Category Archives: Disaster Rumor

COVID-19: Denmark enforces Face Masks on public transport

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Denmark will make the wearing of facemasks mandatory on public transport across the country from August 22 to try to contain the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Saturday.

He called on Danes not to let down their guard and to respect social distancing and hygiene rules.

Danish authorities currently recommend masks on public transport during peak times, while they are obligatory in six areas including the country’s second city of Aarhus, where the outbreak of the virus is greater.

“We have witnessed a rise in the number of people infected in Denmark, with several local clusters,” said Tyra Grove Krause, an official from the infectious diseases control authority.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (C) delivers a a press conference on the new coronavirus COVID-19 in the Prime Minister’s Office in Copenhagen, Denmark, on August 15, 2020 . – From August 22 face masks will be compulsory in all public transportation in Denmark. (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT

“Some (outbreaks) are under control and others are about to be.”

Denmark has registered a total of 15,859 cases of COVID-19 with 621 deaths.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: UCH, Ibadan has treated over 100, lost 18 patients – Report

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The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan has lost 18 patients out of the 159 persons treated for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

UCH Chief Medical Director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, disclosed this on Friday.

Speaking during the commissioning of a new isolation centre at the hospital, Otegbayo said the facility has treated patients with severe COVID-19 cases, adding that others have underlying health conditions.

While being optimistic that the centre will go a long way in the onslaught against the pandemic, the CMD asked well-meaning Nigerians to emulate this gesture to reduce the burden of care on the government.

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He also disclosed that the new Department for Infectious Diseases at the hospital is underway, adding that it will boost the UCH’s efforts in effectively handling diseases.

On his part, Governor Seyi Makinde who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello expressed gratitude to UCH management for their support at reducing mortality and morbidity as a result of COVID-19 in the state.

The 20-bed isolation centre donated to the hospital was facilitated by the UCH Health Foundation to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility which used to be the Tuberculosis Centre has now been upgraded to a standard Infectious Disease Centre, making it the 2nd in Oyo State.


#Newsworthy…

LASTMA office inferno: Trailer, 10 cars destroyed.

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A fire at the office of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency in Oshodi on Friday razed 10 cars and a trailer.

The fire started at a section of the agency’s premises where impounded vehicles were kept but its cause could not be ascertained by witnesses.

After emergency service officials battled and put out the fire, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) revealed that no life was lost as a result of the fire.

The fire started at a section of the traffic management agency’s premises where impounded vehicles are kept.

“A total number of ten cars and one trailer were razed by the inferno,” the LASEMA Director-General, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said in a statement.

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“No casualties were recorded at the scene as the LRT Fire Unit and LASG Fire Service were all responders at the scene who successfully worked together to put out the fire”.

A short clip shared on Twitter by the agency gave an insight into the effort made by emergency workers to put out the fire and a peek into the damage it did.

LASTMA, which is responsible for traffic management in Lagos, had not put out any official reaction on its platforms as of the time of filing this report and it remains unclear how the agencies will deal with the damage done and if all the vehicles were impounded.

Watch video HERE


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigeria reports 329 new single day cases.

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Nigeria reports 329 Fresh cases of Novel pandemic, COVID-19. Noble Reporters Media reports.

Total death toll hit 979 while total recoveries and discharge nears 36,000.

Lagos leads in the state by state virus infections recording total number of 113, seconded by Kaduna 49, and FCT 33, respectively.

Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa and Niger ties with 1 cases each for Friday 14th of August, 2020. NRM reports.

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Stands•

329 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-113
Kaduna-49
FCT-33
Plateau-24
Kano-16
Edo-15
Ogun-14
Delta-13
Osun-10
Oyo-8
Ekiti-6
Bayelsa-6
Akwa Ibom-5
Borno-4
Enugu-4
Ebonyi-3
Rivers-2
Bauchi-1
Nasarawa-1
Gombe-1
Niger-1

48,445 confirmed
35,998 discharged
973 deaths


#Newsworthy…

Imo State Gas Explosion: One lose to death

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One person has been feared dead with three persons critically injured after a truck conveying liquefied petroleum gas exploded at a filling station in Irete community along the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway in Owerri-West Local Government Area of Imo state.

