US Daily Covid-19 Cases Hit New Record, Topping 120,000

File photo: Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a nursing home resident with coronavirus symptoms on August 03, 2020 in Austin, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images/AFP


More than 120,000 coronavirus cases were reported in the US in the past 24 hours, smashing a daily record set the day before, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country reported 123,085 new infections between 8:30 pm Wednesday and 8:30 pm Thursday (0130 GMT), and 1,226 more deaths, the tally by the Baltimore-based school showed.

On Wednesday, 99,660 new cases of the virus were reported. Thursday’s tally shatters that record by 23,425 cases.

While deaths remain lower than their worst levels in the spring, Thursday was also the third day in a row that fatalities were above 1,000. The last time people were dying at that rate of Covid-19 in the US was early September.

More than 9.6 million people have been infected and 234,000 have died in the United States so far during the pandemic, by far the highest tolls in absolute terms globally.

The new record comes as US President Donald Trump, who survived a bout with Covid-19 in October and insists the virus will “disappear,” was fighting for his political life Thursday with vote-counting from Tuesday’s presidential election still ongoing.

His Democratic election rival Joe Biden has sought to turn the vote into a referendum on Trump’s handling of the crisis, and vowed to listen to scientific recommendations on handling the pandemic should he take the White House.

With coronavirus cases surging across the country since mid-October, more than 100 million voters cast their ballot by mail or in person before Election Day — the highest number of early voters ever — as many Americans sought to avoid crowded polling booths.

File photo: US President Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he leaves Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland heading towards Marine One on October 5, 2020, to return to the White House after being discharged. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)


The final election results have been partly delayed by the high number of mail-in ballots, which Trump alleges without evidence are fraudulent.

Health officials in some states have already sounded warnings about their ability to handle an influx in hospitalizations as the winter flu season looms.

The pandemic has also slammed the US economy, fueling a historic contraction in growth and tens of millions of job losses.


COVID-19 Is Not A Death Sentence But Pray Not To Get Infected – Lai Mohammed

A file photo of Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.
A file photo of Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.


The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has reiterated that COVID-19 is real, warning Nigerians not to get infected. 

Lai Mohammed said this on Thursday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to the Minister, many Nigerians are not following the government’s guidelines for the control and prevention of the disease, stressing that the only way not to get infected is by obeying the protocol put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the PTF.

READ ALSO: How Nigeria Can Limit COVID-19 Death Rate – Health Minister

The Minister lamented that many Nigerians are living in denial of the virus and that the only time the update of cases by the NCDC makes “impact on them” is when COVID-19 affects someone they know.

“Pray not to get to the hospital. Pray not to get infected. And the only way you will not get infected is by listening to what the NCDC is saying; to what the PTF is saying,” the minister warned.

He added that “We have repeated several times here: there is no known vaccine for COVID-19; no known medicine for COVID-19; don’t believe what any body is telling you. ”

‘Only Known Vaccine’

Lai Mohammed restated that the “only known vaccine for COVID-19” is following the guidelines rolled out by the NCDC and the PTF such as the use of sanitizers, social distancing, washing of hands and avoiding mass gatherings among others.

“There is no other medicine than this,” he explained, warning that “if you know the experiences of those who have gone through this; who are going through this, you would pray never to be infected with COVID-19.”

As apart of measures to fight the pandemic, Lai said the Ministry of Information and Culture will be doing more advocacy to enlighten Nigerian about the pandemic and how they can prevent and control its spread.

Rising Numbers

On Wednesday night, the NCDC said Nigeria recorded 490 new cases of the novel coronavirus and an additional 31 deaths linked to the virus.

The new figures put total infections in the country at 17,148. Although 5,623 persons have been successfully treated and discharged, 455 casualties have been recorded to the virus, according to the NCDC.


COVID-19 Cases Hit Seven Million As Latin America Crisis Deepens

View of a crowded street in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Brazil, on May 12, 2020 amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. EDUARDO VALENTE / AFP
View of a crowded street in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Brazil, on May 12, 2020 amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. EDUARDO VALENTE / AFP



The number of coronavirus infections globally topped seven million on Monday as deaths mounted in Latin America, but New Zealand’s declaration of victory against the pandemic offered some hope for the rest of the world.

