Presidency bars ministers, other Kyari’s burial attendees from Villa

By AdvocateNews on 20/04/2020

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Top officials of Nigerian Federal Government at the burial of Abba Kyari
Top officials of Nigerian Federal Government at the burial of Abba Kyari

The Presidency on Sunday reiterated its   decision not to allow those who attended the burial of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, access to the Presidential Villa for 14 days.

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday tweeted, “There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attended Abba Kyari’s funeral being advised to distance ourselves from the Villa.”

Kyari  on Friday died of COVID-19 at the First Cardiologists Consultant Hospital, Lagos, where he had been undergoing treatment for the virus.

Medical experts had attacked ministers and other dignitaries, who attended Kyari’s burial for not maintaining the social distancing rule.

In another statement on Sunday, the Presidency told the media staff and State House correspondents who covered or attended the burial  to self-isolate for the next 14 days.

The Deputy Director, Information, State House, Attah Esa, in a statement titled ‘Advisory to State House Correspondents/Media Staff,’ said, “As a precautionary measure, all State House Correspondents and Media Office Staff who covered/attended the funeral prayer/burial ceremony of the late Chief of Staff, at Defence House and Gudu Cemetery Abuja, respectively, are strongly advised to work from home for the next 14 days.”

A top government source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said, “It is not unconnected with the fact that they did not maintain social distancing. Besides many of them were not well-kitted. Some did not wear face masks. Such a directive is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus to the villa.”

Recall that the late chief of staff contracted the virus during his trip to Germany. Two of his aides were diagnosed with the virus.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government on Sunday, said as part of efforts to step up COVID-19 tests, it has created  testing centres in 20 local government areas of  the state.

The state government, which released a list of the testing centres,  stated that they were in primary health centres and other facilities in the  20 local government areas of the state. 

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi,   at a press conference said  centres were established to reduce the stress of health workers, who visited several local government areas for  sample collection.

According to him,  the centres will enable the response team to have a better view of what is going on  and be able to diagnose the virus at the early stage.

He said, “We have decentralised the locations where you can have yourself submitted for sampling. So what we’ve done is to move sampling stations to the local government areas. And if you feel that you have any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, you can present yourself to these decentralised sampling stations.

“They are not testing stations, they are sampling stations and if you meet the criteria for testing, you will be able to receive the counsel of the staff and your sample will be taken.

“We are not just testing anybody, there is a criterion for testing.  You either must have COVID-19 symptoms to meet the case definition or be in close contact with somebody that has been confirmed with COVID-19. Your samples would be taken and it would then be sent to one of our accredited testing facilities and those facilities will then perform the tests.”

According to the list released by the state government, the testing centre for the Somolu Local Government is Wright Memorial Primary Health Centre Emmanuel Street,  Somolu; that of the Ifako Ijaiye LGA is at  Mini Stadium College Road; Ojo LGA, Ojo PHC 1, Rest House, Ojo; Eti-Osa LGA, Ikota Primary School, Lekki-Epe Expressway and Surulere LGA, Surulere LG Secretariat,  Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere.

Also on the list are Kosofe LGA which has its centre at Ogudu Area Office, Ogudu Roundabout; Amuwo Odofin, Amuwo Odofin LG Secretariat, 41 Road, Festac Town; Ikorodu LGA, Ita Elewa PHC Oriwu Road, Ikorodu and  Igbogbo PHC, Bola Ahmed Way, Igbogbo.  The  Lagos Island testing centre is at Igan Iduganran, Adeniji Adele Road.

They also include Epe PHC, Epe-Ijebu-Ode Expressway; Lagos Mainland, Simpson PHC; Ajeromi-Ifelodun,  Akere PHC; Ibeju Lekki, Awoyaya Mayfair Estate; Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA Secretariat; Alimosho, Bola Ahmed Tinubu PHC,  Egbeda;  Ipaja Mini-Stadium, Fela Field, Ipaja and  Rauf Aregbesola PHC 1, Powerline Road, Okunola, Mosan-Okunola.

The sample collection centres are also at the Ajibulu PHC in Osodi-Isolo LGA; Ikeja LG secretariat; Sango PHC in Agege, Ajara Flagship Health Centre in Badagry and  Isola Road PHC in Mushin.

The health commissioner noted that the state government had ordered t tailors to  commence the mass production of face masks based on a standard design that had given to them.

Lagos yet to reach COVID-19 peak – Health commissioner

Abayomi, at the press conference said the state had yet to reach COVID-19 peak despite recoding increasing number of cases recently.

He stated,  “Seeing an increased number of patients does not mean that we are losing control. Lagos State has yet to peak.  The point we are making is that the increase in number of cases per day is sustained but it is a gradual process. Had we not put these strategies in place, we would have been seeing a steep rise in the number of cases per day.”

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho,  said it was unfortunate that some markets were still not observing social distancing in the state.

He added that the state would this week begin a massive campaign on social distancing to reduce the spread of the disease.

Only one private hospital approved to treat COVID-19 in Lagos

The Chairman of the state Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, Dr Yemisi Solanke-Koya, said only one private hospital had been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in the state.

Solanke-Koya said other private hospitals had also applied to manage COVID-19 cases in the state but they had yet to be approved.

She said, “As of today in Lagos State, we have one facility that has been approved by the Lagos State to participate in the COVID-19 response. We do have  requests from other facilities to get approval. The process is through information; HEFAMAA becomes aware of the fact that a hospital may be inadvertently exposed to COVID-19 and may be seeking to manage COVID-19 patients.  We deploy our staff there so that the staff can inspect the facility according to the established protocol.”

The HEFAMAA boss, however, refused to give the figures of COVID-19 patients  receiving treatment in private facilities in Lagos.

On private hospitals, the state commissioner for health said 17 private hospitals in the state had sought assistance  in the management of COVID-19 cases.

He added, “The First Cardiologists Consultant Hospital is a centre that has advanced care facility and they have requested that they come under the supervision of the ministry of health as a designated facility for patients that need extreme expertise for several complications of COVID-19. They have gone through the accreditation process and they they are now designated as one of our isolation facilities.”

Posted 20/04/2020 06:04:01 AM


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