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Kano to introduce COVID-19 marshals




By Muhammad Nur Tijani

Kano State Government is to appoint COVID- 19 marshals to enforce safety protocols.

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje disclosed this on Saturday while meeting with journalists, at the Government House, Kano.

He said there was the need to tackle COVID-19 with all seriousness, noting that non- compliance to safety protocols had been identified as a huge challenge to curbing the spread of the virus.

Ganduje said the state government had held a meeting with relevant agencies to find a template on how the compliance would be enforced.

“Enforcement of compliance with COVID-19 protocols would soon come up in the state. People should comply for the health of the citizenry.

“The state task force  on COVID-19 held a meeting with security agencies to embark on the enforcement to ensure that members of the society do comply for optimum result,” he said.

The governor said that the vanguards would  include security agencies, the paramilitary and non-governmental  organisations.

He called on the mass media to continue to enlighten  the public on the dangers of the pandemic.

“We are very happy that you are cooperating with the state government in this fight,” he said.

The governor, who also met with private school proprietors, urged them to complement government efforts in curbing the menace in their respective schools.

Ganduje commended the proprietors  for their cooperation so far.

“We are very happy that you are cooperating with the state government in this fight, and we will give you all the support,” he added. (NAN)



Buhari’s Chief of Staff, senior aides receive COVID-19 vaccines




Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, on Monday in Abuja received his first dose of the Covid-19 Astrazeneca vaccine at the State House Clinic.

The first phase of the national vaccination drive, targeting frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders, was rolled out on Friday at the National hospital Abuja.

Speaking after receiving the jab at the State House Clinic, the Chief of Staff described his experience as painless, urging eligible Nigerians to come forward and take the vaccine.

Gambari said: ‘‘I want to thank the Permanent Secretary, State House and the frontline healthcare workers in the Clinic for organizing and ensuring this vaccination exercise.

‘‘My experience in receiving this was almost painless and I am just following the footstep of my leader, his Excellency , President Muhammadu Buhari who has demonstrated leadership at the highest level by receiving the vaccine, followed by his Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

‘‘I want to encourage eligible Nigerians to take the vaccine. It is safe, painless and the benefits are immense.

‘‘It is not just for the individual but the more Nigerians are vaccinated the more we develop the herd immunity which will keep our country safe and our people healthy.’’

Several Presidential aides, as well as frontline State House medical staff were administered with the first shots of the vaccine after the Chief of Staff.

It is expected that senior government officials including the Head of Service, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of paramilitary agencies will also take their shots at the State House Clinic in the coming days.

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COVID-19: NCDC registers 371 new infections





By Abujah Racheal

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has registered 371 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the total number of infections in the country to 158,042.

The NCDC disclosed the figures on its official Twitter handle on Friday.

The public health agency recorded three COVID-19 deaths, raising the total fatalities in the country to 1,954.

The NCDC disclosed that the new infections occurred in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the last 24 hours.

It stated that Lagos State reported the highest number of infections with 101 cases, followed by Rivers with 54 and Anambra with 31 cases.

Ebonyi had 23, Imo-23, Kwara-22, Kano-20, Taraba-17, Akwa Ibom-16, FCT-15, Abia-13, Kaduna-13, Osun-five, Edo-four, Oyo-four, Kebbi-three, Ogun-three, Ekiti-two, Nasarawa-one and Zamfara-one.

According to the NCDC, a total of 137,025 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease, including 609 in past 24 hours.

It said there 204 community recoveries in Kwara, 167 in Lagos State, 88 in Edo and 60 in Osun, all managed in line with set guidelines.

The NCDC noted that the number of active COVID-19 cases in Nigeria was 19,063,on Friday,  down slightly from 19,385 the previous day.

The agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, had continued to coordinate the national response activities in Nigeria.

NAN recalls that Nigeria has tested 1,544,008 people since the COVID-19 index case was announced on Feb. 27, 2020. (NAN)

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Gbajabiamila cautions against politics over vaccines




The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged all Nigerians to rally behind the Federal Government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, describing it as “an unseen enemy” causing havoc around the world.

He noted that only a collective effort devoid of politics and conspiracy theories could guarantee a successful war against the virus.

Gbajabiamila, who was speaking in Abuja on Friday during the National Flag-off of Covid-19 Vaccination in Nigeria, also appealed to the media to pass accurate information about the virus and the vaccines to the public.

The speaker added that the vaccination was an “epical” moment in the history of the country, as Nigeria finally began the journey of fighting a pandemic that ravaged it and changed lifestyles in the last one year.

Nigeria had on March 2 received the first batch of about 4 million Oxford/AstraZeneca jab Covid-19 vaccines and launched the national vaccination against the virus on Friday.

Gbajabiamila said: “This is the time for us to rally behind the government. Like the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has said, the virus knows no creed, knows no religion, knows no ethnicity, knows no sex and knows no age.
“So, it is important for all of us to come together as a country to fight the pandemic. As I have often said, we are actually in a war, but in a war with an unseen enemy.

“Therefore, when a country goes to war, you go as one. I want to implore the journalists and implore all Nigerians, therefore, not to give in to conspiracy theories because we will hear them.
The Speaker assured Nigerians that with the support of the National Assembly, the government would deliver more vaccine doses to the country soon to expand the vaccination beyond the first 4 million doses.

He advised against playing politics with the vaccination and specifically enlisted the support of the media to ensure that the right decisions were taken always.
“We must not play politics with vaccines; we must not play politics with the health of our neighbour; we must be on the same page whilst we also correct and do what you need to do in terms of your role in checking the government and holding their feet to the fire”, Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker commended the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 led by the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, for the doggedness with which the members worked in the last one year to contain the virus from spiralling out of control in Nigeria.
He praised health workers and other frontline personnel glowingly for risking their lives so that the lives of other Nigerians could be saved from the virus.
In keeping with the government’s promise to administer the vaccines to health workers first, Dr. Cyprian Ngom, a physician managing one of the treatment centres in the Federal Capital Territory, made history as the first Nigerian to take the Covid-19 vaccine on Friday.

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