Davido’s Father Donates N500m To Fight COVID-19

 

Davido’s father Mr. Adedeji Adeleke has donated N500m to the Federal Government to help fight the COVID-19.

The popular Nigerian musician whose original name is David Adeleke announced the donation on his Twitter handle.

He disclosed that the Adeleke’s will also be donating 6, 640 bags of rice to the Ogun State Government for distribution and will later this week begin the distribution of the N250m worth of rice in 332 wards in Osun State.

According to the family, the distribution of the food items is to help cushion the effect of the lockdown on the people of Osun State as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Adeleke called on Nigerians to heed the Federal Government’s instructions as well as relevant bodies in the fight against the pandemic.

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UK Reports Record 381 COVID-19 Deaths In 24 hours

A man wearing a protective face mask takes a selfie on London Bridge on March 21, 2020, on the day that UK regions traditionally desperate for tourists, pleaded for people not to visit the coast or the countryside for fear of spreading the coronavirus. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP.

Britain reported a record daily coronavirus toll of 381 on Tuesday, more than double the number of nationwide deaths posted in the previous 24 hours.

“As of 5pm (1600 GMT) on 30 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 1,789 have sadly died,” the health ministry said on its Twitter page, up from 1,408 on Monday.

The patients were aged between 19 and 98, and all but 28 had underlying health conditions, NHS England said in a statement.

The country’s previous highest daily toll was 260, recorded on Saturday, with the number dropping to 180 on Monday.

Some 25,150 people have now tested positive for the virus in Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a daily increase of 3,009.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales on Tuesday revealed that the true toll could be 24 percent higher.

The government figures cover those who have been taken to hospital and tested for the virus whereas the ONS data is for deaths in the community where COVID-19 is suspected.

“The rising death toll in recent days showed the vital importance of the public continuing to stick to the social distancing guidance which has been put in place by the government,” Johnson said in a video-link cabinet meeting.

“The situation is going to get worse before it gets better — but it will get better,” he added.

AFP

Ekiti Index Case Recovers From COVID-19

 

The index case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ekiti State has been discharged from the isolation centre in the state.

The case is a 37-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus after he came in contact with an American tourist.

After weeks of treatment and monitoring at the isolation centre, the man tested negative for coronavirus.

He was discharged on Tuesday by officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Ekiti State Ministry of Health.

This comes two days after Governor Kayode Fayemi ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state and directed all residents to stay at home.

As part of measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, the governor had also ordered the shutdown of borders around the state.

In a broadcast on Sunday, he explained that the decision would be effective for an initial period of 14 days, starting from Monday night.

Governor Fayemi said the curfew would run from 7pm to 7am each day, and warned that legal actions would be taken against violators.

He, however, noted that the shutdown order gave allowance to the transportation of food, drugs, and other essential commodities while those on duties deemed essential would be permitted to move freely.

COVID-19: FG Suspends Work In Enugu Airport Until Further Notice

 

The Federal Government has suspended work at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu over the rising cases of coronavirus in the country.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika stated this on Tuesday during a working visit to ascertain the level of work done.

According to him, the Easter deadline initially slated for the completion of the ongoing reconstruction work at the airport can longer be met.

READ ALSO: Enugu Airport To Be Reopened Before Easter – FG

Sirika noted that the suspension became necessary after the workers complained that they cannot continue to discharge their duties comfortably in the face of the pandemic thereby exposing themselves to the virus.

In a meeting that had in attendance Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), representative of the state government and the Southeast Governors Forum, the Minister noted that the job which he puts at over 93% completion will resume when the war against the pandemic is won.

Ogun Confirms New COVID-19 Case, Identifies 122 Contacts

 

Ogun State government has confirmed one new case of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases recorded so far in the state to four.

The Commissioner for Health in Ogun, Dr Tomi Comer, revealed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at her office in Abeokuta, the state capital.

She added that the new case was that of a 30-year-old woman linked to the third case of the disease in the state.

