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Coronavirus – Seychelles: New Case of COVID-19 Detected (28 March 2020)

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This evening a person who is presently in quarantine at the Berjaya Hotel quarantine facility, in Beau Vallon, was tested positive for the COVID 19. The person is a Seychellois who arrived from Manchester, UK, on 22nd March by Qatar Airways QR 678 through Doha.

He started having fever today 28th March 2020. He has been transferred to the isolation treatment center at the family hospital in Perseverance

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No new deaths from coronavirus registered in Spain

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Spain didn’t register a single death from the coronavirus on Sunday, and the toll remained at 27,127, according to the data published by the country’s health authorities on Monday.

Fernando Simon, director of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies at the Ministry of Health confirmed that they had “not received notification of anyone passing away yesterday (Sunday). That is very good news.”

There was also a fall in new cases of COVID-19. The Health Ministry reported 71 new infections, 25 fewer compared with the 96 reported 24 hours earlier, taking the total to 239,638.

(XINHUA)

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Russia tests Avifavir anti-coronavirus drug

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Russia is currently carrying out clinical tests of Avifavir, which may prove to be an efficient treatment for COVID-19, the producer of the drug said in a statement on Monday.

“Avifavir is the first direct-acting antiviral drug registered in Russia that has proven effective against COVID-19 in clinical trials,” ChemRar Group said in a statement.

Avifavir is produced by a joint venture of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia‘s sovereign wealth fund, and ChemRar Group, which includes research and development services and investment companies in the field of innovative pharmaceuticals.

The final stage of Avifavir clinical trials involving 330 patients, approved by the Russian Health Ministry on May 21, is ongoing, the statement said.

Efficacy of the drug is above 80 percent, a criterion for a drug with high antiviral activity, it said.

Following the first four days of treatment, 65 percent of the 40 patients who took Avifavir tested negative for coronavirus, which is twice as many as in the standard therapy group, the statement said.

By day 10, the number of patients whose tests returned negative results reached 90 percent, it added.

Avifavir has received a registration certificate from the Russian Health Ministry, thus becoming the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world approved for the treatment of COVID-19, according to the statement.

Favipiravir, sold under the brand name Avigan, is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan since 2014.

In early June, the first batches of Avifavir will be sent to Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare for approval for use, the statement said.

Deliveries of the first batches of the drug to Russian hospitals are expected on June 11, it added.

(XINHUA)

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Kuwait allows businesses to start activities after 3-week anti-coronavirus suspension

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The Kuwaiti government announced on Monday that businesses including banks can start their activities as part of the country’s phased plan to reopen economy.

The government has also assigned the Central Agency for Information Technology to establish a platform where citizens and residents can make an appointment before going to any governmental institutions in order to facilitate social distancing and curb the spread of coronavirus, said Tareq Al-Mezrem, the government spokesman, at a press conference.

He also said the government is “monitoring the results in the European countries and the world” in order to gradually return the air traffic to normal.

Earlier in the day, Kuwait Banking Association announced that banks will resume business from June 2 after a three-week suspension during the full curfew.

On May 31, Kuwait ended the full curfew and imposed a three-week partial curfew for a gradual return to normal.

Kuwait and China have been supporting each other and cooperating closely in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait donated medical supplies worth 3 million United States dollars to China at the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On April 27, a team of Chinese medical experts visited Kuwait to assist the Arab country’s anti-coronavirus fight, sharing with their Kuwaiti counterparts the experience and expertise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Turkey enters “new normal” of lifting anti-coronavirus restrictions

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Turkey on Monday lifted a series of bans that were imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a normalization plan, as the government has announced a success in containing the deadly virus.

Restrictions on intercity travels are lifted and restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, swimming pools, hot springs, sports facilities, archaeological sites, libraries, youth centers, camps and museums are allowed to reopen, as the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey has been kept down in the past few weeks.

Restaurants and cafes reopened on Monday with strict hygiene rules, setting tables 1.5 meters apart from each other, while customers are served with disposable tableware, with the wearing of masks as a must for both customers and staff.

Trains, ships and airlines will also start carrying passengers between provinces under the precautions.

Turkey restarted its first mass Friday prayers last week and gradually reopens mosques.

Daycare centers and kindergartens are also reopening after almost three months of closure. Most of the labor force in the country have resumed field or office work, along with all civil servants who were working remotely on administrative leave.

It is worth noting that the Turkish military resumed discharges and conscripts on Sunday.

However, the curfew will remain for those aged over 65 if they do not run a business, but they have been able to travel between provinces upon permissions since last week.

