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FG insists on December 1 deadline for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine

The Federal Government has insisted that federal civil servants without COVID-19 vaccination will not be allowed access to workplace from December 1.

FELLOW PRESS Recall that the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had announced that effective December 1, 2021, unvaccinated Federal Government workers won’t be allowed access into any public offices, as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.

While speaking during the COVID-19 vaccination update on Monday, November 23, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, observed that the COVID19 vaccine mandate has become a global phenomenon and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the fight against the pandemic.

“There’s a deadline already set and we are hoping that it will encourage those civil servants who love their jobs and are yet to take the COVID-19 vaccine to take the jab for their own good. The reason is that there’s evidence that supports the fact that if you are fully vaccinated, the effect of COVID-19 won’t be much on you. But that is not the same with unvaccinated people. There are higher chances of survival if a fully vaccinated person comes down with COVID-19.

However, those who have not taken the vaccine are a threat to the safety of other people who have been fully vaccinated and possibly share same public places with them by virtue of being colleagues. There’s a higher risk of them infecting other people, and that’s what we want to avoid. In addition to that, we want to secure the health of others who share the same public spaces.

Evidently, most countries now insist on presenting evidence of full vaccination before someone is being allowed into public places.”Ehanire said

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COVID-19: FG to support NAFDAC on vaccine research to meet global standard

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government will support the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), to meet international standards in researches into the development of a vaccine for the Coronavirus.

Ehanire said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 joint briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the government would support NAFDAC to reach international maturity level and encourage researchers to work towards the development of vaccines for the virus.

Ehanire said Nigeria participated in a World Health Organisation (WHO), African Regional Conference, held virtually and chaired by the Minister of Health of the Congo.

He said the conference was centered on COVID-19, adding that conversation were on vaccines and implementing the African Region sickle cell strategy.

“We shall sustain our interest in developments around COVID-19 and seek opportunities to exchange ideas with countries and organisations investing in new knowledge.

NAFDAC is also trying to reach the maturity level to assure that the product and processes that come out of research work in Nigeria towards the development of vaccine candidates are realizable and that they meet the required standard

“The onus lies not only with the Ministry of Health, but is a shared responsibility with the populace.

“Our safest, easiest and cheapest option of achieving a balance between saving livelihood and saving lives remains adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures, as we have preached so many times. With these measures, we can balance and uphold our indices, even as we reopen our economy.”

The minister, however, urged Nigerians not to relax in observing the COVID-19 preventive measures, saying that the virus would still remain for the foreseeable future, till there was a vaccine available for it.

With the imperative to reopen the economy, relax local and international air travel to support restoration of livelihoods, the minister noted that the experience in other countries was that COVID-19 infection rates have gone up and in some cases, dramatically.

Ehanire, therefore, said Nigerians must strive not to lose its attention to preserve lives or lose the gains it has made over the months.

He also said that training and retraining on infection prevention and control was ongoing in all health facilities as well as ensuring availability of PPE as an investment, to continue the reduction in health worker infections.

Ehanire called on health workers to ensure judicious and prudent use of PPE materials, while observing full Information Prevention Control (IPC), measures.

The minister recalled that Nigeria, was on Aug. 25, declared poliovirus free, he therefore, said all material and human resource assets from polio eradication would be deployed to surveillance and fighting other disease outbreaks, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.

Ehanire said this at the Presidential Tasks Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily briefing on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.

Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.

He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.

“As the cause of the disease becomes clearer, the Director-General of WHO warns that COVID-19 may be with us for a long time.

“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.

The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.

“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.

“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.

Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.

“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.

Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.

He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.

The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.

He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.

“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.

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Report doctors refusing to treat you for other ailments – Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire tells Nigerians

Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, has asked Nigerians to report to the Ministry of Health any doctor who fails to treat them for any other ailment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nigerians have complained bitterly about how they have been treated by doctors and hospitals since the COVD-19 pandemic started.

Ehanire while speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID19 today June 11, said it is unethical and unacceptable for doctors to refuse to treat patients with other ailments. He asked Nigerians to report such doctors to the Ministry of Health and other bodies of authority.

“It is unethical to reject patients who come to the hospital for treatment. I have said here repeatedly that every person who comes to the hospital must be seen and attended to and at least, be given advice on what to do.

If you can’t do it, advise him on where to go or call transport for him; but to just say go, we don’t handle that is not ethical, and it is not acceptable. So, if that happens anywhere, you have the authority to write to the board of that hospital and lay complain. Or you can also write to the ministry of health, or you can write to the state ministry of health if it is a state-owned hospital.

If it is a private hospital, you can write to the medical director or if they have a management board, you can write there to express yourself. This is very important.

So, we do receive cases or complaints like that and we have always followed them up and in cases where it is proven that there is an infringement on the duties of the Doctor it is referred to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and it is well known that they have gone to as far as withdrawing licenses of doctors for cases of very serious medical misbehaviour.” he said

While speaking at the briefing, the Minister said that there are suspicions that a new strain of Coronavirus is in the country. He said although not confirmed, it is suspected the new strain of the novel Coronavirus may be as a result of mutation, probably from people who recently returned from other countries. He said Nigerian researchers are currently carrying out research to determine if there is a new strain of the virus in the country.

“As for the strain of COVID-19, yes, when Nigerians were coming back in batches from different countries – US, Saudi Arabia, Europe, China, the question did arise and some of them tested positive for COVID-19.

The question did arise about whether the strain of COVID-19 they have is the same one that was known. The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) did a genome sequencing of the virus of the index case that came long ago; this is the first in Africa.

It was confirmed to be the same strain as what was circulating in Italy and China. So, we raised the question whether there has been mutation since then in people coming from other areas.

