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2 men docked for alleged breach of peace

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2 men docked for alleged breach of peace

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Samgo-Ota (Ogun), March 11, 2019 The police in Ogun on Monday arraigned two men in Ota, Ogun State, for alleged breach of peace.

The accused, Oke Michael, 24, and Egbede Olie, 36, whose addresses were not given, are facing a three-count of conspiracy, breach of peace and  damages Ota Magistrates’ Court.

The Prosecutor, Sgt. Abdulkareem Mustapha, told the court that the accused and others still at large committed the offences on Nov. 4, 2018, at Ijemo Village, Ota.

Mustapha alleged that the accused conspired to conduct themselves, in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by damaging the house of the complainant, Alimi Dada.

He said that the offence contravened Sections 86, 249(d) and 451 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun, 2006.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Mathew Akinyemi, granted the accused N200,000 bail with sureties each  in like sum.

Akinyemi adjourned the case until March 14, for further hearing.

Ige Adekunle: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Subway reopens in Kiev, Ukraine

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Passengers wearing face masks take the subway in Kiev, Ukraine, May 25, 2020. The subway in Kiev reopened on Monday. Passengers must wear masks and keep social distancing guidelines. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the subway in Kiev was out of service since March 17. (Photo by Sergey Starostenko/Xinhua)

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Russian sailors freed from pirate captivity in Benin waters

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Three Russian sailors captured by pirates on April 19 in the territorial waters of Benin have been released, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Tuesday.

The three crew members of the Portugal-flagged container ship Tommi Ritscher were released on Saturday, when they took a charter flight from Lagos to Frankfurt in order to continue their journey back to Russia, Zakharova said in a statement.

The sailors remain in good health, she said, adding that Moscow thanks everyone who has contributed to the rescue of the Russians from captivity.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Capital importation into Nigeria stood at $5.8bn in Q1–NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the total value of capital importation into the country stood at 5.8 billion dollars in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.

The NBS made this known in its latest report on  “Capital Importation” released on Tuesday.

It explained that the amount represented an increase of 53.97 per cent compared to Q4 2019 and -31.19 decrease compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The bureau noted that the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 73.61 per cent which was 4.3 billion dollars of total capital importation.

According to the NBS, this is followed by other investments which accounted for 22.73 per cent of 1.3 billion dollars of total capital and the Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) which accounted for 3.66 per cent of 214.25 million dollars of capital imported in Q1 2020.

It, however, disclosed that by sector, capital importation by banking dominated Q1 2020, reaching 2.9 billion dollars of the total capital Importation in Q1.

“The United Kingdom emerged as the top source of capital investments in Nigeria in Q1, 2020,  with 2.9 billion dollars which accounted for 49.68 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q1 2020.

“By destination of investment, Lagos state emerged at the top destination of capital investment in the country in Q1 2019 with 5.1 billion dollars.

“This also accounted for 87.72 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q1 2020.

“By bank, Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria emerged at the top of capital Investments in the country in Q1 2020 with 1.6 billion dollars and this accounted for 28.3 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q1, 2020” the bureau said.

Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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Environment

LASG to enumerate Badagry Windstorm, flood victims — LASEMA

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The Lagos State Government has embarked on enumeration of victims of a strong windstorm which ravaged Iragon Community in Badagry Local Local Government Area on Monday.

The Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said that LASEMA officials would enumerate victims that suffered severe damages to structures, which included school, church, the community town hall and several residential buildings.

“Though, no lives were lost in the incident, however, Commissioner 2, of the Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Hon. Suru Avoseh, stated that the incident affected over 100 buildings, with over 150 people devastated.

“These events reportedly culminated in the decision and my directive to conduct a comprehensive enumeration of the entire affected community on Tuesday 26th May, 2020.

“A number of homes have totally or partially collapsed, while others had their roofs blown off by the heavy winds.

“We can confirm for example that the prototype school in the community, St Patrick’s Primary school, have suffered extensive damage.

“We have dispatched a team to conduct an enumeration of damaged property and displaced persons, particularly elderly, women and children within the locality. .

