Katrina, Lilo Evicted From BBNaija Lockdown House

Lilo (left) and Ka3na (right)

 

 

The Big Brother Naija lockdown season saw its first evictions on Sunday night with housemates, Ka3na and Lilo leaving the house.

As is expected with every season, the eviction show which started around 7:00 pm took an unusual twist.

Without much waste of time, the show host, Ebuka announced the four housemates who polled the least votes; Lilo, Eric, Ka3na and Praise and asked them to stand up, after which Big Brother asked the remaining ‘safe’ housemates to select two persons whom they would love to evict from the show.

 

Ka3na and Praise

 

One after the other, they were called into the Diary Room, where they each disclosed the names of the two housemates of their choice to be evicted.

Shortly after, Ebuka announced the first evicted housemate to be Ka3na, followed by Lilo.

 

Eric and Lilo

 

After an ecstatic Saturday night party, many of the housemates began to develop cold feet over their fate as the reality of the first eviction started to set it.

Some such as Ka3na had, however, reached a conclusion that although getting evicted would be a sad reality to come to terms with, two weeks of being in Biggie’s House was a great experience and good enough exposure for her personality and brand.

 

The housemates hug Lilo after Ebuka announced her as the 2nd evicted housemates on August 2, 2020.

 

When asked on the stage how she felt about her eviction, Ka3na said: “I’m having mixed feelings but I’m glad that I made it this far.”

According to her, the main purpose of being on the show was to sell her name and she could only be grateful for the opportunity.

 

How viewers voted: The least nine of the 20 housemates.

 

On the other hand, Lilo, who thrilled viewers with her ‘sooner than expected’ relationship with fellow housemate, Eric, said she was also surprised that she had been evicted but when asked what she felt was the reason behind her eviction, she said she had no idea, as she was only being herself throughout her time on the show.

Going forward, she said she would focus more on her business and she would also be going for a Master’s degree.

Of the 18 remaining housemates, Lucy who won the Head of House (HoH) position and her deputy, Prince, were immune to nominations and subsequently, the week’s evictions.

This week, another pair would earn immunity following the HoH games, even as the housemates continue their fight to win the grand prize of N85 million.

 


 

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Catalan Govt Reimposes Local Lockdown After Legal Tussle

File photo: Healthcare workers prepare to move a COVID-19 coronavirus patient at the Intensive Unit Care of the Povisa Hospital in Vigo, northwestern Spain, on April 16, 2020. MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP

 

 

Following a standoff with the courts, the Catalan regional government on Wednesday told residents to stay home in a virus-hit area in and around the northeastern city of Lerida.

Regional officials issued a similar call in several districts of Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city near Barcelona where virus cases have been on the rise.

In the Lerida area, the stay-home order affects around 160,000 people, who are only allowed to leave to go to work, buy food or medication, or to exercise.

The area has already been cut off from the rest of the country since July 4.

But the regional government is refusing to use the term lockdown given that the measures are not as restrictive as those imposed months ago by the central government at the height of the country’s outbreak.

“People can go for a walk and exercise and all the shops will be open,” Catalan government spokeswoman Meritxell Budo said on Tuesday.

Moves to reconfine the local population to their homes triggered a legal standoff on Monday when a local court blocked the new lockdown order, prompting the regional government to enact legislative changes.

In the end, the court agreed overnight to allow the measure for 15 days while demanding that the regional authorities provide regular updates on the status of the outbreak.

Catalan authorities are also watching other pockets of infection in this wealthy northeastern region, notably advising that the residents of three districts of Hospitalet de Llobregat — a city with 260,000 residents — only leave home for urgent necessities.

Spain suffered one of Europe’s most deadly outbreaks of the virus which has so far claimed more than 28,400 lives.

With the health ministry saying there are more than 120 active outbreaks across the country, many regions such as Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia have stepped up precautions.

In these areas and others, mask-wearing is now compulsory in public at all times, even if the safety distance can be respected.

AFP

France Rules Out ‘Total Lockdown’ In Case Of COVID-19 Surge

People cycle with their bike down the Rue de Rivoli, by the Louvre museum, in Paris on May 19, 2020 as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). THOMAS COEX / AFP
People cycle with their bike down the Rue de Rivoli, by the Louvre museum, in Paris on May 19, 2020 as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). THOMAS COEX / AFP.