Europe also continued to emerge from its lockdown, with Pope Francis proclaiming that the worst was over in Italy although he expressed sympathy for Latin America.

READ ALSO: China Bans Players For Six Months After Breaking COVID-19 Rules

“Your presence in the square is a sign that in Italy the acute phase of the epidemic is over,” Francis said on Sunday while addressing Catholics in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis began.

“Unfortunately in other countries — I am thinking of some of them — the virus continues to claim many victims.”

Rising numbers of deaths were recorded from Brazil to Mexico to Peru, driving the confirmed global death toll above 400,000 and the number of declared infections over seven million, according to an AFP tally.

Brazil’s crisis is escalating and it has the world’s third-highest death toll at more than 36,000, but President Jair Bolsonaro continues to play down the impact of the virus.

In Chile the confirmed death toll reached 2,290 after miscalculations from March and April were corrected, adding 1,541 to the figure, health minister Jaime Manalich said Sunday.

The virus, which emerged in China late last year, has forced more than half of humanity into some form of lockdown over the past six months and driven the global economy towards its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

China, which has been accused of covering up the crucial early stages of the virus, on Sunday hit back at critics, saying it “will respond in the face of rumours, defamation, attacks and smearing”.

National Health Commission director Ma Xiaowei said reports the government delayed sharing the virus genome sequence “seriously go against the facts”.

– Joyful dance –
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region there was progress, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern telling reporters she danced around her living room on hearing her country had reached the milestone of zero active infections.

The South Pacific nation lifted all domestic restrictions on Monday after it went 17 days with no new infections.

This allowed New Zealand Rugby to announce a restart to a top-flight domestic competition this week, with fans allowed to pack into the stadiums.

“We’re incredibly proud, and grateful, to be the first professional sports competition in the world to be in a position to have our teams play in front of their fans again,” NZR chief Mark Robinson said.

Thailand also hit a positive milestone after two weeks with no local infections. The only recorded cases came from overseas arrivals who were quarantined.

The kingdom was the first country outside China to officially report a COVID-19 case in January but it has largely escaped the high tolls seen elsewhere in the region, with just 58 deaths.

Fears that large parts of Asia could still have the worst in front of them persist, however, with the death toll and infection rate climbing sharply in India.

Still, after a 10-week lockdown, the government is risking lifting some curbs to ease the devastating impacts on the economy, and malls and temples re-opened in several Indian cities on Monday.

In Europe, countries are slowly working towards a post-pandemic normal and trying to revive tourism sectors in time for the summer peak season.

Britain said it would reopen places of worship for individual prayer on June 15, but also on Monday began imposing a two-week quarantine period for most arrivals into the country — a move that prompted legal action by airlines.

British Airways and the low-cost carriers EasyJet and Ryanair said in a joint statement the measure would devastate tourism and destroy even more jobs.

The European Union has said it could re-open borders to travelers from outside the bloc in early July.



PHOTOS: Churches Reopen As FG Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

church reopen
Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV


Christians on Sunday gathered to pray at different churches in Abuja, as places of worship reopen following the gradual relaxation of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had recently released the guidelines for the reopening of worship centers in the West African nation.

Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

According to the PTF, people should adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines which include the wearing of face maks, as well as handwashing at the entrances of these worship centers.

It also urged worshippers to use hand sanitizers with not less than sixty percent alcohol content and compulsory temperature checks.

Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

This is as the Task Force restated that facilities must be arranged in a way that encourages the observation of physical distancing, calling on congregants to shun hugging, kissing, and shaking.

Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

Furthermore, the PTF said church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security, etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve just as it added that the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
Christians gather to pray in Abuja on June 7, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

El-Rufai Recovers From COVID-19, Tests Negative

Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai


Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has recovered from COVID-19 and has tested negative twice to the virus.

