The other news at Yaba IDH

As at December 26, 2020, a total of 83, 576 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria. 70, 495 of the cases have been successfully treated and discharged, while the country unfortunately has so far recorded 1247 deaths. On the said day under review, 829 new cases were confirmed.

As at December 26, 2020, a total of 83, 576 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria. 70, 495 of the cases have been successfully treated and discharged, while the country unfortunately has so far recorded 1247 deaths. On the said day under review, 829 new cases were confirmed.

Lagos recorded its first index Covid-19 case on February 27, 2020 and the state has remained the epicentre of the dreaded virus which has been officially pronounced as a pandemic. The fact is Covid-19 brought about an unprecedented global health crisis and practically altered all spheres of human endeavour.

Prior to the first case, the Lagos State Government had set up some Isolation Centres, while also ramping up the capacity of the Yaba Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) to appropriately respond to the pandemic in the event of recording any case.

Out of the Isolation Centres, that of Yaba IDH stands out as the main centre for treating the Covid-19 patients in the state, and the reason for this is not far fetched going by the fact that the hospital had been equipped for the purpose of responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases.

During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the hospital played crucial role in containing the disease, while post-Ebola, several facilities were put in place at the hospital including the Biobank Laboratory designed to engender effective management of infectious diseases with special focus on containment and strengthening the capacity to prevent, detect and respond to all manner of threats.

The Biobank has two Biosafety level laboratories known as BSL 2 and 3 with capacity to process and rapidly identify samples of infectious diseases with epidemic potential.

Back to Covid-19, the Yaba IDH, like the Ebola outbreak, was the epicentre for the treatment of patients. In the peak of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, investigation revealed that in less than three weeks, over 700 patients died at the hospital.

An eye witness, who was at the hospital alongside other family members to collect the corpse of a relative, revealed that the situation was terrifying and alarming as people were dropping dead like flies as a result of Covid-19 complications.

According to him, “As I stood at the Isolation Centre, I was afraid as vehicles were trooping in bringing patients to the hospital. There was a particular case of a wrong corpse that was detected during the lying-in-state that really touched me.

“The family members had collected their corpse and took him away for burial. While the lying-in-state service was ongoing, they decided to open the casket to pay their last respect to the deceased and it was right there that it was discovered that a wrong corpse had been handed to them.

“They had to abruptly end the service and took the corpse back to Yaba IDH where the matter was resolved and the corpse of their deceased relative was handed to them, before they took him for burial. That incident really traumatized me as I was there when the scenario played out,” he said.

He said there was also the case of a white man that looked so healthy who came down from the car by himself but had to be wheeled to the Emergency Ward for quick medical intervention as his case suddenly got worse.

Another eyewitness, who is one of the medical personnel at the hospital, also narrated how a Medical Doctor died while his data was being collated at the hospital.

“You see, as a Medical Doctor, he knew the symptoms of the virus and when he suspected he was having some of the symptoms, he decided to drive himself to Yaba Isolation Centre for treatment.

“However, it was unfortunate that while his medical history was being collated, he fell and died instantly,” the witness who does not want to be named said.

Speaking further, he said it was unfortunate that many people out there still have the impression that there is nothing called Coronavirus, and that it is a scam.

“My message to such people is that whether it is a scam or not, it takes nothing to adhere to the safety protocols of washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap under running water, maintaining social distancing, using face masks, among others.

“This is even more imperative as the second wave of the virus is effectively now with us. Until there is a cure, we cannot afford to lower our guards with regards to strictly adhering to the safety measures put in place to ward off the threat of the virus,” he said.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.