Situation Report on the Fight Against COVID-19 in Anambra State

Situation Report on the Fight Against COVID-19 in Anambra State

1.      As the campaign against the coronavirus pandemic in Anambra State has now entered the phase of community searching, the state government has decided to establish a COVID-19 Task Force in each of the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state. Each Task Force will be headed by the Chairman of the Transition Committee, and members will comprise  the Health Officer, the Information Officer, the Disease & Surveillance Officer and the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Laision Officer in the LGA.
2.      The government has also decided to set up a COVID-19 Task Force in each of the 326 wards in the state. Members will be the Ministry of Health Liaison Officer,  the Officer in charge of the main Primary Healthcare in the ward, the Youth Leader in the Ward, the Woman Leader in the ward, the Development Ward Chairman and the Councillor of the ward who will head it. Both Task Forces are to take to the grassroots the message of the dangers of COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the contagion.
3.      In view of the above, members of our various communities are enjoined to provide relevant information to the Task Forces in the LGAs and in the 326 wards in Anambra State. Relevant information includes the presence of strangers in their midst, the return of persons who have in the last two weeks been to states with high incidences of the coronavirus pandemic and individuals who exhibit such COVID-19 symptoms as dry cough, constant sneezing and shortness of breath. They may report such cases to their community leaders like Town Union Presidents General and Traditional Rulers. 
4.      Some of our people are already cooperating very well with the authorities in this respect. For example, the travel history of the second COVID-19 case was provided by vigilant and patriotic members of his community who knew he travelled to Kano towards the end of April and returned secretly to his base in the Awka Capital Territory on May 6, 2020. When he was tested for COVID-19, the result was positive, and he is now receiving good medical attention in one of our protective care centres. His wife has joined him in the centre. His friend was traced and tested for the contagion, and the result turned out positive. He also is receiving treatment in a protective care unit.
5.      The friend of the second case is one of the three persons who tested positive last weekend when samples from 19 persons were tested at a private molecular laboratory in Nnewi, Anambra State. It has to be pointed out that one of the three confirmed cases is not from Anambra State, nor is he resident in our state, nor does he do business here. He was accompanying human remains in a vehicle from Lagos to Imo State. When he was given a form to fill on entering Anambra State from Delta State while his sample was being taken, he falsely wrote Anambra as his destination. When he was contacted after the result of his test came out, he confessed he lied in the form. He mischievously switched off his phone and travelled back to Lagos. With the benefit of our sophisticated communication equipment, however, the Anambra State government traced him to Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, and the necessary information has been passed on to the authorities in Lagos State.
6.      It is necessary to stress that the tests carried out at the weekend are the first set of samples from Anambra State to be tested for COVID-19 in the state; hitherto, such tests were done only at the Virology Centre, Irrua, Edo State. The privately owned diagnostic centre in Nnewi, where the tests were done, is one of the three laboratories in Anambra State which Governor Willie Obiano has been advising the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to certify as testing centres for COVID-19. The others are the state government-owned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital Mega Laboratory in Awka, the only mega lab in the Southeast which can test up to 500 samples simultaneously; and the Federal Government-owned Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital laboratory in Nnewi.
7.      At the invitation of the Anambra State government, top officials of the NCDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) visited the state on Saturday, April 28, 2020, and inspected the three laboratories and other relevant key facilities; they expressed delight at what they saw. In other words, both the public private partnership (PPP) and cooperative federalism (as opposed to adversarial federalism) are operational in Anambra State for the benefit of the people. As a result, Anambra State will begin to assist other states with COVID-19 testing sooner than many people would seem to appreciate.
8.      The state government would like to, once again, thank numerous individuals and organizations that have been contributing almost daily to the COVID-19 appeal fund. They have been contributing money, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical consumables and food items. Just yesterday, Mr Goddy Ike from Nnewi donated a house with six flats, complete with a 60 KVA electric power generating set, to the state government to use a protective care unit, in appreciation of the impressive work which the government has done to shield the people from the ravages of the pandemic. We are also grateful to the leadership of the Catholic Church in the state which has graciously offered all its hospitals in the state to serve as protective centres if need be.
9.      Much as the majority of ndi Anambra have been very cooperative in the fight against COVID-19, it is regrettable that there are individuals who, by failing to comply with the guidelines, directives and the relevant order on the prevention of the spread of this highly infectious disease, are putting the lives of millions of our people in the harm’s way. They include those who refuse  to abide by the national curfew from 8pm to 6am, those who refuse to wear face masks and those who deliberately wear face coverings on their jaws, thereby are unable to cover their noses and mouths.
10.  To protect ndi Anambra from the untoward behavior of these people which has colossal consequences, the state government has decided to set up mobile courts in various parts of the state to try offenders. The details of how the mobile courts will carry out their duties are being worked out by the Ministry of Justice.
We will continue to work together to make Anambra State remain the safest place in Nigeria and elsewhere in every sense. God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.

