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Disturbing disease, Monkeypox strikes Bayelsa state, 10 Quarantined
A rare disease identified simply as monkeypox has broken out in Bayelsa State.

Monkeypox, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is similar to smallpox, but milder.

According to Punch, 1o people have been quarantined at the isolation center in Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa.

Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the epidemiological team of the state’s Ministry of Health are reported to have created the isolation center with the motive of stopping the spread of the disease.

WHO reports that although the monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals, it has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

Ebitimitula Etebum, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, said samples of the disease have been sent to the World Health Organisation’s reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.

He said the first case observed was a man who killed and ate a monkey. He soon developed symptoms of the disease – severe headache, fever, back pains, rashes.

Neighbors of the man also began seeing the symptoms, the commissioner said.

He added that 49 other people who have come in contact with the patients are also under observation. He said:

Recently in Bayelsa State, we noticed a suspected outbreak of monkeypox. It has not been confirmed. We have sent samples to the World Health Organisation’s reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.

When that comes out, we will be sure that it is confirmed. But from all indications, it points towards it.

As the name implies, the virus was first seen in monkey, but can also be found in all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.

The source is usually all animals. It was first seen in monkeys and that is why it is called monkeypox. But every bush animals such as rats, squirrels, and antelopes are involved.

So, the secretions from particularly dead animals are highly contagious.

We noticed the first index case from Agbura, where somebody was purported to have killed and eaten a monkey and after that, the people who are neighbours and families started developing the rashes.

We have seen cases from as far as Biseni. We invited the NCDC together with our own epidemiological team from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health.

We have been able to trace most of the people who have come in contact with the patients.

So far, we have 10 patients and we have created an isolation centre at the NDUTH and most of them are on admission and we are following up the 49 cases that we are suspecting might come down with the illness.

As a state, we are taking care of all the expenses of all the isolated cases.

The disease has an incubation period and it is also self-limiting in the sense that within two to four weeks, you get healed and it confers you with immunity for life.

We have mobilised virtually every arsenal at our disposal in terms of sensitising the general public and making them aware by radio programmes, jingles and fliers. So, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has mobilised fully to Bayelsa State. We are on top of the situation.

The only thing I will tell the general public is to observe hand hygiene and ensure they don’t come in contact with dead animals and their secretions. The disease is air-borne too. So when you come down with it, it is very infectious.

People should wash their hands whenever they go in or come out of their houses. If they come in touch with animals, they should ensure that they wash their hands.

They should be very vigilant. People should report any similar cases to the relevant authorities.

A lot of people have come down with the symptoms, but they are hiding in their houses. If they hide, there is the propensity for the infection to spread.

It is better to quarantine them and treat them so that we can interrupt the spread of the disease.

People should be calm and they shouldn’t get frightened. The state has distributed personal protective equipment to workers and they are using them.

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

A former staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC, in Agbor, Delta State, who was dismissed in 2009, was, on Tuesday, electrocuted in Agbor.

According to reports, the deceased, identified as Monday Ebor, was illegally working on high tension lines when electricity was restored.

Eboh who was wanted by BEDC for his illegal activities which destroyed many transformers, was said to be illegally diverting lines from one feeder to another when power was restored.

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)Dapo Adelegan, has announced that the British Government will henceforth begin accepting Nigerian currency from Nigerian business owners in the UK.

Adelegan made the assertion in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

The British Government on February 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it will accept Naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the UK.

Adelegan said that the initiative was a monumental step that will deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.

“If we look at the quality of manufactured equipment and technology; Made-in-Britain is number one.

“Through this, we will access technology transfer, boost the capacity of workforce and impact on our outputs of consumables and products in the market.

“It is a win-win situation that will go beyond procurement, as there are multiple layers of benefits that this will bring to the economy,’’ Adelegan said.

Joyce Akpata, Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), also said the initiative will ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.

“The UK has the largest concentration of Nigerians in the diaspora and given cultural ties, it is something that should have happened before now,’’ Akpata said.

The director general said the initiative would improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.

“This will enhance the activities of manufacturers, especially the growing SMEs that are into processing.

“It will also take off issues of foreign exchange challenges and instability in the market,’’ she said.

Akpata noted that the scheme would be a welcome opportunity for most Nigerian businesses that could not access financing locally.

She urged other countries, especially the United States, to take a cue from the UK to evolve initiatives that will assist businesses to maximise opportunities and strengthen trade ties.

Trade experts put the value of trade between Nigeria and the UK at about £8 billion, with oil and gas making up 60 per cent of the figure.

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South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

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President Zuma must face corruption charges - Supreme court rules

South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

The embattled President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

According to President Zuma, violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

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