COVID-19: FG seeks National Assembly’s approval for N500bn intervention fund

  • Private Sector Raises N19.488bn

  • Lagos Traces LUTH Staff After Victim’s Death

  • Runaway Patient Arrested, Returned To Isolation Centre


The Federal Government has proposed the establishment of a N500 billion Covid-19 Crisis Intervention Fund and has sought its approval from the National Assembly.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this yesterday at a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly.

She said the proposed fund would be sourced from the federal government’s various special accounts, grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.


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The minister said the fund would be used to upgrade healthcare facilities as well as provide intervention to states.

Mrs. Ahmed and senior officials from her ministry held the meeting with the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The meeting which held at the National Assembly was also attended by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase and some other principal officers from both chambers.

“The federal government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states,” Mrs Ahmed said.

She told the lawmakers that the fund if approved, would also take care of special public works programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment(NDE).

Earlier in his remarks, the senate president said the meeting was in fulfillment of an earlier promise to provide support as the need arises in this time of crisis.

“Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can also play our constitutional role in ensuring that Nigerians continue to benefit from governance and how we are able to weather the storm created by COVID-19,” he said.


Private sector coalition raises N19.488bn for COVID-19

The Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, a special purpose vehicle created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to galvanize private sector funds to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, has raised N19.448bn.

The update of contributors as at April 3, 2020 released by the CBN indicated that the donations came from 47 corporate donations.

It would be recalled that on March 26, 2020 the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had announced the constitution of the committee.

A breakdown of the donations shows that the CBN contributed N2bn, Dangote Industries LTD, N2bn, BUA Sugar Refinery N1bn, GTBank N1bn, UBA Plc, N1bn, First Bank N1bn, Zenith Bank N1bn, Access Bank N1bn and Amperion Power Distribution LTD N1bn.

Others include; Pacific Holding, N500m, Union Bank, Sterlin Bank, Standard Charted Bank, Stannic IBTC, Citibank Nigeria LTD, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, and Africa Steel Mills Nigeria LTD which all contributed N250m each.

Multichoice Nigeria donated N200m. Others are FSDH Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Coronation Merchant Bank, Suntrust Bank, Providus Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Nova Bank, Polaris, and Keystone Bank; all of which donated N100m.

Other donors include; Globus Bank, Titan Trust Bank, Takagro Chemicals Ltd, and Adama Beverages Limited, who all donated N50m each.

Ahmadu Mahmoud donated N20m, Ekeoma Eme Ekeoma donated N10m, Handy Capital Ltd donated N5m, ADG International Resources donated N2.5m and Prosharena Ltd donated N1m.


Lagos traces LUTH staff who attended to victim

Staff of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi Araba that attended to a 55-year-old Holland-based Nigerian who died in the hospital on Friday night are being traced and assisted by the hospital’s Department of Community Medicine, the management said yesterday.

The state Ministry of Health which announced the death, said though he concealed his travel history when admitted, investigations later revealed that he recently returned to Nigeria and had tested positive to coronavirus after noticeable respiratory complications.

Announcing the first COVID-19 death in Lagos on his twitter handle, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the man, whose identity was not revealed, was on strong immune suppression drugs and did not provide full account of his travel history. He said the man had a kidney transplant seven years ago and was also diabetic. The kidney transplant, he explained, was the reason behind his strong immune suppression drugs.

He said the man returned to Nigeria two weeks ago, and was admitted on the night of April 2 on presumption of complications from the kidney transplant.

“He however demonstrated signs of upper respiratory chest infection. However, he did not provide full account of his travel history or medical circumstances to the attending doctors in keeping with global trend to enable guided treatment for COVID-19 related vulnerability due to severe underlying ill health.

“Due to his respiratory infection, he was later tested for COVID-19 and his result came out positive but died early hours of April 3, 2020 from cardiac arrest,” he stated.

A few hours after the announcement, the management of LUTH released a statement concerning how he died. The statement which was signed by the LUTH’s chairman, medical advisory committee, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, said he was taken to LUTH by his friend while unconscious on April 2 and was rushed to the emergency unit of the hospital.

“Although they denied any history of recent travel, his presentation strongly suggested COVID-19. He was handled professionally by the Infectious Diseases Consultant and his team without unduly exposing LUTH Staff to danger. He died a few hours later.”

The statement further read, “Further investigations later revealed he earlier had a test at Yaba soon after he returned to Nigeria and the test was positive. He was a known diabetic, hypertensive patient, he also had a kidney transplant for chronic kidney disease and was on immunosuppressant drugs.”

The corpse has since been handed over to the appropriate unit of the Ministry of Health for safe burial according to international best practices, according to the statement.


Runaway patient returns to Osun isolation center 

A woman who returned from Cote d’Ivorie with Covid-19 and escaped from the isolation center in Osun State has been returned to the facility in Ejigbo.

The patient had absconded from the isolation centre in Ejigbo earlier today and caused apprehension in the community.

The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, confirmed the woman’s return.

She said the state government was still tracing individuals she might have come in contact with, and noted that security within and around the isolation centre had been beefed up.

Mrs. Egbemode assured that the government would continue to enhance measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the state.


Kwara denies Covid-19 death

The technical committee on prevention of Covid-19 in Kwara State has debunked claims that a male patient who died on Wednesday night at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital was a Covid-19 patient.

The committee said: “Findings by the medical advisory sub-committee revealed that the patient and his wife arrived from the United Kingdom, reportedly came to Ilorin on March 20, 2020 and went into self-quarantine without reaching out to the government or the committee.”

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and member of the state committee on Covid 19, Rafiu Ajakaye, said on the 13th day of their self-quarantine, the husband suddenly had difficulty with breathing after dinner and was rushed to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital where he died.

“Owing to the travel history of the deceased, all the medics who attended to him at UITH have gone into self-quarantine. Similarly, family members who have had contact with him and his wife have been directed to do same.”

The committee said samples had been taken from his wife and four others and results were expected in the coming days.

“The committee hereby repeats that there is no record that the UITH patient ever tested positive for the virus,” it said.

It added that Kwara State had not recorded any confirmed case of Covid-19.

“As of now, all the six samples tested from Kwara State have returned negative,” it said.


Coronavirus punishment on failed leaders – Olumba

The spiritual leader of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Olumba Olumba Obu, has said that the current Coronavirus pandemic, is a punishment on all leaders in the world for failing in responsibilities given to them by God.

He spoke at his headquarters in Calabar via his Star cross cable television to mark the commencement of the Easter convention.

He said the pandemic was also a punishment for this generation for failing to acknowledge the world and presence of God Almighty in the affairs of mankind.

“This virus ravaging the entire world will never come near all true children of God that practice His injunctions,” he said.


Lecturer isolates self after UK trip, berates NCDC

A lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the Federal University, Gusau, Mr. Laminu Idris Kaura, who returned from the United Kingdom on March 23, said yesterday that he was on self isolation, even as he was unsatisfied with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC’s) handling of the Covid -19 pandemic.

“Our plane touched down at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on March 23, but to our surprise, none of us was quarantined as we were asked to go after our temperatures were taken.

“I then boarded another plane to Abuja and I decided to self- isolate to the extent that as I talk to you, none of my family members knows where exactly I’m because I don’t want put the life of any one at risk.

“They have been calling me to ask about my location and I refused to tell them. I asked my wife to relocate from my residential home in Gusau, to Kaura Namoda and I decided not to meet them until after 14 days.”

“The NCDC is not handling the situation very well from what I saw at the airport. I and other travelers were allowed to go to our ways without proper checks.

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