The Imo State Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Evans Ugoh, confirmed the incident, Noble Reporters Media learnt

According to him, the truck after discharging its content at the filling station was about reversing and manoeuvring its way out of the premises when it was hit by a J5 commercial bus conveying pineapples on top speed coming from the Onitsha end lost control and ram into the truck, leading to a heavy explosion.

Mr Ugoh confirmed that one of the occupants of the J5 commercial bus died on the spot while 3 other persons who sustained fatal injuries were immediately taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

He said, however, officials of the Imo State Fire Service, Red Cross, Civil Defence, the Nigerian Police and NEMA officials were all on the ground for rescue operations.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Ogun State orders reopening of worship centres.

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..relief weekend lockdown


– 12:56 PM –

The Ogun Government has suspended the weekend lockdown in the state.

Governor Dapo Abiodun disclosed this in an update about the state’s effort at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

…more to come

– 01:03 PM – Ogun State Government relief weekend lockdown; orders worship centres reopening.

The Ogun Government has suspended the weekend lockdown in the state and ordered the reopening of worship centres.

Governor Dapo Abiodun disclosed this in an update about the state’s effort at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After thorough deliberation, consideration and resolution, we decided to reopen the worship centres with effect from Friday 14th August 2020 as indicated in my last address,” the governor said.

“This decision was made in line with an agreement reached by the committee set up to develop guidelines for reopening of the religious centres.”

#Newsworthy…

Beirut explosions: UN experts demand probe.

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United Nations human rights experts on Thursday demanded a swift, independent investigation into the catastrophic Beirut explosion, citing deep concern about irresponsibility and impunity in Lebanon.

The group also called for a relatively-rare special debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council this September.

UN experts do not speak for the United Nations but report their findings to it.

Lebanon’s president has rejected any international probe into the Beirut port blast, as demanded by protesters.

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“We support calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and independent investigation based on human rights principles, to examine all claims, concerns and needs in relation to the explosion as well as the underlying human rights failures,” some 38 UN experts said in a joint statement.

The investigation should have a broad mandate to probe “any systemic failures of the Lebanese authorities and institutions to protect human rights”.

“We are deeply concerned about the level of irresponsibility and impunity surrounding human and environmental devastation on this scale,” they said.

The investigation should protect the confidentiality of victims and witnesses, and its findings should be made public, the experts said.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Resurgence among health workers baffles FG

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The Federal Government says it is worried about the resurgence of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among healthcare workers in the country.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, stated this on Thursday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He outlined some of the steps taken by the government in reducing the rate of infection among healthcare workers.

Mamora revealed that part of the actions included training and retraining of health workers on how to prevent and control COVID-19 infection.

He added that the government has concluded the training of 594 healthcare workers from various private and public facilities in Abia State on infection prevention and control.

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According to the minister, the government is currently investigating healthcare-associated infection in a health facility in Kaduna State.

He said lessons learned from the investigation would be used to improve service delivery and urged the healthcare workers not to drop their guards.

Mamora also asked them to use their Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) appropriately and judiciously.

A file photo of a health official helping his colleague with his PPE.

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Read the full text of the minister’s remarks at the briefing below:

As of 13th August 2020, we have recorded 47,743 cases from 338,084 samples tested so far, while 33,943 persons have been treated and discharged. Sadly, 956 persons have been lost to the COVID-19 infection.

Our target remains to test 1% of our population across the country. As of today, more than 70% of all the tests conducted have been in 9 states including Lagos, Kano, FCT, Plateau, Oyo, Kaduna, Edo Ogun Rivers with 25% of the tests in Lagos alone. We shall continue to work with state governments to ramp up case findings and sample collection activities.

Yesterday, August 12th, 2020 Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s United Nations’ International Youth Day with the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions.

It was also an opportunity to take stock of the contributions of young people to national development. It was also a day to reflect on the contributions of young people to our response plan.

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I wish to commend some of our youths who have supported community mobilization and risk communication through social media and community engagement.

