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COVID-19 second wave: Sanwo-Olu clears air on imposing total lockdown

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The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has insisted that the state cannot afford another lockdown.

Sanwo-Olu stated this in a statement released on Saturday.

This comes a day after he ordered schools to close indefinitely and civil servants to work from home, as the second wave of COVID-19 sweeps across Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu, who himself is recovering from the virus, had also issued a strong warning to religious organizations and banned gatherings.

“Dear Lagosians, I am overwhelmed by your show of love and concern about my health and wellbeing. I must admit that the gesture touched me deeply and reaffirmed our connection to one another as humans.

“I acknowledge and thank you very sincerely and pray that none of us will lose our lives to COVID-19, and in any other preventable circumstance.

“To families that have lost loved ones to the virus, I pray that God grants you the fortitude to bear the loss.

“Yesterday, we issued guidelines to help us in the next phase of our battle with the virus. Lagosians have relaxed and the effects are evident with increasing cases and unfortunate deaths

These guidelines will affect us all but we need to be strong and we need to persevere.

“We cannot afford another total lockdown so I enjoin us to keep observing the prescribed protocols and the required lifestyle adjustments that will help us enter 2021 stronger, healthier and safer.

“Let’s do this for our families and friends. Let’s by our actions demonstrate that we truly love our neighbours.

“Let us demonstrate awareness about the existence of COVID-19 in our communities and live right to deliberately reduce and eliminate its spread.

“I wish you the best of this season and pray that God Almighty will continue to protect us,” the statement read.

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World Cancer Day: Oyo govt organises free breast, cervical cancer screening programme

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…charges women, stakeholders to fight against disease.

The Government of Oyo State on Thursday, organised a free breast and cervical cancer screening programme for women of reproductive age in the state, declaring that it remains committed to putting an end to the spread of the disease in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, who disclosed this at the sensitisation programme organised by the Ministry of Health to commemorate the 2021 World Cancer Day, said the day was observed to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
The event was held at the Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The commissioner said: “World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on the 4th of February. This day is observed to spread awareness about one of the most common chronic diseases that can affect any part of the body. The World Health Organisation, WHO, believes that this day holds importance because every year about 76 million people die due to cancer.
“The theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is ‘I Am And I Will’, with a sub-theme of ‘Together, All Our Actions Matter.’ “The ultimate year of the ‘I Am and I will campaign (theme for 3 years 2019-2021) shows us that our action has an impact on everyone around us, within our neighbourhoods, communities and villages. At this point, it is important to note that our actions are also being felt across borders and oceans.”
He explained further that the present administration in the state has made health one of its priorities in order to transform people’s lives, adding that the state would continue to create awareness on the preventive and curative aspects of cancer management across all the length and breadth of the state.
“This year’s theme reminds me that I am fortunate to be a part of Governor Seyi Makinde’s government, which has made health one of the cardinal pillars of his administration and this has truly transformed people’s lives.
“We are using this opportunity to create awareness about cancer across all communities of Oyo State such that it benefits people everywhere,” he said.
While further hinting that collaboration and commitment to act against cancer will lead to a powerful progress in reducing the global impact of cancer, Bello maintained that the state government and the Coalition Against Cancer in Oyo State have put together programmes to ensure screening services are available to communities, which will come up at Lagelu Grammar school, Agugu, Ibadan.
In his words: “When we choose to come together, we can achieve a healthier, brighter world without cancer. Together, all of our actions matter.
“Presently, the state government, in partnership with the Coalition Against Cancer in Oyo State, have put together programmes to ensure screening services are available to our communities. This is the breast and cervical cancer screening for women of reproductive age, on the 6th of February, 2021 at Lagelu Grammar School from 8 a.m.
“This programme is very important in cancer prevention for all women as those screened will be referred for appropriate treatment.
“Kindly note that the time slots given during registration will be strictly followed so as to ensure the NCDC’s COVID -19 protocols are adhered to.”
The commissioner appreciated the support of the Iyaloja of Ibadan North-East Local Government and the Cancer Coalition of Oyo State for their efforts towards the fight against cancer, urging them to work together to bring to reality a cancer-free world.
“On this note, I thank the Iyaloja of Ibadan North-East LGA and the Cancer Coalition of Oyo State for all their support to the state and to assure them of Oyo State’s commitment to actively seek partners and collaborators who share our goals. TOGETHER, ALL OUR ACTIONS MATTER, especially at this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic.”Whoever you are, your actions – big or small – will make lasting, positive change in Cancer prevention,” he said.
In her own remarks, the Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Olufunmilayo Salami, said that about 500 women would benefit from the free breast and cervical screening exercise.
She added that there was need to develop a culture where people would take responsibility for their health.
The high points of the event include goodwill messages from relevant stakeholders and women groups, panelists’ discussion on awareness on cancer prevention.

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More COVID-19 variants expected; Nigerian scientist warns

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A Nigerian scientist, Sunday Omilabu, has warned that Nigeria and the rest of the world may see more variants or mutations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Omilabu made this known in an interview with Associated Press (AP).

Equally important, Omilabu is the director of the Center for Human and Zoonotic Virology at the Lagos University College of Medicine and Teaching Hospital. 1st News reports that the Nigerian scientist revealed that he spent the Yuletide holiday in his laboratory; performing genetic sequencing to learn more about Nigeria’s COVID-19 variant. He told AP that the information he gathers about the variant will help battle the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

However, he has warned that the world must brace up for more COVID-19 variants.

“I think we need to calm our mind down, there are going to be more variants to come. We need to be monitoring the virus. We need to sequence. If we sequence, then we would have more information about what is in circulation…Then, of course, we need to continue with surveillance.

‘‘We need to monitor how active the virus is in the environment … so the public health experts, they have work to do and then government must support all these.”

Further, the Nigerian scientist, a virologist, says the variants in the UK and South Africa are different from the one discovered in Nigeria.

“The variants discovered in the U.K. and South Africa. They are distantly different from the variants discovered in Nigeria.

“What we could say clinically is that we have more people coming down with severe signs and symptoms. That shows us that something is happening. There’s a surge so we are recording that but we are yet to sequence any of those isolates.”

He disclosed that this is important in order to determine if the increased transmissions are caused by the variant.

Nigeria is battling a significant increase in the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is in the grip of a second wave which has seen casualties rise among the aged.

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COVID-19: Kwara Govt. announces Jan. 11 for schools resumption

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Kwara Government has announced that tertiary institutions will resume on Jan. 11, 2021, under strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Chief Press Secretary to the State Government and Spokesman for Technical Committee on COVID-19, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, made the announcement in a statement issued on Friday in Ilorin.

“Government has directed that the tertiary institutions should put in place appropriate safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus on their campuses.

“The coordinating ministry is to work with the state technical committee on COVID-19 and other stakeholders to ensure that schools do not take safety rules for granted.

“Specifically, the use of face mask is mandatory on the campus and in lecture rooms. Authorities are not to allow anyone, students or otherwise, into college facilities without the use of the face mask.

“Similarly, elementary schools in the state are scheduled to resume on Jan. 18, subject to new developments on the pandemic,” it said.

According to the statement, while COVID-19 appears to have come to stay and our communities have to cope with the new normal, the  government urges everyone to take responsibility for their own safety by adhering to protocols already outlined to flatten the curve of transmission. 

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