrying discarded PPEs (though it isn’t sure if the {photograph} was taken in Nigeria). Significantly, that {photograph} represents a harmful growth. It underscores the necessity for extra danger communication, neighborhood engagement, and diligence within the disposal of used PPEs on the a part of our frontline staff and the directors. It additionally underscores the necessity to broaden the theme and messages in our communication technique.

“Above all, the {photograph} has left us to think about what the impression can be if colleges had been to be open they usually attended college after being uncovered so dangerously. Those three youngsters characterize a transparent hazard to themselves, household, and the quick neighborhood.

“While we take remedial measures to reach out to medical institutions on this, I use this opportunity to call on all our health authorities to make sure that waste disposal is done in such a way that would not create opportunities for increasing the chances of spreading the virus”, Mustapha mentioned.

He mentioned the PTF is aware of the very fact that there’s a excessive risk of members of the general public seeing the easing of the lockdown as a sign that COVID-19 is gone, including that quite the opposite, “COVID-19 is still virulent, dangerous and infectious. Our lives have changed for good and will never revert to what we used to know”.

Review choice

Mustapha added that the federal government has the choice of reviewing the present eased lockdown ought to the necessity arises.

He mentioned; “As we’ve got at all times maintained, the combat in opposition to this pandemic is just not a joke and since the science, knowledge, and experiences that drive our National Response are continually evolving, we urge all residents to religiously implement relevant pointers at particular phases of the battle. 

“It is also important to stress that the PTF shall continue to monitor the progress and keep the option of a review open should the need arise. I, therefore, urge all sub-national entities with which we have been collaborating to expeditiously factor the guidelines into their decisions and resultant protocols that would be agreed to. I further urge them to strengthen their enforcement and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the desired results are achieved”.

On his half, National Coordinator of the Taskforce, Dr. Sani Aliyu mentioned the PTF will evaluate its ban interstate transportation as quickly as home flights resume within the nation.

He mentioned there is no such thing as a doubt that it’s safer to remain and worship at dwelling however that the PTF has issued its present pointers on the restricted opening of worship centres if some Nigerians can’t totally carry out their non secular obligations with out going to such centres.

On interstate motion, he mentioned; “We have to crawl before we run. We are sorting out domestic flights first. We have given a timeline. When we said June 21, as I said yesterday, we did not say all planes will certainly be up in the sky on that day. We are giving the aviation industry the next three weeks to get their acts together and to prepare and once they do, they can get in contact with us. And, if everything is okay, we will give them the go-ahead anytime from June 21. If they come back to us in a week and say they are ready, then they are on their own of course, but what we are saying is that we have given them three weeks to prepare. After that, any time beyond those three weeks, we can sign off if they are ready and as I said yesterday, you cannot have inter-state restrictions and allow domestic flights. The two do not match. So, where we review and allow domestic flights, we will have to review the restrictions on inter-state movement as well and that will be done”.

75 % of infections untraceable

Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu defined that about 75 % of infections have occurred in a means that the sources can’t be traced.

He nonetheless added that the scenario was attributable to the truth that the nation is now locally part of transmission, urging Nigerians to proceed to respect all security protocols.

Iheakwazu additionally reminded the Kogi state authorities that Covid-19 is apolitical and may infect anybody.

“This is an infectious disease. The virus is apolitical”, he mentioned.

“Right now, cumulatively, just two percent of cases have a travel history. In the beginning, they used to be 80 to 90 percent. At some point, it was 100 percent when everybody came back from some country or the other. 23 percent of cases are contacts of existing patients. At the moment, 75 percent of people have an unknown source of illness. What this means is that community transmission is happening. It means that you cannot link your exposure to one particular person or one event and this is normal of a respiratory virus for which 80 percent of people are asymptomatic”, he added.

812 well being staff contaminated

He added that 29 of the 812 well being staff on the frontline who’ve been contaminated are officers of the NCDC.

According to him, over 65, 000 checks have now been performed whereas there are 30 laboratories, including that Nigeria trails behind South Africa and Egypt within the variety of confirmed instances.

He mentioned; “We have had 812 healthcare workers infected. They are not just numbers. 29 of these work for the NCDC. They are people I know. They have families, wives, and children. About eight of them are at the Idu (Abuja) treatment centre. So, they are not just numbers. They are people. They matter and we must remember”.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama mentioned the nation would do all the things potential to evacuate its Nationals in India wishing to return dwelling.

He nonetheless mentioned the method can’t be accomplished till the brand new coverage of taking their samples on the level of arrival takes off.

“I can only but offer profound regrets and apologies for that situation and I hope that very soon, the mechanism will be up and running as quickly as possible and we will be able to bring our compatriots in India as quickly as possible”, he said.

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