This pandemic has had its impact on our young people. As at yesterday, 46% of positive cases in the country are young people between ages 21-40.

I will, therefore, appeal to our youths to take responsibility. Let us ensure that we adhere to the advisories to wear face masks appropriately, regularly wash your hands and ensure respiratory hygiene.

We are concerned by the resurgence of infection in healthcare workers. In a bid to sustain the gains we have made in reducing the rate of infection among our health workers, we have made training and retraining of health workers on infection prevention and control.

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In Abia State, we have concluded the training of 594 Healthcare Workers from private and public health facilities on infection prevention and control.

We are currently investigating healthcare-associated infection in a health facility in Kaduna State.

Lessons learned from this will be used to improve service delivery. I encourage our health workers not to drop their guards as the pandemic is still with us.

Use your PPEs appropriately and judiciously. We have ensured that PPEs are available in all our health facilities.

Thank you for listening.


#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Food exempted, not dangerous – WHO says.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday urged people not to fear catching the novel coronavirus from food, after Chinese testers found traces on food and food packaging.

The virus was found Tuesday in the Chinese city of Shenzhen during a routine check on samples of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil, city authorities said.

The authorities said they immediately screened people who had been in contact with the contaminated products, plus their relatives, and all the tests came back negative.

In China’s eastern Anhui province, the mayor of Wuhu announced Thursday that the virus had been discovered on the packaging of shrimp imported from Ecuador, which had been kept in a restaurant freezer.

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The WHO said there was no need to panic — and there were no examples of the respiratory disease being transmitted through food.

“People are already scared enough and fearful enough in the COVID pandemic,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual press conference in Geneva.

“People should not fear food or food packaging or the processing or delivery of food.

“There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in the transmission of this virus.

“Our food, from a COVID perspective, is safe.”

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Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said the United Nations health agency was aware of the reports and understood that China was looking for the virus on food packaging.

“They’ve tested a few hundred thousand samples of looking at packaging and have found very, very few, less than 10 positive in doing that,” she said.

“We know that the virus can remain on surfaces for some time.

“If the virus is actually in food — and we have no examples of where this virus has been transmitted as a food-borne, whereas someone has consumed a food product — the viruses can be killed, like other viruses as well, if the meat is cooked.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: WHO urges countries to make research on vaccine.

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The WHO on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars in searching for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments — calling it a snip compared to the vast economic cost of the coronavirus crisis.

The World Health Organization insisted it was a smarter bet than the trillions of dollars being thrown at handling the consequences of the global pandemic.

The UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pleaded for investment into the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator programme, which aims to share global research and development, manufacturing and procurement in a bid to beat COVID-19.

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s predictions of the pandemic wiping out $12 trillion over two years, he urged countries to spend on shared solutions.

“It’s the best economic stimulus the world can invest in,” Tedros told a virtual press conference.

Funding the ACT-Accelerator, with $31.3 billion needed immediately, “will cost a tiny fraction in comparison to the alternative, where economies retract further and require continued fiscal stimulus packages”.

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He said spreading the risk and sharing the reward is a better bet than the option some countries have taken, of going it alone in backing one of the dozens of vaccines in development.

UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Noble Reporters Media/)

“Picking individual winners is an expensive, risky gamble,” he said,

“The development of vaccines is long, complex, risky and expensive The vast majority of vaccines in early development fail.”

Tedros said multiple vaccine candidates, of different types, were needed in order to identify the best one.

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– Access to the winner –

Russia on Tuesday declared itself the first country to approve a vaccine, even though final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people was only due to start on Wednesday.

Bruce Aylward, who heads up the ACT-Accelerator, said the WHO was still awaiting more details from Moscow.

“We’re currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information, understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken, and then what the next steps might be,” he said.

The WHO says 168 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, of which 28 have progressed to being tested on humans.

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Nine of those 28 — not including the Russian vaccine — are in the ACT-Accelerator programme.

WHO access to medicines chief Mariangela Simao said that with so many vaccine candidates being worked on, backing just one or two could not be the best bet.

