Nigeria has reduced the number of tests conducted on persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) before they are certified to have recovered from the disease.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this to press on Thursday.
While responding to some questions during an interview on Sunrise Daily, he explains that recovered COVID-19 patients are now discharged from the isolation centres after their first negative test.
“So, the discharge criterion at the moment is a single negative test in Nigeria,” the NCDC boss disclosed.
He added, “We used to do two negative tests – 48 hours apart – but because of challenges of bed space capacity, we reduced that to a single negative test then discharge the patient to another one week of home isolation … that’s the policy at the moment.”
Duration Of Hospitalisation
Dr Ihekweazu reacted to the allegations that the NCDC has refused to release some patients from its isolation facility after they recovered from the disease.
He also faulted the claims that he directed that COVID-19 patients should not be taken to isolation centres if they do not show symptoms of the disease.
According to the NCDC boss, the agency does not manage any patient but support clinicians in various states with guidelines.
He stressed that the decisions on the management of COVID-19 cases were left for the state authorities to take.
On how long infected patients stay at isolation centres, Dr Ihekweazu said, “The average duration of hospitalisation that we have found has been 10 to 11 days, although some have said that they have been discharged on the fourth day (a few people).
“There are also extremes that have stayed over 30 days; I think the longest that has been discharged in our record right now is about 38 days.”
“We have patients that have stayed longer than that and that number will change once they are discharged. The average duration of hospitalisation is 11 days to be precise,” he added
The Country’s Economy Sliding Into Depression – Gov. El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said Nigeria’s economy is going into a state of depression.
The governor said all the states are presently dealing with very difficult situation as they battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
El-Rufai said this while speaking to State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The economy is going to go into depression; there is nothing we can do about that; revenues have collapsed; yet you still have to invest in more public health facilities.
“Most of the leaders have to invest in treatment despite the condition and weighed to invest in security.”
He added that it is a difficult time for those at the leadership positions even as he called on all leaders to work in unity.
“This time is a very difficult time to be in a leadership position and that is why the people and the leaders must all work together and pray for God to end this Coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a major problem, but we are working together,” El-rufai added.
The Kaduna Governor, however, added that Nigeria will surely overcome as a resilient nation.
Maikanti Baru, Former NNPC GMD, Dies at 60
Maikanti Baru, the immediate past group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is dead.
He was 60 years old as at the time of his death, and only two months away from his 61st birthday.
This was disclosed by Mele Kyari, the current GMD of the state-run oil company.
“My brother, my friend and my mentor, Dr Maikanti Kachalla Baru, immediate past GMD of NNPC died late last night,” Kyari said.
“He was of exemplary character and disposition. May Allah forgive him and have mercy upon him.”
Baru was appointed NNPC GMD by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016, a position he held up until 2019.
Baru announced his retirement from NNPC in July 2019 when he clocked the age of 60.
“Today, having clocked the statutory age of 60, I have retired from the services of NNPC. I wish the new GMD Mallam Mele Kyari and his Team success. Thank you President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve,” he tweeted on July, 2019.
Baru was born in July 1959 in Misau, Bauchi state.
He attended Federal Government College, Jos for his secondary education where he graduated in 1978.
In 1982, he obtained his bachelor of engineering degree from Ahmadu Bello University.
Baru has a doctorate in Computer Aided Engineering from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
He was the 18th GMD of NNPC.
Court Jails Six Air Force Personnel Over Badeh’s Killing
A general court martial in Abuja has jailed six personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who were attached to Alex Badeh, former chief of defence staff (CDS).
The late Badeh served as Nigeria’s chief of defence staff between January 2014 and July 2015.
Badeh died from the gunshot wounds he sustained in an attack on December 18. He was returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi road when he was shot dead.
In a statement on Saturday, Ibikunle Daramola, NAF director of public relations and information, said the six officers, who were supposed to provide armed security for Badeh, were jailed on Friday. But he did not indicate the jail terms of the convicts.
He said the personnel involved are Tom Gwani, Amu David, Philemon Degema, Sabo Simon, Mukhtar Abdullahi and Alfred Alexander.
“Six NAF personnel, who were aides to the former CDS were awarded various sentences by the GCM sitting at the NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, Abuja,” he said.
“The personnel were standing trial for various offences. Delivering his judgment, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore David Aluku, pronounced the six accused personnel guilty of various charges.
“These included their failure to perform military duties, by absconding from the convoy of the deceased former CDS, while it came under attack, as well as conduct to the prejudice of service discipline, for giving false statements.
“The charges against the accused also included other civil offences of criminal conspiracy and miscellaneous offences relating to property, for illegally disposing of 79 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others.
“While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsels urged the court to show leniency, describing the accused persons as first time offenders. The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority.”
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