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Returnees escalate Coronavirus cases in Nigerian state

  • 6 infected people allegedly escape from  isolation centre

12 out of 127 persons travelling by road from Cote d’Ivoire to Ejigbo in Osun State , South West NIgeria, have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The development last weekend  increased  the number of confirmed cases in the state to 14. The state as at today has 20 confirmed cases out of NIgeria’s 224 cases and five deaths.

The 127 returnees were reportedly barred from entering the country through the Ogun State border.

But following contact between Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun and his Osun State counterpart, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, the passage was secured for them.

Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, said: “On Saturday, 127 persons from Ivory Coast in six buses came into the state from Ogun and were disallowed by the State Executive Council from mixing with the general public to prevent community transfer of the virus.

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“Between Saturday and Tuesday, 24 samples of the returnees were sent for COVID-19 testing and three of the samples came back positive.

“Another 47 samples were sent for testing again and the result came back today (yesterday) with nine more persons testing positive.

“The results of the remaining 56 persons are being expected, but at this point, we will be needing the assistance of the Federal Government to manage those that have tested positive and others that may still test positive.”

There was pandemonium during the week as six of the returnees were said to have escaped from the isolation centre.

The allegations were swiftly dismissed by the Commissioner for Information, Funke Egbemide, who  said a headcount was conducted on Saturday morning, and  that only one person could not be accounted for.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story purporting that six persons were missing from our Isolation centre in Ejigbo. One of the writers quoted a non-existent statement from the government to lend some measure of credibility to the story,” the statement read.

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“Nothing can be further from the truth. As a government, we have not issued any statement to confirm or deny such story. Besides, a quick check showed that the name and number of the first person on the list of the purported missing patients, is indeed currently in our facility in Ejigbo.

“Recall that about a week ago, we received 127 returnees from Ivory Coast and we have kept them since then to avoid community transfer of the virus.

“This morning we embarked on a headcount and found out that only one person could not be accounted for by officials stationed at the Isolation centre out of the 127 persons. The State Government is currently investigating the matter and will ensure that the missing person is brought back to the Isolation centre and we will also ensure we trace all his contacts.

“We implore members of the public to discountenance the alarm being raised. We will continue to do everything to protect the lives of our citizens in this fight against Coronavirus.”

READ  Haven and hell: How the EU should protect refugees during the covid-19 crisis

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Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

READ  688  killed, three million displaced by flood in Nigeria

Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  NIgeria sleeps, snores as the world celebrates Migrants Day

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Uganda lifts COVID-19 closure admits refugees escaping escalating violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

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“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Deceased Nigerians cremated in India as citizens knock govt’s evacuation plan

 

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