“We don’t know which one will be the front-runner, which one will actually prove to be safe and effective,” she said.

“We are encouraging countries to join a global facility, because you will have access to more candidates, and you have a better chance to have concrete access… to procure one of the successful candidates.”

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The European Union said earlier Thursday that it has reserved up to 400 million doses of a potential new coronavirus vaccine being developed by US giant Johnson & Johnson.

On July 31, the European Commission said it had reserved 300 million doses of another potential vaccine being developed by French firm Sanofi.

– Eye of the storm? –

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 750,000 people and infected more than 20.6 million worldwide since it first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan warned that only a small proportion of the global population had actually been exposed to the virus.

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“This virus has a long way to burn, if we allow it,” he said.

“The vast majority of people remain susceptible to this infection.

“We may be in the eye of the storm and we don’t know it.”

Meanwhile, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said there were examples from some countries suggesting that an individual may have been reinfected the virus, but “its still not confirmed”.

She said experts would need to look for false positive or negative cases, immune response after infection, and sequencing.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigeria records 373 new cases, total infections surpass 48,000

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Nigeria reports 373 fresh COVID-19 Cases, total death toll hot 966 and total infections hit 48,116

Stands•

373 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-69
Osun-41
Kaduna-40
Oyo-40
FCT-35
Plateau-22
Rivers-19
Kano-17
Ondo-17
Ogun-15
Abia-14
Gombe-12
Imo-9
Enugu-7
Kwara-6
Delta-5
Niger-2
Borno-1
Bauchi-1
Nasarawa-1

48,116 confirmed
34,309 discharged
966 deaths


#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Deaths globally surpass 750,000.

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countries tightens rules


The total number of people killed by the novel coronavirus around the world passed 750,000 on Thursday, with some countries toughening control measures as caseloads once again creep up.

The Latin America and the Caribbean region remains the global epicentre, accounting for almost one-third of all deaths and housing two of the worst-affected countries — Mexico and Brazil.

However, fear is growing in other regions of new spikes, with countries including New Zealand and Italy tightening measures in a bid to secure hard-won gains in fighting the virus, which has now infected more than 20 million worldwide.

New Zealand, which earlier this week broke a streak of more than 100 days without a new infection, is scrambling to find the source of 17 new cases in its biggest city Auckland — which faces the prospect of a three-day lockdown being extended.

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“As with our first outbreak, things will get worse before they get better,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a televised address.

Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, imposed mandatory coronavirus testing for all travellers arriving from some fellow EU nations and banned all visitors from Colombia.

Health officials worry that Italians returning from foreign holidays may bring home the virus and pass it on at summer events.

– ‘Prioritise learning’ –

Elsewhere in Europe, the first case was reported in one of Greece’s overcrowded island camps housing migrants and asylum seekers, and Spain’s Galicia region banned public smoking and asked people not to remove their masks to smoke where social distancing was not possible.

The Finnish government reversed a long-held policy by recommending mask-wearing in public places.

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And in secretive North Korea — which long insisted it had no cases — officials could be seen disinfecting underground train carriages, distributing hand sanitiser and checking temperatures of masked passengers at station entrances.

“We are stepping up propaganda activities as required by the maximum emergency system,” said Jon Gyong Hui, a chief doctor at the railway station in capital Pyongyang.

There was some relief for watchers of the world’s biggest economy, as new benefits claims for joblessness in the United States dipped below one million per week for the first time since March.

But around 28.3 million people were still receiving some form of government aid in the week ending July 25, far higher than the 1.7 million at the same time last year.

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Europe’s powerhouse Germany saw bleak news from two economic giants — conglomerate Thyssenkrupp reporting second-quarter losses of 678 million euros ($800 million) and tour operator TUI losing 1.4 billion euros over the same period.

Continued woes for the aviation and transport sectors mean global oil demand is likely to remain depressed throughout this year and much of 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

By December 2021, consumption will still be two percent lower than it was at the end of 2019, the Paris-based body said.

In a further sign of how tough it will be to safely return to normal life, the UN highlighted that 43 percent of all schools lacked basic hand-washing facilities before the pandemic.

