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Covid-19: “We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected”- Dr. Matshidiso Moeti

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“We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected,” said Dr. Matshudiso Moeti.

The director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, couldn’t hide his disappointment during the Africa.com webinar series session 6 tagged “What’s the real story behind Africa’s COVID-19 figures?”

As stated on the Africa.com webinar series session, the world health body admitted the Dark Continent is succeeding in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

In April, Melinda Gates, wife of the world’s biggest philanthropist ‘Bill Gates’ on CNN couldn’t hide her fears for African countries looking at the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the white countries.

‘Look at what’s going on in Ecuador. They’re putting bodies out on the street. You’re going to see that in countries in Africa,” she said.

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She was lamenting how the developed world were not playing the white knight well enough in their response to the pandemic in Africa, a continent which, she believes, can’t afford washing of hands and social distancing because of poverty.

Much earlier and up till recently, the World Health Organisation, too, made its grim prediction: a quarter of a billion confirmed cases, and 190,000 deaths in Africa.

In fact Tedro Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, couldn’t hide his suspicion (of figure manipulation) two months ago when confirmed cases all over Africa was just 233. He believed people were dying, and it was just a matter of time when massive death reports would be exposed.

When not much happened to validate its claim two months later, WHO had to adjust its model, and crushed the number down to 1.2 million confirmed cases—for West Africa—143000 plus for Central Africa.

But, Wednesday, the UN agency could not hide its disappointment—or wonderment—at the still very low figures of infection and fatalities coming out of Africa.

“We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected,” said Moeti.

And things keep getting better.

According to her, West Africa recorded 16% daily growth rate of confirmed cases before April 1. The rate has now gone down to 6.5% .

In Central Africa, the growth rate reduced even more drastically: from 14 per cent before April 1 to  4 per cent now. While the number of cases expected in the region on May 17 was 149,353, the cases reported as of that day was 8,021.

“The WHO believes that Africa’s measures of curtailing the virus are working and are reporting a slowing down of the rate of spread,” Moeti said.

Contravening her D-G who in March nearly accused Africa of cooking its figures, Moeti said, “Countries with higher testing levels per 10,000 people and sharing of date suggested a true picture of the outbreak”.

She even made a point of Nigeria’s response to the Kano upsurge. And it was on the credit side. “For COVID-19 in Kano State Nigeria, authorities responded quickly to community alerts,” she said.

Africa has remained one of the continent with the lowest infection and death rates since Covid-19 broke out in December, starting from China, and spreading across the world by January.

The US has recorded more than 1 million confirmed cases and well over 100,000 deaths. More than 40,000 Britons have died. Italy, Spain, Russia have also recorded very high infection rates and fatality figures.

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Group partner chamber of commerce for increased access to finance

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Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYCC-19) partners Chamber of Commerce for increased access to finance

Group partner chamber of commerce for increased access to finance

The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYCC-19) has partnered the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce to boost access to finance from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 10 million youths in the country.

National Chairman of the youth compact, Malam Gambo Haruna, made the disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the training of 10 million youths, on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the MoU was signed between the Youth Compact and the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce with a view to facilitate access to the CBN Loan Entrepreneurship Training and Certification.

Haruna expressed optimism that the partnership would boost access to finance for over 10 million Nigerian youths to establish functional enterprises and create over 30 million jobs in the next two years.

According to him, a delegation of the Nigerian youth will be meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria within the next seven days, to develop modalities to get the project going.

Haruna explained that the partnership was strategic and timely, considering the urgency for economic recovery created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the proposed partnership would complement efforts of the government to save the economy.

The youth leader expressed hope that the partnership would stimulate MSMEs growth beyond the CÓVID-19 pandemic, create millions of jobs and contribute to non-oil revenue in the country.

Haruna said that over 50 per cent of the 200 million Nigerian population was made up of young people.

According to him, every year, over 1.8 million young people graduate from tertiary institutions.

He, however, said only 30 per cent would find some kind of employment, thereby leaving over 1.2 million graduates without jobs.

“Compound that in a generation and you have over 10 million youth unemployed, which is bigger than the population of Demark and Finland combined.

“ These are people with creative energies and aspirations to impact humanity positively.

“ It is sad, however,  that these aspirations are often cut short due to a myriad of problems from the cradle to adulthood.

“The Nigeria youth unemployment rate is projected to trend around 44 per cent in 2021.

“ The youth situation is worsened by the looming global recession as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 10 million people globally.”

Haruna advised government to put deliberate measures to reverse the ugly trends and cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian youth, whose fate already hangs in the balance.

