Buhari Calls for Knowledge Sharing among Nations to Battle COVID-19

President Muhammadu Buhar
  • FG bars non-travellers from airports
  • Private hospital in Jos shut as 17 staff test positive
  • 587 new COVID-19 infections detected


Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday appealed to the international community to promote a platform for knowledge sharing from the output of science and research to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also ahead of the planned resumption of flight operations, the federal government has banned non-travellers from the airports and also advised persons coming to pick or drop travellers to remain inside their vehicles until the travellers exit the airports’ entrances.
The president, in his presentation during a virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, said Nigeria would support and be part of any joint and collective action plan at both the regional and global levels to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout.

The summit was co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President and African Union (AU) Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Senegal President and co-chair of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Macky Sall.

A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari implored the summit to be united to contain the virus, which he said knew no borders.

The president advocated the deployment of unity of purpose to fight the pandemic which he said had threatened livelihoods, and the society to its root, reiterating that humanity must be at the forefront of the pursuit of common prosperity.

”As we face a common pervasive and invisible enemy, it is important that we all remain united to save our shared humanity, because this virus knows no borders.

”The fight against a global pandemic that continues to take so many lives, threaten livelihoods and challenging the very fabric of societies, requires enhanced cooperation and worldwide solidarity.

”I seize this opportunity to reiterate the need for this summit to put humanity at the centre of our vision for common prosperity.
”We must learn lessons and share knowledge from research, as we develop more creative, responsive and humane health systems, improve crisis management protocols and support each other in the battle against COVID-19,’’ Buhari said.

He commended the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, for launching COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for low and middle-income countries to address health emergency, social and economic consequences of the crisis and also strengthen the recovery efforts of most vulnerable countries.

He also commended the leadership of the World Health Organisation (WHO), for its advice to Nigeria, which he said enabled the country to make necessary moves to enlighten its people on steps to take to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.

Buhari acknowledged Chinese support to Nigeria which has tremendously strengthened the effort to combat COVID-19.

The president provided an update on what his administration had done since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

”From the onset of the pandemic, we in Nigeria instituted strong surveillance and infection prevention as well as control measures and made provisions to strengthen our testing capacities.

”Several well-equipped treatment and isolation centres were set up across the country to increase bed capacity.

”In the spirit of international collaboration, medical experts in Nigeria participated by video link in learning and experience-sharing exercises organised by experts from various countries, including China,” Buhari said.

The Chinese president told participants that the summit was convened to discuss a joint response to COVID-19 and renew fraternity with Africa.

Jinping told the summit that the world must mobilise resources and do whatever it takes to protect lives, assuring them that China will do all it can to support procurement of supplies and send medical experts, among others.
The Chinese president explained that China and Africa account for almost one-third of the global population and pledged to increase support for Africa.

Jinping, the statement added, promised to make $2 billion available in two years to support WHO in the fight against the pandemic.

FG Bars Non-travellers from Airports

The federal government, through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has banned non-travellers from the airports and also directed persons coming to pick up arriving passengers to remain in their cars until travellers exit airports’ entrances.

FAAN made this known yesterday as part of the new protocols for the resumption of flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAAN, in a tweet, said: “Non-travelling passengers will not be allowed into the airport terminal buildings. People coming to pick up arriving passengers are advised to remain in their cars until passengers exit the gate. Stay safe.”

FAAN also urged travellers to wear face masks, maintain two metres distance and arrive at airports at least three hours before flights to ensure proper checks.

The federal government had stated that cvil aviation authorities would determine the resumption of domestic flights in the country.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, had on June 1 said that “the aviation industry is requested to start developing protocols to allow for domestic flights to resume anytime from June 21 onwards.”

Private Hospital Shut in Jos

A private hospital in Jo’s, Rayfield Medical Services Limited, has been shut down after 17 of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Plateau State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nimkong Nadam Lar, told journalists yesterday in Jos that two persons with suspected case of COVID-19 were admitted in the hospital for different ailments but they were later discovered to be COVID-19 patients.

He said: “Of the two patients, one died. The hospital has been closed down for safety of the public health. As of today, 198 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Plateau State, but 113 of them have been treated and discharged. The state has so far recorded five deaths, while 29 health workers have been infected by the virus.”

But the hospital in a statement said a COVID-19 patient who absconded from one of the state hospitals was admitted for an unrelated illness, and that the patient had denied any history of contact with a COVID-19 patient as well as any history of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

A statement by the hospital said: “The patient was managed for two days in our facility before we discovered the true state of affairs from the state Ministry of Health. The patient was immediately evacuated by the Ministry of Health officials to the isolation facility and the hospital fumigated.

“A screening of primary and secondary contacts revealed that a number of our staff were also positive for the virus. They are also being attended to by the state Ministry of Health officials.

“In line with the state protocols, the hospital services have been suspended for two weeks and the entire facility closed for fumigation. We hope to resume normal services to the general public immediately after the expiration of the mandatory two weeks.”

587 New COVID-19 Infections Detected

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday confirmed 587 new COVID-19 infections, which pushed the number of cases in Nigeria to 17,735.

It has recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths, raising the tally from 455 to 469 in the last 24 hours.

The NCDC gave the breakdown of the new cases, which showed that Lagos recorded 155 new cases, Edo 75, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 67, Rivers 65, Oyo 56, Delta 50, Bayelsa 25, Plateau and Kaduna 18 each, Enugu 17, Borno and Ogun 12 each, Ondo seven, Kwara four, Kano and Gombe two each, while Sokoto and Kebbi one each.

It said: “Nigeria has recorded 17,735 cases of COVID-19. 5,967 persons have been discharged, while 469 persons have died.”