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“We must prioritise children’s learning. This means making sure that schools are safe to reopen,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore.

– Playing it safe –

Pharmaceutical companies and health authorities are still locked in a race to produce a vaccine or any effective treatment for the virus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed earlier this week his country had developed the first inoculation offering “sustainable immunity”.

But Western scientists and the World Health Organization complained that vital data were missing — including a “Phase 3” trial with thousands of volunteers.

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Moscow is pressing ahead with production and distribution and says it has pre-orders from 20 countries for one billion doses.

The Brazilian state of Parana signed a deal Wednesday to test and produce Russia’s potential vaccine, though officials stressed they would have to be sure of its safety and effectiveness first.

And in a setback for the drug, Philippines’ strongman president Rodrigo Duterte will not be among the first to test it, despite promising to be a guinea pig and declaring “huge trust in Moscow”.

A government spokesman poured cold water on the plan, saying the “requisite tests” that would allow the president to take the drug would not be finished until May 1.


#Newsworthy….

Several seek answers on deadly Scottish train crash.

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Investigators were seeking answers Thursday over why a train derailed in northeast Scotland, killing the driver, conductor and a passenger.

The 06:38 am passenger service from Aberdeen to Glasgow came off the tracks on Wednesday morning near the town of Stonehaven, which had been hit by flooding following heavy rain.

Six people were hospitalised with minor injuries and police said the train had fortunately not been busy, with media reports saying just 12 people were on board.

Aberdeen is subject to tighter coronavirus restrictions than the rest of Scotland due to a localised outbreak of COVID-19, with people advised not to travel to the city.

Government ministers were due to visit the site on Thursday and investigators are already picking through the debris, including the ashes of a fire that left four firefighters with minor injuries.

A landslip had been reported close to where the train derailed at 09:43 am (0843 GMT), and Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those to suggest the weather might have played a part.

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“It’s probably a very good idea to look at the effect of substantial rainfall on all our vulnerable infrastructure everywhere,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.

“And as I understand there was about a month’s worth of rainfall in a very short period which undoubtedly aggravated the problem there.”

However, he said it was up to investigators to determine what caused Britain’s first major derailment for 13 years and vowed to “make sure nothing like this happens again”.

Queen Elizabeth II, who is staying in her Scottish home of Balmoral around 50 miles away from Stonehaven, sent her condolences.

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Scotland’s Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said he would meet members of the emergency services in Stonehaven, saying they had faced “significant challenges” at the site.

He told BBC Radio Scotland that changing weather patterns posed difficulties across the railways.

“The rail networks are experiencing increasing challenges across different parts of the routes, not just here in Scotland but across the UK, due to what is an increasing number of very intense localised weather events that have a significant impact on the infrastructure,” he said.

Britain’s last major rail derailment was in 2007 in Cumbria, in northwest England, which left one passenger dead and 30 others injured.


#Newsworthy…

Gridlock on Lagos-Ibadan expy after vehicle crashes with gas loaded tanker.

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An accident Thursday involving two-heavy duty vehicles resulted in an interminable traffic gridlock on a section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Noble Reporters Media gathered

According to our correspondent, a tipper vehicle whose brakes failed had rammed into a gas-loaded tanker, effectively shutting down traffic on the inbound-Ibadan, Kara-axis of the expressway.

Emergency services – including the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Fire Service, the Police, and the Army – responded to the incident in an attempt to manage the traffic on the usually busy road.

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As at the time of filing this report, the number of deaths and injuries from the incident were yet to be ascertained.

An accident involving two heavy-duty vehicles led to an interminable traffic gridlock on a section of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on August 13, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

Accidents are frequent at the Kara section of the expressway. On July 4, two tankers carrying Premium Motor Spirit collided with each other in the area. On February 26, a fuel tanker exploded.

Also on February 12, a fully-loaded truck lost control while another broke down, leading to long traffic wait-times for commuters.

In September 2019, the Federal Government had, for several months, partially closed down sections of the Kara axis for road repairs.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Diesel truck crashes in Apapa, Lagos State.