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

IMG-20200525-WA0101-300×142.jpg 300w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-1024×485.jpg 1024w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-768×364.jpg 768w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101.jpg 1080w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-lazy-src=”https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-300×142.jpg”>IMG-20200525-WA0101-300×142.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”142″ srcset=”https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-300×142.jpg 300w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-1024×485.jpg 1024w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101-768×364.jpg 768w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200525-WA0101.jpg 1080w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px”>
A picture of devastating environmental after effects of strong windstorm that occurred from about midnight of Sunday 24th during a rainstorm, to early hours of Monday 25th May, 2020 at Iragon community, in Badagry LGA.

 

 

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Health

Africa’s COVID-19 cases now over 115,000 – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday reported that coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa as at May 26, had risen to over 115, 000.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO.

“There are over 115,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 46,000 recoveries and 3,400 deaths,” it said.

The figures showed that South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria had the highest reported cases in Africa.

According to the report, South Africa had 23,615 cases and 418 deaths followed by Algeria with 8,503 cases and 609 deaths, while Nigeria had 8,068 confirmed cases and 233 deaths.

It stated that Ghana had 6,808 reported cases and 32 deaths, while Cameroon recorded 4, 890 confirmed cases and 165 deaths.

The report said Lesotho, Seychelles and Namibia were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

It said Lesotho had only two confirmed cases with zero death; Seychelles had 11 reported cases and zero death, while Namibia recorded 21 confirmed cases with no death.

Meanwhile, as at May 25, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 5.4 million people and killed over 344,000 worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Foreign

British city hit by virus makes plea to PM for lifeline

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Liverpool made a desperate plea Tuesday to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a financial lifeline to cope with COVID-19 epidemic.

In a direct letter to 10 Downing Street, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the six city and borough political leaders warned that recovery from the local health, economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19 represents the greatest challenge for the area since 1945.

They said the area has been experiencing higher infection and mortality rates than average.

In a report detailing its plight, Liverpool City Region says fighting the novel coronavirus over the next six months will cost an estimated 341 million pounds (419 million U.S. dollars).

“With only 100 million pounds (123 million U.S. dollars) allocated so far from the central government, concern is growing that local authorities here are staring into a funding black-hole of almost a quarter of a billion pounds (3 billion U.S. dollars),” the report alerted.

Longstanding health inequalities in the Liverpool area mean residents are significantly prone to the physical and financial impacts of COVID-19, the report said.

“This is expenditure that we haven’t made by choice, but by necessity. We are putting food on the table for families who would otherwise go hungry, housing the homeless, co-ordinating a massive volunteer response, supporting those who are out of work due to the crisis, supplying PPE to our frontline workers and care homes, keeping transport running for essential journeys and doing everything we can to help local businesses stay afloat,” said Rotheram.

“For an area still fighting its way through funding cuts, whilst managing higher levels of deprivation and illness than other areas in the UK, it is a monumental task,” the mayor added.

Rotheram said the sums of money involved are a stark indication of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on communities in the Liverpool area.

“As the nation looks hopefully towards the recovery phase of this crisis, local leaders are warning that the Liverpool City Region will find it almost impossible to bounce back if its local authorities are devastated by funding deficits running into hundreds of millions and are not supported by government,” he said.

Local statistics show the COVID-19 infection and mortality rate across the city region is 353.1 per 100,000, significantly higher than the England rate of 259.0 per 100,000.

The mortality rate in Liverpool of 81.8 per 100,000 people is the highest amongst all of England’s core cities, and more than twice the national rate of 36.6 per 100,000. Birmingham is next highest at 77.5 per 100,000, followed by Manchester at 59.8.

While infections and deaths are reducing, it appears Liverpool is not coming down the other side of the epidemic curve as fast as other areas and regions, the report added.

(XINHUA)

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Health

WHO pays tribute to African leaders on fight against COVID-19

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Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO), Regional Director for Africa, has paid tribute to African leaders for the progress they have made in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Moeti gave the tribute on the official twitter account of the WHO Regional Office for Africa @WHOAFRO on Tuesday.

