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COVID-19

Minister lauds NCAA, FAAN on efforts to curtail COVID-19

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Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has commended Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for measures put in place at the airports to curtail spreading of COVID-19.

Srika gave the commendation while addressing newsmen at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (MAKIAK) on Saturday.

The minister led a team of aviation industry stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to MAKIAK on a simulation exercise with MaxAir Flight.

He said the two organisations had done extremely well on physical distancing and good hygiene being established and properly followed at the nation`s airports.

“I am very glad and I think the NCAA with FAAN have done extremely very well under our watch to ensure that everything we put in place on physical distancing and good hygiene is being established and followed.

“So, we believe this airport is one of those airports that are safe to operate in and out during this COVID-19. I am happy with what I saw and it is good enough for us to go,“ the minister said.
The minister further said that domestic flight would fully resume at Kano, Maiduguri, Benin among other airports across the nation on July 15.
He, however, said that any airport not yet ready would be given enough time to prepare not to risk people’s lives.
Sen. smart Adeyemi, Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, commended the Aviation Ministry for good supervision to ensure right things were done towards safety to ensure COVID -19 was not spread at the airports.

“ Quiet a measure of things have been put in place as far as this airport is concerned to ensure that there is adequate protection and safety for passengers who will be coming in and going out.

“When you talk about this pandemic, the airport is key to eradicating and minimising the infection. Today we have gone round to see the measures already on ground with the objective of minimising the spread,“ he said.

Adeyemi urged the ministry to ensure adequate water supply in the Kano Airport as it was done in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“I want to suggest that the minister look at the possibilities of extending supply of water to the departure point of this airport. All other things that are needed have been put in place.

“ I also believe that there is still need to be information on the board to direct passengers who will be coming in, especially those who will be coming in newly.

“ When we compare to that of Abuja we discovered that the departure needs few things to be put in place.

“A lot of campaign still needs to be done within and outside the airport against the spread of COVID-19. With this exception, I know they have done the best that is required of them,“ he said.

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COVID-19

ECOWAS donates food items worth $4million to Nigeria, 3 others

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has donated food items worth $4 million to four member states, including Nigeria, to mitigate impacts of their humanitarian needs.

Ms Fatima Jagne, ECOWAS Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs, made this known during the commemoration of the 2020 World Humanitarian Day on Wednesday in Abuja,

Jagne, who was represented by Mr Alozie Godfrey from the directorate, said the intervention was aimed at reducing the pains and sufferings of those in humanitarian needs.

She said the need for humanitarian services were on the increase worldwide but the challenges of delivering them were also increasing in a world that is conflict and disaster saturated.

Jagne said this, however, called for support of efforts by states and other actors to prevent crisis and build resilience of the population against natural disasters.

“The ECOWAS commission will continue its collaboration with member states and partners to promote the protection of humanitarian workers through policy implementation, sensitisation and advocacy.

“The commission will also continue to respond to the plights of the affected population through the donation of food and non-food items to reduce the sufferings of the vulnerable population.

“In this regard, the commission is handing over food worth over four million US Dollars to four member countries including Nigeria to assuage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jange said.

Jagne said that this year, COVID-19 had been the biggest challenge to humanitarian operations around the world.

She added that the lack of access and restrictions placed by governments around the world had resulted in communities, civil society and local NGOs being the frontline of the response.

This situation, she said, emphasised the reason for localisation of resources to enhance the first responder initiative.

She said that unfortunately, the ECOWAS region was seriously impacted by both crises and the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Jagne said the theme for this year’s celebration, #RealLifeHeroes, focused on what motivated humanitarians to continue to save and protect lives regardless of conflict, insecurity, lack of access, and risks linked to COVID-19.

“This year’s campaign affords us the opportunity to appreciate the inspiring and selfless assistance carried out by humanitarians who risk and dedicate their lives in crisis and peace times treating and preventing COVID-19.

“Administering vaccines, providing food, setting up safe spaces for women and girls, and containing locust invasions despite the pandemic.

“We all must join hands in supporting our #RealLifeHeroes this World Humanitarian Day and going forward.

“As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers help the injured and sick, often times, they are directly targeted and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in distress,” Jagne said.

Jagne said that given the recklessness exhibited in modern warfare, civilians more often than not, became targets of most conflicts.

She, however, called for the moral and legal obligation of all parties to a conflict to abide by the rules of International Humanitarian Law as provided by Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols.

“Preventive and proactive peacetime measures aimed at ensuring better respect for International Humanitarian Law must be encouraged.

“These actions will help create the enabling environment for aid workers to work,” she said.

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COVID-19

UPDATE: Lagos to reopen worship centres, restaurants on August 7, 14

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Lagos state government has announced that all religious centres and restaurants are to resume operations from August 7th and 14th, 2020 respectively.

While religious centres are expected to operate at 50% capacity, the restaurant are expected to operate eat-in services.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said “While we try to ensure that life gradually returns to normal, we implore residents to continue to use face masks in public spaces and adhere strictly to all the public health safety measures and guidelines.

“At this point, I have to emphasize how important and necessary it is for us to self-regulate. Everyone of us must take up the mantle of responsibility and ensure that we are self-regulating ourselves in our interest and in the interest of our loved ones.”

 

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India donates medicine worth $50 million to Nigeria, others

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As part of her plans to combat COVID-19 pandemic, India has donated essential medicines worth $50 million to Nigeria and other African countries.

This was disclosed by the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja after he donated some items to the Federal Government.

According to NAN, the Government of India had on Friday donated seven tonnes of consignment of essential medicines, including hydroxycholoroquine and medicine, including antibiotics to Nigeria.

The seven tonnes of consignments (586 cartoons) were received by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on behalf of the Federal Government.

The envoy said, “It would be very difficult to put a cost on the items donated. I will say for the whole of Africa, our donation is more than $50 million.

Thakur said India would be willing to collaborate with Nigeria on production of COVID-19 vaccine, as the country had made some progress in the development of the vaccine.

He said, “There are many centres in India where serious work and research is happening; there are institutions that are working across India to produce vaccine.

“One of the most promising one is developed by one of the institutions and has already gone into first phase of testing; we hope phase two will start soon.

“We hope to hear encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccine on the forthcoming India independence day, which is on August 15.”

The envoy said India would continue to support Nigeria in building the capacity of its human resources as it continued to offer e-ITEC training ( Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation).

“We are offering short online webinars on COVID-19 management and research; there are about 10 programmes; we are working together and we will continue to do so.

“So far, 14 Nigerian medical professionals have benefited from online courses on COVID-19 management strategies in Africa.

“Our focus now is on capacity building but we can expand to research. I will take this message home and encourage some of our researchers to work with Nigeria on medical research.’’

He expressed optimism that the measures taken by the two countries had helped to manage the spread of COVID-19.

“In fact, I will like to mention here what President Muhammadu Buhari said in his speech in early May that India had taken strong measures and very strong lockdown measure to curb the virus.

“The exchange of experience is very important and we look to each other in combating this pandemic,” he added.

India had been enjoying longstanding, multifaceted, friendly relations and deep-rooted bilateral relations with Nigeria since it established its Diplomatic House in Lagos in November 1958, two years before Nigeria became independent on Oct. 1, 1960.

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