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Nigeria Reaching A Critical Level, Hospitals Won’t Be Able To Handle Serious COVID-19 Cases Soon —– NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says the country is now reaching a critical level, adding that the hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in a series of tweets on Monday while reacting to the spike in COVID-19 infections in the last one month.

Ihekweazu said this as the fear of COVID-19 spread at the National Identity Management Commission grew on Monday because Nigerians besieged the NIMC offices following the workers’ suspension of the strike they embarked upon on Thursday.

Recall that Nigerians have been trooping to the NIMC offices since December 14, 2020, when the Federal Government ordered telecommunications firms to disconnect telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their NIN to their subscriber identification modules.

No fewer than 164 million Nigerians, whose telephone lines could be disconnected on the grounds of not having the NIN, have been thronging NIMC offices, disregarding COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of face masks and social distancing.

The matter came to a head-on Thursday when the NIMC workers began a strike over the fear of COVID-19 spread in the agency.

The President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC unit, Asekokhai Lucky, had exclusively told The PUNCH on Thursday that three workers of the agency at its headquarters had been infected with COVID-19.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, had, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme earlier on Monday said the Federal Government might soon suspend the registration for the NIN.

The minister said, “My understanding is that the whole process may be suspended so as to reorder the whole process in terms of management of the crowd because it was never intended that it would become a rowdy process like that. So people may have to wait and be called at intervals to go through the process.

But later at a press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mamora ruled out the suspension or postponement of the NIN, blaming the challenges on the attitude of Nigerians.

Mamora stressed the need to avoid crowding as was seen under the guise of NIN enrolment.

He said, “There is absolutely no cause for this, if only people would voluntarily comply with advisories and guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Communications and its relevant agency.

“The statement credited to me on social media as to the suspension of the exercise is out of context, hence misleading. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. President’s order on the matter remains as being carried out by the relevant ministry.

Mamora added that the result from the tests conducted on prospective National Youth Service Corps members had confirmed that no part of the country was free of COVID-19.

The minister also said that the plan of the Federal Government regarding activation of oxygen availability in the states was on course with a view to effecting immediate repairs of non-functional oxygen plants.

On his part, Ihekweazu, in a series of tweets on Monday, said Nigeria was reaching a critical level, adding that the hospital capacity would no longer be able to cope with serious COVID-19 cases.

It was earlier reported that Abuja had already begun facing a shortage of bed spaces for critical cases who rely solely on oxygen which is also scarce.

The NCDC DG tweeted, “We are reaching a critical level where our hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases and health workers will be forced to make tough decisions. We need to protect our more vulnerable citizens.

“We all have to take responsibility. This is not for the NCDC, the PTF or government alone. By organising large gatherings indoors, you’re not only putting yourself and guests at risk but also the staff who have limited choice but to serve. By going to clubs, you’re putting your parents at risk.”

Ihekweazu added that the number of coronavirus cases reported in the country had been on the rise in the last four weeks.

“In the last four weeks, we‘ve recorded a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases. The virus is spreading fast, causing mild symptoms in some and severe illness/death in others,” he tweeted.

The NCDC boss said Nigerians must note that the 100,000 persons that contracted COVID-19 in the last 11 months were not just figures but persons.

“Most important of all, the 100,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths are not just numbers. These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends whose deaths will be mourned and the pain of their loss deeply felt. The response starts and ends with the people of this country,” he said.

Later at the PTF press conference, Ihekweazu, disclosed that the centre would from next week roll out rapid diagnosis test kits in five tertiary hospitals in Abuja while the facility would be extended nationwide from February.

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Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

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JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

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The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

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Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

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The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

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