The governor disclosed this in a series of tweets through his official handle on Wednesday, thanking God for his recovery.

“KADUNA UPDATE: “I am delighted to report today, that after nearly four weeks of observing a strict medical regime, I have now received the all-clear after two consecutive negative test results,” he wrote.

“I thank Almighty Allah for His grace and mercy. I also acknowledge with gratitude the massive outpouring of sympathy, prayers, and public support that followed the disclosure of the infection.”

Governor El-Rufai also revealed that his family went through trauma during his battle with the virus, and lauded them for been “supportive as usual.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: El-Rufai Not In Intensive Care, Says Chief Of Staff

He said: “My family not only went through the trauma of potentially losing a member but also the risk of being infected as well.

“The entire family has been supportive as usual, while my many friends and colleagues from all over the world have sent their prayers and best wishes.”

Also, he thanked the Ministry of Health and the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for their help while acknowledging the leadership qualities of his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who has been running the state.

“I wish to thank the diligent medical personnel of our Ministry of Health and the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital who managed my case for their dedicated and professional care,” he added.

“It was cheering to see the determined efforts of our COVID-19 Task Force chaired by the Deputy Governor, the officials of our Ministry of Health ably led by the Commissioner and our security/enforcement agencies, to manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.”

He said, “The commitment, competence, and capabilities displayed by the Kaduna State Government in my four-week absence is clear evidence that we have a public service we can all be proud of.”

“I am relieved by my recovery. With the privilege of life, sound health, and the support and prayers of our citizens, I will continue to lead the Kaduna State Government’s efforts to ensure that as few of our people as possible get infected by COVID-19 and that those who do can receive adequate and timely care and treatment. Our emphasis is rightly on prevention because it is the prudent thing to do to save lives, given the limited capacity of our health system.

“I am delighted by the recovery of four other COVID-19 cases who were discharged last week which was followed yesterday with the discharge of a fifth patient. On Monday, we received the sad news of three more positive cases in Kaduna State. They will receive the best care that our dedicated health professionals can muster and we wish them a speedy recovery from COVID-19.

“We must all work hard to ensure that we keep COVID-19 out of Kaduna State. We have lower infection rates than expected due to the stringent measures we imposed in our state, but we cannot let our guards down. We are in dangerous times. This disease is a threat to our humanity, our lives, and livelihoods. As someone that has experienced it, I will not wish it on my worst enemy.

“We must reiterate that an infected person can show no symptoms as I did, for up to two weeks, while unknowingly infecting others close to him or even through casual contact. That is why mixing with many people is not a good idea. While four of every five infected persons show mild symptoms like headache, fever, and cough and recover fully, there is evidence worldwide that older people and those with pre-existing health challenges like hypertension and diabetes are particularly at greater risk of dying if they get the COVID-19 infection.

“We must, therefore, do everything to avoid exposure and prevent the spread of this disease in our towns and villages. We must now make the sacrifices of enhanced domestic hygiene, regular hand-washing with soap, staying at home, and avoiding crowds to defeat this disease”.

Crude Suffers New Sell-Off But Equities Temper Early Losses

FORT LAUDERDALE, – APRIL 21: Line handlers help dock the oil tanker, Texas Voyager, as it pulls into its mooring to offload its crude oil at Port Everglades on April 21, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil futures for delivery in May fell yesterday to -$37 per barrel for the first time in history. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP


Oil resumed its painful retreat Wednesday, extending a rout that has torn through energy markets, though stock exchanges in Asia and Europe were mixed following a two-day sell-off.

With demand virtually non-existent owing to virus lockdowns, and production still high despite storage at bursting point, crude markets have been sent into freefall with WTI for May delivery diving to minus $40 on Monday.

Focus has turned to the June contract, which started Wednesday on fine form following news that top producers had held talks — but it plunged into the red in the afternoon, having lost almost half its value on Tuesday, when Brent collapsed by a fifth.

WTI surged 20 percent before changing course to sit more than seven percent down later, while Brent was off more than 16 percent.

