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FG orders civil servants to undergo COVID-19 test

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The Federal Government has asked civil servants based in Abuja to make use of the ThisDay Dome to test for COVID-19. This happened as the number of COVID-19 cases rose from 38,948 to 39,539 on Friday

The government directive was contained in a circular by the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Evelyn Ngige.

Ngige signed the circular titled, ‘Conduct of COVID-19 testing for civil servants,’ on behalf of the HOSF, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan.

The circular dated July 17, 2020 was addressed to all federal permanent secretaries.

It read, “I am directed to inform you that the Federal Government has provided facilities for the conduct of COVID-19 tests for civil servants at the ThisDay Dome, Mohammed Kur Avenue, by Nanet Suites, Central Business District, Abuja (from 10am to 4pm daily) as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.

“Accordingly, you are required to notify all staff of the testing facility to enable members of staff who experience COVID-19-related symptoms and those wishing to get tested in your MDAs to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Concurrently, the Federal High Court management on Friday has scheduled Monday for the collection of the samples of its workers in Abuja for COVID-19 testing.

This was contained in a circular signed by a Senior Medical Officer 1, Dr Adaora Keazor.

According to the circular, the sample collection exercise would take place for “interested individuals” from 9am on Monday within the court premises.

The development came one week after the management of the court announced that its Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho, and other close aides had embarked on self-isolation after a COVID-19 positive case was recorded among his aides.

Meanwhile, over 10, 000 health workers in Africa have been infected with COVID-19, the World Health Organisation African Region stated this on Friday via Twitter.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said in a 1:01 minute video clip on the agency’s Twitter handle that one of the biggest challenges in protecting health workers was the global shortage of personal protective equipment which had severely affected African countries.

She, however, said through the UN Global Supply Platform, over two million PPE items such as goggles, face masks and gloves had been shipped to African countries. She added that 41 million PPE items were in the process of being shipped, starting from this weekend.

Moeti said, “The growth we are seeing in COVID-19 cases in Africa is placing an ever-greater strain on health services across the continent.

“This has very real consequences for the individuals who work in them, and there is no more sobering example of this than the rising number of health worker infections.”

As of Friday, about 790,000 COVID-19 cases were recorded with over 16,000 deaths recorded in around 40 countries on the continent.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government, on Friday, refuted reports (not by PUNCH) that it spent N1m on each COVID-19 case in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement, addressed the claims attributed to the Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi.

According to Omotoso, reports of Abayomi’s comments and answers at Thursday’s media briefing on COVID-19 in the state showed “there are misunderstandings that require clarification and correction.”

The statement read, “It is clear that N1m sounds more sensational than N100,000, but we must not allow sincerity to be sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism.

“What the commissioner sought to communicate was the range of symptom manifestations of the coronavirus – from mild and moderate to severe and critical. He explained that the cost of treating these manifestations vary, considerably.

“He (Abayomi) went on to estimate the cost of intensive care, which usually requires a longer period of admission, and may range between N500,000 to N1,000,000 per day.”

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NIGERIA

Enforce Public Procurement Laws – CSOs tells Buhari

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Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has called for the enforcement of public procurement laws in all contract bidding especially one that has to do with international organisations.

Citing the Process and Industrial Developments Limited P&ID case, the agency said the international scam would not have been possible if due diligence was followed and public officials, patriotic and honest.

The agency also decried the connivance by Nigeria public officers with foreign companies to defraud the country of monies that could be spent on providing basic amenities for the citizens.

While lamenting the non interest of National Assembly in the case, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa expressed regrets over efforts by the lawyers representing the country to frustrate the case.

The CSO commended the proposed Database for recovered assets, but however called on the government clarify if the database will be accessible to the ordinary citizens.

CISLAC therefore called on citizens to continue to hold public officers accountable.

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NIGERIA

Nigerian Navy deploys 6 warships, 60 gunboats for operation in 4 States

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The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday deployed troops on board six warships and 60 gunboats for a special military exercise.

The drill targets pirates, oil smugglers and other criminalizes in the nation’s waters.

Rear Admiral David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Calabar, made the announcement.

He spoke at the flag-off of the exercise in Onne, Rivers State

The operation code-named, ‘Exercise Sanga Sung,’ means ‘Safe Transit’ in Ibibio dialect.

The States to be covered are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Rivers.

The commander explained the operation would consolidate ‘Exercises Bekan Mmon I and II’

Adeniran added that the purpose was to train personnel and check the state of preparedness of fleets.

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NIGERIA

Buhari reports Boko Haram, bandits to UN

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told the international community that Nigeria was still battling Boko Haram and bandits.

Buhari’s message was contained in his pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He urged countries to take a strong action against illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.

“Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits,” he said.

He noted that Nigeria counts on cooperation with neighbours and UN counter-terrorism bodies to overcome terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

The President said his administration will sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East.

On COVID-19, the Nigerian leader added his voice to supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all.

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