Israel Quarantines Pupils Over Coronavirus Fears

A picture of an Israeli flag,
A picture of an Israeli flag


Israel ordered nearly 200 pupils into home quarantine Sunday after they were in proximity to South Korean tourists carrying the coronavirus, as the premier announced a taskforce to manage the threat. 

“Today, I will appoint a ministerial team to convene on a daily basis in order to deal with this major challenge,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a special meeting on the COVID-19 virus.

The meeting included senior security officials.

The announcement came after South Korean members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus toured Israeli sites between February 8-15 and upon their return home 18 of them were discovered to be infected with the virus.

Israel’s health ministry urged people who might have encountered them to self-quarantine, including 180 pupils and 19 staff from three separate schools who it said had close contact with the South Korean visitors.

The pupils and staff, including 18 teachers and a guard, were instructed “to remain home” for 14 days, the education ministry said.

The health ministry also published a detailed list of the sites visited by the South Korean tourists, ordering “anyone who has been in touch with the pilgrims” to “home-quarantine until 14 days from the encounter with the group have passed”.

Israel had on Friday confirmed its first case of the virus, in one of its nationals who had flown home from Japan after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.

On Saturday Israel refused to allow some 200 non-Israelis to disembark from a plane which arrived from South Korea, as part of measures against the new coronavirus.

The health ministry has also ordered its citizens to observe an obligatory 14-day home-quarantine if they have recently visited Japan, South Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Thailand.

“In addition, anyone who has been in Taiwan, Italy or Australia in the past 14 days and is developing the disease’s symptoms should be examined,” the ministry said in a statement.

 Election warning 

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who attended Sunday’s situation assessment, warned that law enforcement would act against those found to be disobeying the self-quarantine order.

“The Israeli police have prepared all the necessary enforcement teams in the event that there may be citizens who do not obey the instructions,” he told journalists, without elaborating.

He also warned those who might consider exploiting the scare to disrupt a hotly-contested March 2 general election.

He said that concerns included the spreading of fake news in order to affect voter turnout.

“This is a criminal offence,” he said. “There is special readiness by the police to prevent abuse.

Meanwhile, Palestinian health minister Mai al-Kaila said there were no confirmed cases in the West Bank, but that to manage the threat her office was coordinating with Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Cooperation with Israel “is only in the matter of coronavirus,” she said.


Lebanon Pupils Skip School For Third Day To Demand Change

Lebanese demonstrators wave the national flag during an anti-government demonstration outside the Ministry of Interior in the capital Beirut on November 8, 2019. 
Patrick BAZ / AFP


Thousands of high school students across Lebanon skipped classes Friday for a third day in a row to carry on the flame of the country’s anti-graft movement.

Lebanon has since October 17 been gripped by massive cross-sectarian protests demanding a complete revamping of a political system they say is corrupt and inept.

With youth unemployment running at over 30 per cent, school students have joined en masse since Wednesday demanding a better country so they don’t have to emigrate.

In Beirut, a teenage student who gave her name as Qamar was among thousands of pupils chanting slogans outside the ministry of education on Friday.

“So what if we lose a school year compared to our entire future?” she said. “I don’t want to study in Lebanon and then have to travel abroad” to find a job.

Around her, students waved red-green-and-white Lebanese flags, as others set off yellow, green, blue and purple flares into the sky.

“We missed classes to kick your asses,” read one poster in English.

Another poster in rhyming Arabic said: “No studying or teaching, until the president falls.”

Across Lebanon, students protested outside state institutions and banks including in the southern city of Saida, Tripoli in the north and the east’s Baalbek.

What started as a spontaneous and leaderless movement has become more organised in recent days, with protesters targeting institutions viewed as particularly inefficient or corrupt.

Early Friday, dozens of activists and retired army officers for the first time briefly closed down the entrance to Beirut’s port.

Among them, music producer Zeid Hamdan, 43, had come to denounce what he viewed as a customs collection system riddled with corruption.

“As a musician whenever I bring an instrument into the country, I pay 40 per cent of it” to customs, he said, sporting a light beard and wearing sunglasses.

“It stays stuck in the port for weeks. You need connections, to bribe everybody to get it out,” he said.

Lebanon’s cabinet stepped down last week but no official consultations have started on forming a new government, and outgoing premier Saad Hariri remains in a caretaker capacity.

The World Bank has urged Lebanon to form a new government quickly, warning of the threat of a further economic downturn in a country where almost a third of the population lives in poverty.

Pupils Injured In Florida School Shooting

(File Photo) A policeman seen at the scene of an incident

Police were responding to an apparent shooting on Wednesday at a high school in Florida that reportedly left several people injured, officials and local media said.

The incident was unfolding at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, a city in the southern part of the state between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.

“Avoid the area,” the Broward County sheriff’s office said on Twitter, adding that officers were working on a “developing incident regarding a report of an active shooter.”

Police from neighboring Coral Springs advised teachers and students in the building to “remain barricaded inside until police reach you.”

CBS News cited the sheriff’s office as saying there were multiple people injured.


Police Arraign 22 Osun Secondary School Pupils In Court

Twenty-two students of the Osogbo Grammar School have been arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, for allegedly attacking their teachers and fellow students.

Some of the pupils, the male students and one girl, brought to the court in their school uniforms, were said to have conspired, hired some thugs and invaded their school with dangerous weapons.

They were accused of storming the school’s staff room and classrooms and assaulting teachers and students on sight.