 

The French government said Wednesday it was girding for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in coming months but would not respond to any new outbreak with another nationwide lockdown.

“My aim is to prepare France for a possible second wave while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life,” new Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an interview on RTL television.

“But we’re not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did last March, because we’ve learned… that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous,” he said.

Instead, any business closures or stay-at-home orders would be “targeted” to specific areas, he said.

“The coronavirus is still here,” Castex warned, adding that he would travel on Sunday to France’s South American territory of French Guiana, which is reeling from a surge in cases.

Officials reported 124 new cases in the territory on Tuesday, bringing the total to nearly 5,200, and the government has dispatched dozens of health workers from the mainland as well as a field hospital.

The head of France’s national health agency, Jerome Salomon, said authorities were anticipating a second wave of COVID-19 cases “this autumn or this winter,” depending on a seasonal impact that remains uncertain.

“What we have to understand is that the epidemic’s resurgence will basically depend on our behaviour,” he said in an interview with the Figaro newspaper.

Even as millions of people prepare to relax over the summer holiday seasons, Salomon urged continued social distancing and the use of face masks, “especially in crowded places and indoors.”

– ‘Protect people’ –

Castex was named by President Emmanuel Macron last week to lead a new government tasked with orchestrating the country’s recovery from its worst health and economic crisis since World War II.

Billions of euros have been promised for investments as well as measures to limit job losses in an economy expected to shrink around 10 percent this year.

“We are going to protect people, but above all we are going to invest in the ecological transformation, in our country’s recovery,” Castex said.

He also confirmed he had increased a proposed wage hike and budget boosts for hospital staff by around one billion euros in negotiations with unions this week, bring the total envelope to 7.5 billion euros ($8.5 billion).

But union leaders say that would lift monthly pay for nurses, technicians and others on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight by only 180 euros a month, far short of demands for a 300-euro raise.

The outbreak has killed nearly 30,000 people in France since the first cases were reported in January.

AFP

Panic-Buying Returns As Melbourne Braces For Lengthy Lockdown

 

Police in the southern New South Wales (NSW) border city of Albury check cars crossing the state border from Victoria on July 8, 2020 after authorities closed the border due to an outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus in Victoria. – With the city of Melbourne going into lockdown for the next six weeks, the entire state of Victoria will effectively be sealed off from the rest of the country with the state border to NSW closing on 08 July. William WEST / AFP.

 

Shoppers in Australia’s second-biggest city stripped supermarket shelves Wednesday as millions in Melbourne prepared for a return to virus lockdown, with warnings the new restrictions could prompt a mental health crisis.

Five million residents were ordered back into a six-week lockdown beginning midnight Wednesday into Thursday as soaring community transmission of the coronavirus brings more than 100 new cases daily.

A further 134 infections were detected in the past 24 hours — small in comparison to the tens of thousands in hard-hit countries such as the US and Brazil, but considered a major spike in Australia, which had otherwise been successful in containing COVID-19.

The country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, said it had reimposed buying limits on items including pasta, vegetables and sugar after shoppers rushed to stores across Victoria state.

Experts have warned that people everywhere will have to get used to the “new normal” of on-and-off restrictions as new clusters emerge and subside, while there are also concerns over the economic and mental health impacts the measures will bring.

“As frustrating as it is I support (the lockdown) — but ask me again in six weeks,” stoic Melbourne resident Michael Albert told AFP.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Melbourne lockdown would cost the economy up to Aus$1 billion ($700 million) a week, telling public broadcaster ABC the burden would “fall heavily on businesses”.

“This is not the situation that anybody wanted to be in, but it is the reality that we must confront,” said state Premier Daniel Andrews.

Restaurants and cafes will be limited to serving takeaway food, while gyms, beauty salons and cinemas will be forced to close again.

Residents will be restricted to their homes except for work, exercise, medical care or to buy essentials — a return to social isolation that was only recently lifted.

