Chinese medical team arrives in Nigeria soon — Health minister

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Friday, said that Chinese doctors, nurses and medical experts would arrive in Nigeria in a few days to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

The minister said this during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Cases in Nigeria have reached 210 as the global figure also surpassed one million mark. He said Nigeria was also exploring the possibility of producing some medical equipment after key stakeholders met in Abuja on Thursday.

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The coming of the Chinese medical experts was announced just as the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said efforts to contain COVID-19 in Nigeria were being limited by finance, manpower and other indices despite the support from government and individuals.

Ehanire said, “The global number has crossed one million mark, barely three months after the first cases were first reported in Wuhan, China. It is an indication that it is a public health challenge that we must not take lightly.”

He continued, “We are already seeing what may be the indication of community transmission, in that 30 per cent of the cases have incomplete epidemiological information. 51 per cent are imported cases and 19 per cent are through contacts of known cases.

“Directors of the Federal Ministry of Health had discussions with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to explore the potential for local production of medical consumables such as face masks, gloves, sanitisers and even ventilators.

“This is in view of looming global shortages of medical supplies for the response due to high demands from all countries. Clinical trials and other processes are ongoing to validate various therapeutic for COVID-19 treatment.”

After the briefing, Nigeria recorded 20 new cases: 11 in Lagos State, three in FCT, three in Edo State, two in Osun State and one in Ondo State.

- Chinese medical supplies coming -

Ehanire said he had been notified of medical supplies from China courtesy of a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria.

“A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items which include Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators.

“Of great interest is that an 18-man team of medical experts from China, including doctors, nurses and medical experts shall come along with the flight to assist us,” he said. Punch

Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment - Poll of doctors

An international poll of thousands of doctors rated the Trump-touted anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as the best treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Of the 6,227 physicians surveyed in 30 countries, 37 percent rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” for combating the potentially deadly illness, according to the results released Thursday. 

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The survey, conducted by the global health care polling company Sermo, also found that 23 percent of medical professionals had prescribed the drug in the US — far less than other countries.

“Outside the US, hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the US it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found.

The medicine was most widely used in Spain, where 72 percent of physicians said they had prescribed it.

A debate about hydroxychloroquine was sparked two weeks ago after President Trump touted the drug as a possible “game-changer” in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting critics to accuse him of peddling unproven, untested remedies.

To date, “there is no evidence” that any medicine “can prevent or cure the disease,” according to the World Health Organization.

But Sermo CEO Peter Kirk called the polling results a “treasure trove of global insights for policymakers.”

“Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world,” he said in a press release.

The 30 countries where doctors were surveyed included ones in Europe, South America, and Australia and no incentives were provided to participate, the company said.

NY Post

In Lagos: Denial of over-flight permit stalls evacuation of US nationals

HUNDREDS of Americans scheduled to be evacuated from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to United States capital, Washington DC, had their hope dashed as the airline, Omni Air International, was denied over-flight permits by some African countries.

An Immigration source hinted that the US nationals, who were already checked-in by the airport authorities, were seen collecting their baggage from arrival baggage belts with the plan to go back home.

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The Immigration source hinted that the flight to be operated by Omni Air International on charter operations was “cancelled due to the inability of the airline get over-flight permit.”

Over-flight permits are authorizations from Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to overfly any country’s airspace.

Overflight permits differ from country to country in terms of regulations and airspace coverage area.

According to global aviation requirements, over-flight permits are mandatory requirements to be procured in advance third party provider for any  planned route of flight.

Meanwhile, 637 French and German citizens were on Thursday evacuated from Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by their governments.

Air France’s A330 airplane, which was the first to land, departed at 13.56hr while Lufthansa German Airline departed with her nationals at 15.46hr.

Before their departure, the Germans underwent airport security formalities and screening for COVID-19  as they awaited the Lufthansa flight which landed few hours after for the evacuation under ’emergency’ and ‘humanitarian’ flight operations. Thenationonlineng

Israel Health Minister Contracts Coronavirus, as Netanyahu Re-enters Quarantine

Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, a leading member of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to re-enter precautionary quarantine, officials said Thursday.

According to the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu’s previous quarantine, imposed earlier this week after one of his staffers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, had ended Wednesday night.

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The premier’s new seven-day self-isolation was imposed following his contacts with the 71-year-old Litzman..

Litzman of the Gur Hassidic sect — whose wife also tested positive — is the most prominent member of the hard-hit ultra-Orthodox community to test positive for the virus that has infected more than 6,200 Israelis.

“Litzman and his wife feel well, are receiving treatment and will be quarantined and supervised,” a health ministry statement said.

The ministry added that its Director General, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, along with other senior officials, will also enter quarantine following contacts with Litzman.

Israeli media also reported that the head of the Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen, may also be compelled to self-isolate after having had contact with Litzman, but that information could not be immediately confirmed. BBC

Coronavirus: Donald Trump to defy 'voluntary' advice for Americans to wear masks

US President Donald Trump has said he will not wear a face mask despite new medical guidance advising Americans to do so.

He could not see himself greeting "presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens" in the Oval Office while wearing one, he said.

He stressed that the guidance released on Friday was "voluntary".

"You do not have to do it," he said. "I don't think I'm going to be doing it."

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  The guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government's public health advisory agency, came as the US reported more than 1,100 deaths in a single day - the highest total for a 24-hour period anywhere in the world.

The US has so far confirmed 278,458 cases of Covid-19 and more than 7,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

New York state remains the worst affected area, with nearly 3,000 deaths, and state governor Andrew Cuomo has appealed for help from other parts of the country.

Until now, US health authorities had said that only the sick, or those caring for patients of coronavirus, should wear masks, but newer studies suggest that covering up one's face is important to prevent inadvertent transmission.