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A truck ferrying Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, has crashed in the Apapa area of Lagos State after its brakes failed in transit.

The incident was confirmed by the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu in a statement on Thursday.

According to the agency, no deaths or injuries were recorded in the incident.

“Distress calls were received at 12.05 am concerning the above incident and upon arrival at the above-mentioned scene, it was confirmed that a truck with an unknown registration number loaded with AGO had fallen due to suspected brake failure,” the LASEMA statement said.

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“This resulted in the obstruction of free vehicular activities along the corridor.

“A multi-stakeholder team comprising Agency responders, LRU Firefighters, Lagos State Fire Service, LASTMA, LSNC, and the Nigerian Police worked together to evacuate the impediment off the road.

FILE: This picture shows a heavy-duty truck at the scene of an accident involving a petrol-laden tanker in the Mile 2 area of Lagos on August 7, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

“The Agency heavy-duty equipment (Super metro) was used for Recovery, while the area has been blanketed to prevent any secondary incident. The operation concluded with no loss of life or injury.”

Apapa, which is host to some of the largest ports in the country, is notorious for its truck accidents despite several interventions by State and Federal governments to find lasting solutions to its poor road network.


#Newsworthy….

COVID-19: Nigerian govt alleges false on Russian vaccine order.

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The Federal Government (FG), yesterday, said Nigeria had not placed order for any vaccines from Russia.

It made the clarification following reports that about 20 countries had ordered billions of the controversial Russian vaccine, which were approved by the Russian authority.

Also yesterday, the Nigerian Muedical Association (NMA) and other medical experts commended Russia and her scientists for approving their COVID-19 vaccine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced approval of the coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, for use on Tuesday, claiming it was “world’s first,” amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.

Developed by Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has yet to go through the crucial Phase 3 trials needed before approval.

Reacting to the question on whether Nigeria had ordered for the vaccine, the Executive Director (ED)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), who is also, a public health specialist and epidemiologist, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, told The Guardian: “No! Nigeria has not ordered any vaccines from Russia. Nigeria is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI), Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) and many critical stakeholders to access vaccines that have gone through the required clinical trials and approval processes. So in the end, whatever vaccines come to Nigeria, they would be of globally-acceptable standards.”

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NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, told The Guardian: “We need to congratulate Russia and her scientists for this feat. It is excellent! This is a clear advancement in science in response to the global health pandemic, even if it is not as perfect.”

Asked if he would recommend the vaccine for use in Nigeria considering reports that the clinical trial was not conclusive, Ujah, who is a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) Yaba, Lagos, and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State, said: “First, I will not subscribe to the notion that the trial was rushed. We are not in the know when the whole process started and it will, therefore, be purely presumptuous. However, in this global health emergency, any safe and effective options could be accepted. I suggest that before it can be used in Nigeria, it should be subjected to further studies and evaluation on the behaviour of the vaccine on Nigerians. It is only after the evaluation, that it can be licensed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for use in Nigeria.”

He said safety concerns should inspire extended study in other parts of the world to determine its reproducibility and safety.

A pharmaceutical chemist and Project Lead of Bloom Public Health, Prof. Chimezie Anyakora, told The Guardian the Russian COVID-19 vaccine came from a government-owned laboratory that also produced fantastic Ebola vaccine.

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Anyakora, who was the Chief of Party, Promoting the Quality of Medicines Programme (PQM) of the United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) in Nigeria, however, said: “A breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccine will be a big victory for the world. However, the extraordinary pace with which the Russian vaccine was approved for use by the Russian government is a cause for concern.

“I won’t recommend the vaccine to Nigeria as it was fast-tracked and also because Russia has not shared or released safety and immunity data concerning the development and studies around this vaccine. This notwithstanding, it shows that there is hope in the near future that COVID-19 vaccine will be available to Nigerians.”

HOWEVER, a virologist and vaccinologist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innovative Biotech, Keffi, Nasarawa State and Innovative Biotech, United States of America (USA), Dr. Simon Agwale, told The Guardian that the approach by Russia could cause harm in several ways such as negative impact on health, creating a false sense of security and undermining trust in vaccinations.