Professor Michael Kyrios, a clinical psychologist at Flinders University, warned that Victoria needed to brace for a “coming mental health crisis” as a result.

– Guards replaced –

“This will likely place the mental health care system in a precarious situation with very limited ability to mobilise resources in response to the increased incidence of mental illness arising from the COVID crisis,” he said.

Health authorities say they have linked many of the Melbourne coronavirus cases to hotels where residents returning from overseas were being quarantined.

Local media reported security guards had breached infection control regulations — including allegedly having sex with guests held in isolation — prompting the government to replace the private contractors with prison staff and launch an inquiry.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was now considering limiting the number of citizens returning from abroad, after Victoria began diverting international flights to other cities to ease the burden on its quarantine facilities.

“There is a volume that can be accommodated by the (other) states and territories currently, but they certainly wouldn’t want to see that increase,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Thousands of health workers are knocking on doors in the worst-affected areas of Melbourne urging residents to get tested for coronavirus, with officials saying about 10,000 people have refused after being influenced by online disinformation.

Around 3,000 people in the city have already been locked inside their homes since Saturday in Australia’s strictest coronavirus response to date after a cluster emerged in a high-rise public housing estate.

A total of 75 cases have been detected in the densely populated towers during a major testing blitz.

Long queues of cars were backed up at Victoria’s border Wednesday after neighbouring New South Wales closed the boundary for the first time in the pandemic — essentially sealing off the state from the rest of Australia.

The hastily announced decision left residents of border towns scrambling to obtain permits to cross for work or other essential reasons, while school holiday travellers were rushing to return home.

Police checkpoints have been set up at major road crossings and drones are monitoring large sections of the vast border, with one man arrested Wednesday after allegedly attempting to cross illegally.

Australia has recorded almost 9,000 cases of coronavirus and 106 deaths.

AFP

Australia’s Second-Biggest City Under New COVID-19 Lockdown

Medical staff perform a COVID-19 coronavirus test on a resident of one of nine public housing estates locked down due a spike in infection numbers in Melbourne on July 6, 2020. – Australia will effectively seal off the state of Victoria from the rest of the country, authorities said on July 6, announcing unprecedented measures to tackle a worrying surge in coronavirus cases. William WEST / AFP.

 

Five million Melbourne residents were ordered back into lockdown after coronavirus cases surged in Australia’s second-biggest city Tuesday.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews announced a six-week lockdown would begin Wednesday, warning “we can’t pretend” the virus crisis is over.

It is the first such spike in Australia since the virus was believed to have been suppressed countrywide in April, and is a brutal reminder that risks remain even as life returns to normal.

After the south-eastern city detected 191 new cases in 24 hours, Andrews said there were now too many to trace properly, so restrictions were needed.

“These are unsustainably high numbers,” he said.

“No-one wanted to be in this position. I know there will be enormous amounts of damage that will be done because of this. It will be very challenging.”

Residents will be restricted to their homes except for work, exercise, medical care or to buy essentials.

Most students will return to remote learning while restaurants and cafes will be limited to serving takeaway food.

Experts have warned that people everywhere will have to get used to the “new normal” of on-and-off restrictions as new clusters emerge and subside.

But there is growing concern that most of Melbourne’s new cases are not directly linked to residents returning from overseas.

“The situation we are in is more serious than late March, because we have community transmission, which is much harder to track than infection in return travellers,” said Raina MacIntyre, a biosecurity expert at the University of New South Wales.

“People all over Australia must accept the gravity of the situation and play their part.”

– Sealed off –

Although the lockdown covers the Melbourne metropolitan area, the entire state of Victoria will effectively be sealed off from the rest of the country from overnight Tuesday, as state borders are closed.

An AFP reporter in the border town of Albury said that hours before the closures were expected to start, residents were still trying to secure permits allowing them to cross for work or essential business.

Police and the military say they will patrol dozens of border crossings and use drones and other aircraft to check the vast frontier with other states, where the coronavirus has been contained.

Health officials last week effectively shut off about 300,000 Melbourne residents from the rest of the city until the end of July, but that has now been extended beyond those neighbourhoods.

Around 3,000 people in the city were also locked down in their homes on Saturday in Australia’s strictest coronavirus response to date after a cluster emerged in a high-rise public housing estate.