According to the commissioner, the state government has identified 122 contacts with the new case.

She disclosed that 40 of the contacts had been confirmed negative while 72 others were being monitored.

Comer asked residents of the state to adhere strictly to personal and respiratory hygiene and report suspected cases to appropriate quarters.

She, however, cautioned the people against the use of chloroquine without a doctor’s prescription.

Presidential Task Force Gives Update On COVID-19

 

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Tuesday gave an update on the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

The briefing held in Abuja with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, giving the opening remark.

In attendance were the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, as well as Mr Lai Mohammed (Minister of Information and Culture), Ms Sadiya Farouq (Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development), and Mr Hadi Sirika (Minister of Aviation).

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, was also among those who briefed reporters at the gathering.

Reps To Donate Two Months’ Salary For Fight Against COVID-19

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja.

 

The members of the House of Representatives have resolved to donate their two months’ salary to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila who announced this in a statement made available to Channels Television on Tuesday said the donation will be independent of the contributions by individual lawmakers to alleviate the hardship that their constituents face as a result of the pandemic.

Gbajabiamila said, starting from March, the lawmakers’ donation will be transferred directly to the National Relief Fund account for the fight against COVID-19.

“We have in the House of Representatives jointly committed to contributing one hundred percent (100%) of our salaries for the next two months to the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“Our contribution will support provisions for the welfare of frontline medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the wellbeing of all Nigerians through these trying times.

“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next,” the Speaker said.

READ ALSO: Senators Donate 50 Percent Of Salaries To Fight Against COVID-19

He added that the House would exercise its oversight power to ensure faithful administration of all emergency funds and contributions made so far to ensure they serve the purpose for which they were intended.

According to Gbajabiamila, the House has mandated the Committees on Health and Disaster Preparedness to diligently oversee the distribution of items donated by local and foreign donors to ensure proper management.

Gbajabiamila also said the House has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make cash grants to the 774 local government areas in the country to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

“The House also calls on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its Policy Measures in Response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to immediately direct cash grants to the seven hundred and seventy-four (774) Local Government Area administrations in the country to provide food and other essentials to at-risk individuals and communities.”

The Speaker, therefore, implored Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidelines given by relevant authorities to prevent further spread of the virus, saying Nigeria could not afford to have a large-scale outbreak of the disease.

He also applauded the sacrifices made by all the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals “who give their best through long hours in the laboratory, in hospitals and emergency care units providing comfort and treatment to mend the sick and heal our country.

IGP Tests Negative For COVID-19

 

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has tested negative to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba revealed that the IGP received his test result on Tuesday morning, having submitted samples on Friday last week.

According to the statement, Mba and some police officers working with the IGP took the test and the results came out negative.

They are Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, Idowu Owohunwa; Head of the Force Technical Intelligence Unit, Lanre Ogunlowo; Personal Physician to the IGP, Dr Nonye Welle.

Others are the Medical Officer, Police Clinic at the Force Headquarters, Dr Titus Adegbite; Secretary to the IGP, Moses Jolugbo; and five other close aides to the police boss.

Noting that policing is a high-contact job with its attendant risks, the IGP urged police personnel across the country to adhere strictly to all precautionary and safety measures in the course of their day-to-day activities.

He also asked members of the public to obey all restriction orders emplaced by the constituted authorities.

COVID-19: Europe Sends Medical Gear To Iran In First Sanction-Bypass Deal

People queue in line to receive packages for precautions against COVID-19 coronavirus disease provided by the Basij, a militia loyal to Iran’s Islamic republic establishment, from a booth outside Meydane Valiasr metro station in the capital Tehran on March 15, 2020. – Iran on March 15 announced that the new coronavirus has killed 113 more people, the highest single-day death toll yet in one of the world’s worst-affected countries. STRINGER / AFP.

 

European nations have delivered medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under the Instex mechanism set up to bypass American sanctions on Tehran, the German foreign ministry said Tuesday.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom confirm that Instex has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. These goods are now in Iran,” the ministry said in a statement.