The crisis in the oil market caused by coronavirus was compounded by a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, but while they drew a line under the row and joined other key producers in slashing output by 10 million barrels a day, that has not been enough.

Crude’s rout “merely reflects the underlying theme that there is no demand for physical oil, and there is nowhere to store it”, said AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes.

“Disappointment following the new (oil cut) agreement continues to resonate, and responding to that outcry could be the one thing that turns the oil price around in the near term, absent evidence of demand recovery.”

Analysts said the morning bounce was driven by news that members of OPEC, as well as some allies in the OPEC+ grouping, held a teleconference Tuesday — but gloom soon returned.

Equity markets, buoyed in recent weeks by trillions of dollars of stimulus and signs of a slowdown in the rate of virus infection and death in some countries — and moves to slowly ease lockdown measures in a number of nations — are beginning to feel the spillover from the crude collapse.

Investors fear the rout could compound an expected deep global economic downturn.

Innes added that the oil crisis “has negative connotations for other areas of the market, most notably banks, given their high exposure to US shale producers”.

– ‘Reality check’ –

Asian markets have struggled this week, though there were some recoveries Wednesday.

Tokyo ended down 0.7 percent while Singapore and Bangkok each shed 0.9 percent and Wellington retreated more than one percent. Manila also fell and Sydney was marginally lower.

However, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, Seoul and Taipei were all up along with Jakarta.

In early trade, London, Paris and Frankfurt all rallied.

There was little reaction to the US Senate approving a near-half-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package, with funding earmarked for small businesses, hospitals, and a ramp-up of testing nationwide.

Adding to the sense of unease on trading floors is uncertainty around earnings season, with many firms struggling to provide forecasts as they try to assess developments in the pandemic, which has shattered their bottom lines.

“There’s no way you can predict earnings right now,” Michael Cuggino, at Pacific Heights Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.

“It’s virtually impossible until we have more visibility with respect to how the world comes out of the coronavirus on the other side.”

In Hong Kong, the de facto central bank stepped in to sell the local dollar for a second successive day to defend its peg with the US dollar.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority sold HK$2.79 billion ($360 million) of the unit, which has strengthened in recent weeks owing to near-zero US interest rates and higher borrowing costs in the city as investors look to buy into its stock market.

The move came a day after it sold HK$1.55 billion, which marked the first intervention to offload the local unit since 2015. It last intervened to buy the currency in March last year.

Under the city’s Linked Exchange Rate System, the HKMA is required to buy the local currency at HK$7.85 to US$1 to ensure exchange rate stability.

The financial hub has maintained a decades-old peg with the US dollar, which keeps Hong Kong at the mercy of Fed policymakers.

– Key figures around 0720 GMT –

West Texas Intermediate (June delivery): DOWN 8.0 percent at $10.65

Brent North Sea crude (June delivery): DOWN 16.9 percent at $16.04

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 19,137.95 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 23,904.31

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 2,843.98 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.9 percent at 5690.25

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0862 from $1.0859 at 2030 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.56 yen from 107.77 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2310 from $1.2301

Euro/pound: DOWN at 88.21 pence from 88.27 pence

New York – Dow: DOWN 2.7 percent at 23,018.88 (close)


UK’s Johnson Recuperates As Coronavirus Lockdown Decision Looms

In this file photo taken on February 26, 2020 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in central London, to take part in Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP
In this file photo taken on February 26, 2020 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in central London, to take part in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was recuperating Monday at his countryside retreat and remained off work after saying his battle with coronavirus “could have gone either way”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is currently deputising for him, but the government is set to make a decision this week on whether to maintain Britain’s lockdown.

Confinement measures have been in place since March 20 across the country, where more than 10,000 people have died from COVID-19, making it one of the worst-affected nations in the global pandemic.

Johnson became the most high-profile leader to contract the virus last month and spent a week in hospital — including three days in intensive care — before being discharged Sunday.

He thanked medics who cared for him when it “could have gone either way” in a candid video message released Sunday.

