File Photo: Medical workers bring a patient to a hospital. Angela Weiss / AFP
A six-week-old infant has died of complications relating to COVID-19, the governor of the US state of Connecticut said Wednesday, in one of the youngest recorded deaths from the virus.
Governor Ned Lamont tweeted that the newborn was “brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived.”
“Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive,” Lamont said.
“This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19.”
Last week Illinois authorities said they were investigating the death of a child “younger than one year” who had tested positive for coronavirus.
According to local media, that infant was nine months old.
The fast-spreading virus that has caused at least 4,476 deaths in the United States is believed to be more dangerous for older adults, though increasingly it appears to be also sending younger patients to hospital as well.
New York state, which Connecticut borders, has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, accounting for nearly 2,000 of the US deaths.
Residents of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey are among the millions of Americans ordered to stay home unless they work jobs deemed essential.
The tri-state area has posted over 100,000 cases.
“This is a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy,” Lamont tweeted. “This also stresses the importance of staying home and limiting exposure to other people.”
“Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it.”
As Nigerians continue to clamour for better power supply especially following the stay-at-home order by the Federal government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has met with the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman and the management of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The meeting which held on Wednesday sought to address some of the issues regarding electricity, as well as a viral video by Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh.
In the video, Ameh lamented over the poor electricity supply to Nigerians during the ongoing lockdown in major parts of the country.
While giving his opening remark, Gbajabiamila expressed dismay over the barrage of calls and messages from many Nigerians through his social media account, reacting to the protest video and therefore, called for prompt action.
“It has become imperative that I urgently call for this meeting to find a solution to the poor supply of electricity during this lockdown period. If we ask people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at least we have to make their homes comfortable for them to stay.
“The complaints have just been too much in the last 24 hours. There are people also in the hospital now without electricity; we need to brainstorm over an urgent solution,” he said.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Mamman, highlighted the challenges encountered by power generating companies (GENCOs) and the possible intervention of the leadership of the House of Representatives.
“We are aware of the challenges faced by Nigerians, so we have started talking to GENCOs because they have been complaining that Discos are not paying and only about 20% of their dues are remitted.
“So, the GENCOs are facing technical and revenue shortfall. Consequently, they can’t as well meet their financial obligations to gas companies. The Discos also pay less of their generated revenue to GENCOs, because they complain about power theft by consumers, high technical costs, etc.
“The sum of N130 billion is what the government gives GENCOs to augment the shortfall of payments not fulfilled by Discos. We still have about N1.2 trillion payment shortfall in all. I have been begging the gas suppliers to please, in the interest of Nigerians, release gas to the GENCOs. The shortfalls are accruals from the problem of estimated billing, non-payment of bills by estimated customers, etc.
“What the NASS can do is to plead with CBN to help with funds to enable the Federal Government to augment the revenue shortfall to enable government pay gas companies and thereafter bring all the critical stakeholders to a table,”, the power minister said.
In his contribution, the NERC Commissioner on Compliance, Mr. Akpaneye, assured the Speaker and the leadership of the House that the commission is committing the Discos to a new guideline that shows empathy with Nigerians during this COVID-19 lockdown.
“All NERC Commissioners are in the Situation Room in our office monitoring GENCOs and Discos activities. We know the demand for this power during this lockdown is for residential, since most industries are on lockdown, so we are going to release a new guideline and sanction electricity companies that can’t show empathy during this period.”
Also speaking, the GMD of NNPC, Kyari hinted that the problem with the Trans Vocados gas line was resolved Wednesday morning and therefore, gave an assurance of supply of gas to enable GENCOs to generate power.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, on their part, gave accounts of complications arising from the non-fulfilment of financial obligations by the electricity stakeholders but assured of interventions in the interest of Nigerians who are observing the lockdown order.
At the end of the meeting, all the critical stakeholders assured the Speaker and the leadership of the House of their commitment to ensuring power supply.
They, however, agreed to reconvene in the next few days to find lasting solutions to the challenges in the sector beyond the lockdown period.
Emir Ado Bayero is the 15th Emir of Kano.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero has called on residents to continue to observe all the necessary preventive measures and obey all instructions from health practitioners to prevent being infected by the Coronavirus.
While addressing the people on Wednesday, the Emir expressed concern over the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
He said that the emirate has directed all district, village heads and religious leaders to continue to closely monitor the people and report any suspicious symptoms to the health experts.
READ ALSO: Doctor Dies of Lassa Fever In Edo State
“I want to call your attention to observe proper personal hygiene, to wash your hands with soap and water regularly, ensure social distancing and stay home as directed by health experts.
“It has been the tradition of our forefathers to always call the attention and sensitize the people on how to control further escalation of any outbreak like this, because our task is to protect the lives and property of our people,” he said.
Bayero also asked the stated government to provide palliative measures to help the people who may likely be affected by current outbreak.
Speaking further, the Emir asked Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery for those affected by the disease.
He also commended both the Federal and state governments for their continued efforts to ensure that the citizens remain safe.
The Ogun State Police Command has warned residents of the state against restricting the lockdown order of the government.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, said the Command is ready to enforce readiness to enforce the policy put in place by state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
READ ALSO: COVID-19: Emir Of Kano Asks Residents To Observe Personal Hygiene, Social Distancing
CP Ebrimson stated this on Wednesday while leading his men and officers on the enforcement of the intra movement of human and goods at border towns of the state with Lagos and Oyo states.
The police boss however said that only those individuals who are on essential duties would be allowed to carry out their duties as any act of defiance will not be tolerated.
Total lockdown of the state is expected to take effect at 11pm on Friday.
Nollywood star and lawmaker, Desmond Elliot, drew the ire of his followers on Instagram after he posted a photo showing the measures his constituents are taking in the fight against COVID-19.
“So we constructed a makeshift cleansing mechanism, where passerby’s or people entering streets could wash their hands with soap and water and also sanitize before entering the streets -pilot works can be seen in these areas. It was located across the environments.
“Olodeokuta, Ojuelegba both sides, love garden, Hugan Bassy, Masha bus stop, Shirts bus stop, Adelabu, Iponri, Bode Thomas and Ishaga road,” wrote Mr Elliot, who represents Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos House of Assembly.
His Instagram followers did not find the measures helpful.
READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Obasanjo, George Weah, Other African Leaders Feature In New Song On African Solidarity
Below is the post and the reactions that followed.
View this post on Instagram
So we constructed a makeshift cleansing mechanism, where passerby’s or people entering streets could wash their hands with soap and water and also sanitize before entering the streets -pilot works can be seen in these areas It was located across the environments. Olodeokuta, Ojuelegbe both sides, love garding, Hugan Bassy, Masha bus stop, Shirts bus stop, Adelabu, Iponri, Bode Thomas and ishaga road
A post shared by Desmond Elliott (@desmondelliot) on Mar 29, 2020 at 9:19am PDT
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