Top Breaking news in Nigeria this morning;Thursday 18 June ;2020
1. The Federal Government (FG) unveils fresh plans on concession of 10 highways
The Federal Government has perfected a plan to concession 10 major highways in the country.
The Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, stated this on Wednesday while presenting details of the plan to the National Assembly Joint Committee on Works.
He told the lawmakers that the project titled, “Highway Development and Management Initiative,” was anchored on a private sector engagement.
The minister said investors would carry out the development and management of the road networks
He said the rationale behind the private sector engagement was to provide an avenue to mitigate paucity of funds.
Fashola said the first phase of the project would attract a capital investment of N163.32bn at a cost of about N16bn per each of the 10 roads.
He also said about 23,322 jobs would be created in the first phase.
The roads are Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano, Onitsha-Owerri-Aba, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, Kano-Maiduguri, Lokoja-Benin, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Ilorin-Jebba.
He said the investors are expected to provide streetlights, toll plazas, rest areas, and weighbridge stations.
Meanwhile, the Lagos-Pen Cinema axis in Agege had been closed to accommodate construction work on the Fly-Over Bridge in the area.
The Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the closure was effective to allow contractors to launch beams across Iju Road without any interruptions.
He said the bridge would be closed from 11am on Wednesday (June 17) to Thursday, June 25, 2020.
2. Coronavirus: The World Health Organization (WHO) to update clinical guidance for treating patients
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients.
Trial results announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cut death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.
The WHO’s clinical guidance for treating patients infected with the new coronavirus is aimed at doctors and other medical professionals and seeks to use the latest data to inform clinicians on how best to tackle all phases of the disease, from screening to discharge.
Although the dexamethasone study’s results are preliminary, the researchers behind the project said it suggests the drug should immediately become standard care in severely stricken patients.
For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.
The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with milder disease.
The positive news comes as coronavirus infections accelerated in some places including the United States and Beijing cancelled scores of flights to help contain a fresh outbreak in China’s capital.
“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement late on Tuesday. The agency said it was looking forward to the full data analysis of the study in the coming days.
“WHO will coordinate a meta-analysis to increase our overall understanding of this intervention. WHO clinical guidance will be updated to reflect how and when the drug should be used in COVID-19,” the agency added.
3. 29 health workers contract Coronavirus in Plateau State
The Plateau Government said on Wednesday that 29 of its health workers had contracted the coronavirus.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Jos.
According to the commissioner, the state has recorded 198 confirmed cases with 114 discharged and five deaths.
“Update on Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says Plateau has 168 confirmed cases but results released now confirms we have 198 cases,’’ he said.
Lar said the state had closed down a private hospital for two weeks, following its exposure to two COVID-19 patients, who were managed for other health conditions.
He said that 17 staff of the hospital were confirmed with the disease, while all staff of the hospital have been quarantined.
“We decontaminated the hospital yesterday and have closed it down for public safety.
“We have also taken the 17 staff to the isolation centres for treatment,’’ he said.
In a related development, the state government has decried the lack of adherence to guidelines for COVID-19 by most individuals and some organisations, following the suspension of the lockdown order by Governor Simon Lalong on June 11.
4. Coronavirus: Nigeria records 587 new cases, 14 deaths in 24 hours
No fewer than 587 people tested positive for coronavirus in Nigeria on Wednesday.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease announced this on its website, saying that 14 patients also died of coronavirus related complications.
With the 587 new cases, the total number of confirmed infections in the country has increased to 17,735.
The NCDC said, “On the 17th of June 2020, 587 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
“No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
“Till date, 17735 cases have been confirmed, 5967 cases have been discharged and 469 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory
“The 587 new cases are reported from 18 states- Lagos (155), Edo (75), FCT (67), Rivers (65), Oyo (56), Delta (50), Bayelsa (25), Plateau (18), Kaduna (18), Enugu (17), Borno (12), Ogun (12), Ondo (7), Kwara (4), Kano (2), Gombe (2), Sokoto (1), Kebbi (1).”
Globally, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 445,213 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally compiled by AFP as of 07 pm on Wednesday.
At least 8,269,170 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,785,500 are considered recovered.
Europe overall has 189,574 deaths from 2,453,170 cases; the United States and Canada have 125,597 deaths from 2,248,134 infections; Latin America and the Caribbean 84,006 deaths from 1,787,118 cases; Asia 26,365 deaths from 912,374 cases; the Middle East 12,467 deaths from 594,120 cases; Africa 7,073 deaths from 265,486 cases; and Oceania 131 deaths from 8,768 cases.