Agwale said: “Vaccine development is a process and it usually takes an average of 10 years to develop and license a vaccine. However, this process has been shortened to just about 12 months without compromise to the scientific integrity of the process due to multiple factors, including but not limited to advance purchase commitments by governments, utilisation of well-tested vaccine platforms, political will, impact of the virus on global economies etc. There are about three candidate vaccines that have entered the last phase of clinical trials (Phase III), which will require enrollment of thousands of volunteers for a minimm period of about six months before we will know whether the vaccines are safe and efficacious.

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“The Russian vaccine fell short of this process because only about 76 volunteers participated in the early stage of the clinical trials. The vaccine should undergo the last phase (Phase III) before licensing and there is no record that this was done. The World Health Organisation said all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being rolled out, but what Russia is doing is deploying the vaccine before we know whether it works or not. There is a clear difference between a large vaccine trial, with careful and frequent follow-up of all vaccinated individuals, and rolling out of a vaccine to the general public.”

CHAIRMAN, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Dr. Fidelis Ayebae, told The Guardian: “Russia just wants to be seen as the first to market and actually short-circuited a typical development process and phases. Unfortunately the information around the Russian vaccine is opaque and insufficient.

“Secondly I will not use or recommend it for usage for now until after wide usage by Russians themselves. The medium-term results of this ‘herd clinical use’ will be helpful for health authorities in Nigeria to gather more evidence of its efficacy and safety.

“Lastly the aforementioned throws up a lot of safe questions. These must be answered before the authorities in Nigeria should permit usage. We should not be joined in the global politics surrounding COVID-19 but be led by validated science.”

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A public health physician and Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC), Dr. Ben Nkechika, told The Guardian it was a welcome development that there was great effort toward finding solution to contain the virus but the effort must follow all medical ethics, safety and regulatory compliance protocols, which he said, the Russian COVID-19 vaccine did not seem to follow.

“Obviously not recommended for use in Nigeria. Clinical efficacy and safety trials have not been done within the Nigeria population.

“There are obvious consequences of deploying a vaccine that has not met standardised protocols for wide spread vaccination. Most important danger is failure to generate a proper antibody response to the vaccine that could create new problems instead of a solution.”

Another public health physician and Executive Director of Enugu State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ENSACA), Dr. Chinedu Idoko, told The Guardian: “The breakthrough is of course a good step in the right direction. It is a welcome development. The vaccine probably has gone through a number of technical protocols culminating to this point of its announcement. I believe it would have reached a certain limit/ level of safety to be declared publicly. I believe going forward as the vaccine is being applied on a wider scale the necessary trials would continue in the process. Sometimes, uncertain times/ situations call for uncommon approaches.

“The Nigerian regulatory authorities and health establishments would of course apply their independent assessment to authentication before widespread application to the public so I think it won’t be a bad idea for Nigeria to tap into this.”

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MEANWHILE, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved N8.49 billion to facilitate procurement of 12 items in various quantities to aid officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in conducting COVID-19 test in the country’s 774 local government councils.

The memo was presented by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on behalf of the center at the Council chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Ehanire said the procurement was to guard against against community transmission of the disease which has already affected over 586 local government.

The minister explained that the items were needed to expand testing and diagnostic capabilities.


#Newsworthy….

Breaking: inferno dares 2 Guinness warehouse in Ogba, Lagos

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…. Firefighters struggle.


Two warehouses belonging to Guinness PLC caught fire in Ogba, Lagos, on Thursday morning, the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service said.

According to a press statement put out by the Service, the fire started at about 3 am.

“A distress call was received at about 0330hrs to Wemco Road, Ogba where it was discovered on arrival that twin warehouses belonging to Guinness PLC was on fire,” the Service’s Acting Head, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye confirmed in the statement.

She said that immediately the call was received firefighters, from Alausa and Ilupeju Stations, were deployed to the scene of the incident.

Adeseye added that the cause of the inferno that gutted the warehouses, which are used for storing plastic containers and bottles, is yet to be ascertained at the moment.