So far, 69 cases have been recorded across the nine densely populated towers and there are concerns the virus could spread widely, with one health official likening the crowded conditions inside to “vertical cruise ships”.

Cruise ships emerged as early coronavirus hotspots, with passengers and crew often packed in small cabins and at high risk of infection.

Australia has recorded almost 9,000 cases of COVID-19 and 106 deaths from the virus.

Almost all new cases are being detected in Melbourne, while other regions are enjoying relaxed restrictions after largely curbing the virus’s spread.

Health officials have begged the public to get tested, saying online disinformation had spurred more than 10,000 people to refuse testing.

AFP

Madagascar Re-Imposes Lockdown Amid Surge In COVID-19 Cases

This general view shows the empty second-hand clothes market in the Isotry district of Madagascar capital Antananarivo on May 16, 2020, where 16 people have been infected with COVID-19 coronavirus by a single resident of this neighbourhood.  RIJASOLO / AFP.

 

Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced Sunday.

“The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said in a statement.

No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20.

A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people.

“Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement.

The measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases,” it added.

Used to registering dozens of coronavirus cases a day, Madagascar has in recent days seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday.

The latest tally came after 675 people were tested.

Nearly 24,000 tests have so far been conducted on the impoverished island.

By Sunday the country had a cumulative 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian ocean island on March 20.

All government meetings will now be held via video conferencing, while court hearings have been suspended.

In April, President Andry Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.

Rajoelina has been promoting the brew for export, saying it is the country’s “green gold” which will “change history”.

The potential benefits of Covid-Organics, a tonic derived from artemisia — a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment — and other indigenous herbs, have not been validated by any scientific study.

AFP

Ogun Govt Extends Ease Of Lockdown By Two Weeks

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun

 

The Ogun State Government has extended the ease of COVID-19 lockdown in the state by two weeks.

According to the government, guidelines will continue to be reviewed and modified in response to data from the field and expert opinions.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kunle Somorin on Friday.

While noting that schools in the state are to remain shut, the governor’s spokesman explained that the state government will “engage all stakeholders, public and private to develop modalities for a safe reopening of schools, especially to allow certificate classes to resume and write their examinations.”

READ ALSO: What We Are Doing To Rescue Over 30 Kidnapped Persons – Nasarawa Govt

“To date, the total number of 4,072 people have been tested out of which 898 tested positive. Amongst the positive cases, 609 have been successfully treated and discharged.

“Sadly, there have been a total of 19 deaths with 270 active cases. One of our border Local Governments is one of the Local Governments with the highest number of cases in the country because of the level of testing,” the statement partly read.

The state government also vowed to monitor the recent lifting of the ban on interstate travels by the Federal Government to determine its impact on the COVID-19 situation, stressing that it “will not hesitate to make appropriate adjustment, in consultation with the Federal Government.”

Meanwhile, existing restriction put in place by the state government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in the state still remains in place.

 

Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Caution As COVID-19 Cases Spike

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 9, 2020, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Israelis to continue wearing masks and respect social distancing measures, as confirmed novel coronavirus cases spiked following the easing of lockdown measures.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting on the virus, he said the past 24 hours had seen nearly 1,000 new infections confirmed.

Israel had imposed tight lockdown restrictions following its first registered COVID-19 case in February, then began cautiously easing them in mid-April.

Netanyahu said that for the moment, places of worship, bars, event halls and clubs would stay open, but with gatherings limited to 50 people — or 20 in private homes.

“We don’t want to go back to a policy of general lockdown,” he said.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein also urged strict adherence to personal hygiene protocols and said the country was “at war for the benefit of citizens”.

Israel, with its nine million inhabitants, has registered some 26,452 infections including 324 deaths.

The Israeli parliament on Wednesday passed a law enabling the government to use its domestic security agency to track coronavirus infections as cases surged.