"From recent studies we know that the transmission from individuals without symptoms is playing a more significant role in the spread of the virus than previously understood," Mr Trump said on Friday.

However, he told reporters after announcing the CDC's new guidance: "I just don't want to do it myself."

"Sitting in the Oval Office... I somehow don't see it for myself."

Americans are now advised to use clean cloth or fabric to cover their faces whilst in public. Officials have stressed that medical masks remain in short supply, and should be left for healthcare workers.

The guidance comes as the number of cases globally climbs past one million. BBC

Nigerians now taking pandemic serious - Health specialist

An Abuja based public health specialist, Dr Yashua Alkali, has said that Nigerians are no longer in doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic is real and deadly.

Yashua, who had been actively involved in disseminating risk awareness messages through our various channels, noted that Nigerians would get a clearer picture of the successes so far recorded to contain the pandemic within the next two weeks.

Yashua, a consultant pediatrician and the Chief Executive Officer of Childcare and Wellness Clinics in Abuja said, “It was stressful because people don’t listen. 

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Before it came to Nigeria, it was difficult to get people to take us seriously, but with all the high profile figures now with it (COVID-19) and terrible news from other countries, it’s sinking in.

“And with the support from private sector and absolute incredible work by the NCDC is keeping our hope all alive, the next two weeks are crucial. That is when we will know if we have won the fight or lost; I hope that we win.”

Yashua, who is working with some government hospital to provide them with personal protective equipment (PPEs), held training for healthcare providers on pandemic preparedness.

This is as The Guardian observed that a sizeable number of residents of Karu Local Council of Nasarawa State are complying with preventive measures like social distancing, hand washing and use of sanitizers.

Meanwhile, major markets, shopping malls and bars in densely populated areas of Mararaba, One Man Village, Ado, new Nyanya, Gwandara and Masaka remains shut in line with the directive of the Nasarawa State Government as part of effort to contain the virus. Theguardianng

Coronavirus: Ole Solskjaer sends message to Man Utd players’ wives, girlfriends

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has asked the wives and girlfriends of his players, to keep them sharp during the coronavirus lockdown.

Solskjaer is keeping in touch with his players via WhatsApp, with Premier League fixtures on hold because of COVID-19.

Each player in the squad is being given an individual fitness programme to follow.

However, Solskjaer has called on his players’ partners, to play their part by joining in with their training sessions and home kickabouts.

“The players have got individual programmes, so this period could be used to work on something special, something specific for them.

“I’ve been in the garden, with the kids, working on finishing and the strikers should be working on finishing or their movement.

“Most of the players have got good facilities and decent gardens so, hopefully, their wives and girlfriends will be able to put some passes and crosses in,” he said according to the UK Mirror. Dailypost

Can the US control its coronavirus outbreak?

The World Health Organization has warned the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic could shift to the United States.

Although Italy, Spain and China have higher death tolls, the US now has nearly 165,000 infections - more than anywhere else in the world.

A US naval ship with 1,000 hospital beds has arrived in New York to provide relief to overwhelmed hospitals.

Emergency medical centres have been set up across the country.

However, health workers say they are running out of supplies and testing kits.

President Donald Trump, who has been criticised for downplaying the crisis, said the number of cases would not reach its peak for another two weeks.

The pandemic has become a major political issue.

Can the US prevent the crisis from spiralling out of control?


Coronavirus: CNN anchor, Chris Cuomo tests positive

Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor and younger brother of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus disease.

The 49-year-old made this known on his twitter account on Tuesday, stating that he hoped he doesn’t give it to his kids and his wife, Cristina.

He said, ”So in these difficult times that seem to be more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that am positive for coronavirus.

”I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had a fever, chills and shortness of breath.

“I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness.

”I am actually quarantined in my basement which actually makes the rest of the family seem pleased.

”I will do my shows from here.

”We will all beat this by being smart, tough and united!”


Group Hails Major General Adeniyi, For Bravery, Patriotism In Boko Haram Fight After Removal By Buratai

Concerned Nigerians, a civil society group, has commended Major General Olusegun Adeniyi for revealing challenges faced by troops fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria's North-East.

SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Adeniyi was removed as commander of Operation LAFIYA DOLE for revealing in a viral video that troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists lacked weapons and credible intelligence to execute their mission.

The rights group in a statement by Convener, Deji Adeyanju, on Tuesday, said it was obvious Adeniyi was vilified for saying the truth and looking out for the safety of his men on the battlefield.

The statement reads, “We are greatly impressed with Major-General Adeniyi and his men for their unwavering patriotism, steadfastness and gallantry in fighting against these enemies of humanity.
"We want to assure Major-General Adeniyi that Nigerian people look up to him and the boys, their devotion to duty, integrity and sense of honour and commitment to each other in the fight against Boko Haram is well appreciated and noted."

Adeyanju called on the Nigerian Government to launch a thorough investigation into the welfare of troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists as well as investing in tools for efficient intelligence gathering.  Saharareporters

EPL: Manchester United forced to pay Alexis Sanchez £1.1million

Manchester United will be forced to pay Alexis Sanchez a £1.1million loyalty bonus, upon his return from Inter Milan, the UK Sun reports.

Sanchez is currently on loan at the Serie A club, after enduring a miserable spell at Old Trafford since his move from Arsenal.

The Chilean attacker is on a massive £400,000-per-week with United, who are paying part of his wages while he is with Inter.

However, the Red Devils were hoping the Nerrazurri would make the move permanent.

But Inter boss, Antonio Conte, does not want to keep Sanchez due to his poor form.

Sanchez’s return to United will activate a clause in his initial contract, with the 31-year-old entitled to the seven-figure bonus in July. Dailypost
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