The regional director also commended Africans for their patience and support in the fight against the pandemic.

“So again, a shout out to African people, I thank them so much for the courage that they have shown, the forbearance under sometimes difficult circumstances.

“We are committed to continue in this fight with them.

“I would like to pay special tribute to African communities. It was said by the WHO Director General, Dr Tedro that our leaders have put in place some measures to control the pandemic.

“We have seen African countries take very tough decisions to put in place some of the control measures

“I am very pleased to have joined this celebration of Africa Day yesterday, and especially pleased to have been in the company of special envoys on COVID-19 in Africa,” she said.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963.

The Day is an opportunity to celebrate Africa’s vitality and diversity, and to promote African unity and it is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world.

At a news conference to mark the Day in Geneva, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said the Africa Day 2020 was set aside to mark the successes and progress made throughout the African continent.

In his speech posted on WHO website, the director general said the celebrations were more muted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So far, although around half of the countries in the region have community transmission, concentrated mainly in major cities, Africa is the least-affected region globally in terms of the number of cases and deaths reported to WHO.

“Africa has just 1.5 per cent of the world’s reported cases of COVID-19, and less than 0.1 per cent of the world’s deaths.

“Of course, these numbers don’t paint the full picture. Testing capacity in Africa is still being ramped up and there is a likelihood that some cases may be missed.

“But even so, Africa appears to have so far been spared the scale of outbreaks we have seen in other regions,” Ghebreyesus said.

He said the early set-up of a leader’s coalition led by the African Union, under the chairmanship of President Ramaphosa of South Africa was key to rapidly accelerating preparedness efforts and issuing comprehensive control measures.

“Countries across Africa have garnered a great deal of experience from tackling infectious diseases like polio, measles, Ebola, yellow fever, influenza and many more.

“Africa’s knowledge and experience of suppressing infectious diseases has been critical to rapidly scaling up an agile response to COVID-19.

“There has been solidarity across the continent. Labs in Senegal and South Africa were some of the first in the world to implement COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

“And beyond that they worked together with Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO to extend training for laboratory technicians for detection of COVID-19 and to build up the national capacity across the region,” he said.

Furthermore, he said health clinicians, scientists, researchers and academics from across Africa were collectively contributing to the worldwide understanding of COVID-19 disease.

“For many years and from the outset of this pandemic, WHO has been working through our country offices to support nations in health emergency preparedness and developing comprehensive national action plans to prevent, detect and respond to the virus.

“With WHO support, many African countries have made good progress in preparedness.

“All countries in Africa now have a preparedness and response plan in place, compared with less than a dozen in the first few weeks of the pandemic.

“48 countries in the region have a community engagement plan in place, compared with only 25 countries 10 weeks ago.

“And 51 have lab-testing capacity for COVID-19, compared with 40 countries 10 weeks ago; WHO continues to support Africa with other life-saving supplies,” the director general said.

According to him, as of last week, millions of personal protective equipment and lab tests had been shipped to 52 African countries.

“In the coming weeks we plan further shipments of PPE, oxygen concentrators and lab tests.

“However, we still see gaps and vulnerabilities. Only 19 per cent of countries in the region have an infection prevention and control programme and standards for water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities.

“And disruption to essential health services, such as vaccination campaigns and care for malaria, HIV and other diseases pose a huge risk,” Ghebreyesus said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Foreign

COVID-19 cases in Ghana reach 6,964 with 156 new infections

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The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Ghana has increased to 6,964, with 156 more cases confirmed as of Tuesday morning, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said.

The Director-General of the GHS Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said 27 more infected people under treatment had recovered, increasing the number of recoveries to 2,097, while the number of deaths remains at 32.

“There are 15 severe cases, but they are not critical, so there is none on ventilators,” he said during the bi-weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday, adding that the country has so far carried out 202,000 tests.

Ghanaian citizens and residents are required to wear face masks whenever they go out of their homes, and before entering public places and institutions, to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Japan, EU leaders discuss COVID-19 response at video conference

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday held a video conference with European Union (EU) leaders to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak, with both sides agreeing to strengthen coordination in responding to the global pandemic.