READ ALSO: Police Rescue Kidnapped DPO, Four Others

The accused students include: Lawrence Samuel, 22; Amao Ayoyinka, 23; Lucky Jeremiah, 16; Segun Agboola, 17; Sodiq Adeyemo, 17; Jamad Adegbenle, 17; Gafar Oyeleke, 14; Ayomide Fatunmibi, 15; Pelumi Oyetunde, 15; Ahmed Gbadebo, 17; Pelumi Owoyemi, 17; Musbau Olabode, 16; and Ridwan Oladapo, 15.

Others are Seye Dawodu, 15; Toheeb Adeyemo, 15; Esther Adeleye, 14; Mutiu Ajadi, 16; Taiwo Oluwatobiloba, 16; Abass Lukman, 17; Ridwan Oladimeji, 22; Samad Mudashiru, 19; and Sunday Fowowe 17.

The accused students were arraigned on a seven-count charge bearing on conspiracy, violence, unlawful possession of weapons, among others.

They were said to have attacked the school in protest what they termed “unjust treatment” always meted out to them by their teachers.

Police Prosecutor, Inspector Joshua Oladoye told the court that the accused persons committed the offence on October 17 and 18, 2017, at about 9:30 a.m. at Osogbo Grammar School.

Oladoye explained that they conspired to cause mayhem and succeeded in attacking and inflicting injuries on the members of staff and students of the school.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

Counsels to the accused persons, Mr A.O. Olodo and Mr Jimoh Akintayo, applied for their bail, asking the court to make the bail conditions liberal and said the offences slammed on the students were bailable.

Magistrate Adenike Olowolagba granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in the same amount.

The case was adjourned till December 6, for hearing.

VSF To Assist 12,000 Pupils In Adamawa State

VSF To Assist 12,000 Pupils In Adamawa StateThe Victims Support Fund (VSF) says it will assist 12,000 pupils and 31 schools under its education empowerment programme in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) affected by insurgency in Adamawa State.

The Executive Director of VSF, Professor Sunday Ochoche, made this known while flagging-off the second phase of the distribution of educational materials to beneficiaries in Garkida town in Gombi Local Government Area of the state.

Professor Ochoche explained that the development is aimed at creating an enabling environment for accelerated development in the region, listing the LGAs selected for the second phase to include Gombi, Maiha and Michika.

He said under the first phase in 2016, 7,000 pupils benefitted from 13 schools in Hong, Mubi North and Mubi South LGAs of the state.

The State Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaletapwa Farauta, who represented Governor Mohammed Jibrilla at the event, lauded VSF’s various interventions in the education sector and assured the Fund of the Governor’s maximum support.

Professor Farauta expressed optimism that the gesture would be a boost to government’s recent declaration of state of emergency on education in Adamawa State.

On his part, a stakeholder at the event, Ahmed Dadah, expressed gratitude to the VSF and other Non-Governmental Organisations for their support.

Highlight of the occasion was the distribution of school bags, sandals, text and exercise books among other materials to pupils of Garkida ‘C’ Primary School.

Update on Ibadan accident: 7 confirmed dead in autocrash

7 of the pupils that were badly injured in a school bus fire accident that occurred on Wednesday in Oyo state, have passed away.

The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the University College Hospital, UCH, where the pupils are been treated, Dr. Biodun Otegbayo, says the other children are in a critical condition, while the school (Divine Wisdom Group of Schools), has been closed down temporarily by the proprietress, Mrs Oke Ejemuta, to mourn the deceased and allow parents gain psychological balance.

The Oyo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Godwin Ogagaoghene, who confirmed the death toll, criticised the kind of buses being used by private schools.

According to him, school buses should have two exit doors which makes entry and exit easy for school children. He added that vehicle owners should always have fire extinguishers in their vehicles, because if the school bus had one, the situation would have been prevented.

The Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who also confirmed the death toll after a visit to the hospital, ordered the immediate release of N6m to buy of all the equipment needed to treat the children

Our previous report

15 pupils between the ages of 5 and 11, of Divine Wisdom Group of Schools,  Lagelu Local Government Area, Oyo State were  badly injured on Wednesday when a school bus conveying  them to school suddenly caught fire.

The bus driver, Mr. Serif Oyedele, who had his hand and leg burnt, stated that the mishap occurred when the engine of the bus (Ford) suddenly stopped working after picking up the pupils from the bus stop.  “As a mechanic, I checked the engine to rectify the problem… After I checked and discovered that the bus had battery problem, I told some of the older ones among the children to assist me in pushing it but while pushing they told me that fuel was dripping from underneath the vehicle. As I tried to open the engine, fire just started. That was how the whole bus got burnt.”

Those pushing it escaped unhurt, while the others were trapped in the bus. “It was when I was trying to rescue the children that I also got burnt in the hand and leg but I was able to rescue  six of them, including my five-year-old child who sat beside me in front of the bus.” he said.

All the pupils were later carried in a commercial cab and motorcycles to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the University College Hospital, (UCH), Ibadan for proper medical attention.

The Proprietress of the school, Mrs. Oke Ejemuta, who was said to have ordered the closure of the school, said “…We thank God…that they are all responding to treatment. It is the arrow of the devil. You can confirm from the parents, we bought the school bus (a J5 bus) last year, so it is a new vehicle. We hired the service of a driver-mechanic so that he can deploy his experience anytime there is need for it. We want to implore the parents to be calm.”