I don’t have any information on that yet, but it is suspected that it is possible. It is not yet updated but I’m sure that research centres in Yaba, Lagos and the one in Ede, are trying to do a sequencing that will show us whether all these viruses are the same or whether they have a different sequencing” he said

When asked for an update on the Madagascar COVID-19 herb brought into the country in May, the Minister said it is still being examined and no feedback yet from the agencies where it is being examined.

“With regards to Madagascar’s herb, we do not have any information yet. We have given them to our research centres and they are working on them. None of them has reported back yet. The time it will take for all these researches is not what we know, but I think after a period, I will reach out to them to find out if they can give me an interim report” he said

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60 percent of Kano deaths linked to COVID-19 – Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, today disclosed that 60 percent of recent deaths recorded in Kano State have been linked to COVID-19 infection.

Recall that in April, Nigerians took to social media to express worry over the mysterious deaths in Kano state which reportedly rose to 640 in one week.

This prompted the constitution of a Ministerial task force that was sent to Kano to investigate the causes of the mysterious death and to also ascertain if it is related to COVID19.

Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID19, Ehanire said that the ministry have received the report of the Ministerial Task Team.

According to the Minister, it was observed that 50 to 60 percent of persons above the age of 65 died of COVID-19 related cases while others died due to neglect or delay in treatment. The minister added that about 979 strange deaths occurred in eight Municipal Area Councils of the state.

“The team confirmed from graveyard records, that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in 8 municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April.

By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be. The verbal autopsy revealed that about 52 per cent of deaths had occurred at home while 38 per cent were in a hospital.

If circumstantial evidence are all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60 per cent of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19 in the face of preexisting ailments. Most fatalities were over 65 years of age” he said


Hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis, others account for 70% COVID -19 deaths – Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire

Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that 70 percent of Nigerians that have died from the novel Coronavirus in the country are persons with hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, HIV, cancer, and tuberculosis.

He stated this during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 on Thursday, May 21.

According to the Minister, analysis of the number of deaths so far recorded as a result of the virus showed that 70 percent were males while the remaining 30 percent were females.

“The core morbidity of the fatalities we have had to COVID -19, 70% of them have hypertension, or diabetes, and the rest were kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis, and other sundry challenges. A finding from the analysis of the death patterns shows 70% to 30% for male and female around that ratio and about 70% fatalities were persons who are 60 years old while a majority of positives were between the ages of 29 and 49; those are the most active ages in life.

A curious finding from the analysis of the deaths shows that nearly half of them died at home. Of those who died at home, about 50% did not show any symptoms. This underscores my earlier emphasis on the need for those who test positive to report for treatment.

I would also advise those who have taken the test and are awaiting results to heed the advisory to self-isolate from friends, wear face masks and observe hand and respiratory hygiene until your result is out so that your community and those around you will not necessarily be exposed.” he said

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Revealed! See drugs used to treat Coronavirus patients in Nigeria

Although there might not be definite medication for treating the novel Coronavirus, Nigeria has come up with a workable drugs that have proved potent.

While making the revelation Tuesday to the House of Representatives, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed the drug used to treat COVID-19 patients in Nigeria is Remdesivir.

“We have been using that (Remdesivir); we have tried that in Lagos too. So, we have tried the antiretroviral drug to see what effect it has” he said

The Minister said the drug which was originally developed as a potential treatment for Ebola, is one of the options which Nigeria has adopted for in treating COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir was tested in 1,063 hospitalized Coronavirus patients around the world and has proven to reduce the time it takes patients to recover by 31%. 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care.


Minister reacts to shutting down of Kano Coronavirus testing centre

Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie has explained why the Coronavirus testing center in Kano was shut down.

Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Ehanire said asides the laboratory running short of testing reagents, some of its staff got infected with the virus.

He revealed that the center was temporarily shut down for decontamination. Ehanire said;

“As of the testing in Kano, there was a report that they have reduced availability of reagents and we supplied that.

“But in addition to that, there was a temporary halt in activity because some of the workers in the laboratory got infected, and laboratory had to be shut down for decontamination. That was just temporary.”

The Minister further revealed that the laboratory has been supplied with additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and reagents;

“With regards to supply of reagents, they have been replenished. They have PPE, they have reagents now, they are working.” he said


FG warns health workers against treating coronavirus privately

The Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie has warned health workers against treating suspected cases of Coronavirus privately.

Osagie who said this at the Presidential Task Force daily media briefing on Friday April 10, directed all health workers to refer all cases to certified healthcare facilities for isolation and management.

The Minister said;

”All medical practitioners, health care workers and also the public are reminded that Covid-19 is such a highly infectious disease and they should abstain from trying to privately treat or manage these cases in their homes.

“Only designated treatment centre can provide safe isolation and management of Covid-19 patients.

“All designated isolation and treatment centres have adequate supplies to manage cases and there is no shortage of Personal Protective Equipment and no fear of shortage in the short term for health workers.”


MI Abaga fumes as music critic Osagie accuse him of mismanaging Chocolate City [Video]

MI Abaga, a Nigerian Rapper and Chocolate City ‘CEO’, got himself at loggerheads with music critic, Osagie, while on interview at the Pulse studio, after he was accused of mismanaging the leading record lable, Chocolate City and its view of Youtude drastically droppped under the leadership of the rapper.

It was such a hot seat for MI, as both used curse words on one another and Osagie was asked to apologise which he did.

Osaigie had also accused the leadership of MI as his Artistes on the label are buying Youtube views and that the flagship Artiste in Chocolate City is nothing much to write home about.

This didn’t sit well with the Rapper who lost his cool immediately and resorted to using curse words multiple times.

Video below