The federal government has launched two COVID-19 Incidence and Response Tracker Dashboards, which aims to enhance transparency, accountability and accessibility of information in the national response to the pandemic.
The two dashboards were unveiled recently in Abuja, during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) include the Incidence and Response Tracker Dashboard designed by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the funding partner, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG).
The other one is the COVID-19 Resource Tracker Dashboard developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
While unveiling the two dashboards, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said both dashboards corroborated government’s focus on a data-driven response, which it has consistently maintained from the onset of the pandemic.
According to him, “The dashboards are transparent living and very interactive portals for all our resource mobilisation activities, donations, needs and disbursements. We will continue to collaborate with the private sector in creating models that ensure all our activities are easily accessible by the public in line with the Freedom of Information Act.”
Mustapha commended the task force’s funding partner, AIG, for ensuring the realisation of the dashboards.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, said the group and the private sector were making history with the launch of the COVID-19 Incidence and Response Tracker and Dashboard.
He explained that the creation of the dashboard and the joint collaboration by all enablers typified achievable successes whenever the private and public sector actively collaborate.
According to Ighodalo, “the dashboards primarily reveals the resource requirements across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, to enable respective subnational governments, alongside the federal government and donors identify needs and gaps that exist in three critical priority areas: testing, treatment and isolation, and contact tracing and tracking.”
On her part, the Director of AIG, Mrs. Ofovwe Aig-Imoukhuede, expressed delight about the partnership with NESG and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards the development of the dashboards.
She described the initiative as a demonstration of what the Nigerian public sector in partnership with the private sector could achieve.
According to her, beyond improving the transparency, accountability and governance of resources sourced from public, private and development sectors, the Predictive Analytic Model embedded in the platform would allow the PTF on COVID-19, and the NCDC to predict and project the rate of infections, deaths and the resources needed to tackle them.
The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has attributed increased testing to the reduction in COVID-19 infection rates across the country.
Speaking with Channels TV during Monday’s COVID-19 update, the DG said that the increased testing at state levels, especially within Lagos State, has led to a fewer number of people turning positive with those tested.
Nigeria is currently on its way to recording 50,000 cases with 49,068 cases so far. There have been 36,447 recoveries and 975 deaths. This gives Nigeria a survival rate of 7 out of 10.
The DG urged that Nigerians need to understand that the figures are real and not manipulated, adding that the world is in a new era of information where every bit of information is analyzed. This, he said, has enabled a global response as the world has never experienced a virus with this scale of economic impact.
Speaking further, the DG said that labs are not the reason for the initial low testing capacity. Instead, the low testing environment is way beyond NCDC’s capacity, as testing challenges include organizing and transporting samples for test, and sending the results back to Nigerians.
He acknowledged that people have trust issues with the system, but stressed that Nigerians need confidence in the public health sector. He then called for a bottom-up approach in fixing state healthcare with stakeholders from the public and private health industry.
The DG said the reduced deaths is down to the hard work of the Presidential Covid-19 response team and highlighted 2 strategic goals for the response team which includes controlling the pandemic and upgrading health infrastructure.
The DG says Nigeria is working with the African Union on a vaccine strategy to ensure global vaccine access, and says Nigeria has delivered life savings vaccines with the eradication of polio and has the necessary experience in delivering vaccines to rural and urban areas.
The United States of America, on Tuesday, August 11th, handed over some 200 ventilators to the Federal Government of Nigeria. This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Health via its Twitter handle, following the handover ceremony in Abuja.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, at the handover event, explained that the ventilators are compact & portable & can be easily mobilized to reach those patients with the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, the Ambassador said, “Their arrival fulfills the commitment discussed between US and President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year. Our support includes; training on the use & maintenance of this equipment, ensuring that the ventilators can address other respiratory illnesses in the years beyond.”
According to her, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Nigeria will work very closely and energetically over the next couple of weeks, with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, to bring these ventilators across each of Nigeria’s states & the Federal Capital Territory.