AFP

Sri Lanka Lifts COVID-19 Lockdown, Says ‘No Community Spread’

A health worker sprays disinfectant in a classroom at the Anula school, in the suburb of Nugegoda in Colombo on June 19, 2020. – Sri Lanka has been steadily lifting lockdown restrictions, although a night-time curfew remains. Schools will re-open later this month and foreign tourists will be allowed from August 1. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP)

 

Sri Lanka’s nationwide lockdown was lifted Sunday after a selective curfew a month ago was reimposed during a surge in coronavirus infections, the country’s president said.

The island nation imposed the lockdown on March 20 and lifted it gradually over the past two months, although a nighttime curfew remained in place.

It reintroduced tighter restrictions in late May and early June to curb large gatherings for the funeral of a popular government minister and for a religious festival.

“The curfew has completely been lifted effective from today,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement.

Health officials said new infections reported since April 30 were from Sri Lankans stranded in the Middle East who were brought home on special flights and quarantined.

A cluster in a navy camp was controlled with the facility still in lock down, they said.

“There has been no community spread of the virus and the infections at the Welisara navy camp are now contained,” a health official told AFP.

Air and sea borders remained closed, with international flights suspended.

Authorities plan to reopen Sri Lanka’s borders on August 1, but the date could be reviewed due to the imported cases, the official added.

READ ALSO: Civilians Among Over 100 Victims Of Libya Mines – UN

Sri Lanka will also hold its parliamentary elections at the start of August after they were postponed due to the pandemic.

Around 2,000 infections including 11 deaths have been recorded in the South Asian nation so far, according to government figures.

AFP

Germany Orders First Local Lockdown Since Easing – State Premier

 

German authorities on Tuesday ordered a new lockdown for an entire district — the first since easing coronavirus restrictions and a major setback for hopes of a swift return to normality.

The move came after a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse that has infected more than 1,500 workers.

“For the first time in Germany, we will return an entire district to the measures that applied several weeks ago,” said Armin Laschet, state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia.

He said the lockdown would affect 360,000 people in the district of Guetersloh, and would stay in place until at least June 30.

The new outbreak occurred at a slaughterhouse in the town of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck that employs nearly 7,000 people.

As of Sunday, 21 people were being treated in hospital, six of them in intensive care.

The outbreak in Germany’s most populous state is the biggest since the country began lifting the lockdown in early May.

READ ALSO: South Africa To Start Africa’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot

Local authorities across Germany agreed then to pull an “emergency brake” and reimpose social curbs if the infection rate rises above 50 cases per 100,000 residents over a week in a particular district.

The rate in Geutersloh has soared well above that, sitting at 263 cases per 100,000 residents on Monday.

The new lockdown means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, indoor swimming pools and saunas shut down, Laschet said.

Schools and kindergartens have also been closed ahead of school holidays which will start this weekend.

The move comes as Germany and the rest of the EU begin taking steps towards getting tourism up and running again, with many European borders reopening just last week.

Several planeloads of German tourists have flown to Spain’s Mallorca island to take part in a test of plans to reopen the popular destination as the country emerges from its coronavirus lockdown.

But the latest flareup in Guetersloh prompted authorities in the German island of Usedom to turn away a couple who had travelled from the affected district.

– Under control –

Several COVID-19 outbreaks at slaughterhouses, not just in Germany but also in France, have put a spotlight on the working and housing conditions facing the workers — many of whom come from Romania or Bulgaria.

The German government has responded by banning the use of subcontractors in the meat industry in a bid to curb the controversial practice of companies using middlemen to supply workers from abroad who are more vulnerable to abuses.

But Germany has also seen new coronavirus clusters in residential buildings in Lower Saxony and in Berlin, where 370 families living in high-rise flats were placed under quarantine in one neighbourhood last week.

Despite the new outbreaks, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) disease control centre remained optimistic on Tuesday that the virus remains under control in Germany.

“If we are able to keep the number of cases low the whole time, then we will be able to contain and end outbreaks locally, and that will remain the case,” RKI head Lothar Wieler said.

With new infection rates sharply down from highs in March and a death toll significantly lower than those of its neighbours, Germany became the first major EU country to begin easing virus restrictions about seven weeks ago.

The government has noted that rules to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres (five feet) as well as requirements to cover up noses and mouths in closed public spaces have helped in the fight against new transmissions.