The first successful transaction comes over a year after Britain, France and Germany announced the creation of Instex, months that have been marked by Iranian chafing against European delay.

“Now the first transaction is complete, Instex and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” Berlin said.

Britain, France and Germany were among a list of countries that Iran reported receiving medical aid from earlier this month as it battles a serious outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

On Monday, the number of cases in the country passed 40,000, and the government warned the epidemic could run for several more months and cost over 10,000 lives.

Some 2,757 people have already died in Iran from the coronavirus.

READ ALSO: Global Lockdown Tightens As Coronavirus Deaths Mount

Tehran’s struggle to bring the virus’ spread under control has been made more difficult by US sanctions.

The blockade was re-imposed under President Donald Trump after he withdrew from a 2015 deal in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for easier access to global trade.

But the European sanctions-skirting scheme aims to keep the nuclear deal alive, holding Iran back from developing a bomb.

Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said last week that Iran would not accept help from Washington after Trump offered aid at the end of February.

The American proposals “to help us with medicines and treatments, provided we ask for them, are strange”, he said, calling the US Iran’s “most ferocious and vicious enemy”.

AFP

Tanzania Records First Death From COVID-19

 

Tanzania on Tuesday recorded its first death from coronavirus, a 49-year-old man who had underlying health issues, the health ministry said.

The East African nation has reported cases since March 16, including foreign travellers and those with whom they have had contacts. One person has so far recovered.

“I regret to announce the first death of coronavirus patient early this morning. The 49-year old man had other health complications,” Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement, without giving details.

Tanzania has already shut all schools and universities in a bid to curb the disease, and from Tuesday parliament cut working hours and limited the number of MPs allowed in the debating chamber.

However while neighbouring countries have imposed lockdowns and urged people to stay home, President John Magufuli has played down the seriousness of the disease.

READ ALSO: Sierra Leone Confirms First Coronavirus Case

“This is time to build our faith and continue praying to God and not depending on face masks. Don’t stop going to churches and mosques for prayers. I’m sure this is just a change of wind and it will go like others have gone,” Magufuli said at a church in Dodoma earlier this month.

“There are too many threats being spread about corona but this is a small disease and we will beat it in the name of Jesus. I also ask Tanzanians to continue working hard,” he added.

His comment was criticised by other politicians who said Tanzania should actually consider closing churches and mosques to avoid spreading coronavirus.

“Let’s not argue with science,” said opposition lawmaker Zitto Kabwe on Twitter.

AFP

Sierra Leone Confirms First Coronavirus Case

 

Sierra Leone has recorded its first case of the new coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday, making it the latest African country to register an infection.

In a televised press conference, President Julius Maada Bio said that a 37-year-old man who arrived in the country from France on March 16 had tested positive.

The man had been quarantined on arrival in the West African state, Bio said.

“It was not a matter of whether, but when. Ladies and gentlemen, the when is here,” the president said.

Sierra Leone had been one of the few countries in Africa to have reported zero cases, despite neighbouring Guinea and Liberia having detected infections.

There are fears that, like its neighbours, the poor nation of 7.5 million people is particularly exposed to an outbreak.

The former British colony was badly hit by the 2014-2016 West African Ebola crisis, which killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone.

READ ALSO: Tanzania Records First Death From COVID-19

On Tuesday, Bio said authorities were aggressively tracing people who may have come into contact with the infected patient, and urged people to report anyone with coronavirus symptoms to the authorities.

The government had already announced anti-virus measures. Land borders are closed, international flights banned, and schools were shut from Tuesday until further notice, among other measures.

“The government will respond rapidly to changes in the situation by announcing additional enhanced measures,” Bio said.

Six of Africa’s 54 nations have been spared the coronavirus to date: South Sudan, Burundi, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi, Lesotho and Comoros.