Sweden is still nowhere near ‘herd immunity,’ even though it didn’t go into lockdown

Sweden is still nowhere near 'herd immunity,' even though it didn't go into lockdown

(CNN)Sweden has revealed that despite adopting more relaxed measures to control coronavirus, only 7.3% of people in Stockholm had developed the antibodies needed to fight the disease by late April.

The figure, which Sweden’s Public Health Authority confirmed to CNN, is roughly similar to other countries that have data and well below the 70-90% needed to create “herd immunity” in a population.
It comes after the country adopted a very different strategy to stop the spread of coronavirus to other countries by only imposing very light restrictions on daily life.
Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said the number was a “little lower” than expected “but not remarkably lower, maybe one or a couple of percent.”
“It squares pretty well with the models we have,” he added, while speaking at a news conference in Stockholm.
The study carried out by Sweden’s Public Health Agency aims to determine the potential herd immunity in the population, based on 1,118 tests carried out in one week. It aims to carry out the same number of tests every seven days over an eight-week period. Results from other regions would be released later, a Public Health Authority spokesperson said.
Sweden has adopted a different strategy to other Nordic nations during the pandemic, choosing to avoid a lockdown and keep most schools, restaurants, salons and bars open. It did, however, ask people to refrain from making long journeys, placing an emphasis on personal responsibility.
The strategy was criticized by Swedish researchers early on, who said that attempting to create herd immunity had low support. But the authorities denied that achieving herd immunity was their goal.
Herd immunity is reached when the majority of a given population — 70 to 90% — becomes immune to an infectious disease, either because they have become infected and recovered, or through vaccination. When that happens, the disease is less likely to spread to people who aren’t immune, because there just aren’t enough infectious carriers to reach them.
No community has yet achieved this and a vaccine “will get us to herd immunity quicker” than infection, Michael Mina, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a recent interview with Public Radio International’s The World.
A healthcare worker cleans and disinfects an ambulance after dropping a patient at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Danderyd Hospital near Stockholm on May 13.
Sweden’s percentage of people with antibodies is not far off that of other countries that did enforce lockdowns. In Spain, 5% of people had developed coronavirus antibodies by May 14, according to preliminary results of an epidemiological study by the government.
According to Martin Kuba, an official Jihocesky region in the Czech Republic who spearheaded a randomly selected mass testing for coronavirus among the general public and frontline workers, the initial results showed that the proportion of people who have had the disease stood at “single digit percent” rather than “fraction of a percent”.
Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, estimated earlier this month on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon that between 5% and 15% of people in the US have been infected.
He said the coronavirus was going to circulate and infect at least 60% to 70% of the population before it slows down, but warned that the country had “a long ways to go” to get to a level of herd immunity. A report he wrote along with other epidemiologists and a historian estimated this would likely take 18 to 24 months.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program, said the concept of herd immunity was a “dangerous calculation.”
Pedestrians and cyclists cross a bridge in the heart of Stockholm on May 11.
When asked if he would be comfortable with immunity passports based on his company’s tests, CEO of Swiss drugmaker Roche Severin Schwan told CNN’s Julia Chatterley: “I do believe that we are in a world with a lot of ambiguity, and we also have to make decisions on incomplete information. So, I do think it is valuable information, but we should not fully rely on it.”
On April 24, chief epidemiologist Tegnell told BBC radio that the authorities believed Stockholm had “an immunity level… somewhere between 15 and 20% of the population.”
He said the strategy had “worked in some aspects … because our health system has been able to cope. There has always been at least 20% of the intensive care beds empty and able to take care of Covid-19 patients.”
Asked whether Sweden’s approach will help it withstand a possible second wave, Tegnell said he believed it would.
“It will definitely affect the reproduction rate and slow down the spread,” he said, but added that it wouldn’t be enough to achieve “herd immunity.”
But Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde and Peter Lindgren, managing director at the Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE), said last month that it had failed to prevent a high number of deaths in care homes.
Sweden has now had 32,172 cases and 3,871 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.