*As water scarcity hits ISTH
*5 patients in A’Ibom responding to treatments
*Wike berates FG politicising coronavirus fight
*Churches closed to worshippers in Delta
*FG should extend relief materials beyond stay at home period—Amb Aina
By Samuel Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi, Esther Onyegbula, Ozioruva Aliu, Harris Emnauel & Chioma Onuegbu,
Following concern that no fewer than 25 health workers at the University of Benn Teaching Hospital, UBTH, are in self-isolation to monitor for possible COVID-19 infection, as a result of their contact with a patient who was said to have died of the virus, the hospital has said it has so far received three patients, who have been confirmed positive for the virus.
This comes as some members of the public had complained of shortage of water at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, which is an essential need for treatment of patients and prevention of the state spread of virus.
A statement by Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Professor Darlington Obaseki said, the two surviving patients out of the three are currently being cared for in an isolation ward.
He said, “Prior to confirmation of their COVID-19 status, some of our healthcare staffer were exposed to these patients whilst using only personal protection (surgical face-masks and gloves). Currently, all staffer who were exposed to these patients are asymptomatic and they are being monitored closely according to current guidelines.
“Further measures have been put in place to ensure that our staffers are not unduly exposed to risks of infection with COVID-19 in the course of their providing care for patients who come to the hospital for various reasons.”
Letter to health Minister
Meanwhile in an open letter to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, President and Secretary, Board of Trustees of Benin National Congress, BNC, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo and Orobosa Omo-Ojo, expressed displeasure over the purported shortage of water and basic needs for health workers at ISTH, uncovered by a fact finding team they sent to the hospital
“Our appeal becomes inevitable, considering its prime, as a COVID-19 pandemic testing centre for South-South Nigeria, having and still serving as the largest Lassa Fever treatment and research centre in Nigeria certified by the WHO,” they said.
In Akwa Ibom
Meanwhile, there is hope of survival for the five Coronavirus patients, who are being treated at the Ibom Multi-specialty Hospital in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, as they are responding to treatment and are in a stable condition, said Emmanuel Ekanem, Chief Medical Director of the hospital.
Ekanem said, “The five Coronavirus patients identified in Akwa Ibom State are responding positively to treatment at the isolation facilities of the hospital and have no need for ventilators.”
He spoke while taking delivery of hand sanitizers and other personal protective equipment donated to the hospital by the Akwa Ibom State branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, expressing delight over the quality of facilities and treatment at the hospital.
He said Governor Udom Emmanuel had given orders and provisions for the best management of the cases even as he lauded the unity and support from health workers, adding that the global pandemic required cooperation and sacrifice from healthcare workers and the citizens.
Wike berates FG politicising COVID-19 fight
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has berated FG for politicizing the fight against the spread of coronavirus. In a broadcast, yesterday, Wike noted that despite the exclusion of the state, Federal Government has continued to endanger the state by flying expatriates into Rivers State.
He said: “It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicized by the Federal Government. While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government.
“One wonders why FG should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a state has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support. No state should be seen as more important than any other state. This is a Federal Republic. No state is superior to others.
“Rivers State is entitled to support from FG. Every day, we are inundated with letters from the Federal Government to allow oil companies to fly in expatriates to drill oil. Then we ask, what is the status of those coming from Lagos? Nobody has told us their status as regards coronavirus.
“If they come to come Rivers without us knowing their status, what will be the implication assuming they have the virus.”
In another development, Wike said that the single confirmed case of Corona Virus in the state so far has tested negative under continuing medical care.
He spoke in Port Harcourt following inspection of the state’s isolation/treatment center and a Food Bank established to share palliatives to cushion impact of the sit-at-home order over the pandemic.
He said, “For now, we are not 100 percent ready, but we are about 90 percent ready. Luckily for us, we have no serious cases. The confirmed case is doing very well. They have sent her samples and it came out negative. Final sample has been sent and we are expecting the results.
“We have visited to see the readiness of the isolation/treatment centre in Port Harcourt. Though they failed to deliver the job on Saturday as promised, we are confident in the next four days, it would have been completed.”
Churches in Delta
In Asaba, Delta State capital and Warri, churches complied with the lockdown order as part of efforts aimed at containing the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Our correspondent, who drove round parts of the Asaba metropolis, reports that a good number of Churches in the town were under lock and key, except for the Oracle of God Ministry belonging to a former acting governor of the state, City of Sweet Jesus Ministry, and other insignificant Pentecostal churches that were opened to worshippers.
Meanwhile, the state government has commended the people of the state for complying with the stay-at-home directive in connection with COVID-19 pandemic.
State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who gave the commendation in a statement in Asaba, acknowledged that residents of the state had displayed strong loyalty and dedication to the ideals of patriotism.
In Oshimili South, Arcade, opened in the wake of the restriction of movement order, reports that authority of the council.
Speaking on the development, Mr Chukwuma Ajufo, who is the Chairman, Ogbeogonogo Market Association, said the police had complained of the large number of persons on the road, claiming to be going to the market.
Ajufo said although the local authority has no control over the movement and excuses by the public, there were other challenges to contend with any day the market was in session.
In Warri, some churches observed the sit-at-home as the clergy streamed their service online with members following from home.
Some had only the clergy in church with an organist. St Mathias Anglican church, Eku dropped it on facebook that members should follow the Venerable on social media. The church also dropped a bank account to enable members transfer their offerings to.
Sealed in A-Ibom
However, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal has warned that henceforth, churches that defy the total lockdown and stay-at-home order announced by the state government would be sealed.
Edgal gave the warning, yesterday, when he led heads of other sister security agencies in the state, churches within Uyo, the state capital to enforce compliance with the state government’s total lockdown directive.
He urged the residents to make use of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Police, and other medical emergency lines should they find themselves in any distress situation.
Bayelsa govt gives marching order to primary health workers
In Bayelsa State, primary health workers have been charged to intensify their efforts in preventing the outbreak and spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo gave the charge, weekend in Yenagoa at a meeting with the Coordinators of Primary healthcare in the eight local government areas of the state.
Expressing dissatisfaction with their current efforts, Ewhrudjakpo, urged them not to be carried away by the fact that the state was yet to record any confirmed case of COVID-19 infection.
FG should extend relief materials beyond stay at home period—Amb Aina
Executive Director, Lightup Foundation, Ambassador Olasubomi Aina has called on the Federal Government to provide relief and palliatives to the citizens during the stay at home period to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Aina said, “I also appeal strongly to those who are in good financial standing in the diaspora to kindly extend their help not only to their family members but also to friends, neighbours and villages where there is high need for support.”
Aina, who is the first National Assembly Ambassador to the United Kingdom, UK, said, “I heard from different sources that some Nigerians in the diaspora have unfortunately lost their lives due to the covid-19 pandemic.
“I have forwarded an urgent letter to the United Nations Secretary General as well as the Director-General of World Health Organisation, WHO, on the urgency of the need to support African countries. I am aware that these two institutions are working conscientiously to see how this can be done.
“I will want to restate emphatically that the time to act is now as Africa is running against time. I plead that all bureaucracies be softened and logistic arrangements be fast-tracked to see to the delivery of needed resources as soon as possible.”
He appealed to Nigerians to exercise restraint and discretion in spreading news around via the social media or other means, especially about COVID-19, adding “let us also take care of our children because they are the future of tomorrow and yet vulnerable at this time.
“Let us educate them on the nature of our present challenge and furnish them with information that could strengthen their resolve to stay safe.
“Anxiety, depression and fear are prevalent at this time of their forced holiday and so they deserved all the protection we can get for them.”