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Active subscribers increase by 43,807 in March — NCC



The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says there is an addition of 43,807 active subscribers on the telecommunication networks in March 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the active subscribers on the telecommunications networks increased from 173,670,035 in February to 173,713,842 in March.

According to the data, 173,432,863 of the 173,713,863 active users subscribe to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network services.

The GSM operators’ active customers’ figure increased by 156,335 in March, after the 173,276,528 subscribers recorded in February 2019.

The report stated that out of the GSM operators, MTN had 65,034,615 users in March, showing a decrease of 531,283 from the 66,565,878 it recorded in February 2019.

Globacom’s figure increased in March by 199,186 with 46,203,703 customers, as against 46,004,517 in February.

Airtel had 45,238,335 subscribers in the month under review, which showed an increase of 262,803 users, from the 44,975,532 recorded in February.

9mobile recorded 16,838,403 customers in March, having an increase of 107,822 subscribers, against 16,730,581 in February.

Visafone, which just migrated from the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to the GSM network had 117,807 subscribers in the month of March.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators recorded 4,460 subscribers in the month under review, indicating a decrease of 119,087 from 123,547 users in February 2019.

The only surviving CDMA operators, Multi-Links had 4,460 in the month under review, same with the record of February 2019.

One of the two landline networks, Visafone had 26,437 subscribers, while Multi-Links maintained its record of 428 customers in the month under review.

It also revealed that the Fixed Wired operators (landline) subscriber base decreased by 641; reducing to 107,154 users in March, as against 107,795 recorded in February 2019.

In the Fixed Wired arena, MTN Fixed moved from 5,459 users in February 2019 to 5,449 users in March, thereby decreasing by 10 customers.

Glo Fixed had 2,789 users in March, decreasing by 95 customers from the February record of 2,884.

IpNX network moved from 2,233 subscriber base in February 2019 to 2,221 in March, hence, its customers decreased by 12.

It said that 21st Century Network had 96,695 customers in March, recording a decrease of 524 users from its February record of 97,219 subscribers.

The report also showed that the two Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks had 142,500 active users in March, as their customers increased by 7,200 from their February 2019 subscriber base of 135,300.

Of the VOIP networks, Smile Communication had 137,247 customers, giving an increase of 7,779 users to its February result of 129,468.

Ntel had 5,253 consumers subscribing to its products and services in March, showing a decrease of 579 users from the February 2019 record of 5,832.

The regulatory body said that Section 89, Subsection 3(c) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 mandated it to monitor and report the state of the telecommunications industry.

“The commission is mandated to provide statistical analyses and identify industry trends with regard to: services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers, issues of competition and dominance.

“This is with a view to identifying areas where regulatory intervention will be needed.

“The commission regularly conducts studies, surveys and produces reports on the telecommunications industry.

“Therefore, telecommunications operators are obligated, under the terms of their licenses, to provide NCC with such data on a regular basis for analytical review and publishing,” NCC said.


Italy’s active coronavirus infections fall to late March level as it prepares to further reopen




Italy’s active infections of coronavirus fell below 40,000 for the first time since March 20 on Tuesday, just a day before the lifting of movement restrictions between Italian regions, figures of the Civil Protection Department showed.

The number of people currently being infected by the coronavirus fell on Tuesday to 39,893, down from 41,367 recorded a day earlier. The last time the figure was so low was on March 20, when the country had 37,860 active infections. The figure peaked at 108,257 on April 19 before steadily declining to the current level.

The news comes a day before the lifting of movement restrictions between Italian regions. This step, the latest in Italy’s gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown rules put into place on March 10, has been controversial in some parts of the country. Some leaders in southern Italy where infection rates have been mild fear infection could jump if a large number of people from the hard-hit northern parts of the country travel south.

Also starting on Wednesday, Italy will open its borders without restriction to travelers from the other 25 Schengen countries, including the countries with high infection rates.

