A group representing U.S. states on Friday asked lawmakers to provide them with at least 150 billion dollars in federal aid to address the coronavirus outbreak.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who are the chair and vice-chair of National Governors Association, said in a letter to lawmakers that giving states aid would allow them to address “unemployment.
“And also minimising the economic impact of business closures, ensuring all students have access to education, meeting the child care and housing needs of residents, and “maintaining public transportation and social welfare programmes.”
States also have asked Congress to increase the federal share of Medicaid costs.
In Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials in the search for a cure for COVID-19.
Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, made the announcement on Friday at the NAFDAC headquarters in Lagos.
She, however, pointed out that NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 but for clinical trials to find treatment for the pandemic.
“In the case of Chloroquine, it has been demonstrated in the literature and with clinical research which is still ongoing, that Chloroquine is superior to the Placebo.
“NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine as a product that has can be used for Coronavirus because there is no submission to us for registration but because it is under clinical trials, NAFDAC approves medicines meant for clinical trials.
“Therefore the medicine is being approved just for the clinical trials,” Adeyeye said.
She, therefore, called on experts and researchers that are interested in doing a clinical trial on Chloroquine to approach approved outlets.
“Right now, we have asked one company to make a batch of Chloroquine for the purpose of clinical trial,” Adeyeye added.
…$150bn emergency federal coronavirus aid
Numerous state and local transportation agencies are seeking emergency government assistance as ridership plummets and tens of millions of Americans work from home.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which oversees two commuter railroads, subways and buses, this week, sought four billion dollars as ridership has fallen more than 60 per cent on the subways.
MTA said in a letter it has “already committed to finding 2.8 billion dollars in savings over the next several years.
“No agency of our size can find additional billions in savings equivalent to the damages we have and will sustain as a result of this pandemic.
“This is a national disaster that requires a national response.”
New Jersey Transit this week sought a 1.25 billion dollars bailout after reporting a nearly 90 per cent drop-off in ridership.
The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District also appealed for emergency funds after ridership declined by 90 per cent. (Reuters/NAN and THEWILL)