NCDC Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak In Seven States - IReporteronline
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NCDC Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak In Seven States

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said that Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States have confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 also called “Bird flu.”

The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja, while providing highlights of the epidemiological situation and response activities in Nigeria.

NAN reports that Avian Influenza is a strain of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, but can also infect humans.

This type of flu is most often contracted by contact with sick birds, and can also be passed from person to person. It spreads by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).

Symptoms begin within two to eight days and are like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath may occur.

Ihekweazu said as of March 24, 2021, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries.

“Health National Rapid Response Team (RRT) from NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture were deployed to Bauchi, Kano and Plateau States.

“A total of 83 human samples were received and 64 (87.7 per cent) samples were tested. Of the tested samples, seven (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A, six 85.7 per cent were subtype A/H5 while one 14.3 per cent was unsub-typable,” he explained.

The NCDC boss said official notification about the outbreak had been conveyed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).

He added that an official report had also been sent to the authorities at both the Federal level and the affected states.

“Avian influenza outbreak Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at level 1 has been activated at national and in two states (Plateau and Gombe).

“Seven confirmed samples have been shipped to the WHO Collaborating Centre (WHO-CC) in the United States (US) for further characterisation,” he noted.

Speaking on the response activities, he said the second session of EOC had been conducted with a review of the outbreak situation, response Terms of Reference (TORs) and Incident Actions Plan (IAPs).

“Seven states: Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger States have confirmed cases of Avian Influenza among poultry.

“Two states have reported seven cases among humans – Kano four and Plateau three. Only Kano, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States have had human contacts of birds followed up,” he said.

According to him, of the 83 contacts reported, 27 contacts are from three Local Government Areas; Nasarawa, Ungogo and Gwale in Kano State.

The others are 18 contacts from two LGAs (Jos North and South) in Plateau; 19 contacts from two LGAs (Bauchi and Toro) in Bauchi State, and 19 contacts from three LGAs (Kaltungo, Yamaltu Deba and Gombe) in Gombe State.

Ihekweazu stated that all contacts were farmers, farmworkers, bird handlers and traders, adding that the contacts were still asymptomatic except one who presented catarrh.

“A total of 83 human nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples have been collected from contacts of confirmed birds in four states: Kano (27), Plateau (18), Bauchi (19) and Gombe (19).

“A total of 13 blood samples have also been collected from the very-close contacts (human) of the birds in three states: Plateau (3), Bauchi (5), and Gombe (5).

“Of 83 human samples collected, 64 (87.7 per cent) samples were analysed using Real time Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Of 64 samples analysed, only 7 (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A.

“Of the seven samples positive for Flu A, only six “85.7 per cent “were positive for A/H5 while one (14.3 per cent) was unsubtypable. All seven positive samples have been shipped to WHO Coordinating centre for further lab analysis,” he said.

The NCDC boss noted that sensitisation was carried out by the national and state RRT to farm owners, workers, Live Bird Market (LBM) associations and communities in the affected states.

He added that biosecurity measures were extensively discussed for the benefit of the farmers and communities.

“Distribution of Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) materials to farm owners, workers, LBM associations and community leaders.

“List of items that facilitate safety in farms was shared with farmers, and sensitisation of workers on hygiene and regular wearing of PPE in the farm was carried out,” he said.

NAN, reports that Nigeria was the first country to report human cases of A/H5N1 in the West African Region one year after the first A(H5N1) outbreak in poultry was reported in the country.

The only human case of Avian Influenza in Nigeria was detected in Lagos State in January 2007.

It was officially reported on the 17th of February, 2007, and by the end of the year 2006, 26 farms had been affected by Avian flu in Lagos State.

NAN

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OPC Lambasts Dambazau For Linking Group With Boko Haram

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The O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) said the former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General Abdurahman Dambazau, is suffering from acute dementia and gradually losing touch with reality.

OPC, in a statement on Saturday by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, reacted to the statement credited to the former minister that the OPC was the same as the dreaded Boko Haram.

The group condemned in strong terms the statement credited to the ex-minister, pointing out that such statements were capable of heating up the polity and disrupting national peace.

Oguntimehin also described Dambazau as a northern irredentist and extremist popularly noted for his unguarded statements and utterances.

“From his statement, it is obvious that the ex-COAS is suffering from acute dementia and he is gradually losing touch with the realities of this time.

 

“Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that have allegedly been supporting the bandits by offering both financial and technical support to the group.