The 55-year-old is now staying at Chequers, a 16th-century mansion northwest of London used as a retreat by British premiers for the past century.

He has reportedly been reunited with his pregnant partner Carrie Symonds, who earlier this month reported suffering from coronavirus symptoms herself.

Over the weekend, Johnson spoke to Raab, who he asked to stand in for him when he was admitted to intensive care one week ago.

“The prime minister is focusing on his recovery, and he’s not currently carrying out government work,” Johnson’s spokesman said Monday.

Raab has been chairing the government’s daily meetings on coronavirus, but a decision is due on Thursday when the three-week-old nationwide lockdown comes up for review.

Ministers must decide whether to continue demanding people stay at home where necessary, and keep non-essential shops closed.

Given the death toll, has been rising by around 900 per day since last week, few expect the restrictions to be lifted this week.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in Scotland, “that review is not likely to result in these restrictions being lifted in the very near future”.

“There are early optimistic signs that the steps we are taking are working, but until we know more, until we have solid evidence, we must stick with it,” she told reporters in Edinburgh.

‘Saved my life’

Johnson’s government has faced questions about whether it was too slow to impose the lockdown, keeping pubs, shops and schools open even while they shut across Europe.

According to The Times newspaper, 10 cabinet ministers — just under half — are pressing for the lockdown to be eased next month over concern about the economic impact.

The government also remains under pressure as doctors and nurses complain of a lack of protective equipment and a shortage of coronavirus tests.

Johnson tested positive at the end of March, and after 10 days holed up in Downing Street was admitted to hospital. Twenty-four hours later he was moved to intensive care.

He was given oxygen, although he was not put on a ventilator, and in a video message released on Sunday, he said he had been in real danger.

“I hope they won’t mind if I mention in particular two nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way,” he said.

He named them as Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal, both of whom work for Britain’s state-run National Health Service (NHS).

He added “the NHS has saved my life, no question”.

The parents of Jenny, identified in media as Jenny McGee, spoke of their “exceptional” pride at her role.

“She has told us these things over the years and it doesn’t matter what patient she is looking after, this is what she does,” her mother Caroline told Television New Zealand.


I Thought It Was Malaria, Nigerian Singer Jumabee Shares COVID-19 Experience

Singer Jumabee. Photo: Instagram/Jumabee


Nigerian singer, Juwon Olorunnipa, also known as Jumabee, has shared his experience battling COVID-19, saying he thought it was malaria initially. 

The UK-based singer who tested positive to COVID-19, took to his Instagram handle to reveal that he developed high fever about two weeks ago.

According to Jumabee, he thought it was malaria when it started since he had just returned from Nigeria and had started taking medications for the ailment.

He disclosed that after three days of taking malaria medications, the situation only got worse as he was battling with his life.

READ ALSO: 150 Suspects Arrested In Connection With Unrest In Ogun Communities

Furthermore, he said when medical officials arrived his home after a series of failed attempts, they could not take him to the hospital since there was no space.

“When the paramedics finally came, they confirmed it was covid 19 but that they couldn’t take me to the hospital because all the hospitals were filled up and the NHS was overly overwhelmed, they said even if they took me to the hospital, I would most likely get worse because of the conditions there so they recommended I stayed at home and fight for my life,” Jumabee narrated.

“After they left, I started having suicidal thoughts, nothing mattered anymore. I got even worse, cough started along with severe diarrhea, my skin began to peel too.”

He added: “Something just had to be done, with the help of many, we found a private hospital after days of search where I was stabilized for days.

“On returning home after testing negative. I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn’t believe my eyes, I had lost so much weight, I started crying because I had thought that was the end for me but God gave me.”


COVID-19: Ex-Chelsea Star Drogba Offers Hospital In Virus Fight

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 16, 2016 shows the first hospital of the Dider Drogba foundation in Attecoube, a district of Abidjan. Former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has offered his hospital in his native Ivory Coast to the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP


Former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has offered his hospital in his native Ivory Coast to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a local politician said.

