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The wait is finally over for Cameroon, which hosts the Africa Cup of Nations three years later than initially planned as its own Indomitable Lions seems to be ready to face Burkina Faso in their first AFCON 2021 match.
"If we give it our all and do what is necessary, I think we will win the game. No game is easy against African teams. All African teams have reached a certain level. We have to give our best, be united and be really, really ambitious to be able to win the matches," said Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar.
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso captain Bertrand Traore has deplored as "a scandal" coronavirus testing procedures at the Africa Cup of Nations after up to five players and coach Kamou Malo tested positive in the run-up to Sunday's opener against hosts Cameroon.
The Aston Villa forward told a press conference in Yaounde on Saturday: "It's a scandal, we cannot be deprived of first team players 24 hours before the match."
Assistant coach Firmin Sanou, standing in for Malo, said: "We have four or five Covid cases, mainly first team players, we're not going to name names."
"It calls everything into question, but we have confidence in the players who will replace them," continued Sanou, who hit out at the organization with two different medical teams arriving to test the team.
"Yesterday morning (Friday) a medical team showed up at our hotel for tests, when we tried to understand who had sent them, the CAF (African Football Confederation) clearly told us that they hadn't sent them so we refused to do the tests," said Sanou.
"Another team arrived at 10 p.m., apparently the CAF team, we carried out the tests which informed us of 4 to 5 cases of Covid.
"I say 4 or 5 because they say that our first player tested did not carry out the test ... " he continued.
The Burkinabè delegation are disputing the fact that the tests were not PCR tests, which must be carried out 48 hours before the match, and have requested a second opinion.
Traore said: "The authorities must review the organisation. We cannot accept this decision. We can redo tests of our positive players."
The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement on Sunday noted that the government is worried about the increasing cases of positive infection which has been on the rise since the beginning of July.
In an update on Sunday, Sanwo-Olu said there is a potential third wave in Lagos State.
He expresses need for caution to curb the further spread of the virus.
To this end, the Governor ordered full compliance with all protective protocols including the compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitizers, and a maximum of 50 percent occupancy in enclosed spaces.
The statement reads: “From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1% at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6% as at 8th of July 2021.”
“The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our 2 isolation centres increased from an average of 1% to 6%. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us.
“Greater vigilance is required at this time in our Churches and Mosques and other places of religious worship. Even as we are pleased that religious houses are now open for worship, after the lengthy closures of 2020, we must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the illusion that all is now back to normal. This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.”
“The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the Coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.”
“For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols. Compulsory use of masks in all public places, Social distancing, Temperature checks, Provisions for hand-washing and sanitizers, and a maximum of 50 percent occupancy in enclosed spaces.”
“Resisting Pandemic Fatigue Whilst both the Federal and State Governments have a huge role to play in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibility of managing the third wave ultimately belongs to all of us.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says 17,382 persons have received the second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the state as at May 31.
Abayomi made this known through his verified Twitter account @ProfAkinAbayomi, on Friday while giving the state’s COVID-19 vaccination update for May 31.
He said 12,288 persons received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on the reported date.
According to him, 300, 534 persons who received the first jab of the vaccine were yet to get the second shot.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner had earlier stated that 317,916 persons were inoculated with the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The state commenced the Phase One of its COVID-19 vaccination programme on March 12.
Abayomi said the administration of the second dose of the vaccine, which began on May 28, was in continuation of the phase one vaccination exercise.
“For anyone to be fully vaccinated, two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are required, with an interval of six to 12 weeks,” he said.
The commissioner noted that the state would need to vaccinate 14 million people, which is 60 per cent of its population, to reach its target to achieve herd immunity.
He said the state was considering several channels, including discussions with the Federal Government and the private sector, to ramp up its vaccination numbers.
With gratitude to the Supreme Being for a life well spent, I announce the passing on of my beloved husband, Comrade Yinka Odumakin to the great beyond after a brief illness.
The sad event happened this morning (Saturday, 3/4/2021) at the intensive care unit of LASUTH where he was being managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID-19 which he had recovered from about a week ago.
I appreciate the outpouring of grief and sympathy from home and abroad as I mourn my irreplaceable soulmate. I urge us all to remain steadfast in the cause of the masses to which he dedicated his life.
Burial arrangement will be made public in due course.
Signed: Dr Joe Okei Odumakin
The Lagos State Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi described Covid-19 as a dynamic infection that we are still trying to understand a lot more information around it.
Many concerns have been raised concerning the covid vaccine, Prof Abayomi in an interview on CityTalks with Reuben Abati, provided insights about the Covid-19 Vaccination in Lagos.
The Commissioner mentioned that the flurry of a sudden emerging information on the Social media about the Covid Vaccine, the incident Commander, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State called for an emergency meeting, where we started going through the scientific data just to double check all the clinical trials presented.
According to him, “the scientific data did not suggest that there was an excessive risk with administering Astrazeneca, so Mr Governor, Sanwo-olu gave the permission to go ahead, and of cause we are liaising with the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) in Nigeria, across and Africa Union.
“We are not acting on our own.
“We are acting within a global scientific network.”