Young people and children under 18 will only be free to go out on Wednesdays and Fridays between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time.

The interior ministry has imposed two-day curfews over the weekends since April and the government is expected to ease the weekend lockdowns as well.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan identified the current phase as “new normal,” but warned that the government could reintroduce the restrictions in case of a negative course of the pandemic.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently said the outbreak in Turkey was under control.

Koca on Sunday confirmed 839 new COVID-19 cases, noting the increase is within predictable margins.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case in the country on March 11, and a total of 163,942 so far with a death toll of 4,540.

According to Koca, the occupancy rate in Turkey’s intensive care facilities are very low, with the number of patients in intensive care units decreasing each day.

Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. On April 10, Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference with Turkish counterparts to share China‘s experiences in treating coronavirus patients, protecting medical workers, and controlling the spread of the virus.

(XINHUA)

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Japan begins coronavirus antibody tests on 10,000 people

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Japan’s health ministry on Monday started coronavirus antibody tests, with the ministry planning to conduct the tests on about 10,000 people in Tokyo, Osaka, and the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi by the end of June.

The ministry needs the data to try and better understand the spread of the infection, as it faces a possible second wave of infections following the nationwide state of emergency being completely lifted last week.

The large-scale test of antibodies will enable health officials to be able to gain a better understanding of how much of Japan’s population has been infected by the coronavirus.

The tests, which provide indicators on unique proteins made by a person’s immune system after they have been infected with the virus, will also help authorities better understand how many people will require vaccinating once one becomes available, as well as an idea of the severity of the situation should further waves of the pandemic hit Japan.

The tests will also help to determine the level or possibility of Japan’s “herd immunity,” which is achieved when a large percentage of the population develops antibodies and potential immunity to a virus.

The antibody tests use blood samples and produce results faster that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Some experts have voiced concern, however, that some of the trial antibody tests conducted here as well as overseas have produced inaccurate results.

In April, the health ministry screened for antibodies in experimental tests with donor blood from Tokyo and six prefectures in northeastern Japan.

The ministry at the time used test kits from five firms to conduct the provisional experiments.

With restrictions now largely eased for the entire nation, yet concerns over recent spikes in cases after the state of emergency was lifted in both Tokyo and Fukuoka prefectures continuing, the health ministry said Thursday evening 16 new infections had been detected in Fukuoka’s Kitakyushu City, while Tokyo had confirmed 13 new infections. The nationwide total came to 37 new COVID-19 cases, with the death toll standing at a total off 911 people.

Tokyo’s accumulative infection total comes to 5,249 people, Osaka’s 1,783, while Fukuoka has confirmed a total of 774 COVID-19 cases, Thursday evening’s figures showed.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Coronavirus cases rocketing in South Asia as India becomes 7th worst-hit country due to COVID-19

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The number of COVID-19 cases is rocketing in South Asia on Monday as India became the seventh worst-hit country due to COVID-19, and in Bangladesh cases neared 50,000.

India’s federal health ministry on Monday morning reported 230 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 8,392 more positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country. This was so far the highest single-day spike in the cases.

The ministry said the total number of cases in the country reached 190,535 with 5,394 deaths.

India became the seventh worst-hit country due to COVID-19 pandemic as the World Health Organisation COVID-19 tracker had placed the country on rank seven in the list.

Bangladesh reported 2,381 new cases, dipping from Sunday’s high of 2,545.

“A total of 2,381 new COVID-19 positive cases and 22 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh,” senior Health Ministry official Nasima Sultana told a media briefing on Monday afternoon.

“The total number of positive cases is now 49,534 and death toll stands currently at 672,” she added.

With the confirmation of 226 new cases on Monday, Nepal has seen the highest single day spike of COVID-19 cases, and the total tally has surged to 1,798.

Afghanistan reported 545 new COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 15,750 cases, the country’s Ministry of Public Health confirmed.

Eight COVID-19 patients succumbed to the virus, taking the number of people who lost their lives to 265 since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February.

The number of people recovered stands at 1,428 after 100 patients recovered during the period.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 18,638 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 552 more infections on Monday.

The DOH said in a daily bulletin that the number of recoveries further climbed to 3,979 after 70 more patients have survived the disease. The death toll also increased to 960 after three more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.

COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 467 within one day to 26,940, with the death toll adding by 28 to 1,641, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference.

According to him, 329 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients stand at 7,637.

South Korea reported 35 more cases compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Monday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,503.

After peaking at 79 on Thursday, the daily caseload continued to fall to 27 on Sunday, but it rebounded on Monday amid small cluster infections from religious gatherings in the metropolitan area.

