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COVID-19: FG lifts ban on inter-state movements

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Millions of Nigeria can now heave a sigh of relief as the FEderal Government finally lifts ban on inter-state movements occassioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha made the announcement this afternoon during the daily briefing of the presidential task force on Covid-19.

According to him, the lifting of the interstate movement will take effect from 1st July, 2020 while the curfew remains in place.

Mustapha also said students in primary six, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 will be allowed to return to school.

Hear him: “​I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020 through Midnight of Monday, 27 July, 2020,” he said.

​”Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:

“Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the National Coordinator;

“Permission of movement across State borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July, 2020;

“Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places;

“Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations.”

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HEALTH

Lagos anticipates 120,000 cases of covid-19 by August

As 2,683 patients go into hiding

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More than 2,000 people who have been infected by Covid-19 in Lagos have refused to turn up for treatment. That is according to the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who said the affected people disappeared into thin air after their coronavirus test turned out positive.

 

He said the patients went into hiding either because they were ignorant or afraid of being stigmatized by the society, adding that the patients could however decide to be treated at home under the supervision of the state ministry of health.

 

Speaking earlier at a Covid-19 briefing in Alausa, Prof Abayomi disclosed that the Lagos state government currently has over 500 patients in the state’s isolation centres spread across the state.

 

“They have been informed of their status and they have decided that they won’t wish to be admitted. So, they have made it difficult for us to find them, the evacuation team has been trying to call them, once they know our phone number, they stopped picking our calls. When we go to their homes to collect them, they are not there.

 

“If we are diagnosing 250 every day, we need to move to several locations in one day. If a person doesn’t wish to be admitted, it is very difficult to enforce it. However, what we have observed is that when you know your status and you start to feel unwell, people voluntarily walk into the isolation centres and present themselves with their COVID-19 test result so that they will be admitted,” Abayomi said.

 

The commissioner however warned that by August if this trend continues, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos State might hit between 90,000 and 120,000.

 

“I did say about six weeks ago that we might see between 90,000 and 120,000 cases of COVID-19 in Lagos State by August. What we think is that for every one person that is diagnosed with the virus, there are probably 10 more in the community that we have not diagnosed,” he said.

 

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HEALTH

COVID-19: This N200 drug could save patients from dying

New drug raises hope for Covid-19 cure

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Researchers at Oxford University have declared that they found a drug that can save a third of Covid-19 patients worldover.

They unveiled a drug called Dexamethasone becoming the first medicine that had proved to reduce the death rate among hospitalised patients of the deadly Covid-19 caused by coronavirus.

Professor Peter Horby who led a trial of the drug in Britain said treating eight people with the drug could save one life at the rate of £40 which is between N200 and N400 in Naira equivalence.

The drug could save up to 35 per cent of patients relying on ventilators for critically ill persons and reduce the odds of death by a fifth for all patients in need of oxygen at any point in time.

Dexamethasone, first created in the 1950s, is usually used to treat ulcerative colitis, arthritis and some types of cancer. It is already licensed and proven to be safe, can be used for patients immediately and is a generic drug, meaning it can be manufactured cheaply and massively.

Results of the Recovery trial, which involved 6,000 COVID-19 patients and led by Oxford University scientists, suggested that the steroid could prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on breathing support.

It is the first trial to show a treatment provides a significant impact in reducing the risk of death.

Britain is the first country to approve dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment, as the Department of Health said although clinical trials of the drug were ongoing in other countries including France, Iran, Spain and Argentina. If other countries approve it, they would make their own supplies.

Lead researcher, Professor Martin Landray, said dexamethasone could have saved about 5,000 lives if it were used throughout the UK’s crisis, saying, “If you were to design a drug that treats coronavirus, this would be exactly how you’d hope it works.”

He explained that the steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation, a Covid-19 complication that inhibits breathing. In seriously unwell patients, the lungs become inflamed so much that they struggle to work.

The recovery trial has recruited over 11,500 Covid-19 patients from 170 NHS hospitals across the country and is the world’s biggest trial testing existing drugs.

Also, about 2,104 patients were randomised to receive 6mg of dexamethasone once a day, either by mouth or by intravenous injection for 10 days, just as their outcomes were compared with 4,321 patients given standard care, which involved painkillers and in some cases, antibiotics.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has applauded the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show that dexamethasone can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General while reacting to the development said: “This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support. This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”

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HEALTH

Reptogel Mosquito Repellant Launched in Sango

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The malaria fact sheet recently published by the United States embassy in Nigeria confirmed that there are an estimated 100 million cases with over 300,000 deaths per year. The report stated that malaria contributes to an estimated 11% of maternal mortality in the country.

This alarming statistics may have triggered Drugfield Pharmaceutical Limited in Sango Ota and Tiptop Nigeria Limited to join forces in combating malaria as they signed a partnership deal to launch Reptogel Mosquito and Insect Repellant Gel.

Speaking at the official signing of the partnership, held recently at the Sango Ota head office of Drugfield Pharmaceutical, Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, group managing director (GMD), Drugfield, expressed confidence that the partnership would be fruitful, saying the reason for the partnership boils down to the issue of confidence and trust, coupled with the experience in sales and marketing that Tiptop would bring to the table.

The Drugfield boss further explained that the signing of the MOU represented a symbiotic and mutual relationship aimed at putting the patient first, adding that through the new partnership, more people in the country would easily get access to Reptogel Mosquito and Insect Repellant Gel, anywhere in the country.

His words: “Drugfield is a wholly Nigerian company and same goes for Tiptop, so if we team up and make a success, then it’s better for us, rather than looking for an outsider when we have our own around us.

“We also know that Tiptop is a reliable company because its chief executive director, Pharm. Gbenga Falabi, is a seasoned marketer and he has been successful with so many products in the past, so we are hopeful that this won’t be an exception’, he said.

In his address, Gbenga Falabi who represented Tiptop Nigeria Limited, -sole marketing communications firm for Reptogel revealed that Tiptop’s relationship with Drugfield had been on for years, adding that the birth of Tiptop’s about two years ago was a milestone as it happened shortly after he left Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited in 2018.

According to Falabi, a former general manager of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals and past national chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP), Drugfield is a reputable pharmaceutical company with a vision to eradicate diseases in the country and beyond through provision of top quality, affordable and available pharmaceuticals.

He said Tiptop, being a company whose objective is to help keep companies alive and well, was optimistic that the partnership aside being profitable would help save more lives from being destroyed by malaria.

According to the former NAIP boss, the burden of malaria in the country in spite of the progress made so far in combating the disease is quite alarming, noting that Nigeria still rank among countries with highest deaths as about 480, 000 deaths occur yearly in Africa alone, with Nigeria taking over 60 percent of it.

He added that Drugfield has taken a step in the right direction with the production of Reptogel Mosquito and Insect Repellant Gel, saying malaria is endemic in the country as it poses major challenge to the country and as well impedes human and infrastructural development.

Speaking on the product, Falabi, said Reptogel Mosquito and Insect Repellant Gel, is ready to protect Nigerians from mosquitoes by creating a ‘No Mosquito Zone’ for its users, adding that with each application, a consumer could enjoy up to 8 hours protection which he said was not possible with other mosquito gels that have flooded the market.

“The message is that when people are going for vigil, they should use Reptogel, children in hostels, those in schools or anybody that stay late in the evening when mosquitoes are active needs the product, he said.

Speaking about its affordability, he said it is very cheap as a piece of it costs around three hundred naira or thereabout in shops, adding that the company, Drugfield is planning to come up with 85gramms pack which is designed for the family and it will soon be unveiled in the course of the year.

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