NEWS AND STORIES
By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM News
Nigeria has been hit with 176 fresh cases of the deadly Coronavirus, taking its overall total to 5,621 infections.
Lagos leads the pack with 95 new Coronavirus infections, with Oyo recording its biggest infection cases, which stands at 31.
In the figures released by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC around 12 midnight, FCT also recorded 11 new cases, with Niger and Borno ramping up eight infections each.
Others are: Jigawa, six new cases; Kaduna, four cases; Anambra, three cases, just as Edo, Rivers, Nasarawa and Bauchi rake in two cases each, while Benue and Zamfara recorded one case each.
The nation also recorded five Coronavirus deaths on Saturday, while 1,472 survivors of the disease have been discharged so far.
How States Stand
Borussia Dortmund were in clinical mood on Saturday afternoon battering Schalke 04 4-0 as Bundesliga returns after coronavirus lockdown.
However, the victory was in an empty stadium with players also observing social distancing during celebration.
19-year-old striking sensation, Haaland opened scoring in 29 before Raphael Guerriro(two goals) and Hazard joined.
Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has disowned an online statement credited to him concerning the relationship between the South East and the people of the Niger Delta, describing it as a fabricated speech.
The report claimed that the former President spoke on the position of Niger Delta over agitations for Biafra in a speech he presented recently in Texas, United States.
However, a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, on Saturday described the report as false, declaring that the former President could not have presented the purported speech because neither did he travel to the United States nor send anybody to represent him at the unnamed event.
Eze who noted that it was the second time in three years that the former President would be issuing a disclaimer on the purported speech, blamed the development on the effort of some unscrupulous criminals out to tarnish the image of Dr. Jonathan.
He wrote: “Our attention has been drawn to a fake story with the title ‘Why Niger Deltans don’t want to be part of Biafra’ currently circulating online and purported to have been taken from a speech allegedly presented by former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at an unnamed event in Texas, United States.
“The story which is being recycled in some online platforms claimed that the former President allegedly spoke on the relationship between the people of the Niger Delta and South East states while addressing the broader issue of agitation for Biafra.
“We thought we had finally dealt with the issue of this falsehood with our timely and well publicised disclaimer, soon after the supposed speech first surfaced online in 2017. However, it beggars belief that the same jejune and disastrous effort at speech writing, hatched by some yet-to-be-identified shady character, is again being served to the social media public as a fresh dish.
“We want to clearly state, as we did in 2017, that there was no such event involving the former President and that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will never present such a sloppy and hate-filled speech.
“We note that the false report is the same old statement that was first put out about three years ago by some unscrupulous elements. Now and as then, it began this way: “Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebere Jonathan yesterday delivered a lecture at Texas, United States….
“We recall that when the purported speech was first published in 2017, we dismissed it as pure fiction because, unknown to the authors, they made the claim at a time when the former President had neither been to Texas since leaving office in 2015, nor been invited to any speaking engagement in the US State. Our disclaimer which was issued on October 13, 2017 was published then in many newspapers.
“That this odious concoction has not only resurfaced as a new document but continues to spread in May 2020 shows to what a sad extent the fake news and bizarre hoaxes industry is gaining ground in our public space.
“It makes it even more distressing that such a poorly conceived dithyramb and the obvious falsehood around it, could receive any attention from discerning Nigerians. For instance, this is a speech that was purportedly presented in Texas, United States, but nothing was said about the actual date, venue, organisers and purpose of the event. Does it also make any sense that the former President would be assumed to have travelled to the United States to present a speech, at a time when airports are shut and public gathering banned across the world on account of Covid-19 pandemic?
“We can only reiterate as we did in 2017 that this falsehood serves no purpose other than probably massage the ego of the faceless writer. At a time like this, Nigerians have more important things competing for their attention than waste their data on the hackwork of a fraudulent wannabe speech writer who thinks nothing of the criminal implication of attributing his duplicitous diatribe against a people to former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday at the State House, Abuja, received the Madagascan native formulation against the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterated that he will listen to science before allowing traditional or any new medicines to be administered on Nigerians.
At an audience meeting with President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau who brought along with him the samples of the traditional medicine as shared to African nations by Madagascar, Buhari said his position on all such herbal or traditional medicinal postulates had remained the same.
