Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Nigeria Records 117 New Cases Of Coronavirus

Nigeria has confirmed 117 new cases of the coronavirus infections, taking the total of confirmed cases in the most populous black nation to 782. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, noted that the cases were confirmed in Lagos, FCT (Abuja), Kano, Borno, Katsina, Ogun, Rivers and Bauchi. 59 cases were confirmed in Lagos, 29 in FCT, 14 in Kano, 6 in Borno, 4 in Katsina and 3 in Ogun while Rivers and Bauchi recorded one each. 197 patients have been treated and discharged while 25 deaths have been recorded as a result of the virus.

Lagos remains the epicentre of the virus in Nigeria, having a total of 430 confirmed cases as at 11:25 pm of Tuesday. FCT and Kano confirmed 118 and 73 cases respectively. Osun and Ogun recorded 20 cases each; Oyo-16, Katsina-16 and Edo-15 while Kwara,Kaduna, Akwa Ibom and Borno recorded nine cases each. Others are Bauchi-8; Gombe-5; Delta-4; Ekiti-4; Ondo-3; Rivers-3; Jigawa-2; Enugu-2; Niger-2; Abia-2; Benue-1; Anambra-1 and Sokoto-1. Meanwhile the General Purpose Committee (GPC) of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has rejected cremation of corpses of Muslims who died of COVID-19 in the country. Cremation is the disposal of a dead person’s body by burning it to ashes, either as culture, lack of land for burial or other circumstances.

The Director of Administration, NSCIA, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, made the position of the council known on Tuesday in an ‘Advisory on the interment of possible victims of COVID-19 pandemic’. He said: “It is important to state emphatically that Islam does not, under any circumstances, approve of the cremation of the body of a dead Muslim. “This Advisory therefore is in tandem with this position and emphasizes that cremation of victims who succumb to COVID-19 is not allowed in any format.” According to him, washing the dead is a collective obligation, which is not exempted except under a strong legal justification; and among such legitimate circumstances is to ensure that the deceased did not suffer from an infection that could be transmitted to others. “The known rule is that ‘Harm to the living must be avoided.’

“For the deceased, who suffered from a communicable disease, the government officials (health authorities) are to bear the responsibility of preparing the body for burial. The body in this circumstance may be sprinkled with water as much as possible; alternatively, even by pouring water on the body without physical scrubbing or touching by hand. “A specific nature of shrouding is not mandatory, provided the entire body is covered by the shroud. Where practicable however, it is encouraged to use three or five pieces of white shroud for men and five pieces for women; otherwise application of reasonable discretion is allowed,” Nwoha said. He also said that there was nothing wrong with putting the body in a body-bag that may prevent the leakage of viruses. Although preferably white, the body bag can be of any colour and the body may also be placed in a coffin if necessary, for additional preventive measures, he added. He said: “All of these should be controlled and supervised by appropriate Health Authorities.”

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