“The United States has been pivotal in supporting Nigeria’s membership in the ‘Every Breath Counts’ Coalition. Nigeria is now one of 2 countries in Africa to have an “oxygen roadmap” that seeks to fight against pneumonia, hypoxemia, & now COVID-19,” she stated. She then added that as the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, she remains proud of the strong friendship between the two countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, has tested negative for the deadly coronavirus.
The Minister in a tweet announced that he tested positive for the deadly coronavirus disease.
However, in a tweet via his Twitter account on Wednesday morning, he confirmed that his latest COVID-19 test came back negative.
He said “By the very special grace of God, my latest COVID-19 test result came back negative after three weeks isolation.
“I am eternally grateful to my family, the C-in-C and VP, the medical team, relations, friends, colleagues, religious leaders, and numerous well-wishers, who through their care, prayers, fasting, messages of support and encouragement never let me walk alone.
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has stated why he was treated at a medical facility in Abuja when he was diagnosed with the covid-19 disease.
Ikpeazu, who was responding to a question during a zoom enabled online interactive session with a cross section of Abia born journalists, explained that he came to Abuja to seek further answers on his ailment and a second COVID-19 test was conducted. The result returned positive.
The governor stated that his initial test that turned negative while in Abia State was conducted in an NCDC facility in another state as Abia was still setting up its own laboratories at the time.
In his words: “I started having symptoms of something that looks to me like malaria fever and then some slight headache. So my physician who is an Abian, gave me Lonart antimalarial and I had that for 3 days and after the third day, the symptoms persisted and he now changed the course of treatment to Emal. He gave me shots of Emal and later Fansidar. Meanwhile, as that was going on, he administered Covid-19 tests on me and at that moment we were taking our samples to Irrua in Edo State. The samples returned to indicate that I was negative for COVID-19. I continued to treat malaria, I took malaria tests and they said I had residual one plus or something like.
“But after taking Fansidar, I couldn’t make urine again and that gave me a shock because I am a Biochemist and I understand the implications of not being able to move my waste through urine. We assembled 4 doctors from around Abia here who came to look at me and they recommended that I begin treatment at a hospital in Abia known as Mecure. I went there and had my first run of dialysis, as they diagnosed, I also did 3 scans and they looked at my organs. While they were working on these, my ill health was deteriorating and I started to seek further opinion of other doctors elsewhere. And in embarking on that journey, I went with 3 doctors from Abia and a 4th joined us in Abuja.
“Since we had already eliminated the possibility of Covid-19 infection based on the result from the test centre in Edo State, my sojourn to Abuja was in further diagnosis of what the situation could be. It was while I was in Abuja that the covid-19 test was conducted again, and when it came out positive that time round, we felt it was advisable to start treatment there immediately considering the deteriorating state of my health instead of us wasting the time to return to Abia. Unknown to the people around Nigeria, the Amachara Medical Centre has achieved more than 98% success in the treatment of COVID-19.”
He commended the medical personnel that managed his case in Abuja as well as those managing the patients in Abia state and expressed joy that the state owned isolation and treatment facility in Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Amachara, has continued to maintain one of the best survival rates in Nigeria.
“I pride myself to say that Abia doctors and the facility at Amachara remains one of the best that anybody can use. The initial diagnosis of negative for COVID was later upturned at Abuja. If I had remained here, I would have continued to shoot in the sky and I wouldn’t have been available to answer this question today as you asked them. Therefore, I thank God that I took the decision to go and also thank God that in leaving the shores of Abia, I went with 3 medical doctors in our health system that supported my recovery.”
Vanguard gathered that as August 8, 2020, Abia State has recorded 644 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 523 patients successfully discharged with a record of 99.9percent survival rate.
The state Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, told Vanguard that the state has embarked on community case search across the 17 council areas with 4,436 tests already carried out.