The leaders representing EU were European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. According to the Japanese foreign ministry, the meeting was the first for the three leaders since the appointment of the new EU leaders in December last year.

The issue of economic recovery was also on the agenda as Japan and European countries are gradually lifting restrictions on social and economic activity after bringing the spread of the coronavirus under control.

The leaders also discussed issues related to the EU-Japan strategic partnership.

Abe on Monday lifted a state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Hokkaido as the spread of COVID-19 in these areas was largely under control, thus entirely ending the emergency in all of the country’s 47 prefectures.

According to the latest figures Tuesday evening from the health ministry and local authorities, 28 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed nationwide in Japan, bringing the total to 16,660 cases.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai sees reverse migration of labour amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai is seeing a reverse migration of low-cost labour back to their native states amid fear of surging cases of COVID-19 in the city.

Generating an annual revenue of 1 billion U.S. dollars, the slum has around 5,000 small-businesses and 15,000 single-room factories with home cum workplace of potters, tanners, weavers, tailors, soap makers, and it also has a massive recycling industry of metals and plastic scrap.

While the rest of Mumbai city with white-collar employment have opted for work-from-home, those in Dharavi slum have preferred to leave home-cum workplace for their native state fearing their life.

The slum, spread over 613 hectares with an estimated population of 1 million, is home to low-paid migrant labors from other states of India and the COVID-19 pandemic has led to their exodus back to their native states.

Of the 500,000 migrants registered with Mumbai police to leave the city for their home states, over 25 percent or 130,000 people are from the Dharavi slum.

Amid all the chaos, Mumbai’s civic authority has increased the number of close contacts of a COVID-19 patient to be tested and quarantine to 15 from five earlier in the slum, according to civic officials.

These efforts are seen bearing fruit as the Dharavi slum has managed to increase its doubling rate of positive cases to 21 days from three days earlier, which is much better than city’s average doubling rate of 14 days, they said.

As per the latest available update, Dharavi slum has 1,541 confirmed cases with 60 deaths reported so far out of the over 30,000 cases in Mumbai city.

However, with migrant workers having left in large numbers and unlikely to return in near future, the entire eco-system of the slum is also disrupted.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Commentary: In COVID-19 response, China deserves credit in human rights protection

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The rights to life and health are among the most fundamental human rights. Sparing no efforts to save lives from being ravaged by COVID-19, China has shown its steadfast commitment to protecting human rights.

Protecting and saving lives is the primary responsibility of any government and the best manifestation of human rights protection. China has made all-out efforts to safeguard the lives and health of its people and taken the strictest measures to curb the spread of the disease.

China takes no chances when dealing with a virus about which humanity still knows very little.

On Jan. 23, China put Wuhan, a metropolis of over 10 million people, on lockdown, a drastic measure labeled as “violating human rights” by some Western politicians. However, it has proven to be one of the most important decisions in the global fight.

Mobilizing the power of the whole country to contain the disease, racing around the clock to build two large new hospitals in just over two weeks in Wuhan, taking care of each and every patient at all costs, China has sought to cure as many patients as possible and does all it can to reduce mortality.

China is going all out to guard against and manage even sporadic new cases. At the ongoing annual sessions of the national legislature and top political advisory body, discussions are on for forging a “protection network” for public health.

As we speak, a few U.S. politicians are wielding the batons of bills, investigations or ludicrous lawsuits against China as if they valued lives more than others. The truth is they are either afraid of being held accountable for failures in protecting their own people or simply want to throw mud at others.

If the United States had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than the time when most Americans started staying home, about 83 percent of its deaths would have been avoided, according to estimates by Columbia University disease modelers.

So far, the confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States have exceeded 1.6 million, and the death toll is well on its way to 100,000.

The glaring contrast between the two major countries makes people wonder: Who is the better upholder of human rights?

While preventing and controlling the epidemic on a regular basis, China has gradually resumed business and production to ensure people’s right to work and develop. It has made stabilizing jobs a priority and lowered taxes and fees to alleviate burdens on employers.

