By Fred Itua, Fred Ezeh, Abuja, Laide Raheem, Abeokuta, Lukman Olabiyi
Four hundred and seventy six health workers have contracted COVID-19 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) since the first case was recorded in February.
Anthony Ogunleye, spokesman for the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, made the disclosure in a statement yesterday.
The FCT has recorded 6, 385 cases with 82 mortality and 5,934 recovery.
According to the statement: “Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the FCT, a total of 476 health workers inclusive of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory staff, drivers and other auxillary personnel have been infected by the virus. Of these figure, a total of four doctors have succumbed to the disease, the latest, a female doctor from Gwarimpa hospital passed on over the course of the week. There has not been any other recorded fatality of a health personnel over the last one week.”
Ogunleye said fatalities recorded from some health workers did not affect the service delivery of hospitals in the FCT, dismissing the report that hospitals were running skeletal services owing to the death of 20 doctors.
The statement added that all laboratory and pharmaceutical services in the territory are fully operational and all clinics would resume after the Christmas holidays.
NMA attributes second wave to poor adherence to guidelines
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Plateau State chapter, has attributed the second wave of COVID-19 to poor and non-adherence to non-pharmaceutical guidelines.
Dr. Innocent Emmanuel, chairman, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos, said it was evidence that places where people adhered to the guidelines had lesser cases.
Emmanuel pointed out that it was pertinent that the populace go back to the basics of ensuring compliance and adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols, as a way of mitigating various challenges that come with the virus.
“We need to go back to the basics by ensuring adherence to the COVID-19 non pharmaceutical guidelines, as we cannot afford another lockdown and the economic challenges that come with the pandemic.
“It is pertinent that we adhere to the rules to ensure that we do not have the morbidity and mortality that comes with the virus,” he said.
Virus has mutated, become extra resistant –Expert
Public Health Physician in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Emmanuel Opowoye, has warned that the virus has mutated and built a lot of resistance.
“COVID-19 virus has mutated and built a lot of resistance toward most preventive measures, both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical,” he said.
According to the public health expert, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is more devastating and violent going by precedence from the Spanish Flu which occurred a century ago.
He said the lackadaisical attitude of people toward safety measures after the lockdown contributed massively to the resurgence of the second wave of the virus, since it has not been completely eradicated.
Opowoye added that research has shown that there was a high risk of about 90 per cent among people that do not use face masks.
He added that research showed zero per cent transmission with the use of face masks and physical distance of about one meter.
Opowoye cautioned against visiting high-risk areas such as hospitals, clubs, markets among others, adding that one should be responsible for one’s health.
On the vaccine production in some countries, such as U.S., UK and Russia to contain the virus, Opowoye said that there were bound to be challenges and error in its preparation because of the short period of time with which the vaccine was produced.
He, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols in order to remain healthy especially during the festive period.
He also appealed to the government to be role models and adhere to the policies put in place to curb the spread of the virus. It is the government that would be most affected in case of any national emergency,’’ he said.
CAN: Obey directive on crossover service
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged churches to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and other additional directives by the relevant state government authorities as they prepare for the crossover night service.
CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, in a statement said the directive became necessary following the claim of second wave as being witnessed in daily rise in confirmed cases.
“There is no sacrifice that is too much in order to put an end to the pandemic once and for all. One thing that is certain is that, the end of COVID-19 is here at last in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ.”
He advised states to be relating with the leadership of CAN for understanding and support on their policies and programmes. “We are partners in progress and development of the country,” he said.
He also called on local government authorities to enforce the COVID-19 protocols in all public gatherings including markets and public transport systems.
However, the Lagos State chapter of the association has disclosed it intention to broadcast the Crossover Night Service live, in order to comply with measure put in place by government.
CAN chairman in the state, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, who revealed this at a press conference, also debunked rumor that the leadership of the association was at loggerheads with the state government over curfew imposed.
The association directed all the churches in the state to ensure their services on December 31 ends at 11pm in order to allow attendees get to their homes and places of rest on or before 12midnight when the curfew will start.
Declaring intention of the association, Adegbite stated that the CAN leadership in the state was making arrangements for a live telecast that will begin at 11:30 pm and end at 12:30 am which it expected all Christians to hook up to and pray their way into the New Year in the comfort of their homes.
According to him, the one-hour service will have all the heads of blocks that make up CAN and some some selected Christians leaders in attendance.
Support quest to flatten curve –Gov. Abiodun
Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called for support and cooperation of traditional rulers in curbing the spread of the virus and flatten the curve in the state.
He made the call while declaring open the Statutory Meeting of Ogun State Council of Obas at the Obas’ Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, yesterday.
According to him, the monarchs as the closest to people have strong roles to play in ensuring their respective domains are protected from the pandemic.
Abiodun, who lauded the traditional rulers in supporting the state government in combating the virus during the first wave, urged them to continue to be more accessible, receptive and responsive to their people and the government as occasions demand.