A relative of Nigeria’s first coronavirus victim, Suleiman Achimugu, has reacted to his death.
Speaking to Channels Television via telephone on Monday, Abubakar Achimugu, said the late Suleiman showed strange symptoms before he died.
According to him, the victim personally called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), informing them of showing some signs of the disease.
“He got back on March 10,” Achimugu said. “His temperature was okay that he could still take extra precaution by self-isolation for 14 days. That was exactly what he did.
“A week after that self-isolation, he started noticing some symptoms that were unusual, that resembled symptoms that were being publicized on COVID-19. He called the NCDC personally to come to visit and run a test.
“He was experiencing symptoms that were alien to him. After the tests, a day after, the results were made available which came out positive, which was on Saturday. Then they arranged that he be evacuated to the COVID-19 centre in Abuja.”
Professional football in Spain will remain suspended until further notice to limit the spread of coronavirus, La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Monday.
La Liga and the RFEF said matches in the top two divisions will only resume when the Spanish government decide there is no longer any health risk.
Fixtures had previously been suspended for two weeks from March 12 but there was no expectation they would restart this weekend, with the crisis continuing to escalate.
The total number of deaths due to coronavirus in Spain passed 2,000 on Sunday, making it the third worst-affected country in the world, behind only Italy and China.
The Spanish government declared a state of alarm on March 14 and intends to extend the lockdown imposed on the population until at least April 11.
A joint statement from La Liga and the RFEF read:
“The Monitoring Commission established by the current RFEF-La Liga Coordination Agreement agrees the suspension of professional football competitions until the authorities of the Government of Spain and the General Administration of the State consider they can be resumed without creating any health risk.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha has described the COVID-19 pandemic as deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast and other criminal activities in other parts of the country.
He made the remark on Sunday during his visit to Adamawa State to condole with the people of Garkida over its recent Boko Haram attack.
“I took the opportunity to speak to them on the current challenge that we are having with regards to COVID-19 and I said as dreaded as Boko Haram is, COVID-19 is vicious and most-dreaded (deadlier).
“One infection of COVID-19 can destroy a whole city, so I implore all of you to begin to speak to the people of Adamawa State and Nigerians concerning the adversity that can face us if we don’t take precaution,” Mustapha said.
He also spoke on the importance of social distance and maintaining personal hygiene like washing hands and avoiding handshaking.
He expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s regret following the Boko Haram attack which resulted in the death of some security personnel, leaving properties worth millions destroyed.
He also noted that the Nigerian government is not late in its actions so far taken which are necessary.
“We are not acting a little late, we took steps by first identifying the countries that are a heavy burden; first we started with 13, and the next day we added two with the closure of three international airports.”
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has directed all civil servants to stay at home.
He ordered civil servants, from level 1-12, to stay off work except those providing essential services.
The governor gave the instructions on Monday while addressing the residents of the state, following the spread of the coronavirus.
According to him, the state has no record of the virus but the government is putting in place measures to curb any possible spread.
He also directed the closure of all Almajiri schools in the state with immediate effect from today, Monday 23.
Governor Abubakar further declared a curfew from 8:00AM to 8:00PM effective from Wednesday, March 25.
“All public gatherings have been banned from today,” he said. “Only those carrying out essential services will be allowed.”
Below is the Governor’s full speech
ALHAJI (DR.) ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO, GOVERNOR OF NIGER STATE AND CHAIRMAN NORTH CENTRAL GOVERNOR’S FORUM ON THE OUTBREAK OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) IN NIGERIA AND LEVEL OF PREPAREDNESS AND PREVENTION IN NIGER STATE; ON MONDAY 23RD MARCH, 2020.
My fellow Nigerlites: 2. The scourge of coronavirus (COVID-19) is real and with the confirmed cases in Abuja just a stone throw away from us, calls for more proactive measures and preparedness for any eventualities. Hence, I need to address you today. The Covid-19 Virus with symptoms ranging from fever, tiredness, and dry cough to aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea does not manifest immediately rather these symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
3. Already states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja have recorded cases. I wish to reassure the general public that there has not been any suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State. But as proactive government, the State has resolved to create mass awareness and respond promptly to any case of the outbreak. In this regard we have put in place the following strategies:
a. We have strengthened the surveillance system to detect any case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) including investigation and monitoring of any outbreak. The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre is at watch mode and enhanced surveillance is already in place.
b. We have reactivated our Isolation Centre at General Hospital, Minna and isolation rooms in all our General Hospitals across the state.
c. We have prepositioned drugs, medical supplies and personal protection equipment at the Isolation Centre in Minna.
d. The sensitization of our clinicians on epidemic-prone diseases is ongoing. Treatment protocols are also being circulated.
e. Niger State Government is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on effective means of sharing information on how to prevent infection and mitigate in case of an outbreak in the state.
f. We have commenced risk communication through the media.
4. Niger State Government will enforce all preventive measures as advised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), especially social distancing and hand washing routines. I hereby direct further that:
a. All public and private schools and institutions in Niger State to remain closed down from today, Monday 23rd March, 2020. b. All public gatherings of more than 20 persons are prohibited from today 23rd March, 2020.
c. All public offices including Ministries, Departments and Agencies must provide hand washing items at the entrance of their facilities. Meanwhile, all civil servants on grade level 1-12 are to stay at home, except those on essential services.
d. The general public including market men and women must practice social distancing and handwashing with soap regularly.
e. The traditional leaders should ensure all Almajiri schools in their communities are closed down. f. All forms of street hawking and begging are by this directive banned.
g. As from Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, the state shall observe daily curfew from 8:00am to 8:00pm till further notice.
