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COVID-19: ASUU, CRUTECH produces 2,000 bottles of sanitisers for distribution

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) branch, says it has produced 2,000 bottles of sanitisers to be distributed in the state.

Prof. Using Ogar, immediate past South-South Zonal Coordinator of ASUU made the disclosure on Monday in Calabar.

Ogar said the union would donate the 2,000 bottles of the essential item to the state government and hospitals.

He said that the union was determined to contribute its quota toward containing the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

He said that the union was concerned about the negative effects of the pandemic on the economy, hence its determination to contribute to the sustenance of the VID-19-free status of the state.

The former ASUU leader said that universities in Nigeria were not resting on their oars in finding solutions to end the pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives across the globe.

“As a union, we decided to get into the laboratory to produce the sanitisers for free distribution to hospitals and government agencies in the state.

“I want to encourage government at all levels to make it a priority to fund research so that when disease outbreaks like this occur, researchers can come up with meaningful and acceptable vaccines and results.

“We want to also advice the Federal Government not to bring in the Chinese doctors. From indications, some of the COVICD-19 patients in the country are fast recovering after two rounds of tests”, he said.

Dr Peter Eneji, Head of Department, Chemical Sciences, CRUTECH who conducted newsmen round the laboratory, said the 2,000 bottles of sanitisers were produced within four days.

Eneji said that the production of the essential item was funded by CRUTECH branch of ASUU as a way of contributing to the containment of the pandemic in the state.

Also, Dr Emmanuel Ettah, the Chairman of ASUU in CRUTECH, noted that the sanitisers would enhance personal protection against the virus.

Ettah said he was happy that the state was COVD-19-free, and urged the residents to obey simple health instructions to always live a healthy life.

Dr John Edor, Chairman, ASUU, University of Calabar (Unical) branch, lauded the CRUTECH counterpart for producing the sinisters.

Edor said that the Unical branch of ASUU was also concluding the production and procurement of essential items to be distributed to the public.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ejike Obeta
(NAN)

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Indian PM says India to get growth back despite COVID-19 impact

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country would get its growth back amid difficult circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modi called upon captains of the country’s industry to invest and strengthen the supply chain which had been adversely affected by the countrywide lockdown to control the pandemic.

Addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Modi said, “I am confident enough that we will definitely get our growth back. The reasons behind my such confidence are our capability and crisis management, Indians’ talent and intellect, technology and innovation, faith on Indian farmers and industry leaders.”

Five things — intent, inclusion, investment, infrastructure and innovation — were of utmost importance for achieving this target, added Modi.

Calling upon the industry to make India “self-reliant,” he said the focus should be on increasing exports. India’s share in global exports is minimal and it needed to be increased, he added.

(XINHUA)

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Wait times for elective surgeries “through the roof” in Australian hospitals due to COVID-19

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Some Australians are being forced to wait months for elective procedures usually accessed within weeks as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

About 400,000 elective surgeries were cancelled after non-urgent procedures were banned from March 25 in order to ease the pressure on the healthcare system amid the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the spread of the virus.

Experts are now urging governments to address the backlog in private hospitals where two thirds of elective surgeries are conducted.

On average private hospital patients normally wait 24 days for elective surgeries but the backlog now means they will wait months.

Rachel David, the chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia (PHA), said that wait times would continue to go “through the roof” unless social distancing barriers limiting surgery capacity were eased for hospitals.

Some hospitals have been given the green light to gradually return to 100 percent of their pre-pandemic elective surgery capacity by July but Michael Roff, the chief executive of the Australian Private Hospitals Association, said social distancing restrictions made doing so challenging.

Even in South Australia, where there’s no restrictions on the volume of elective surgery, most of the private hospitals are still only operating at about 80 per cent capacity, because of social-distancing arrangements they have to put in place,” Roff told Nine Entertainment newspapers recently.

“We’re under pressure from both the doctors who practice in private hospitals and health insurers to get back to normal as soon as possible but at the same time we have to operate safely.

“As we’ve seen in Tasmania, if you get a case of COVID in a hospital, then the whole hospital shuts down.”

(XINHUA)

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Germany adds 213 new COVID-19 cases, total at 182,028

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New COVID-19 infections in Germany remained under last week’s average as the number of confirmed cases increased by 213 in a day to 182,028, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said Tuesday.

Last week, an average of 457 daily cases had been reported by the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

The RKI said the number of deaths from COVID-19 increased by 11 to 8,522 on Tuesday, the fatality rate remained at 4.7 percent.

The number of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Germany continued to fall to around 15,600 on Tuesday as the estimated number of recoveries increased by around 600 within one day to 166,400.

However, the 4-day average reproduction rate (R-number) of COVID-19 increased to 1.2, according to the RKI daily situation report on Monday. The R-number had already risen above one over the weekend.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the RKI had stressed numerous times that the R-number had to be below one in order ease restrictions in Germany. An R-number below one indicates that one infected person is passing on the disease to less than one person on average.

The RKI stressed the R-number in Germany was “sensitive to short-term changes,” including local outbreaks such as a cluster infection caused by family reunion near the city of Goettingen.

Merkel announced Saturday an economic stimulus package to help the German economy get back on track. Germany’s governing coalition is expected to decide on the details of the package on Tuesday.

