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Wales draws up emergency Covid urgent plan to stop NHS being overwhelmed

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Wales draws up emergency Covid urgent plan to stop NHS being overwhelmed

The Welsh government has drawn up a “Covid urgent” plan designed to deal with any new coronavirus crisis that threatens to overwhelm the NHS this autumn and winter.

If the plan has to be brought in, it could mean that the Covid alert level for Wales, currently at zero, might be increased and restrictions reimposed.

However, the Labour-led government stressed it believed it was more likely that the country would be able to operate under a planning scenario it is calling “Covid stable”, in which Wales remains at alert level 0 through the autumn and winter, with all businesses staying open.

On Friday, the first minister, Mark Drakeford, is publishing an updated coronavirus control plan for the next few months.

Drakeford said on Thursday evening that Wales would remain at alert level 0 for the next three weeks, meaning all businesses are open. But he added: “We are facing a challenging winter ahead – coronavirus hasn’t gone away and flu is forecast to return this winter.” He urged everyone to be vaccinated for Covid – and all those who were eligible to also get a flu jab.

The latest version of the coronavirus control plan sets out two planning scenarios for the pandemic. In the first, Covid stable, Wales remains at alert level 0 through the autumn and winter, with all businesses able to open.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “This is thought to be the most likely scenario for the future, as we become used to living with coronavirus and we gradually move out of the pandemic to a position where the virus becomes a seasonal illness.

“Under this scenario, if case rates fall, measures could be relaxed further in response, and if they rise, some existing measures could be strengthened to protect people’s health.”

The second planning scenario, Covid urgent, is designed to deal with any sudden changes to the situation, caused by the emergence of a new, fast-spreading variant or if vaccine immunity levels fall, causing a rise in pandemic pressures, which risk overwhelming the NHS.

The spokesperson said in such a scenario, the alert level system and restrictions would be used “proportionately”, but as a last resort.

Drakeford has made it clear he is determined to act cautiously this autumn and winter. People must still wear face masks in busy public places and the Labour-led government wants people to work from home whenever possible. A Covid pass to get into nightclubs and sporting events comes into force on Monday.

The Welsh government also announced on Thursday evening it would change its restrictions on international travel to keep them in line with England’s.

But the health minister, Eluned Morgan, said her government has urged the UK to take a “more precautionary approach”, adding: “We are concerned about the cumulative impact of the risk being carried in relation to opening up travel particularly from higher risk countries.”

Meanwhile, Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said he was taking a “complete break” on doctor’s orders to focus on his recovery, having caught flu and Covid-19, which he said had taken a toll on his mental health.

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Health

F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Health

Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.

 

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Health

55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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