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COVID-19: Edo govt tests 5771 residents, decontaminates 797 homes, extends case search to 911 communities

As part of measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and safeguard the wellbeing of Edo people, the state government has intensified Active Case Search (ACS) activities across 911 communities in Edo, testing over 5771 residents and decontaminating homes and offices of about 797 confirmed cases in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, noted that there is still poor compliance with precautionary measures against the spread of the disease including the compulsory use of facemask and social distancing.

He added that compliance to all safety and health measures to contain the virus was imperative as it will complement the government’s efforts at protecting the people, especially the state’s aged population, who account for most fatalities recorded in the state.

According to Okundia, “Edo State has so far recorded 797 confirmed cases, 5559 suspected cases, 2379 line-listed contacts, 346 persons of interest (POIs) and 32 COVID-related deaths, while 243 patients have been discharged”.

Okundia said while the 5559 suspected cases of COVID-19 were recorded in 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, the 797 confirmed cases were recorded in 15 LGAs including Oredo, Esan West, Egor, Ovia North East, Ikpoba-Okha, Uhunmwode, Etsako Central, Esan South East, Akoko-Edo, Esan Central, Ovia South West, Owan East, Esan North East, Etsako West and Etsako East LGA.

The commissioner added, “The Edo State Government has taken serious steps to contain the pandemic across all communities in Edo, but we have observed poor compliance among members of the public towards COVID-19 preventive measures. This is even as some give out wrong addresses and phone numbers during sample collection which makes it difficult for contact tracers to track down confirmed cases after laboratory results are released.

“The government urges all residents to stay at home and observe all precautionary measures against the spread of the infectious disease, including regular handwashing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing.

“Two toll-free lines for COVID-19 response have been introduced by Edo State Government to strengthen the initial lines from the State Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) distributed at the onset of the outbreak.

World News

Africa/World on Vaccine Test

A vaccine volunteer gets an injection at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial has begun as volunteers received injections developed at the University of Oxford in Britain. The large-scale trial is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial started Wednesday as nervous volunteers received injections, while officials said the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind.

The large-scale trial of the vaccine developed at the University of Oxford in Britain is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. The country late Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111.

“I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,” one of the vaccine trial volunteers, Junior Mhlongo, said in Johannesburg.

The African continent now has nearly 325,000 cases as countries loosen restrictions under economic pressure from citizens who say they have to feed their families. Shortages of testing materials and medical supplies remain a problem as Africa could become the world’s next hot spot.

The pandemic was delayed in Africa “but is picking up speed very quickly,” the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief John Nkengasong said Wednesday, with a steep increase in the number of cases and deaths.

“Unless we act now, Africa is at risk of being left behind on the global vaccine,” he warned a continental discussion and urged that local manufacturing and scientific expertise play a key role.

Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa all have highly developed clinical trial capabilities, said Salim Abdool Karim, chair of South Africa’s ministerial advisory committee for COVID-19.

__ AP news



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UK: Bournemouth beach: ‘Major incident’ as thousands flock to coast

  • Sun-seekers have been urged to stay away from a beach as thousands flocked to the Dorset coast and a major incident was declared in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council said Bournemouth Beach was “stretched to the absolute hilt” on the second day of a UK heatwave.

Dorset Police said there were reports of gridlocked roads, fights and overnight camping.

People were urged to “act responsibly” as temperatures hit the mid-20s.

Traffic built up early on coast-bound roads – including Durdle Door – and people travelled to Bournemouth from as far as Birmingham.

By Thursday evening the Sandbanks peninsula was “heavily congested”, the council said, repeating its warning for people to “please stay away”.

The ferry service in Sandbanks tweeted: “Again we’re struggling to get traffic off the ferry at Poole, for now we hope to carry half loads of vehicles from Studland, but depends on the gridlock in Sandbanks tonight.”

A local resident took a photo of the lengthy queue for the Mudeford ferry as beach-goers left for the day.

The council said declaring a major incident meant a “multi-agency emergency response has now been activated to co-ordinate resources across the area to tackle the issues”.

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, tweeted in response to Thursday’s beach scenes with a warning Covid-19 “will rise again”unless people followed social distancing guidelines.

Council leader Vikki Slade said they were “absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches”.

“The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response,” she added.

The council said it issued a record 558 parking fines.

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood said he had asked the government to dispatch additional officers to Dorset if needed to deal with traffic and antisocial behaviour.

“It is very sad to see a number of people being selfish and also acting dangerously,” he said.

Mr Ellwood said it was “not practical” to close Dorset’s beaches altogether but suggested signs warning about overcrowding could be put up at railway stations and on approaching motorways.

He added the government needed to be “dynamic” in its response to beach crowding, otherwise the lockdown would have “been for nothing”.

“I’m sorry to see the departure of the No 10 briefings because they would have been perfect for today – for a key figure in No 10 to clarify what is actually happening in Bournemouth and to clarify that message nationally – to say ‘please for the moment stay away from all our seafronts’,” he said.

Extra police officers have been brought in and security is in place to protect refuse crews who the council said faced “widespread abuse and intimidation” as they emptied overflowing bins.
— Sky news