Connect with us

General news

COVID-19: MTN provides customers free services to help communication- Official

Published

on

MTN Nigeria says it has provided its customers with a range of free services to help make communication easier during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Its Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, also said the company has provided an update on the utilisation so far of its network initiatives to provide its customers and partners with connectivity.

Ukpanah said in a statement on Friday that these were in addition to the MTN’s direct contributions to support the fight against COVID-19.

He listed some of the supports to include: donations to CACOVID (N1 billion), Federal and State Governments (Communications support) and the NCDC (Devices, airtime, SMS channel and data) MTN.

According to him, as at May 15, 2020, our network has provided: more than 2 Billion free SMS sent by over 40 million subscribers.

“About 3,000 Terrabytes of free data utilised to access zero-rated health websites, and access to Ayoba, our partner messaging app;

“Over 1.7 million free money transfers by about 100,000 people using the MoMo Agent Network (offer ended May 1).

On the update, the company Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman said: “Since we began providing 300 free SMS’s per month to our subscribers more than two billion SMS have been sent by more than 44 million subscribers.

“It demonstrates the universal appeal and accessibility of SMS as a communications service.

“We are proud to have been able to reach so many people and are committed to continuing to provide this service.

“As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we are focusing our efforts on trying to ensure no one is left behind.”

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

Foreign

Measures taken to curb spread of COVID-19 at Tribhuvan Int’l Airport

Published

on

By

A Nepalese police officer walks at the Tribhuvan International Airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Chile’s COVID-19 cases rise to 99,688, with 1,054 deaths

Published

on

By

Chile on Sunday reported 99,688 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,054 deaths from the disease.

In the past 24 hours ending 9 p.m. Saturday, 4,830 new cases were detected and 57 more patients died, the highest number of fatalities in a single day so far.

Of the new cases of infection, 4,437 presented symptoms and 393 were asymptomatic.

Since the beginning of the outbreak here, 42,727 people have recovered from the virus and 582,440 tests have been applied.

A lockdown is in effect in the capital Santiago and the metropolitan area through June 5, as the region is the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, with 80 percent of all infections and 775 deaths.

The lockdown, which was extended from its original deadline in May, has generated some unrest among the region’s 7 million inhabitants, with protests breaking out especially in poorer districts over a “lack” of government aid to offset the economic hardships.

In recent weeks, Chile has seen an exponential rise in the number of cases and deaths, leading the government to set up field hospitals to deal with the growing number of patients.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

General news

COVID-19: PTF submits recommendations on reopening of schools, places of worships

Published

on

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Sunday submitted parts of its recommendations on partial reopening of schools, places of worships and some additional businesses for possible consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The chairman of the PTF, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, made this known to State House correspondents at the end of a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the PTF has no problem with state governments that ordered reopening of places of worships in view of the power given to the states to do so by the constitution, adding that the states are sub-nationals.

He said: “That’s part of what we have considered in its totality. We will await Mr President’s on that, once I receive his approval, going forward, to certain recommendations we have put in place, we will know how that would happen.

“The issue of easing up, you know we are in the first phase, we had an extension of two weeks for the first phase, the next phase should be the second phase and along with that will come in with a lot of recommendations, which we expect Mr President to consider.

“So, the issues of places of worships; the issues of schools; the issues of some certain businesses that were not opened hitherto are part of the packages that we have looked at.

“We have made the appropriate recommendations, but you know that Mr President is the only one that can take decisions in respect of that.

“In the framework, the states are sub-nationals, they have their own responsibilities too.

“So, it is in the exercise of those responsibilities that they had meetings with those religious bodies and agreed on the guidelines and protocols on how they open up, but in the framework of the national response we are taking that into consideration.’’

On whether Nigeria is winning the fight against COVID-19, considering the rate of infections, Mustapha said:

“We are winning. As a matter of fact, you juxtapose the rate of cases with our fatality rate, which is basically about three per cent, in other countries and other climes, it’s over 10 per cent.

“But the most important thing that you will realise, when we started this exercise, we had only five testing stations, now we’ve ramped it up to 28, without the expected increase in the number of deaths.

“We have gone beyond 60,000 now, that reflects in the number of confirmed cases

“We have not reached the peak yet and I won’t want to fool Nigerians by telling them that we are out of the woods. No, we are not out of the woods.

“As we even open up and accommodate more enterprises, because we are trying to have a balance between livelihoods and life, there’s a likelihood of increase in transmission in cases,’’ he said.

Mustapha assured that essential parts of the economy would continue opening up to boost socio-economic activities across the country.

“We have started, even in the first phase and the extension that came with it.

“Essential parts of the economy was opening up by way of allowing agricultural production, people that produce fertilizers.

“The oil and gas industry was never closed for one day and some aspects of the financial sector were opened.

“After we receive Mr President’s approval tonight or tomorrow morning, we will now know which segment of the economy he has allowed to open,’’ he further revealed.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

Continue Reading

General news

President Buhari receives 4th Interim Report on COVID-19 from PTF

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received the fourth reports of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19  at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, applauding the team for a job well done.

Speaking to State Correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said he presented the progress and challenges recorded by the PTF to the President.

According to him, the team also offered suggestions on ways forward in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, quoted the President as applauding the achievements of the PTF and other frontline workers and stakeholders.

“What we basically did was to submit the fourth interim report to him and to appraise him of the progress that has been achieved in the course of the last two weeks of the extension of the eased phase one of the lockdown.

“We also discussed some of the challenges that we’ve had and suggested what we need to put in place, going forward.

“As far as the work of the PTF is concerned, he was upfront with commendations.