“Such high profile ex-military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasion pleaded on their behalf.

“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top northern leaders had their hands in the recruitments of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior, under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800 billion to settle the bandits. A request which was opposed by Nigerians.

“So for such a person to have said that OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but it is most unfortunate to say the least.”

Oguntimehin said: “Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world. And up till today, it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North.

“For instance, presently, Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the North and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities, he didn’t raise a finger.

“It is no doubt that he is one of their sponsors. That is why he had, rather than offering lasting solution to the insurgency in the north and across the country, remained an ardent promoter of bandits and other terrorist groups in Nigeria.

So, from his statement, it shows that the ex-minister is not in his right frame of mind, because when bandits killed a foremost Oba in Ondo, he didn’t talk. When other respected leaders from the north held a meeting on the critical security situation in the country,he didn’t attend.”

The OPC publicity scribe stated further that the group has since its existence in 1994 remains one of the most dependable organizations that have been defending the interest of the people of the south west.

“OPC has never involved in any act of insurgency, including kidnapping or killings. Our group have been at the vanguard of supporting the police and providing information that can help the police in ensuring effective security at the grassroots.

“For instance, during the END SARS protests, OPC came to the rescue in the southwest and we protected the police stations and the police formations against unscrupulous rioters that had hijacked the peaceful protests.

Recently, the OPC under our amiable leader, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, apprehended the notorious Kidnap kingpin, Abdullah Iskilu Wakili that had been terrorising the people of Ibarapa and its environs, and we handed him over to the police.

“So for somebody of Dambazau status to say such a group is like the Boko Haram truly shows his mindset and level of thinking. Such a person has truly lost touch with the realities of the present time because today, OPC has been reorganised, repackaged, and re-orientated in such a way that it has become a thorn in the flesh of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists. And today, the fear of the OPC has truly become the beginning of wisdom for people like Danbazau and his allies

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You Need UTME To Gain Admission Into Our Academy – NDA

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The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) has announced that the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is a basic requirement for admission into the academy.

This was made known in a statement by Maj. Bashir Jajira, the NDA Public Relations Officer, on Saturday in Kaduna.

He said the academy had nothing to do with fake news speculating that academy suspended UTME for the incoming members of 73 Regular Course.

Part of the statement read: “The academy wishes to inform the general public that UTME is one of the basic requirements for entry into the academy.

“All interested applicants into the academy must have passed the UTME and attained an acceptable minimum national standard as determined by JAMB annual policy meeting before gaining entry into the 73 Regular Course.”

He advised the general public to ignore any information on social media purporting the suspension of JAMB exam for 73 Regular Course.

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No Oil Money Again, FG Printed N60bn To Share In March – Obaseki

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has warned that there would soon be no crude oil revenue for Nigeria to spend, adding that the federal government had to print extra N60 billion for states to share in March.

The governor made this statement on Wednesday during a meeting with the state’s Transition Committee in Benin.

Mr Obaseki noted the Nigerian economy can no longer rely on global oil prices because major oil-producing companies are now investing in alternative sectors, Channels news reported.

The governor further expressed his concern over the habitual borrowing system of the government, he explained that by the end of the year that there would be additional N16 trillion debt owed by the Nigerian government.

He mentioned that the situation may cause a collapse in the economy of the country and the value of naira because there is no way of paying back borrowed loans.

“In another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to Abuja to share every month? Last month, we got FAAC for March. The federal government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for us to share,” he said.

“We say remove subsidy, they say no. This April, next week again, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, the total borrowing is going to be in excess of ₦15 to ₦16 trillion.

“My worry is that we will wake up one day like Argentina, the naira will be ₦1,000, ₦2,000 and will be moving because we don’t have money coming in. You are just borrowing, borrowing and borrowing without any means or idea of how to pay back.”

Speaking further, the governor explained that the people are concerned about the 2023 election while they keep blaming the president for the current state of the nation’s economy.

Also, the governor commended the effort of the Independent National Electoral Committee for adopting technology to bring a change to the voting system in the country so it will be difficult to rig election results.

“INEC itself had also begun its own process of change. They have been worried, scandalised by what happened in Kogi and Bayelsa and were trying to redeem themselves.

“So using technology, they made sure that as soon as you finish voting in the polling unit, that result was uploaded straight into a portal so they can see the pattern which makes it difficult to change results at the collation centers.’’

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