With repeated calls by World Health Organization (WHO) to maintain social distance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, leading commercial bank, Sterling Bank is offering Nigerians free access to quality healthcare service through digital channels for a period of 90 days.
Divisional Head, Health and Education Sectors, Sterling Bank PLC, Mr. Obinna Ukachukwu, according to the statement, held that the health sector is one of the five sectors that the Bank has invested in. The other sectors, he added, are education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.
Ukachukwu said the bank’s intervention is aimed at helping Nigerians to maintain social distance, noting that the provision allows remote access to healthcare diagnosis, consultation, and subsequently advice and recommendations from best medical practitioners the country has.
He described the initiative as “a huge opportunity for Nigerians to have access to quality healthcare. The platform is a reflection of the bank’s commitment to an improved and digitised health sector in the country.
Clarifying what qualifies beneficiaries for the service, Ukachukwu notes that; “our customers automatically qualify for this free medicare, but because the Sterling has a HEART, those who do not bank with us and may be at risk of contacting the contagion have been provided a cover under this initiative.” He assured.
The statement added that the service will connect beneficiaries to medical doctors via online via chat, audio and video calls across the 36 states of the federation, 24 hours a day.
The service can be accessed at https://sterling.ng/doc/
Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has shut down her office for two weeks over Coronavirus.
Her daughter, who returned from the United Kingdom, is also in self-isolation.
Mrs Buhari, who tweeted the developments through her personal handle, @aishambuhari, said she acted based on the advice of the Minister of Health and the Presidential Task Force on Covid -19.
She wrote, “Good afternoon Nigerians, earlier today (Thursday) my daughter returned from the UK being among the high-burden listed countries of COVID-19.
“Based on the advice of the Hon. Minister Of Health, Presidential Task force on COVID-19 and that of NCDC, she is on Self Isolation, not because she displayed any symptoms of the Covid-19.”
The Lagos State government says four new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the state.
Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health, disclosed this during a press conference on Thursday.
“What we have is a combination of imported cases and local transmission,” he said.
“There are four new cases. There are 11 total confirmed cases but we actually have 9 active cases because the index case is now negative. The only reason he is still with us is because he needs two negative tests but he is ready and anxious to go.”
Nigeria previously had eight confirmed cases of the disease.
With the four additional cases, the total number of COVID-19 patients in the country is now 12.
But one patient who had contact with the index case — the Italian who travelled from Milan to Lagos — has recovered.
Abayomi said out of the 19 tests that were conducted on suspected cases four turned out positive.
He said they were contacts of the five cases that were confirmed on Wednesday.
He also said the recent cases include a Nigerian female who returned from France via a Turkish airline (TK 1830) on March 14; a Nigerian in his 50s who did not travel out of the country, and another Nigerian male who arrived in the country on March 13, from Frankfurt, Germany on Luftansa flight LH 568.
He said contact tracing of over 1,300 persons in relation to the confirmed cases in progress.
Due to the global spread of the Corona virus and the recent ban of all high-density gatherings in Ogun State, the State Government wishes to clarify that the ban on high-density gatherings affects all schools, whether they are public or private-owned, as well as all religious activities in the State.
Consequently, all schools in the State will remain closed indefinitely after school hours on Friday, March, 20th, 2020.
Also, all religious centres and activities including regular and special services that bring together fifty (50) or more persons in the same place are banned with immediate effect.
These measures will be reviewed at regular intervals in response to the development surrounding the Corona virus disease.
The Government, therefore, enjoins all parents and guardians who have their children and wards in any boarding facility within the State to immediately evacuate them and return them to their respective homes at the close of schools on Friday, March 20th, 2020.
Governor Dapo Abiodun thankfully acknowledges and appreciates religious leaders for their advice, understanding solidarity and support, as we jointly search for solution to the pandemic and for their cooperation to observe all safety measures in the overall interest of our State and common humanity.
Government emphasises the need to observe global best practice of social distancing as way of curtailing the spread of the pandemic and recommends that as much as possible, people should minimize contact with others and maintain a distance of at least five feet between one another in public places or in public transportation. In addition, nonessential travels should be limited whilst also avoiding high-density gatherings.
Governor Abiodun pleads for the understanding of parents, school owners and the entire citizenry to comply fully with all laid down measures and for them to offer useful information for the state to respond appropriately to the COVID-19 challenge.