While saying that the rescue operations by the firefighters to put off the fire is already at the conclusion stage, she confirmed no deaths or injuries have been recorded as a result of the incident.

…more to come


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Greece reports highest single day cases.

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Greece on Wednesday registered 262 new COVID-19 infections, the highest figure since the pandemic began and part of a steadily rising trend this month.

The public health organisation also said two more people had died, bringing the total virus death toll to 216.

The number of patients under intensive care has nearly doubled, with 24 reported Wednesday from 13 last week.

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Authorities have blamed the spike in infections to the flouting of social distancing rules in restaurants, bars and public gatherings.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said earlier that the average age of those infected in August had dropped to 36 years old.

“It can happen even if you’re young and think you’re invulnerable,” Kikilias tweeted.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – AUGUST 03: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a nursing home resident with coronavirus symptoms on August 03, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas has had the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, following Florida and California. John Moore/Getty Images/AFP

The Greek government on Monday announced a night curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations.

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New entry restrictions for Balkan arrivals and flight passengers from several EU countries were also unveiled.

Eateries and bars are closed from midnight to 0700 in a dozen parts of the country, including the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete.

The cities of Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos and Katerini are also affected, as is the Halkidiki peninsula which is popular with Balkan visitors.

In addition, all passengers on flights from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden arriving from August 17 must provide a negative COVID-19 result obtained up to 72 hours before entry, as must all land border arrivals.

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The civil protection agency last week made masks compulsory in all indoor public areas.

Among other measures announced Monday was a decision to scrap Greece’s top trade exhibition, the annual Thessaloniki international fair in September.

The government has ruled out a general lockdown after gradually reopening the economy in May and starting to accept foreign arrivals in June to salvage part of the tourism season which is vital to the economy.

Only 10 percent of cases in Greece can be traced to foreign arrivals.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigeria reports 453 new cases; death toll hits 956

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Nigeria records 956 total COVID-19 deaths as total infections heads to 50,000.

Stands•

453 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-113
FCT-72
Plateau-59
Enugu-55
Kaduna-38
Ondo-32
Osun-26
Ebonyi-20
Ogun-9
Delta-8
Borno-7
Akwa Ibom-6
Oyo-5
Bauchi-1
Kano-1
Ekiti-1

47,743 confirmed
33,943 discharged
956 deaths


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Indonesia begins Human trials on China vaccine ‘CoronaVac’

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Indonesia on Tuesday launched human trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine with some 1,600 volunteers slated to take part in the six-month study.

The vaccine candidate, produced by Sinovac Biotech, is among just a few in the world to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval.

The treatment, known as CoronaVac, is already being tested on 9,000 health workers in Brazil, the second-hardest-hit country in the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has been struggling to contain its mounting virus cases, with more than 127,000 confirmed infections and over 5,700 deaths.

But the true scale of the public health crisis is believed to be much bigger, given the Southeast Asian nation’s low testing rates.

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The governor of Indonesia’s most populous province, West Java, was among 1,620 volunteers slated to take part in clinical testing, which was set to wrap up in February.

Employees work on the production line of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines at the Bio Farma Pharmacy, which will produce the vaccine early next year with a production capacity of 250 million vaccines a year, in Bandung, West Java on August 12, 2020. – Indonesia on August 11 launched human trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine with some 1,600 volunteers slated to take part in the six-month study. Bay ISMOYO / AFP.

If the vaccine proves safe and effective, Indonesian officials said, there were plans to produce up to 250 million doses for the sprawling archipelago of nearly 270 million, although they gave few details of the tentative roll-out.

On Tuesday, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo toured a factory in Bandung city, operated by state-owned pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma, where production would begin.

“Once again I want to highlight that the COVID-19 threat will not end until all people in Indonesia are vaccinated,” Widodo said ahead of the tour.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: F.A minister, Onyeama recovers, test negative.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has recovered from COVID-19 after testing negative to the virus.

Mr Onyeama disclosed this on his official Twitter handle on Wednesday following three weeks in isolation.

…more to come


#Newsworthy….