Prof Abayomi voiced that Forty thousand people in Lagos was vaccinated last week.
He disclosed the observation noticed on the Forty thousand people that have been vaccinated.
“We have only seen the initial pain and swelling around the injection side with body pains, a bit of fever, not many cases.
“It is something that Panadol or some anti-inflammatory will take care of, a good night rest and the person will be fine.
“We have one or two faints or collapses but that happens with all vaccinations.
“People are scared of needles.
“There are some chemicals inside the vaccine that perhaps one can react to and that is what we call vasovagal attack or an anaphylactic shock.
“All our personnel are trained, we have adverse event kit, so we’re able to immediately look after participants or vaccine that have these symptoms.
“Nobody has developed a blood clot so far, out of the 40,000 people vaccinated in Lagos, Prof Abayomi said.
The Commissioner for Health said that Lagos was able to set up 88 vaccination centres that was Flag off on Friday at Yaba, LASU, and FMC Ebute Meta and the Flag off was observed by Mr Governor, the Deputy and some key members of the Cabinet.
Prof Abayomi acknowledged the complains by people in the immunization centre in Palomo and the challenges participants are having with the portal.
He expressed apologies and assured Lagosians that everybody will be vaccinated in Lagos
The Federal Government has provided condition that states must fulfil before vaccines can be released to them, ahead of the arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in few weeks.
The Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hajia Kubura Daradara, said on Friday during a webinar hosted by the agency that “we are not releasing the vaccines to any state until we are sure that they are ready to implement (administer the vaccines).
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, had also expressed worry over the ability of the government to store the vaccines, saying the government made preparations for only four cold chains for the vaccines, in Abuja, Kano, Enugu and Lagos. He asked why the South-South region was not included in the plan.
He lamented that the vaccine might lose its efficacy on transit to the South-South if no facility was provided. Some other senators also expressed similar fear regarding the storage of the vaccines.
In a reaction regarding concerns of the efficacy of the vaccines on transit, Daradara mentioned that they will use dry ice in insulated thermal containers that are going to be sealed to preserve its efficacy.
She explained that states were expected to administer the vaccines within five days to retain their potency and that only states that showed commitment to this would receive the vaccines.
“So, when a state is ready for implementation, we take the vaccines to them a day to the time they are going to start the implementation. At the state level, the vaccines can stay for +2 to +8, which is at the normal refrigeration level for five days. So, each state would do their implementation for five days, that is when the vaccines will still be potent after we have given them.
“Once the vaccines are in the states, they can remove the vaccines and put them in their normal refrigerators where it would stay for five days,” she said.
She pointed out that the vaccines would be stored between -80 degree centigrade and -60 degree centigrade.
She said given that some cold stores were invaded by hoodlums during the violence that followed the #EndSARS protest in October 2020, there would be security from when the vaccines arrive at the airport to when they are eventually administered on the recipients. “There will be security personnel at every level of the chain,” she added.
Daradara explained further on the available logistics for deploying the vaccines, she stated, “Two weeks before the vaccines come into the country, we would receive a pre-alert that we are expecting the vaccines, we would issue job order to our clearing agents, we also issue notification letters to Customs, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the National Aviation Handling Company so they can know we are expecting vaccines.
“Immediately the vaccines arrive, the clearing agents go to the airport with the NAFDAC and Customs to conclude the documentation. The vaccines are immediately taken to the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja, where we have Ultra Cold Chain freezers where we would store the vaccines.
“Before loading the vaccines into the UCC, the NAFDAC officer that followed them from the airport to the store will pick a sample randomly from every batch of the vaccine and these would be taken to their office for testing. NAFDAC would then certify if the vaccines are potent and good enough to be used.”
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) disclosed that, the agencies have invested approximately $150 million and $70 million towards Nigeria’s polio eradication.
The agencies mentioned that they have worked in Nigeria at the state and local levels to strengthen surveillance, polio campaigns, polio outbreak response efforts, and routine immunization.
The African field Epidemiology Network, Core Group Partners Program, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, and World Health Organization are part of the implementing partners.
After a joint efforts to qualify Nigeria to be removed from the list of polio endemic countries since 2012, Mary Beth, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, congratulated Nigerians for attaining a polio virus free status.
Beth said, “We are proud of our partnership with Nigeria and esteem the cooperation that ensures that the country has the technical expertise and resources required for success.
She said in Town Hall meeting with Embassy staff and polio eradication stakeholders in August 24, 2020.
“No country could have achieved this great feat without the support of its partner.”
The U.S is ready to continue its partnership with Nigeria as it strengthen and builds upon the successes in fighting polio, consolidating routine immunization, and improving the health of children and their families, she said.
Certification comes after four year without cases of polio reported in Nigeria and an in-depth review and acceptance of the country’s certification document.
Beth said that she is confident that Nigeria has strategies in place to ensure that the current status attained in the polio eradication efforts are not lost and that the momentum achieved in this certification continues. A resurgence of polio can still occur, despite the current certification.
Ambassador Beth recognizes the role of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as the vanguard, partnering with Nigerians toward polio eradication in the country.