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Javid sorry for Covid losses but says he has not read Commons report in detail


Javid sorry for Covid losses but says he has not read Commons report in detail

The health secretary has said he is sorry for the losses that have occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but fell short of apologising for the government’s decision to delay lockdown last March.

Sajid Javid’s comments came in response to the publication on Tuesday of a damning health select committee report on lessons learned from the pandemic, which found the government’s management of the outbreak was one of the worst public health failures in British history.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether he regretted pressuring the government to prioritise the economy over introducing lockdown, Javid said: “I don’t think I got it wrong based on the information I had at the time, but … I was out of the government when decisions were made.”

Javid, who was a backbencher at the time of the first lockdown, added: “I do think when governments make decisions should they be thinking beyond a single department and thinking about the wider interests of society and the public.”

He said he had not read the report in detail, but accepted “there are lessons to learn from this period for the UK government and for governments across the world”.

He welcomed the report as an important means of providing parliamentary scrutiny, but said he was “not in a position to look back at every decision made”, and that this was best left to the upcoming public inquiry.

While he would not apologise for the government’s handling of the pandemic, he said: “I am sorry for anyone that’s been hurt throughout this pandemic and especially those people who lost loved ones, brothers, sisters, their mum and dad, close friends, and also those people who’re still suffering with long Covid.”

Javid’s appearance coincided with the publication of a new government and NHS action plan, which will give GPs in England £250m to improve their services but only if they increase the number of patients being seen face-to-face.

Javid said he did not expect all surgeries to apply for the additional funding, if they feel they can cope with their patient load and do not feel the need to increase their opening hours.

He acknowledged there were unlikely to be enough locum GPs available to meet demand, but that clinics could instead hire additional physiotherapists or nurses to free up time for GPs.

“This is about the here and now, especially over the winter. This funding will buy more capacity, not just from GPs,” he said.

“We’ve had feedback from a number of GPs both directly to my department and to the NHS that if they have more funding they can buy in more hours and support, and that will increase capacity.”

The plan also outlines new monthly data starting next spring, which will show what proportion of each surgery’s appointments occurred in person or virtually, a move GPs have described as a “name and shame” exercise.

Javid defended the publication of data as a way to provide “more transparency and accountability”. He added that it was a crucial component of plans for “levelling up healthcare”, which would address disparities in health outcomes between regions. “We need information to find out what’s working,” he said.

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NAFDAC bans sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, (NAFDAC) has placed a ban on the sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria.

The agency explained that the ban was due to Butyphenyl Methylpropional, BMHCA, content in the product.

This was contained in a post on the Agency’s X handle on Thursday.

According to the post, the European Union, EU, banned the product due to the risk of harming the reproductive system of users, causing harm to the health of the unborn child, and cause skin sensitization.

“Although this product is not on the NAFDAC database, importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers are advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale, and use of the above-mentioned product”, the agency added.


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No outbreak of Lassa fever in any local govt- Kogi Govt

Nigeria identifies three drugs for Lassa fever treatment

Kogi State Government has debunked any outbreak of Lassa fever across the 21 local government areas of the State.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Abdulazeez Adams Adeiza while reacting to a viral video of an alleged lassa fever outbreak, noted that a student who was admitted to the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja did not die of lassa fever.

According to the Commissioner, it was reported that the student died of hemorrhagic fever.

The Commissioner explained that the deceased student who was admitted at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja presented complaints of fever and bleeding from the gum.

He added that the patient was being investigated and managed, while samples were taken and sent to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) Abuja, but before the result was released, he had lost his life.

The Commissioner said the result came out to be negative for lassa fever.

In his words, ”the suspected case has turned out to be negative for lassa fever.

“It is not only lassa fever that can make a patient to present bleeding from the gum. Other reasons could include blood dyscrasias and bleeding disorders”.

He advised members of the public to disregard the report as no case of lassa fever has been reported in the state

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UCH workers directed to stop working by 4pm over continuous blackout

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) which is the umbrella body of unions at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo state, has directed all employees of the health institution to commence work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Tuesday, April 2. 

The directive came after the tertiary health institution was disconnected by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, (IBEDC) over N495 million debt accrued in over six years.

Addressing newsmen, chairman of JAC, Oludayo Olabampe stated that it is no longer safe to continue to attend to patients under the circumstances. He also said that workers would embark on strike if power is not restored.

He said;

“Workers would now work from 8 am to 4 pm only because it is dangerous and risky to attend to patients in that situation. We held a meeting with the management this morning but the issue is that there is no electricity. So, from today, Tuesday, April 2, we will work until 4 p.m. We are not attending to any patient after 4 p.m.

“This means that we won’t admit patients because the nurses that will take care of them will not be available after 4 p.m. and you don’t expect patients to be on their own from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the following day.

“If patients need blood tests, the lab will not work, if they need radiography, the radiographers will not work, and the dieticians in charge of their food too will not work after 4 p.m. We also gave management another 14-day ultimatum which started counting from March 27, and if after 14 days power is not restored, we will embark on warning strike.”

Commenting on the development, the chief medical director of UCH, Jesse Otegbayo, alleged that IBEDC was billing the hospital as an industry. He stated that the union did not formally notify management before making such a decision.

He said;

“I have not heard about that, if they are going to do that, they should write to management officially, and then the management will respond. There are rules that govern government service, you can’t just decide what hours you work and expect to be paid full-time.

“If they go ahead to do that without informing management officially, management has a way of applying the rules to pay them for the number of hours which they worked. The proper thing is for them to put it in writing because they didn’t write officially to the management before taking the decision.”

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