Downward trend was also observed among other data on Tuesday. Over the last 24 hours, 55 people died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, down from 60 a day earlier. And it’s the second lowest one-day death toll since March 7 when 36 deaths were recorded. The outlier came on May 24, when only 50 deaths occurred, but that was without any data from Lombardy, the hardest-hit Italian region accounting for nearly half of Italy’s 33,530 COVID-19 deaths.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units also fell by 16 to 408, while those in hospitals with symptoms dropped by 183 to 5,916. The number of people self-isolated at home with no symptoms or only mild symptoms also fell by 1,275 to 33,569.

Within the past 24-hour period, 1,737 people were declared as recovered from COVID-19, more than doubled the 848 recoveries in the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, 318 new confirmed cases were recorded, more than the 178 new cases released on Monday. Monday‘s number of new cases was the lowest since late February.

The overall number of COVID-19 active infections, fatalities and recoveries had risen to 233,515 over the past 24 hours, from 233,197 recorded on Monday.

The plan to allow free travel between regions and the arrival of foreign travelers starting Wednesday is part of a broader plan to help salvage part of the tourist season for the country.

According to the data firm Statistica, tourism was, directly or indirectly, accounted for 13.3 percent of Italy’s gross domestic product last year, a number that had been predicted before the hit of the pandemic to steadily rise to nearly 15 percent within a decade.

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Anambra has 8 active COVID-19 cases – Obiano



Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra says there are currently eight active COVID-19 cases being treated at Protective Care Centres in the state.

The governor also said 69 persons were on home isolation while two others were at the state’s quarantine facility.

Obiano who disclosed this in a special broadcast to the state on Tuesday in Awka,  said his administration was making efforts to enhance the testing capacity of the state for coronavirus.

He said he had signed the COVID-19 Bill, which made not wearing face mask a punishable offence with fine and community service.

“As it stands now, we have eight patients in our Protective Care Centers, we also have 69 individuals on home quarantine and two individuals in the quarantine facility.

“We are ramping up our testing capacity to ensure that we slow down the spread of this pandemic in our dear state.

The COVID-19 Committees that we have set up in Wards and Local Government Areas across Anambra are helping us in driving the campaign to every nook and cranny of the state.

“I will like to assure you that we have made adequate arrangements to handle the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you are probably aware, on Thursday last week, I signed the COVID-19 Bill into law. Under this law, it is an offence to be seen in public without a face mask.

“The offence attracts a fine of N10, 000 or some hours of community service, I will like to re-emphasise that my administration is determined to enforce this law,” he said.

Obiano urged traders and religious leaders not to relax in ensuring that their members continued to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols while noting that it had been observed that most of them had jettisoned the safety measures.

He urged healthcare institutions to set up holding centres to keep patients who exhibited symptoms of the virus to check the possibility of spreading it in Anambra.

“I want to warn that we may consider shutting down the markets if this trend is not halted with immediate effect, I have also received similar reports from churches and other religious groups in the state, most of whom have discarded wearing of face masks.

Every hospital in Anambra must set up a mini holding ward where patients whose samples have been taken for COVID-19 test can be kept while the result of the test is awaited.

“This approach will minimise the chances of patients spreading the virus through multiple contacts.

All members of the Nigerian Medical Association practicing in Anambra are expected to inform the Ministry of Health once they collect samples of suspected COVID-19 patients for testing.

“A situation where some members collect samples and send to testing centers on their own is no longer allowed,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Kyrgyz security services detain active member of extremist organization




Kyrgyz security services have detained an active member of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, authorities said Monday.

The press service of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan said the man, a 49-year-old active member of the Hizb ut-Tahrir religious extremist organization, was detained in the course of operational search measures in the country’s southern Osh city.

The detainee was on the wanted list of one of the neighboring republics for extremist crimes, and was responsible for distributing extremist materials in the Central Asian region, the press service said.

About 20 organizations are recognized as terrorists groups by Kyrgyzstan, including Hizb ut-Tahrir.


