From Fred Itua, Abuja and Lukman Olabiyi
As Nigerians grapple with the second wave of COVID -19 pandemic, 22 out of 86 patients receiving treatment at various isolation centres within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are said to be in critical conditions as they depend on oxygen at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada for survival.
The development is coming amidst refusal by the FCT Administration to pay health workers their allowances. This is despite a recent claim by the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, that over N28 billion was spent on the management of COVID-19 in Abuja.
Confirming the critical condition of the patients, FCT permanent secretary, Adesola Olusade, who toured the centres over the weekend, said apart from the 22 patients on oxygen, the reports about the places were impressive.
Olusade said while non-critical cases were being managed at home, 86 patients were receiving treatment at both the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) and Thisday Dome Centres respectively, with zero case at the Idu centre.
The permanent secretary explained that touring the isolation centres became necessary to ensure they were adequately operational, in view of the resurgence of the pandemic in the nation’s capital, with evidence of being deadlier.
While he confirmed that FCTA was paying attention to the complaints of non-payment of allowances by frontline workers at Thisday Dome, he said the centre was just recently transferred from the Federal Ministry of Health to FCT.
“At Gwagwalada, we have about 42 cases, 46 at Thisday Dome, at Idu we have zero. Not all of them are on oxygen. There is no time we will not have the issues of allowance, but as they are rising we address them. It is only recently that this centre was transferred to FCT, and we are making all efforts to address all issues.”
The team leader at UATH Gwagwalada, Dr. Yunusa Thairu, who confirmed that the second wave of the pandemic had some worrisome severe elements, urged government to provide more oxygen and as well as boost the morale of frontline workers.
Medical Superintendent at Thisday Dome Centre, Dr. Molokwu Victor, confirmed that all categories of frontline workers had not been paid their allowances since September, 2020.
Victor said while supplies for medicals and other necessary items were adequately taken care of, the issue of allowances was the major albatross to the operations of the centre.
Edo reactivates isolation, treatment centres, contact tracing network
Edo government has reactivated isolation and treatment centres in the state, four molecular PCR laboratories and its contact tracing network to ensure the pandemic is contained.
Governor Godwin Obaseki in a broadcast, said the state government was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that it deploys its disease surveillance mechanism and contact tracing network across the state to handle new cases as they arise.
He noted that the governments strategy in tackling the pandemic was pronged on decreasing the incidence of the disease and reducing the death rate.
“Arising from the experience, which we gained during the last outbreak of COVID-19, we now have in place a robust disease surveillance system in the state with well-trained contact tracers, who can undertake active case searches; we have 4 PCR molecular laboratories that can undertake large numbers of tests with procedures to promptly obtain results from the laboratories.
“Our case management system is intact to provide care for confirmed cases. We also have four well-equipped, functional isolation centers spread across the state.
“In as much as the government will enforce the rules relating to COVID-19 in Edo State, it is important that each and every one of us take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us. We must abide by all public health and safety measures to ensure that we are safe.
“We appreciate the burden and dislocation which these restrictions cause our citizens and hope that with the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccines, this would be the last wave of the epidemic we would have to deal with.”
Lagos seals 12 facilities, begins legal action against violators
No fewer than 12 night clubs and recreation centres have been sealed by the Lagos State Government for breaching COVID-19 protocol.
The government through the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) carried out routine enforcement and monitoring activities throughout the holiday season to monitor compliance with the governments directive on COVID-19 pandemic, especially as it concerns social and recreational centers.
The operations led by the Director General, LSSC, Mr. Lanre Mojola sealed over 12 facilities including DNA Night Club, Buzz Bar, Silverfox, Cocoon, Westend Nightclub, Rumours, Lekki Waterside, Landmark Event Centre, The Wave Beach club, amongst others.
Mojola, however, mentioned that recalcitrant establishments who broke the government seal and continued partying would be charged to court once documentation had been properly processed.
He affirmed that the state government was committed to curbing the spread of the virus and would leave no stone unturned to achieve the mandate.
An earlier monitoring and enforcement drive carried out on December 19 led to other facilities such as Cubana Ikeja GRA, The Corner Lekki, 355 Restaurant and Night Club , Victoria Island amongst others being sealed.
The government had warned that mass gatherings at restaurants, bars, cafes and public places without observing neccessary safety guidelines would increase the spread of the virus.
It therefore urged the public to maintain and observe all necessary safety precautions as they celebrate Christmas holidays whilst remembering the reason for the season which bothers on sacrifice.
Abuja churches comply with guidelines
After scoring the churches high on compliance with COVID-19 protocol, government officials were yesterday tasked to practice what they preach, by adhering to guidelines at all functions, including political campaigns and others.
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter and Senior Pastor, ECWA Good News, Maitama, Samson Jonah, took government functionaries to this task while speaking to newsmen during an inspection tour of his church by men of the FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Team.
“We talked to ourselves that compliance should be very high during this second wave because of how dangerous and deadly the virus is.
“But above all, we are saying that as we continue to comply let’s also see the government functionaries doing the same thing, because leadership should be by example.
“We don’t need an angel to tell us how dangerous the virus is so we summoned our pastors and talked to them, we disseminated a lot of information and text messages and told them to ensure total compliance.
“We as the clergy are helping, sensitising and talking to the people. We should also see a high level of compliance when it comes to other gatherings besides the church setting, for instance, campaigns, weddings and so on.
“When you become a leader, the things you do, people will like to copy you; more than what you say. So we want to see that replicated at the higher level. Because knowing the right thing and doing it is most important.”
The CAN chairman who prayed God to “give us victory in the second wave” of spread of the deadly virus, warned Christians and residents to comply with necessary protocol, adding that none should call him if he or she gets into trouble with the Taskforce over non-compliance with the guidelines.
He also appealed to Christian faithful to ensure they abstained from crime.
Chairman of the Taskforce, Attah Ikharo, who led the tour of churches to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols, expressed satisfaction with “very very high compliance by all the churches visited within the City Centre.”
Ikharo also called on all mosques to comply with the guidelines give by NCDC, vowing to visit and ensure appropriate enforcement.
Other churches the taskforce visited were the Central Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Wuse 2, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki and ECWA Good News Church, Maitama.