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PTF: states fail to conduct COVID-19 tests

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States are not doing enough COVID-19 tests despite the increased capacity, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Control said on Monday.

As at the last count, there are 71 molecular laboratories in the country excluding the accredited private hospitals where COVID-19 tests can be conducted.

Apart from not collecting many samples and conducting enough tests, many states are no longer filing reports on the tests to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The PTF said yesterday on Monday that only 13 states reported their figures in the last 24 hours (on Sunday).

It warned that although the number of confirmed cases is low, it is not a basis to draw any conclusion that the country is flattening the curve of the disease.

Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who spoke during the PTF on the briefing, said: “Seventy-nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in the past 24 hours from 13 states of the Federation, bringing the total number of known cases as of today 14th September 2020 to 56,256 out of a total of the number of 442,075 tests conducted. 44,152 persons have been treated and discharged while 1,082 have sadly been lost to COVID-19.

“Though we continue to record declining positivity rates every day, we are reluctant to conclude that we are halting the spread of disease because some states have not sustained the testing rate that would give us more assurance. Only 13 States, for example, reported their figures in the past 24 hours. This can be better.

“Until all parts of the country can sustain a certain testing rate, it would seem presumptuous to conclude that we are flattening the curve. In the words of Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), we are not safe until everyone is safe. I therefore again request our state governments to ramp up the testing momentum, so that we can together get control of the spread of this disease in our country.”

He added, “The entire surveillance diagnostics and response is inter-related. The NCDC is responsible for surveillance and diagnostics mainly. They support other activities. The state governments are the ones that begin the actual activity of collecting samples, working out the surveillance, contact tracing, etc. So there is an interdependency there.

“Not all the laboratories belong to the NCDC. The job of the NCDC is largely to coordinate. The interdependency means that there must be sample collection and testing going on. The NCDC can only report what it gets.”

Head of Disease Surveillance at the NCDC, Elsie Ilori, who represented the Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu,  added: “It is what the states give to you that you get. We have a platform where they report; sending their electronic reporting to us. Some of the states have issues with their laboratories and they are not testing. What we tell them is to send samples to our national reference lab and they test for you.

“Some states are still struggling to get people to come for their samples to be collected. But we are working with the States. Those that do not have active cases does not mean that they are not working. You can collect samples and not have a confirmed case among the samples collected.

“We are really monitoring the States to make sure that they do what they’re supposed to do. We want to ensure that all LGAs have sample collection sites, and then we encourage our people to come out and get tested.”

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NIGERIA

EDO 2020 UPDATES: Godwin Obaseki wins polling unit

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has won his polling unit in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

Voting at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, Obaseki polled 184 votes while All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, got 62 votes.

In Unit 21 of the same ward, the PDP garnered 53 votes while the APC polled 33 votes.

Obaseki’s PDP polled 70 votes ahead of Ize-Iyamu’s APC that garnered 65 votes. In Unit 23, it was PDP 101, APC 32.

In Unit 24 of the same Oredo Ward 4, PDP won with 94 votes, while the APC got 50 votes.

Also in the same ward, Unit 25, the PDP got 33 votes ahead of the APC’s 22 votes.

Casting of ballots ended in most of the areas at 2:30pm

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NIGERIA

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

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A three-story building belonging to a private school in the Ejigbo area in Lagos state collapsed on Saturday, September 19.

The affected school, Excel College, which is located at 15, Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus-Stop, collapsed at about 8.15 am. So far, there are no reports of casualties recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the privately-owned building belonging to Excel College had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate the structure before the collapse.

 

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

by Linda Ike

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NIGERIA

Edo election: I’m disappointed, says Obaseki after voting

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission should have prepared better for the election.

Obaseki spoke after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area.

The governor lamented that he stayed for over one and a half hours in the queue.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election said he was delayed because the card reader was slow.

He said, “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and a half hours in the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that there was manipulation in areas where Obaseki is popular.

He said, “Suddenly card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

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