(XINHUA)

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Istanbul’s nostalgic tram resumes services as COVID-19 pandemic eases

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The nostalgic tram services in central Istanbul resumed operations on Tuesday after being stopped for more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Istanbul municipality said the tram that travels from Taksim Square along the pedestrian Istiklal Street would provide service with 50 percent of capacity given the “continuing danger of the pandemic.”

A journey with the historic tram on Istiklal, lined with cafes, restaurants and stores of world-famous brands, is one of the favorite activities for tourists in the Turkish largest city.

The tram line on the street was first inaugurated in 1883 during the Ottoman Empire era. Today it carries around 400,000 passengers per year.

(XINHUA)

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Uganda reports 32 new cases of COVID-19

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Uganda’s ministry of health on Tuesday reported 32 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 489.

Out of the 2,276 samples collected from cross-border cargo truck drivers and communities over the last 24 hours, 19 Ugandan truck drivers and 13 contacts and alert cases tested positive for the virus, said the statement.

Additionally, 25 foreign truck drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 were handed over to their respective countries of origin.

Out of the 489 COVID-19 cases, 79 have recovered and no one has died of the disease in the country, according to the ministry of health.

(XINHUA)

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Zimbabwe records 26 new COVID-19 cases, raising total number in country to 203

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Zimbabwe recorded 26 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 203.

The number of active cases is 170, deaths remain at four while those who have recovered are 29, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said in a statement Tuesday.

According to the Ministry, 25 of the new cases are Zimbabweans who returned from neighboring South Africa and Botswana while one case is a local transmission and a contact of a known confirmed case.

The country has conducted a total of 46,021 tests for COVID-19 since the first case was recorded in March.

(XINHUA)

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Nigeria yet to reach peak of contagion as COVID-19 cases cross 10,000: official

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The Nigerian government has expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country, saying the west African nation is yet to reach peak of the pandemic.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday night recorded 416 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,578, with 299 deaths and 3,122 discharged from hospitals.

Most of the fatalities recorded from COVID-19 were cases with other underlying illnesses known as co-morbidities, the NCDC added.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, told media on Monday it was necessary to restate to the citizenry, that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

According to him, the majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas in the country as 20 out of the 774 local government areas nationwide accounts for 60 percent of the cases.

Mustapha said the PTF has recommended to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to allow states to decide on easing lockdown measures, such as reopening of schools, businesses and worship centers shut since March as part of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Joe Okei-Odumakin, a local observer, told Xinhua the government should step up capacity to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected. “Testing kits and reagents as well as protective equipment and materials are reportedly to be in short supply, in addition to their prices hitting the roof,” she said.

Okei-Odumakin also expressed concern that citizens with other ailments requiring visits to hospitals had been crowded out of the health facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there would be an application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He said the mobilization of resources at state and local government area levels will create public awareness on COVID-19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.

(XINHUA)

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Indian 2-wheeler sales decline by 70-83 pct in May as COVID-19 bites

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Mirroring the performance in the four-wheeler auto space, Indian two-wheeler companies too replicated a similar performance reporting 70-83 percent decline in the May month sales from the same month a year ago.

During the month under review, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors and Hero MotoCorp reported 70 percent, 82 percent and 83 percent decline to 127,128 units, 41,067 units and 112,682 units, respectively from the same month last year, as per updates filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

In the preceding month of April, all two-wheeler companies in India had reported nil sales with a few units of exports during the initial period of nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19.

Asia’s third largest economy had been under nation-wide lock down for over two months and had recently extended the lock-down with few relaxations till June 30.

India, which now ranks seventh among all countries in terms of number of confirmed cases, has 97,581 active cases and 5,598 deaths reported so far as per the official update on Tuesday.

“The automobile industry volumes are impacted for the period due to low demand sentiment, increased prices on account of BS VI and worsened by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. However, pickup in demand is expected from second half of 2020-21 ((Apr-Mar) considering the improvement in rural demand scenario, better monsoons and government’s thrust on the revival of the overall economy,” said Naveen Dubey, auto analyst with Narnolia Financial Advisors, a domestic stock brokerage house.

Going ahead, margins are expected to remain on the lower side due to higher BS-VI cost and weaker operating leverage despite reduction in commodity prices, Dubey said.

In 2019-20 (Apr-Mar), Indian two-wheeler industry reported sales of 17.4 million units, down 17.8 percent over the previous year, according to industry body SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers).

(XINHUA)

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Indonesia reports 609 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 22 new deaths

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The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 609 within one day to 27,549, and the death toll increased by 22 to 1,663, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

According to him, 298 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients to 7,935.

The pandemic has spread to all the 34 provinces in the archipelagic country. However, no more positive cases were found in 11 provinces as of 12:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

The provinces are Aceh, Jambi, Riau, Yogyakarta, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.

Authorities have been conducting coronavirus tests in affected areas and ordered the public to always wear masks to curb the spread. The government is preparing for the so-called “new normal”, under which the public would be allowed to resume their routines.

More than 300,000 military and police personnel have been posted in nearly 2,000 places, including shopping malls, traditional markets, and tourism spots in four provinces and 25 regencies or cities.

(XINHUA)

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