The World Bank’s Board of executive directors has approved $1.9 billion first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world, using a dedicated, fast-track facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) response.
However, the global financial powerhouse excluded Nigeria from the list of the 25 countries to benefit from the support.
The organization said that the decision was reached by the board on Thursday, April 2, 2020, and it was prepared to deploy about $160 billion in the next 15 months with a view to helping countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and quick economic recovery.
A statement by the bank said, “The World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery.
“The broader economic program will aim to shorten the time to recovery, create conditions for growth, support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable. There will be a strong poverty focus in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing, and protecting the poorest households and the environment.
David Malpass, the president, was quoted as saying, “The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and we already have health response operations moving forward in over 65 countries.
“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis.”
According to the bank, “new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries using the fast-track process.”
It said that it was working to redeploy resources in existing World Bank-financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of CAT DDOs and spanning every region.
Responding to widespread supply chain disruptions, the bank said it was also helping countries access critically needed medical supplies by reaching out to suppliers on behalf of governments.
It said that it was equally encouraging other global bodies to provide financial support to developing countries for the COVID-19 health response.
“This fast response package will save lives and help detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the countries we serve,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, the World Bank managing director of Operations. “Our country operations will be coordinated at a global level to ensure best practice is quickly shared, including approaches to strengthen national health systems and prepare for potential follow-on waves of this devastating virus.”
Only Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are to benefit from the initial $1. 9bn response.
$82 million will help Ethiopia address critical needs for COVID-19 preparedness and response, including the provision of vital medical equipment, health system capacity-building, and support to establish treatment centers.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, $47 million will provide immediate support to put in place containment strategies, train medical staff and provide equipment to ensure rapid case detection and control.
Lagos Records First COVID-19 Death In University Teaching Hospital
A 55-year-old man who was admitted to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has died in the facility, Punch reports.
A reliable source at the tertiary hospital said the man died of (complications arising from) the global pandemic COVID-19 disease.
The source said the hospital discovered that the patient had COVID-19 after he tested positive to the virus when the Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR, the test was done on his blood posthumously.
“Fingerprint antibody test was done on him, confirming his COVID-19 infection,” our source said.
According to a source who spoke with the newspaper, the man, a 55-year-old hypertensive and diabetic patient had presented to LUTH’s emergency unit on Thursday, April 2, 2020, with “malaise, tremors, and fever.”
He was also diagnosed with acute chronic kidney disease and sepsis, our source said.
The source, a caregiver, said the man did not disclose his travel history and had died “a few hours” after his admission to the Federal Government-owned facility.
“The man did not give his travel history or the fact that he had contact with someone who had traveled overseas.
“(When asked) He told the doctors that he had no history of coughs, sore throat, joint pains or diarrhea,” our source added.
The caregiver said when the patient arrived at LUTH on Thursday night, he was sent to the “spillover unit” because the hospital had run out of bed spaces.
However, when he developed complications, a junior doctor (Reg) at the Accident & Emergency Unit reviewed his case and notified the Senior Registrar of his suspicion.
“After the Senior Registrar reviewed his case and confronted him with their findings, the man revealed the true story about his travels and his fear that he might have contracted COVID-19 and died shortly afterward.
“He confessed that he had been coughing and that he had returned from Holland two weeks ago, where he had gone for follow-up treatment after a renal transplant he also had there.
“When confronted after the man’s death, his family members said they withheld the information about his likely COVID-19 infection because they were afraid that LUTH would reject him if they disclosed his true state,” our source added.
The man died early Friday, April 3, 2020, and the Lagos State coronavirus emergency workers took away his body.
Punch called the Lagos State Emergency Helpline for COVID-19, the staff at the center said a similar call had also been placed by someone earlier regarding the incident.
“I got a call in respect of this from somebody in LUTH and we are yet to confirm that,” the newspaper was told.
“We are only at the call center to receive calls and don’t know what is going on out there,” the officer, who identified himself as Tolani, said.
Asked if it was a LUTH staff that called the helpline, Tolani said he didn’t know the persons’ identity. “I just got a random call,” he said.
Hattip to Vanguard