“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” said the Nigerian President.
On the main reason for his visit, Embalo said having stabilized his country after the tussles that attended the general elections won by him, he had come to seek counsel from his “father,” President Buhari on his plan for a “government of national unity” and a proposed war against corruption in his country.
He also said that his new government met a country beset with a number of issues and problems, the resolution of which would require tremendous assistance from the “big brother,” Nigeria.
“Problems of Guinea Bissau are problems of Nigeria. I have come to you as your son. I need your help and assistance to make the people happy. I will not let you down, neither will I put you in any difficult situation,” the visiting leader told President Buhari.
In response to these demands, the Nigerian leader commended “General“ Embalo on his confirmation as President and for stabilizing the country. “I commend your political dexterity in getting the opposition to join the proposed unity government,” he said.
Buhari restated the determination of Nigeria to keep West Africa politically stable and promised to support the new government in Guinea Bissau. “I will cooperate and help in every way possible,” assured the Nigerian President.
President Buhari also used the opportunity of the visit to praise the good work that the President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who is the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is doing in the sub-region, and commended him for keeping him informed of all that is happening around.
NIGERIA-born Dr. James Oniah and his care home director wife, Mary, have died from coronavirus infection in the United Kingdom 10 days apart.
Seventy-nine year old retired radiologist Oniah died on April 24 only for Mary to succumb to the virus on May 4.
They both died at King George Hospital in Ilford, East London, according to the London Mail.
They are survived by three children.
Their son, Okey, 25, described them as wonderful parents.
He said the family was still coming to terms with their tragic deaths.
Dr. Oniah hailed from Onitsha and had studied at the University of Sussex.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has told COVID-19 survivors to stop giving details of the drugs used for their treatment, so they don’t encourage self-medication.
Boss Mustapha, made the plea at a Presidential Task Force press briefing in Abuja.
This follows recent revelations by some high-profile survivors, who spoke about the drugs administered on them during their treatment.
Mustapha, expressed concern that some of the testimonies disclosing the prescription for treatment could encourage patients to indulge in self-medication instead of seeking help from health authorities.
“The PTF congratulates and appreciates the testimonies of Nigerians who have recovered from COVID-19, which has given us more insights and further strengthens the need to adhere strictly to guidelines issued.
“However, an emerging issue from all these testimonies is the issue of prescription for treatments. We should always remember that the symptoms of COVID-19 mimic some illnesses we already know but treating the symptoms is not the same as treating the virus. For this reason, we strongly discourage self-medication,” Mustapha said.
He also said that five states in Nigeria were currently participating in the ongoing World Health Organization (WHO)-coordinated solidarity trial to find a cure for the pandemic, saying that at the end of this trial, relevant health authorities would make statements on acceptable drugs for treating COVID-19.
A United Kingdom based Nigerian nurse, Onyenachi Obasi, has died after contracting coronavirus from one of her patients.
Obasi, 51, of Barking and Dagenham succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, five weeks after being put on a ventilator at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, east London.
Her heartbroken niece, Ijeoma Uzoukwu described her as a dedicated and loving nurse who “gave her life doing what she loved.”
“We are just heartbroken. She was really loving, really sweet and a really cute person.
“She was a good example of unconditional love and just loved everyone. She was so giving and always had an ear – she took people as they were.
“She loved her job, but that is what caused her to fall ill in the first place.”
“She told me she had to do it,” Ms Uzoukwu said.
A few days after caring for a COVID-positive patient, Ms Obasi fell ill before eventually being admitted to hospital.
She was subsequently placed on a ventilator for five weeks and was slowly recovering before she caught an infection.
Ms Uzoukwu is organising a fundraiser to help pay for her aunt’s funeral and to also help provide for her 19-year-old son, who is vulnerable and was dependent on her.
She said: “It was just the two of them, and he relied on her for so much.
“We want to make sure he is taken care of for the foreseeable future and get him the help that he needs. He is a really sweet boy, and he has taken after his mum. He is such a nice boy and he is finding it really hard without her.”
The Boeing 787 Ethiopian Airlines plane which conveyed them, touched down at the airport at about 11am.
It departed the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Saturday night.