He said the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) set up by CBN to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 was laudable.

“Feedback from the field, however, shows that a critical mass of youth-led enterprises have not been able to access the facility due to set conditions,” he said.

 

The youth leader advised the government to create a special fund that would serve the needs of her burgeoning youth population.

“These needs are unique in all ramifications. There is no questioning the fact that these intervention measures have to be coordinated and driven by the organised private sector to achieve the desired impact.

“ We are at the threshold of history and the situation beckons on us to act. Surely, posterity will judge the actions we take today to build a more economically viable Nigeria,” he said.(NAN)

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Curbing Covid-19 Spread: California Set to Release 8,000 Prisoners from the State’s Prison

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Gavin Newsom

Curbing Covid-19 Spread: California Set to Release 8,000 Prisoners from the State’s Prison

California announces a plan to release about 8,000 people from the state’s prisons as a way of curbing the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Guardians, California is recording one of the worst increased outbreaks on coronavirus- specifically the northern side of the San Francisco bay.

This has created a “humanitarian crisis” at San Quentin state prison, where almost 1,500 people have tested positive for Covid-19 and seven have died.

In order to curb the historic health screw-up in the state’s prison, California has announced a plan to release up to 8,000 prisoners.

 

According to Abené Clayton, a reporter from Guardian, the Officials on Friday, July 10th announced three separate efforts, approved by the governor, Gavin Newsom, that they say will decrease the prison population by 8,ooo by the end of August.

In her tweet, she wrote;

“Today at noon CDCR announced new efforts that will lead to the release of around 8,000 people by the end of August. @GavinNewsom is expected to make a statement later today.”

“Even though this is the largest round of COVID-induced releases, it won’t be enough to bring the prison population to below 100% capacity, which advocates and public health experts insist is the only way to make enough space for social distancing.”

However, these measures mark the largest release efforts the state administration has taken since Covid-19 began to circulate among prison staff and incarcerated people;

The first initiative expands a previous effort to expedite the release of people with 180 or fewer days left on their sentences to include people serving time for serious felonies.

The second measure is an immediate review of cases of people with less than a year left to serve in eight prisons that have large populations at high risk of developing Covid-19 complications.

The state will also launch a one-time program under which those incarcerated in state prisons, including people serving time for violent felonies, will receive a credit shortening their sentences by three months.

But public health experts have told Abene that these measures will not be enough to allow for the social distancing required to bring the outbreak under control.

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NYCC-19 Partners with TradoMed Pharmaceutical Company to Fight COVID-19

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Tradomed Pharmaceutical Company, reliable partner in fighting COVID-19

The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 has described Tradomed Pharmaceutical company as a reliable partner in the fight against COVID-19.

Mallam Gambo Haruna, National Chairman of the Compact, made the remark during a courtesy visit to the management of Tradomed Pharmaceutical in Abuja on Wednesday.

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Haruna said, the NYCC-19 was an integrated framework and mechanism for Youth Engagement and Peer Intervention Strategy (PIS), meant to sensitize and mobilize the Nigerian Youth to ensure an enhanced response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

According to him, it is also set up as a realistic and practicable Action Plan to face the emerging Post COVID-19 Economic and Social realities.

He commended the effort of Tradomed company for the humanitarian interventions it is providing for Nigerians across the country, especially during this pandemic period.

“We seek partnership with your company to be able to engage 10 million Nigerian Youths, as it is our ardent belief that the partnership will help in mitigating the spread of the corona virus in Nigeria” he added.

Contributing, Chibuike Echem, Head of States Affairs, NYCC-19, said that, NYCC-19 had structures in the 774 Local Government Areas across the Federation which according to him is a good network for partnership.

Responding, Alhaji Abbah Goji, Vice chairman of Tradomed who received the NYCC-19 Team on behalf of the chairman of the company, Dr. Abbas Waziri applauded the NYCC-19 Team for coming together to form a synergy.

He expressed optimism that such a relationship would enable the parties involved to carry out the robust idea to ensure the realisation of the aims and objectives behind the formation of the Nigerian Youth Compact on Covid-19.

The vice chairman, therefore, advised the leaders of the Compact to expand their vision beyond COVID-19 and focus more on post COVID-19, Goji encouraged them to be patient and united in carrying out their national assignment while assuring them of maximum support and partnership of the company.

One of the high points at the occasion was the donation of a pack of Tradomal Anti-Malaria Tea to the visiting NYCC team, on behalf of the company,

Tradomal Tea is produced by the Tradomed Pharmaceutical Company, a remedy for Malaria, 100 per cent natural and enjoy the certification and approval of NAFDAC.

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