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Tory minister says sorry for mistakes in Covid pandemic handling

pandemic

Tory minister says sorry for mistakes in Covid pandemic handling

A senior minister has apologised for mistakes made in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, after the death of at least 160,000 people and a landmark report that found the government’s management of the outbreak was one of the worst public health failures in British history.

Oliver Dowden, the chair of the Conservative party, said he was “very sorry” and admitted “we didn’t get everything right”, after a major investigation by two cross-party parliamentary select committees chaired by Tory MPs found a “fatalistic” approach taken in the early days of the outbreak led to many unnecessary deaths. It said an approach of British “exceptionalism” meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than others.

After the Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay refused to apologise on Tuesday, Dowden struck a more humble note. He told Sky News: “Of course I’m sorry, as the prime minister is sorry. I was just listening to the sort of experiences yesterday of those bereaved families and that kind of terrible loss that they have suffered. We are sorry for the losses that all those families have suffered.

“This was an unprecedented crisis, a once-in-100-years event. There isn’t some perfect rulebook that we could follow, we were having to adapt and move very quickly, and of course we would do some things differently with hindsight.”

Dowden said the report was “very good” and pointed to the success of the vaccine programme it had highlighted.

He also spoke on LBC, saying the government would “go through all of the recommendations and respond fully to them”. The deadline is 12 December – two months from the date of the report’s publication.

Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, and Greg Clark, the former business secretary, took matters into their own hands to produce the reports, along with the 20 other members of the select committees they chair.

An official independent public inquiry will not begin until next spring, prompting concerns ministers will not learn enough lessons early enough if a new variant of concern causes havoc this winter.

With travel restrictions eased and at least 78.6% of eligible people double-vaccinated, the government hopes the UK has been through the worst of the pandemic and there will not be a repeat of last year, when the second and third waves dwarfed the first.

Johnson said earlier this year that it was “difficult to compute the sorrow” for every life lost to Covid, saying he took “full responsibility” for the government’s response to the crisis, although he said ministers “did everything we could” to limit the number of deaths.

Health

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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Health

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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Health

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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