All the returnees, 152 adults and eight infants, will be quarantined for 14 days.
Thereafter, they would disperse to their various destinations.
The returnees were caught in the travel ban imposed by Nigeria on 18 March.
It affected travellers from Europe, U.S. and China.
Another batch of 253 Nigerians, stranded in the UK arrived home on 8 May.
Researchers have detected the coronavirus in the semen of both infected and recently recovered patients, just like it was with Ebola virus.
The findings were published May 7 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
The presence of virus in the semen is a new dimension in the knowledge scientists are building up since last December, when the virus surfaced in Wuhan China.
Now scientists know that after the virus enters the human body, no place is sacrosanct anymore.
Apart from the lungs, it reaches the kidneys, heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract and now the reproductive organ.
The scientists however said it is not clear if the virus can be sexually transmitted through contact with semen or whether the virus in semen are viable enough for that.
The study in Shangqiu, China, involved 38 young men who had tested positive for COVID-19 .
Some of them were experiencing symptoms of the disease, while some had recently recovered.
Participants provided semen samples, which doctors analysed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers detected SARS-CoV-2 in sperm from six participants, or 16% overall.
Of these, four patients were currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and two patients had recently recovered.
“This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed that there is infectious virus — not just a virus product in the semen,” Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and paediatrics at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study, told the New York Times.
In addition, it’s unclear how long the virus lingers in semen, given that participants in the study were still showing symptoms of COVID-19 or had only recently recovered, two or three days before.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Friday said the state may record between 90,000 and 120,000 cases when the spread of Coronavirus reaches its peak by July or August.
Abayomi disclosed this at a news conference at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja yesterday while giving an update on the spread of the virus in the state.
He said the spread of the virus in the state was yet to reach its peak, which will likely be in July or August.
Abayomi said that Lagos has ramped testing to reach large number of people in a bid to flatten the curve.
He attributed the increase in cases being recorded to the decentralisation of sample collection to the 20 local government areas.
According to him, if government had not been proactive, Lagos would have by now recorded 6,000 cases rather than the 1,491 cases it has now.
Abayomi disclosed that Alimosho, Oshodi and Isolo have begun to record more COVID-19 cases.
He, however, noted that 97 per cent of positive cases at its isolation centres were mild and moderate, adding that only three per cent were severe cases.
The commissioner said COVID-19 mortality rate has occurred mainly among males, adding that males with pre-existing ailments such as diabetes, cancer and hypertension are prone to dying.
He said 80 people at the State House, Marina, including the governor and his family were tested but only 10 were found to be positive.
He said the positive 10 had been taken to isolation centres.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Incident Commander of the Lagos Covid-19 team, yesterday announced the discharge of 42 more patients from the state’s isolation facilities.
He said the 42 discharged persons were made up of 22 males and 20 females, all Nigerians.
The governor said that 32 patients were discharged from the Eti-Osa (Landmark) Isolation Centre, 8 from Lekki and 2 from Onikan, having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19 in two consecutive readings.
This brings to 448, the number of #COVID19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos State Isolation facilities.
Ogun extends lockdown by one week as COVID-19 cases rise
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, yesterday extended the lockdown of the state by another one week, saying that preservation of human lives should take precedence over any other consideration.
Abiodun said the fate of the citizens and residents of the state were now in their hands with regard to abiding by the safety measures already enunciated by the health experts to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic and prevent its spread in the state.
The governor spoke at the Governor’s Office in Oke-Mosan at the expiration of the initial 40- day lockdown of the state while addressing reporters about the efforts being made by the administration towards flattening the curve.
He lamented that many of the residents and citizens had shown shocking and utter disregard to all safety measures, such as social distancing and wearing of face masks in public, among others, to prevent the spread.
He advised the people to learn from the dire experiences of others who ignored the safety measures in other climes.
He noted that the state had witnessed an astronomical rise in COVID-19 cases, saying there were 100 confirmed cases, 20 discharged cases, two deaths and 78 active cases who were undergoing treatment at the isolation centres.
He urged the people not to panic, assuring that his administration would continue to do what is right and proper to keep the state safer.
According to him, over 10,000 people have been screened while over 700 others have been tested for the virus.