The Governor further encourages people to maintain a high level of personal hygiene and surveillance. He added that suspected cases should be reported at the nearest Primary Healthcare Centre (PHCs) in all the 236 wards in the State or the Emergency Operations Centre on COVID-19 by telephone on 08188978393 or 08188978392
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ogun State
. Oil mogul confirms being BA75 co-passenger with lady tested positive to dreaded infection
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) and governorship candidate of the party in Rivers state, Chief Tonye Cole, has gone on self-isolation for Coronavirus after confirming that he was one of the passengers on the British Airways flight (BA75) from London on which a lady tested positive for the dreaded infection ravaging the World.
The oil mogul and co-founder of Sahara Group, declared this on his Instgram page on Wedneaday, noting that he decided to go on self-isolation based on instruction from the Lagos State Ministry of Health to him and all passengers on board the flight to do so for 14 days.
“So, I was on BA75 Flight of 13th from London on which a lady was tested positive to Coronavirus,” he said.
“We have all been asked by the Lagos State ministry of Health to self isolate for the health of ourselves and others,” the oil mogul said.
He added; “I am really thankful to the NSDC for the measures taken at the airports to document all passengers coming into Nigeria or no one would have known, which flight to request passengers to seld isolate.
“This measure to promote social distancing,” Cole continued, “may just save lives. I have 9 more days to read, exercise, more self discoveries and deeper bonding with my sweetheart.”
The Commissuoner for Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Professir Akin Abayomi, had ealier announced that four new cases of the virus were recorded in Lagos, making the number of those who tested positive to the infection in Lagos to be 7.
He said in a tweet that all passengers on board British Airways (BA75) Flight to Lagos on March 13 should self-isolate for 14 days.
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The court of appeal in Abuja has affirmed Ifeanyi Ubah as the senator representing Anambra south senatorial district.
Stephen Adah, the appellate court justice, held that the judgment of the lower court which sacked Ubah as senator is a nullity.
Bello Kawu, judge of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Kubwa, had voided Ubah’s election on April 11, 2019 on the grounds that he presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to INEC.
After hearing the case afresh, the high court still affirmed its previous judgment on January 17, 2020, and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ubah and to issue a fresh certificate to Obinna Uzoh, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the senator-elect of the district.
But Ubah contended that he was not given fair hearing.
Ubah through his counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, argued that as of the time the judgment in suit No: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was delivered, the suit was not properly filed before the court and that consequently, “the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating therefrom are manifestly incompetent being a nullity”.
Another issue raised was that the originating summons was not signed by any counsel as required by law.
Delivering the judgment, Adah held that the law makes it mandatory for a legal practitioner to sign an originating summons before it is issued out.
He said: “A document that is not signed is a worthless piece of paper and has no credibility.”
He also agreed that the right of the appellant to fair hearing was breached by the trial court.
“Right to fair hearing is very fundamental and anything done afterwards results to a nullity,” he said.
“The judgment of the lower court is a nullity and is hereby set aside.”
The Lagos State Government has stated it will request religious leaders to stop Friday (Juma’at) and Sunday church service over Coronavirus.
Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, stated this on Wednesday at a briefing.
He said the religious leaders will be advised to shut down services in the interest of the public.
He said this a few hours after Lagos recorded its seventh coronavirus case.
“We are all aware that the Federal Government asked the National Youth Service Corps to shut down orientation camps; yesterday (Tuesday) the Commissioner for Home Affairs said there will be a meeting with religious leaders today (Wednesday).
“It is going to be suggested to them to maybe stop Friday and Sunday services – wherever we have large gatherings.
“Going by the new development, I am sure they will be advised to shut down the services in the interest of the public and all of us. I am sure they are going to comply,” Omotosho said.
An Indian staff of Onshore Construction Company, an instrumentation contracting firm with Dangote Fertilizer Limited, who had shown symptoms associated with COVID-19 and subsequently isolated, has been confirmed negative.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed the outcome of the test via his Twitter handle said, “An Indian national that was admitted in our facility yesterday (Monday) night with symptoms suggestive of #COVID19 has tested negative to #COVID19.
“He is doing perfectly well in our isolation unit. His case will be reviewed in the morning (Wednesday)”, the tweet added.
It would be recalled that the management of Dangote Industries Limited had announced that an Indian national working for a third party firm at its fertilizer plant had shown up at the site clinic exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 pandemic and was immediately quarantined and taken to the Lagos Mainland Hospital, Yaba.