He (Buhari) assured us that the nation is fully behind us in the work that he has charged us to do and that he’s also appreciative of the work of the frontline workers, particularly the medical personnel, the security personnel and the people who come in contact with the patients in the time of collection of samples, the testing and the care that they are giving,’’ Mustapha said.

According to him, PTF also discussed the issue of compliance and the President said “we should continue to appeal to Nigerians and drive home the point that it’s a personal responsibility for each and every Nigerian to undertake to ensure that he keeps himself safe and by extension keeping his family, loved ones and community safe’’.

He assured that the PTF would continue to drive the message.

“It’s a message of persuasion; it’s a message that should make people take personal responsibility for their own protection and health and we will not relent on that’’.

On the deliberate refusal of Kogi and Cross River states to be in tune with the present reality in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, Mustapha said that the issue was discussed during the PTF meeting with the president.

“We discussed challenges generally and I believe that in the context of those discussions, certain steps will be taken.

“We are doing everything to ensure that the entire nation is on the same page with one response.

“It is very important that we realise that no state is an island unto itself, when you deal with public health matters.

“Whatever happens in a particular locality has the consequences of spilling off to other constituencies.

“That is the message that we’ll continue to drive in our pursuit of getting everybody to be on board.

“I can assure you that there’s no island that exists as far as COVID-19 is concerned in this country.

“We must integrate all the responses from the different segments of the community and the state and have everybody to be on the same page.

“We will continue to pursue that and we must also ensure that it happens.’’

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Egypt sees daily record of 1,536 COVID-19 infections, tally nears 25,000

Published

on

By

Egypt reported on Sunday a new record of 1,536 COVID-19 daily infections, raising the total number of cases registered in the country to 24,985, the Egyptian Health Ministry said.

It is the fourth consecutive day for Egypt’s COVID-19 daily infections to surpass 1,000.

Meanwhile, the most populous Arab country saw the highest-single day fatalities as 46 patients died from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 959, the ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

The country also witnessed a record of daily recoveries as 344 patients were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 6,037, according to the statement.

“All the cases registered as positive for the virus receive medical care at isolation and quarantine hospitals in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization,” Megahed reiterated.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 infection on Feb. 14 and the first death from the pandemic on March 8.

Since March 25, the Egyptian government has been imposing a constantly renewed nighttime curfew, of which hours varied between nine and 13 based on the situation, to curb the spread of the virus.

Earlier on Sunday, the government announced reducing the curfew from 10 hours to nine hours, following a meeting led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

The government has already started gradual reopening of services and offices suspended since mid-March amid a “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

It has also allowed reopening of dozens of hotels for local tourists after they have been inspected and given “hygiene safety” certificates from a government special committee.

Egypt and China join hands in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise to curb the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.

In early February, Egypt was among the first nations to provide aid to China in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

China, after having largely controlled the pandemic, returned favor by sending three batches of medical aid to Egypt, the latest of which was delivered in mid-May.

Since mid-April, Chinese doctors have held three video conferences with Egyptian counterparts to share their experiences in the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

General news

COVID-19: Olubadan bans masqueraders’, orders stay at home rituals

Published

on

The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has banned masqueraders’ dance to his palace and to other chiefs during the 2020 Egungun Festival due to COVID-19 requirements.

The Olubadan announced this in a statement signed by his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Adeola Oloko,  in Ibadan on Sunday.

Olubadan directed the traditional masqueraders to observe their rituals from their respective homes and pray for the speedy end to COVID-19.

According to him, the decision not to have long procession this year is not unconnected with the coronavirus pandemic and the need to observe rules associated with social distancing.

Adetunji stated that the boisterous nature of the festival has made it imperative for all masqueraders to stay at home and perform all necessary rites until the authorities’ declare otherwise.

He said that the decision to ban the dance was reached after extensive consultation with the relevant authorities and stakeholders.

The monarch advised the people to wash their hands, use facemasks and maintain social distancing at all times to curb the spread of the global pandemic.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Foreign

Oman reports 1,014 new COVID-19 cases, 11,437 in total

Published

on

By

The Omani Ministry of Health announced on Sunday 1,014 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 11,437.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, all new cases, including 371 Omanis, are related to community contact.

The statement also said 286 patients of COVID-19 had recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 2,682. Seven new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 49.

The ministry called on people to observe the procedures for quarantine, avoid public places or places of worship, and ensure public hygiene.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iran, Turkmenistan agree to reopen borders amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Published

on

By

Iran and Turkmenistan have agreed to reopen borders on June 10 as the restrictions pertaining to the novel coronavirus are eased in both countries recently, Iranian ambassador to Ashgabat announced on Sunday.

The rail and road borders between the two countries will reopen under strict monitoring of health protocols, Gholamabbas Arbab Khales told official IRNA news agency.

Iran and Turkmenistan had previously agreed to reopen borders on June 1, but the date was postponed to June 10 for disinfection operations at the border posts, said Arbab Khales.

He noted that at a ministerial meeting among Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as negotiations between the heads of railway companies of the three countries, they have agreed to install sanitizing tunnels at both sides of the borders to help better implement health protocols.

The ambassador did not mention whether the reopening of border crossings includes only trade transactions or passengers as well.

Iran and Turkmenistan closed borders in late February after Iran reported first cases of COVID-19 in the country.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Indonesia reports 700 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 40 new deaths

Published

on

The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 700 within one day to 26,473, with the death toll adding by 40 to 1,613, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference on Sunday.

According to him, 293 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients stand at 7,308.

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

Authorities have been conducting coronavirus tests in the 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.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Continue Reading

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

Read Also