5. Finally, I strongly advise the general public to be vigilant, adhere strictly to personal hygiene, social distancing and seek medical attention in the event of symptoms. We also call on individuals with travel history from countries and states with cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure self-isolation and report to the nearest Health facility in the state.
6. While asking people to adhere strictly to public health guidelines, I pray to God to bring an end to the scourge of coronavirus ravaging humanity, soon. Thank you all.
A second senior military officer in Egypt has died of the new coronavirus, state television reported Monday, as the officially declared death toll stood at 14 from 327 cases recorded nationwide.
Major General Shafee Dawood, head of major infrastructure projects at the military engineering authority, became the latest high-ranking figure in Egypt to die from COVID-19 in hospital.
His death comes after Major General Khaled Shaltout, the army’s chief of water management, died from the virus late Sunday.
State television said that Shaltout contracted the disease after having taken part in “sterilisation” procedures to stave off the virus.
Other high-ranking military officials have also been confirmed to have tested positive for the disease, security sources told AFP.
The army released a video last week showing tanks spraying disinfectant in major Cairo sites including the central metro station in Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 2011 revolt that toppled former autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
India will ground all domestic passenger flights from Wednesday to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government said, as more states ordered lockdowns.
India has already banned incoming international flights and sealed most of its land borders.
The government information bureau said only cargo flights will be allowed.
Domestic Indian carriers carried some 144 million passengers last year.
“Covid-19 pandemic is crippling the global economy and aviation including India’s once-booming aviation sector for years to come,” Devesh Agarwal, the editor of the Bangalore Aviation website, told AFP.
“This is not a short-term pandemic and the outlook for Indian aviation looks tragic. The aviation sector in India is decimated right now. This is similar worldwide.”
The mayor of Moscow on Monday told older Russians to either stay at home or escape to their country houses to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.
In a video on his website, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the over 65s “must comply with an at-home regimen” between March 26 and April 14.
“You may not like it and even oppose it, but trust me, it is dictated by sincere concern for you,” said the mayor, who has been tasked with heading Russia’s overall coronavirus response.
Russia has so far reported 438 infections, the majority of them in Moscow, its largest city with more than 12 million inhabitants.
The country has gradually tightened restrictions, halting cultural and sports events, switching schools to distance learning and closing fitness clubs. It has also closed borders to almost all non-citizens.
However, unlike many countries in Asia and Europe, the national government has not ordered any confinement.
“You can go to the shop or the pharmacy only when you need to,” Sobyanin said, listing a number to call if help is needed.
“The best thing to do, if you can, is to go to your dacha, especially since the weather promises to be warm.”
Many big-city residents in Russia have country homes known as dachas, usually simple cottages with gardens on small plots of land, where they go at weekends and in summer.
Sobyanin did not say whether non-compliant pensioners would be punished.
But those in the age group complying with the rules will be compensated with a total of 4,000 rubles ($50), he said, also advising young people to “avoid personal communication with older people” to prevent infection from spreading and help their older neighbours who live alone.
The measures would not affect 67-year-old President Vladimir Putin because he “works where he lives”, his spokesman said, adding that the Kremlin is asking everyone involved in his meetings get tested beforehand.
One person who was infected with the virus in Russia has died but officials are not linking the death to the virus.
The courtrooms at the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice on Monday witnessed a low number of lawyers and litigants contrary to the large number of people that usually besiege the court on weekdays.
The low number, according to lawyers who spoke to Channels Television, was a result of compliance with the Federal government’s advisory for people to avoid large gatherings as a means of containing the spread of COVID-19.
As part of the measures, lawyers were restricted from sitting inside the courtroom until their cases were called by the court clerk, while only litigants were equally allowed to come into the courtroom without their relations and friends as it used to be.
However, Channels Television correspondent at the courtroom observed that there was no provision of water and hand sanitizers at the court for people to wash their hands before entering into the courtroom, except few lawyers who came with their personal sanitisers and mask.
Also, some lawyers inside the court did not comply with the social distancing advice, as some of them sat close to one another, maintaining close body contact.
A former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) of Kaduna Branch, Sule Shuabu, said the social distancing advisory, although very important in containing the coronavirus spread, cannot prevent the courts from sitting, as far as people maintain proper personal hygiene.
Meanwhile, the family of the victim has released a statement identifying him as Suleiman Achimugu, a former Managing Director of Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
The statement, which was signed by Abubakar Achimugu, said the victim was in self-isolation upon his return from the UK and personally called NCDC after experiencing some discomfort related to COVID 19 symptoms.
“Our family is deeply saddened to inform you of the sudden death of our beloved Father, Uncle, Brother, and friend. Engr. Suleiman Achimugu (former Md of PPMC).
“He died of COVID 19 on 22/03/2020 some days after he arrived in Nigeria from the UK. He was in self-isolation upon his return from the UK and personally called NCDC after experiencing some discomfort that are related to COVID 19 symptoms.
“He tested positive and was promptly evacuated to the specialist hospital. He died while receiving treatment.
“We implore the general public to pray upon his soul and the recovery of infected persons. Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated,” the statement read in part.
The victim has since been buried according to Islamic rites.
“This development is sequel to the report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that the son of the former Vice President of Nigeria, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar was tested positive to coronavirus upon his return from an international trip through Lagos,” Gidado revealed.
He added that the governor, who returned from an official trip to Lagos, met with Atiku’s son on the plane where both men shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
Gidado, however, noted that the governor has not shown any symptom of the disease but would remain in isolation to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
“Currently, the blood sample of the governor has been taken and is undergoing a clinical test.
“For the period of the clinical testing, the governor and his entourage will remain in isolation pending the outcome of the clinical result,” the governor’s aide said.