Drogba, who scored 65 goals in 105 appearances for his country and won the Champions League with the English club during his playing career, has proposed the use of the Laurent Pokou hospital in Abidjan.

“We thank Drogba for this gift considered as an act of patriotism,” the head of the city’s regional council Vincent Toh Bi said.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: ‘I Miss Fighting’, Says Wrestling Champion Adekuoroye

The centre located in the Attecoube district is not yet in a working state but can be used in a period of crisis.

“It’s up to the state to validate it and make it functional,” the director of Drogba’ foundation, who run the unit, Mariam Breka said.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak four people have died and 533 cases have been registered in Ivory Coast.


COVID-19: Moscow Launches Digital Travel Permits Under Lockdown

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with members of the working group for amending the constitution in Moscow on February 26, 2020. Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with members of the working group for amending the constitution in Moscow on February 26, 2020. Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP


Moscow authorities are launching a digital permit system to control people’s movements after warning the coronavirus outbreak has put a huge strain on hospitals.

A website to apply for the passes was working Monday for people travelling by car or public transport.

The permit system, which will be operational from Wednesday, may be expanded to monitor people going out  even within their local neighbourhood, if needed, authorities said.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records Five New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 323

City authorities had planned to assign Muscovites scannable bar codes to check whether people adhere to strict isolation rules, but that sparked huge controversy.

People would have had to apply for a QR code from officials online each time they wanted to leave their homes.

The plan was eventually dropped in favour of the digital passes.

Muscovites are only allowed to leave their homes to walk their dogs, take out trash and visit their nearest shop or pharmacy.

Russia has declared 15,770 cases of the coronavirus and 130 fatalities, though the actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

The densely populated capital with more than 12 million residents has emerged as the epicentre of the contagion with 10,158 cases and 72 deaths.

Moscow has been under lockdown since March 30, but is struggling to cope with the influx of new patients and officials said that clinics were approaching their limits.


Easter: Lagos Govt Refutes Relaxing Lockdown

File: Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.


The Lagos Government has denied relaxing the lockdown in the state as the Easter celebration starts this weekend. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sunday, March 29th 2020, announced a 14-day lockdown on Lagos, Ogun State and Abuja to curb the spread of COVID-19.

There have been rumours in some quarters that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos will relax the curfew this weekend for the Easter celebrations, but the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho has said the lockdown has not been relaxed.

READ ALSO: Lagos Govt Starts House-To-House COVID-19 ‘Active Case Search’

Mr. Gbenga said this on Thursday during a joint ministerial briefing on COVID-19 intervention in the state.

“Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has not relaxed any lockdown. The lockdown is still on and we enjoin Lagosians to continue to obey the directive; to continue to be responsible,” he said.

“Because that is the only way the experts have said we can fight this disease. We don’t want to just allow the gains of the moment; the gains that we have made, to be eviscerated by just the enjoyment of a few days.”

According to the commissioner, the extension or relaxation of the lockdown will be made by the Federal Government, enjoining Lagosians.

“If it is going to be extended or relaxed, it is the business of the Federal Government. The announcement is not going to be made by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu because he did not impose it in the first place,” the commissioner explained.


COVID-19: NCDC Denies Spending N1bn On SMS

A file photo of NCDC Director General, Chikwe Ihekweazu.


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has denied claims that it spent N1 billion on SMS to Nigerians as the country battles COVID-19. 

In a tweet on its official handle, the NCDC admitted that while SMS is part of the COVID-19 response strategy, the N1bn claim is false.

“The headline claiming that NCDC has spent N1 billion on SMS to Nigerians is FALSE,” the NCDC tweeted.

READ ALSO: NCDC Confirms 22 New COVID-19 Cases

“While communication through SMS is a key part of our #COVID19 response strategy, this has been largely provided as in-kind support by @AirtelNigeria, @MTNNG, @GloWorld.”

On Wednesday evening, the NCDC had confirmed 22 new cases of the COVID-19 in Nigeria, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 276.

According to the NCDC, 15 are in Lagos, four are in the FCT, two are in Bauchi, while the other is in Edo.