One more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 271. The total fatality rate stood at 2.36 percent.

Malaysia has gone into 10 days without any new COVID-19 deaths, the Health Ministry said, leaving the total deaths so far at 115.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysia reported 38 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 7,857.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has risen to 228, with four more confirmed cases reported, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Of the newly confirmed cases, all patients are from Yangon region who were under quarantine after their recent arrival from India.

A total of 138 patients have recovered from the disease and six deaths were reported so far.

New Zealand reported no new case on Monday for 10 consecutive days, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases staying at 1,504, according to the Ministry of Health.

The total number of confirmed cases reported to the World Health Organization remained at 1,154, said a ministry statement.

Laos reported no new case for 50 consecutive days, with the total number of confirmed cases in Laos unchanged at 19.

(XINHUA)

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France to further unwind anti-coronavirus lockdown

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French automakers’ sales halve in May due to coronavirus lockdown

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Sales of French car manufacturers halved in May due to the coronavirus lockdown, official data showed on Monday.

In May, new car sales declined by 50.34 percent to 96,310 units, compared with the same period in 2019, the Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers (CCFA) said in a monthly report.

Sales of French brands tumbled by 53.62 percent during the period. The country’s leading auto maker PSA, which makes the Peugeot and Citroen brands, offered 28,552 units, down by 56.07 percent compared to last year’s performance.

Renault reported the same negative trend. It saw sales declining by 50.39 percent, with that of low-cost brand of Dacia reporting a 51.15-percent loss.

Meanwhile, sales of foreign car brands suffered a 45.63 percent drop, the CCFA figures showed.

France entered a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus on March 17. Under the confinement, all non-essential businesses have been closed, triggering the country’s worst post-war economic crisis and forcing companies to ask the state’s help to avoid massive lay-offs and bankruptcy.

On May 26, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled an eight-billion-euro (8.89-billion-United States dollar) rescue plan to help the recovery of the domestic auto industry. (1 euro = 1.11 United States dollars)

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Coronavirus can cause drug abuse – NDLEA Spokesman

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that Coronavirus could cause or trigger the abuse of drugs and illicit substances.

 

Head of Public affairs, NDLEA, Mr Jonah Achema, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

 

Achema said that some people had taken to self medication of Coronavirus by treating themselves in the house without getting to see a doctor.

 

According to him, with the kind of concoctions we have been hearing as therapy for Coronavirus, it gives us an idea and impression of addiction already.

 

“This means that after the pandemic a lot of people are going to get hooked and become addicted to those drugs that affect the central systems.

 

“Well, Coronavirus may appear to be new development but some of the symptoms are within us and are evidentially caused by drug abuse.

 

“Considering that some drugs people take such as caffeine and nicotine impact negatively on the lungs, liver and the kidney.

 

“We know what nicotine does but what is becoming worrisome is that Coronavirus can amplify drug abuse because of the self medications by people,” he said.

 

Achema said that there were people who would want to take preventive measures without following any necessary medical protocol or treatment.

 

He also said that some people after noticing symptoms would start to take measures to avert or cure with no recourse to medical protocols.

 

“And by so doing they take all manner of drugs without following prescription or dosage.

 

“We have heard of bitter kola, we have heard of ginger, lemon and all manner of substances and you know when you combine these things there will be trouble.

 

“Ordinarily or independently they may not be harmful. But the combination, the volume and the quantum can cause more harm than good.

 

“Even ordinary fruit, we may think it is not harmful, but when you take too much it may impact negatively on your health.

 

“Too much of everything they say is bad, ” he said.

 

The NDLEA spokesperson said that the agency had joined hands with other stakeholders in creating awareness, provide security and enforcement of law in fighting the pandemic.

 

He noted that NDLEA functioned within a standing committee in various states in collaboration with other security agencies and stakeholders.

 

“Fighting Coronavirus is not within the mandate of the agency but as responsible agency, within our own staff, we spread the gospel of improve personal hygiene, hand washing and distancing oneself.

 

“We operate within the frame work of responsible organisation, collaboration and spreading the awareness.

 

“And we also try to let people know seeming symbiotic relationship between Coronavirus and drug abuse, ” he said.

 

Achema appealed to the public to follow the rules and guidelines from the NCDC to help fight the scourge bedeviling the country and the entire globe.

 

He urged the people who might have seen the symptoms to visit the testing centres to avoid the spread of the virus, adding that fighting Coronavirus was a collective effort.

 

He reiterated the agency’s commitment at providing more awareness and measures in the fight against drug abuse in the country.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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