AFP

Only Six African Nations Yet To Record Any Case Of COVID-19

(FILES) This file handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Lizabeth MENZIES / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP.

 

 

Six of Africa’s 54 nations are among the last in the world yet to report cases of the new coronavirus.

The global pandemic has been confirmed in almost every country, but for a handful of far-flung tiny island states, war-torn Yemen and isolated North Korea.

In Africa, authorities claim they are spared by god, or simply saved by low air traffic to their countries, however, some fear it is lack of testing that is hiding the true impact.

– South Sudan –

The East African nation is barely emerging from six years of civil war and with high levels of hunger, illness and little infrastructure, observers fear the virus could wreak havoc.

Doctor Angok Gordon Kuol, one of those charged with overseeing the fight against the virus, said the country had only carried out 12 tests, none of which were positive.

He said the reason the virus has yet to reach South Sudan could be explained by the low volume of air traffic and travel to the country.

“Very few airlines come to South Sudan and most of the countries affected today they are affected by… people coming from abroad.”

He said the main concern was foreigners working for the large NGO and humanitarian community, or people crossing land borders from neighbouring countries.

READ ALSO: Global Lockdown Tightens As Coronavirus Deaths Mount

South Sudan has shut schools, banned gatherings such as weddings, funerals and sporting events and blocked flights from worst-affected countries. Non-essential businesses have been shuttered and movement restricted.

The country can currently test around 500 people and has one isolation centre with 24 beds.

– Burundi –

In Burundi, which is gearing up for general elections in May, authorities thank divine intervention for the lack of cases.

“The government thanks all-powerful God who has protected Burundi,” government spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye said on national television last week.

At the same time, he criticised those “spreading rumours” that Burundi is not capable of testing for the virus, or that it is spreading unnoticed.

Some measures have been taken, such as the suspension of international flights and placing handwashing stations at the entrances to banks and restaurants in Bujumbura.

However, several doctors have expressed their concerns.

“There are zero cases in Burundi because there have been zero tests,” a Burundian doctor said on condition of anonymity.

– Sao Tome and Principe –

Sao Tome and Principe — a tiny nation of small islands covered in the lush rainforest — has reported zero cases because it is unable to test, according to World Health Organisation representative Anne Ancia.

However “we are continuing preparations,” with around 100 people in quarantine after returning from highly-affected countries, and the WHO keeping an eye on cases of pneumonia.

With only four ICU beds for a population of 200,000 people, the country is desperate to not let the virus take hold and has already shut its borders despite the importance of tourism to the local economy.

– Malawi –

Malawi’s health ministry spokesman Joshua Malango brushed aside fears that Malawi might not have registered any COVID-19 cases due to a lack of testing kits:

“We have the testing kits in Malawi and we are testing.”

Dr Bridget Malewezi from the Society of Medical Doctors told AFP that while “we may not be 100 percent ready”, government was gearing up for the arrival of the virus.

She suggested it may only be a matter of time before the pandemic hits Malawi.

“It’s only been in the past few weeks that it has been rampantly spreading across Africa so most people feel it will get here at some point…,” she said.

Malawi has asked people coming from hard-hit countries to self-quarantine, which Malawezi said had helped “safeguard the country from any possible spread of the virus”.

– Lesotho –

Tiny Lesotho, a kingdom encircled by South Africa with only two million inhabitants, went into national lockdown on Monday despite registering zero cases.

Until last week the country had no tests or testing centres and received its first kits thanks to a donation by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

Authorities had reported eight suspected cases that they had not been able to test and the first results are expected soon.

– Comoros –

The Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros, situated between Madagascar and Mozambique, has yet to detect a single case of the virus, according to the health ministry.

One doctor in the capital Moroni, Dr Abdou Ada, wonders if it may not be because of the wide use of the drug Artemisinin to treat malaria.

“I believe that the mass anti-malarial treatment explains the fact that Comoros is, at least for now, spared from COVID-19. it is a personal belief that needs to be confirmed scientifically.”

AFP