The Chinese government has been providing epidemic information in an open, transparent and truthful manner in accordance with the law. The right to know is ensured without violating anyone’s right to privacy.

Leaving no one unattended, China‘s sweeping protection covers all men and women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. It also treats foreign citizens in an equal manner. In Hubei Province, more than 3,600 COVID-19 patients aged over 80 have been cured. In Wuhan, seven people over 100 years old have recovered from the disease.

Globally, China‘s largest humanitarian operation to aid other countries is just for one purpose — saving lives.

Putting the people first, putting lives first — China effectively ensured human rights in a global crisis. As such, it deserves a credit in the history of human rights development.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Roadside bombing kills security official, 5 bodyguards in southeast Yemen

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A senior security official and five of his bodyguards were killed as their vehicle ran over a land mine in Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout on Tuesday, a government official told Xinhua.

“Unknown militants apparently planted a land mine that struck a vehicle carrying a senior security official along with his five bodyguards in Hadramout province,” the local government source said on condition of anonymity.

The roadside bomb blast resulted in the assassination of Saleh Bin Ali Jaber, the security director of Shibam district located in the west side of Hadramout, he said.

The director of Shibam’s district was leading a security campaign to track down suspected terror elements in the area before the incident, the source added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb blast.

But militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch are active in the region and often use roadside bombs to target government officials as well as Yemeni security forces.

The Yemeni government-controlled provinces, including Hadramout, are witnessing growing activities of extremist organizations that take advantage of the ongoing conflict in the impoverished Arab country.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

COVID-19: Group inducts volunteers to create awareness, prevent spread

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An NGO, Society Committee Against COVID-19, (SOCOCOVID), on Tuesday in Abuja inducted volunteers to help create awareness against the COVID-19 pandemic in communities.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, said the move became imperative to curb the spread of the virus in the wake of community transmission.

Ibe-Kalu said the group took the campaign against the virus to Gbagalape community in Nynanya, Federal Capital Territory as its contribution to support the federal government in the fight against COVID-19.

He said the group distributed some palliatives and hygienic materials to the community, designed some jingles and hand bills to serve as constant reminders and guidelines to stay safe.

“We launched the One House, One Bucket Rule as a means of containing community transmission of Coronavirus thereby kicking it out of Nigeria.

“We believe that constant hearing of messages activates the reality to the hearer.

“Therefore, the essence of the volunteers is to keep playing the jingle until it gets to the ears of both adults and children within the over 20,000 population of residents in Gbagalape community, FCT Abuja,” Ibe-Kalu said in statement.

He said the NGO would pay stipends and provide batteries for the megaphones every month and enjoined the volunteers to see the work as a service to humanity rather than a paid job.

“The group is also calling on the government and private sector organisations including the international community to supply Society Committee against COVID-19 (SOCOCOVID) megaphones and other materials, which include posters for communities across the country.

“Our target is 20 million posters for Communities,” he said.

Ibe-Kalu called on the government, the paramount leader and his chiefs as well as opinion leaders to use native laws to enforce the One House, One Bucket Rule to get rid of community transmission of COVID-19.

Chief Robinson Ezife, one of the patrons of SOCOCOVID, in his goodwill message encouraged the people to always adhere to the instructions from the government on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ezife praised the paramount ruler of Gbagalape for his ability to gather his people for the all-important COVID-19 awareness programme by SOCOCOVID and also advised the residents to always listen to their chief whenever he summoned them.

In his response, the chief of the community, Kenneth Chindo-Rabo, said SOCOCOVID was the first NGO to bring this kind of gesture to the community and expressed profound gratitude.

He thanked the organisation for donating palliatives and hygienic materials and for choosing Gbagalape to launch the awareness campaign.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Foreign

15 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Syria, 121 in total

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Syria registered on Tuesday 15 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 121, the health ministry said in a statement.

All the new cases are those who returned from abroad as part of the government’s effort to bring back stranded Syrians, said the ministry.

A total of 41 have been cured while four died, the ministry added.

The ministry has been updating the infection statistics on a daily basis as some infected Syrians have been brought back from outside the country.