According to the company, “the patient’s complaint triggered our COVID-19 Preparation and Prevention Protocols which necessitated further screening and isolation immediately.”
DIL said one Mr. Akhil Kunyil, of the Health and Safety Environment unit of the Onshore Company had reported the development to it, following which local authorities were contacted.
“The suspected COVID-19 patient was immediately moved to the Lagos Mainland Hospital where he was placed in isolation ward for confirmatory test, which later turned out to be negative.
“As an organization we have taken the following stringent proactive measures across our entire group.
These include: As an organization we have taken the following stringent proactive measures across our entire group:
1) Development of a comprehensive risk identification, control priotization and escalation plan executed by our Co-Vid19 Task Force constituted in January 2020.
2) Identification and retention of a competent team of medical consultants
3) Travel ban for all employees to/from high risk countries as per W.H.O publications of country exposures
4) Travel tracking of all employees and contractors staff arriving/leaving Nigeria and obligations for completion of medical checks to validate health status
5) Implementation of use of Thermal cameras across our various sites as well as infrared thermometers checking in smaller office locations
6) Identification and creation where applicable of holding, isolation and quarantine areas.
7) Implementation of use of sanitizers across all locations: sites and offices
8) Multiple and continuous awareness campaigns on preventative measures to be taken (both electronic and physical i.e posters, public announcements)
The measures, the company management said are being continually updated as the situation globally evolves and will continue to do so. “The welfare of our employees and the nation as a whole remains our utmost priority.”, it added.
With the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) had announced a donation of N200 million to support efforts of the Federal government towards curbing the spread of the virus in the country.
Speaking during the donation in Abuja, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Ms. Zouera Youssoufou, who was represented by the Health and Nutrition Programme Officer, Maryam Shehu-Buhari, said the donation was part of the Foundation’s cardinal objective of partnering governments at all levels against the dreaded disease in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
In this regard, she stated that the Foundation has earmarked a sum of N124 million to support the procurement of facilities that will help prevent, assess and respond to health events at Points-of-Entry to ensure National Health Security.
Youssoufou also highlighted other areas of intervention to include surveillance and epidemiology, where facilities worth N36 million will be provided by the Foundation to support government’s efforts.
The Federal Government had acknowledged the kind gesture by the Aliko Dangote Foundation and commended its Chairman, Aliko Dangote for always rising to the occasion whenever the need arises.
The government recalled similar intervention during the Ebola crisis when the Foundation led efforts at ending the scourge not only in Nigeria but generally on the African continent.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has announced the launch of Beta Health, a low-cost health financing product that offers instant access to health insurance for every Nigerian. The first of its kind in Nigeria, Beta Health provides coverage for basic and essential health services such as; general consultations, treatment for malaria, Ante Natal care, amongst others, for a subscription of N500 a month.
As at 2018, more than 90 percent of the Nigerian population are not enrolled in any health insurance scheme, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. This is because health insurance is either too expensive or not very accessible to most people across the country.
Beta Health is a response to this pressing national need and the latest offering in the long line of GTBank’s innovative products and services aimed at adding value to people’s everyday lives. To subscribe to Beta Health, all a customer has to do is simply dial *737*52*500*50# on their mobile phones, and they will be signed up on the package within minutes.
People subscribed to Beta Health can walk into over 1,000 hospitals nationwide and get attended to for select medical cases, at no out-of-pocket cost. There are, on average, at least 5 healthcare centres in every local government area under the Beta Health coverage, and the plan also allows for subscription on behalf of a third-party; such as relatives, domestic staff, contract workers and employees of small businesses. This offers an efficient solution for access to basic healthcare services for people in every part of the country and across all works of life.
Commenting on the launch of Beta Health, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “We are delighted and proud to launch this healthcare initiative which we believe will have a tremendous impact in people’s lives. Beta Health is more than just a banking product, it reflects our passion for enriching lives and commitment to expanding access to the essential services which everyone needs to thrive.”
He further stated that, “For us at GTBank, this is just the start. We will continue to build on Beta Health to provide greater access to more robust and comprehensive healthcare plans that serve the pressing needs and fit the lifestyle of our customers and people in the communities where we operate.”
GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.
The Bank is also going beyond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by intervening in key economic sectors through non-profit consumer-focused fairs and capacity building initiatives for small businesses.