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Nigeria records 387 new cases of COVID-19, active cases now 6344



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has recorded 387 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, which increased the number of active cases to 6344.
NCDC on its official twitter handle said that as of May 29, there were 387 new confirmed cases and two deaths recorded in Nigeria.
The agency said that the total number of infections in the country has risen to 9,302, out of which 2,679 patients have been treated and discharged with 261 losing their lives.
It added that the cases were spread across 13 states and the FCT, with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections with 254 cases.
NCDC said that the new cases were reported in Lagos (254), FCT (29), Jigawa (24), Edo (22), Oyo (15), Rivers (14), Kaduna (11), Borno (6), Kano (3), Plateau (2), Yobe (2), Gombe (2), Bauchi (2) and Ondo (1).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports NCDC had said that while most of those who died were associated with co-morbidities, it found out that three out of four of those who had been discharged were without co-morbidities.
“This is consistent with the fact that risks are higher for those with other illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and other chronic non-communicable diseases.
“There is general reduction in mortality trend and continuous improvement in recoveries as shown in discharges compared to the increase in number of confirmed cases.
“Though not surprising, we are concerned about the increasing number of confirmed cases. This is because very high cases could seriously exceed the capacity of our health system to cope. Routine cases may also suffer as a result,” it stated.
NCDC said that after the COVID-19 test result had been communicated to effected persons, they should continue to adhere to preventive measures and guidelines.
“If you test positive, please do not panic. You will be transferred to an isolation centre for your health and that of those around you,” it said.
The agency said that majority of COVID-19 patients would show mild symptoms and recover.
“The current national case management protocol is for all cases to be managed by a team of clinicians in an isolation centre to ensure optimal care and to prevent further spread of the disease,” it said.
NAN reports that data from about 58,726 test on the coronavirus pandemic in the country, shows that of the confirmed cases, 68 per cent were males and 32 per cent were females.
The most affected aged groups were between 31 and 40, making up 25 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases. 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Roundup: Italy’s active coronavirus cases down further, inter-region movement reopening expected




Active coronavirus infections in Italy dropped to 46,175 on Friday, after a decrease by 1,811 cases was registered over the 24 hours, showed the latest data from the Civil Protection Department.

It marked the lowest figure since March 22, when active infections in the country stood at 46,638.

Of these infections, 475 patients are in intensive care units, down by 14 compared to Thursday, the Civil Protection said in its bulletin. Another 7,094 patients are hospitalized with symptoms (down by 285), and 38,606, or 84 percent — are in isolation at home because without symptoms or with mild symptoms.

Up to 2,240 new recoveries were registered on a daily basis, which brought to 152,844 the total of people cured since the pandemic broke out in late February. Meanwhile, 87 new fatalities were reported, pushing the country’s death toll to 33,229.

The total number of assessed cases stood at 232,248, including active infections, fatalities, and recoveries.


On the same day, a top health official warned the easing of restrictions on people’s movement between regions — expected to come into effect next week, although yet to confirm — would be a “crucial challenge” for the country.

“We have overcome the peak of the infection, and we are now on the downward side of the curve… this phase requires particular attention in terms of early detecting new suspected cases,” Silvio Brusaferro, president of Italy’s National Health Institute (ISS), told the lower house.

“Next week, we will be facing an even more crucial challenge, with the liberalization of mobility between (Italian) regions, and the international one,” he warned.

After some restrictions on people’s movements imposed since March 10 with the lockdown were gradually lifted in recent weeks, traveling within the same region of residence was allowed only from May 18. The next step in the government’s official schedule would, in fact, be to reopen moves between Italian regions by June 3.

However, this date was yet to be confirmed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte‘s cabinet, which announced it will make a final decision after analyzing the latest data over the weekend (May 30-31) and after discussing it with local authorities.

In a scheduled meeting with all regional governors on Saturday, the cabinet would submit two possible options, namely reopening the inter-regional people’s travels by June 3 as planned, or postpone it a week later, according to local media.