Local media said that the trips to bring back Syrians stranded abroad have been suspended.

China has offered help to Syria to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. On April 15, a batch of China‘s donation, including 2,016 COVID-19 test kits, arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus.

On April 23, a video-conference was held between Chinese and Syrian medical experts for sharing the experience in fighting COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

FG, Zamfara govt. to engage 70,000 youths in mining

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No fewer than 70,000 youths are expected to be gainfully employed by both the Federal Government and the Zamfara Government in mining activities in the state.

The Governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, made this known in Maradun, Zamfara, on Tuesday when members of the state’s Council of Chiefs, paid him Sallah homage at his country home in Maradun.

Matawalle said the measure was aimed at curbing illegal mining activities which had defied several government orders in the state.

“The youths in the state will be engaged in proper mining activities on how best to tap the abundant mineral deposits in the state as part of measures to improve the economy of the state and the nation in general,” the governor said.

He told the traditional rulers that 5,000 youths would be drawn from each of the 14 Local Government Areas of the state who would be engaged in the sector which would also encourage and guarantee self-reliance among youths in the state.

The governor also charged all the 17 members of the council to ensure that all forms of mining activities taking place in their domain were stopped forthwith.

He urged them to file and forward a report immediately there was a breach.

Matawalle who said the situation was improving, noted that the peace and reconciliation he introduced at the beginning of his administration was still open for bandits to repent and embrace peace.

The governor, in a statement by Jamilu Iliyasu, his Press Secretary, warned that recalcitrant criminals in the bushes would continue to face fire power from the armed forces.

He thanked the royal fathers for the visit and appealed for their continued support to his administration as it strived to meet the yearnings of the people.

Earlier, Chairman of the state’s Council of Chiefs and Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad, said they were at the governor’s residence to felicitate with him at the Eid-el-Fitr celebration marking the end of the Ramadan fast.

He reiterated the council’s continued cooperation and support to the Matawalle-led administration in the state.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Health

Bauchi winning war against COVID-19, says official

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Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Bauchi State Primary HealthCare Development Agency (PHCDA), says the state government is rapidly winning the war against COVID-19 in the state.

 

Mohammed, also Chairman of the State’s Contact Tracing COVID-19, made the assertion in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Tuesday.

 

 He said that the successes recorded so far was as a result of the marching order given by Gov. Bala Mohammad that all avenues must be exhausted to ensure the treatment of patients and their recovery from the virus.

 

“Because our governor is a governor of the people and who makes the well-being of the citizens his top priority, he gave us a directive to use everything in our power to ensure that COVID-19 patients are treated to recover as soon as possible.

 

“He had been in their shoes and he knows how traumatic the experience could be, he gave us all the support we needed to do the job and we are now winning the war against the virus in the state.

 

“You can see that our cases are coming down very rapidly, we are now having more discharge than new cases.

 

“Initially, we were having over two hundred and twenty people on admission, now we are having only sixty three, obviously, we are winning the war,” he  said.

 

The PHCDA boss, however, said that the agency would be forced to implore the state government to initiate a lockdown if there were more rising cases of the virus.

 

He added that the agency might be forced to do so owing to non adherence to all the preventive measures by some some residents, as advised by the government and health experts.

 

“If people don’t follow the rules and regulations set to contain the spread of the virus and there are rising cases as a result of that, we’ll implore the government to initiate lockdown again, whether partial or total lockdown depending on the rising cases.

 

“The government of Bauchi state initially suspended the partial lockdown and complete lockdown in Azare, Giade and Zaki Local Governments for two weeks to test the work we have done, whether people are adhering to all the preventive measures put in place,” he said.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bauchi state had recorded 232 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 164 had been discharged so far, five deaths, with 63 active cases.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Economy

Oil prices: NECA urges aggressive policies to sustain economic recovery

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has urged fiscal and monetary authorities to develop more aggressive and decisive policies to sustain economic recovery in the wake of further reduction in oil prices.

The Director-General of NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, who made the call on Tuesday in Lagos said, “in our analysis of the country’s economy, we observed a strong correlation between global oil prices (brent) and the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between Q1 2014 and Q1 2020.