It is now counting on contact tracing — both through human trackers as well as through a new app — to ensure that any new infections are isolated.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly warned against complacency before a viable vaccine is found.

AFP

Food Deliveries During COVID-19 Lockdown Fuel Thailand Plastic Usage

A motorcycle taxi driver waits for customers at Khao San Road, empty of tourists due to the restrictions on entry by foreigners into Thailand due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Bangkok on June 16, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

 

Single-use plastic waste in Thailand ballooned during the coronavirus lockdown as demand for home food deliveries soared, activists say, setting back efforts to reduce the country’s dependency on the environmental scourge.

The contagion has had mixed outcomes for Thailand’s environment, with dugongs, turtles and otters returning to beaches normally packed with tourists.

But in urban areas plastic food containers, cutlery and bags have piled up, clogging canals, rivers and landfills as people stuck at home because of the epidemic order take-away.

Urban waste almost doubled between January and March from a year ago mainly due to increased food deliveries, says Wijarn Simachaya, president of the Thailand Environment Institute.

In Bangkok alone, rubbish leapt by 62 percent in April.

“The situation is really worrying,” he says.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: One Positive Case In Latest Round Of Premier League Testing

In Bangkok’s network of canals, trash collectors pluck plastic bottles, bags and containers from the fetid waters.

“Plastic pollution may kill more people than (the coronavirus) in Thailand,” says 12-year-old environmentalist Ralyn “Lilly” Satidtanasarn, the kingdom’s answer to Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

– Plastic detox –

Thailand along with Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Vietnam produce half the plastic waste in the world’s oceans, according to campaign group the Ocean Conservancy.

Over the last year all of those countries have pledged, or introduced, new rules to ban single-use plastic bags and other throwaway items.

Thailand outlawed plastic bags in supermarkets and department stores in January.

Before then Thais on average used eight bags a day, 12 times more than a resident of the European Union.

While the kingdom has weathered the virus well, with just over 3,100 cases and fewer than 60 deaths, fears of contracting it have seen single-use plastic return with a vengeance.

The new normal comes with more plastic — cutlery in sterilised bags and condiments in zip-lock sachets.

“A large part (of the extra plastic) will end up in the rivers and oceans,” warns Tara Buakamsri of Greenpeace Thailand.

He says the crisis had “cruelly highlighted” the need for better waste management in a country where only about 19 percent of the two million tonnes of plastic waste produced last year was recycled.

The government aims for 100 percent recyclable plastic to be in common use by 2027.

The other big four Asian plastic polluters are yet to give comprehensive figures on plastic use during the virus.

But some cities in Japan have reported an increase in plastic waste, even though its citizens are better at recycling.

Concerned by Thailand’s enduring addiction to plastic, civil society is hoping to inspire a public detox.

In northern Thailand, an academic is leading a team paving roads with plastic bags mixed with sand.

The composite slabs are lighter to transport and can last up to 400 years before decomposing, says Wechsawan Lakas of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University.

His inspiration to find an alternative came after a trip to the beach with his two young sons, who discovered waters bloated with plastic waste.

But the small gains are outsized by the scale of the Thai plastics industry, he says, insisting greater political will is needed to alter both consumer habits and the sources of raw materials.

“Because of the power of the petrochemical industry it will be difficult for the government to implement aggressive policies,” he warns.

“Changing mentalities will take years.”

AFP

COVID-19: NDDC Reopens Head Office After 2-Week Lockdown

 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has announced that it is set to re-open its head office on Thursday after a two-week lockdown was imposed to allow for the fumigation of the premises.

The lockdown was in obedience to public health directives from the Rivers State Ministry of Health, following cases of COVID 19 infections.

A statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili, however, disclosed that only staff from Grade 14 and above and those on essential duties are directed to resume.

“Staff on other grade levels are to remain at home pending directives from the Federal Government,” the statement added.

Read Also: NDDC Shuts Down Operations Over Suspected COVID-19 Outbreak

It also noted that the Commission will not be open to visitors at this time.

Meanwhile, the commission also noted that the Acting Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, and the Acting Executive Director Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, will operate from the new headquarters building at the Eastern bye-pass, Pot Harcourt.