As for the continental context, temporary non-essential travel restrictions imposed between the European Union (EU) countries are set to expire on June 15.


In his hearing before the Chamber of Deputies, the ISS chief also said the second wave of coronavirus infections in autumn was possible in Italy.

“In terms of scenario, we imagine that a disease such as (caused by) Sars-COV-2… can be more easily transmitted in autumn, and it could be confused with other respiratory symptomologies,” Brusaferro noted.

He explained that autumn, as always, would bring colder weather, so people will generally tend to spend less time in the sun and in open-air overall, and stay more indoor.

These normal behaviors would represent a factor possibly impacting negatively on the pandemic trend, in a context in which the coronavirus still circulates in the country.

“The hypothesis of the ‘second wave’ is based on this factor, which is — from a scientific point of view — an objective data,” Brusaferro said.

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NCDC confirms 182 new cases of COVID-19, total active cases now hits 6064



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday recorded 182 new cases of the Coronavirus, (COVID-19), in the country, the total active cases for Nigeria now stand at 6,064.

The NCDC, on its official twitter handle, said that as at May 28, 2020, 182 new confirmed cases and five deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the NCDC said that the new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country.

The center said that this took the country’s total infections to 8,915 out of which 2,592 have been discharged with 259 losing their lives.

The NCDC said that the cases were spread across 15 states and the FCT, with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections for the day with 111 cases.

It said that till date, 8,915 cases had been confirmed, 2,592 cases discharged and 259 deaths had been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that the 182 new cases were reported from 16 states- Lagos (111), FCT (16), Akwa Ibom (10), Oyo (8), Kaduna (6), Delta (6), Rivers (5), Ebonyi (4), Ogun (4), Kano (3), Plateau (2), Gombe (2), Kebbi (1), Kwara (2), Bauchi (1), Borno (1).

NAN reports that Kogi government has rejected the two COVID-19 positive cases announced by the NCDC.

In its daily report of new cases on Wednesday, the NCDC said Kogi had recorded its first two cases.

Only Kogi state and Cross River were previously the only states not to have recorded any case of the virus.

However, during his appearance on Politics Today on Thursday on Channels Television, Kogi state’s Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, described the NCDC reporting process as fraudulent.

“We are completely rejecting such declarations because they do not even conform to the protocols set by the NCDC itself.

“When you look at the history of the cases they declared, the patient was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja for symptoms that were far from COVID-19 symptoms.

“But they were not attended to there and the next thing was to bring them to the National Hospital in Abuja.

”And within a few hours, they were tested, and under 24 hours, the man was declared COVID-19 positive.

“It is fraudulent as far as we are concerned and we are rejecting them in its entirety.”

Meanwhile, the NCDC had earlier maintained that due process was followed in recording the Kogi cases.

At the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, the Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the Kogi index case was a referral from the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja.

“There is actually no dilemma in the two cases,” he said. “They followed absolutely normal practice.

“A patient that was referred from the Federal Medical Centre to the National Hospital. This is a normal referral pathway when you have a case.

“The physicians in the National Hospital, I don’t have any influence over the work that they do. They suspected COVID-19 based on the clinical symptoms of the patient, asked for a test, and the test came out positive.

“The individual lives in Kogi state and public health response is based on where you live because that’s where your contacts are.

“So this is not controversial in any way.

”Standard practice was followed. Once the results came out, the state’s Epidemiologist was informed that he has to do contact-tracing around this patient.

”It is the state’s responsibility to do that contact-tracing. So we hope they do it. There is nothing actually controversial in any way about this.”

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Italy’s COVID-19 deaths register new rise as active infections keep falling




Some 117 new fatalities due to the coronavirus were registered in Italy on Wednesday, bringing the country’s death toll to 33,072, the latest data from the national Civil Protection Department showed.

It marked a visible rise compared to 78 deaths registered on Tuesday, and came after a prolonged period in which daily COVID-19 death figures showed a downward trend.