“This indicates that the direction of growth is pretty much determined by the direction of oil prices, it can be adduced that a dollar increase in global oil prices corresponds with average 0.1 per cent rise in growth.

“A similar trend was witnessed in Q2 2017, when the country exited from recession, it was not buoyed by government policies, but rather rebound in oil prices.

“This calls for a more drastic management of the country’s economy from the global shock of oil prices.”

The director-general noted that the slowdown in the GDP growth reflected the earliest effects of the disruptions on non-oil economy, coupled with an escalating war of words between the U.S. and China which resulted to low demand in global oil.

He said that the lockdown of the country’s economy commenced in April due to the pandemic, and therefore, the real impact of COVID-19 on the economy would be felt in the Q2 GDP result.

“We anticipate contraction in the second quarter, as the economy witnessed a six week’s lockdown on the commercial nerves of the country, and similar trend witnessed in global economy.”

However, China was an exception with consumption of fuel due to opening of industrial hubs and transportation could portend mild positive growth pattern due to demand for crude oil,” he said.

Olawale said that a more coordinated stimulus packages targeted at the worst-hit sectors of the economy would sustain the economy from experiencing contraction of 8.9 per cent as predicted.

“Creating enabling environment for the non-oil economy to be the major contributor to the revenue profile will salvage the economy from external shocks.”

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ese E. (NAN)  Ekama

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Germany reports more than 179,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

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New infections with COVID-19 in Germany remained under last week’s average as the number of confirmed cases increased by 432 within one day to 179,002, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Tuesday.

Over the course of last week, an average of 561 daily cases had been reported by the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

According to the RKI, the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in Germany increased by 45 to 8,302 on Tuesday, resulting in a fatality rate of 4.6 percent in the country.

The estimated number of people in Germany who had already recovered from COVID-19 increased by around 800 within one day to 162,000 on Tuesday, according to the RKI. The number of people infected with COVID-19 in Germany continued to fall and stood at around 17,000 on Tuesday.

The four-day average reproduction rate of COVID-19 in Germany decreased from 0.94 to 0.83, according to the daily situation report by the RKI for Monday.

On Monday, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel considered mere recommendations to be insufficient. “Binding rules” regarding the 1.5-meter distance rule, contact restrictions and hygiene regulations should continue to apply.

In Germany, federal states have the decision-making power over the everyday rules during the coronavirus crisis. Some states such as Thuringia and Saxony are planning far-reaching relaxations from June 6.

(XINHUA)

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Indonesia reports 415 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 27 new deaths

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The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 415 within one day to 23,165, with the death toll adding by 27 to 1,418, Achmad Yurianto, a health ministry official, said at a press conference here on Tuesday afternoon.

The pandemic has spread to all the 34 provinces in the country.

Authorities have been conducting rapid tests in areas where cases were detected, and ordering the public to always wear masks to curb the spread.

In support of the implementation of the large-scale social distancing regulation (PSBB), President Joko Widodo has instructed the police and military chiefs to assign personnel in crowds in public spaces.

“As of today, the Indonesian Military and National Police will be posted in crowds in order to discipline the public so that (they) follow the health protocols in accordance with PSBB,” the president said in Jakarta on Tuesday morning.

The military and police personnel are posted massively in four provinces as well as 25 regencies.

“We want to keep being productive, but safe from the COVID-19,” Widodo said, after inspecting a shopping mall in West Java province’s city of Bekasi on Tuesday.

(XINHUA)

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Afghanistan reports 658 new COVID-19 cases, 11,831 in total

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Afghanistan on Tuesday reported 658 new COVID-19 within the past 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 11,831, the country’s Ministry of Public Health confirmed.

“A total of 1,152 suspected cases were tested within the past 24 hours, out of which 658 cases were tested positive COVID-19,” the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 220 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak in February, including one death within the past 24 hours.

Thirty-one people were considered recovered during the period of time, taking to 1,128 the number of recovered people, statistics showed.

The ministry had conducted 32,870 tests since February, according to statistic of the public health ministry.

(XINHUA)

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