At the same time, active infections kept dropping, the Civil Protection highlighted in its bulletin, confirming a slowdown of the pandemic across the country.

Nationwide, the number of active infections has dropped by 1,976 to 50,966 cases. Of those who tested positive for the new coronavirus, 505 are in intensive care, 16 fewer compared to Tuesday, and 7,729 are hospitalized with symptoms, a decrease of 188 patients compared to Tuesday.

The rest 42,732 people, or about 84 percent of those who tested positive, are quarantined at home with no symptoms or only mild symptoms.

Recoveries rose by 2,443 compared to Tuesday, pushing the total recoveries to 147,101 since the pandemic broke out in the northern Lombardy region on Feb. 21.

The overall number of COVID-19 infections, fatalities and recoveries has risen to 231,139 cases over the past 24 hours, an increase of 584 cases from the 230,555 recorded on Tuesday.

As the pandemic visibly slowed down in recent weeks, Italy further eased on May 18 its COVID-19 restriction measures. Shops, restaurants, bars, barbershops, beauty salons, museums, and beachfront operators were all allowed to reopen, provided that they respect rules for social distancing and disinfect facilities.

In related economic news, a plea for more specific measures to support recovery came from the Italian tourism sector.

“Without new measures, any restart will be difficult,” the National Federation of Travels and Tourism (Federturismo Confindustria), a branch of Italy’s largest business group Confindustria, said in a statement.

Federturismo warned the provisions contained in a Relaunch Decree passed by the Italian government lately were insufficient to allow tourism businesses to relaunch.

Instead, some of them — such as a financial bonus aimed at encouraging Italians to spend their holidays in the country — risked to further exacerbate their problems.

“It is unacceptable to ask operators — at a time in which they are in great need for liquidity — to anticipate 80 percent (of costs) to the customer,” Federturismo leader Marina Lalli said.

She added businesses in the sector would also need further cuts of regional and national taxes.

In addition, on Wednesday, Italy’s Banking Association (ABI) stated the number of applications from micro, small, and medium businesses for accessing loans backed by the state’s Guarantee Fund grew to almost 400,000.


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Israel’s active COVID-19 cases fall below 2,000




The number of active coronavirus cases in Israel has dropped below 2,000 for the first time since March 24, the state’s Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

According to the ministry, the number of active cases dropped to 1,942, while the number of recoveries rose to 14,570, with 113 new recoveries.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Israel increased to 16,793, with 36 new cases.

The number of death cases remained 281, while the number of patients in serious condition increased from 37 to 41.

Earlier on Wednesday, hotels, swimming pools and restaurants across Israel were reopened.

These places returned to activity under restrictions of keeping distance, taking temperatures at the entrances and taking hygiene measures.


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Nigeria reports 229 new COVID-19 cases, active cases rise to 5,524



Nigeria on Monday recorded 229 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total active cases to 5,524.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on its official twitter handle, said that as of May 25, 2020, seven deaths were recorded in the country.

The health agency said no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.

According to NCDC, to date, 8, 068 cases have been confirmed, 2311 cases have been discharged and 233 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC stated that the 229 new cases were reported in 15 states- Lagos(90), Katsina(27), Imo(26), Kano(23), FCT(14), Plateau(12), Ogun(9), Delta(7), Borno(5), Rivers(5), Oyo(4), Gombe(3), Osun(2), Anambra(1), Bayelsa(1).

The health agency noted that sometimes, COVID-19 test results may take longer than expected.

It added that while the agency continues to work hard to reduce the time between sample collection and result notification, it called on Nigerians to remain in self-isolation for the safety of their loved ones.

NAN reports that older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and cancer, are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19

“Let’s take responsibility by ensuring proper hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing a mask especially around vulnerable groups.

“To overcome our challenges, we must come together as a community in difficult times.

“Let us show support for our health workers, public health officials and those who may have been infected or exposed to COVID-19,” the body stated.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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