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COVID-19: NANNM urges members to use protective equipment

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The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Kwara Chapter, has advised its members to adhere to the universal precautions on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while attending to victims of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Alhaji Shehu Aliu, the Kwara state Chairman of NANNM, made the call in a statement on Saturday in Ilorin.

He advised that the use of the equipment would ensure that their members are protected and curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

He said: “We appeal to our nurses and midwives to rely on effective use of the Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, face masks, airy purifying respirators, goggles, face shields and gowns before attending to victims of the virus.

“Our members should be calm at their duty posts as frontline healthcare providers.

“The government has provided adequate supply of PPEs, which are available at the various designated isolation centres across the state and local government councils.

“Our priority is the safety of the general public as such we are appealing to citizens to stay safe at home as COVID-19 spread is more sporadic than other viruses.’’

Aliu added that the only effective way to break the chain of infection was improved personal and environmental hygiene and prevention of contact with infected individuals by keeping social distancing.

“We are aware that the virus is yet to spread into the state which is achieved by the government taking proactive measures on ‘stay at home’ as monitored by security agencies for stringent compliance.

“I commend the tremendous effort of Kwara government to ensure safety and protection of Kwarans and residents from the pandemic,” he said.

Aliu noted that the surge capacity that would be required to reduce transmission of the pandemic had been cushioned by training of health personnel.

He commended the state government on establishing the anti-COVID-19 technical crew for identifying Sobi Specialist Hospital as the isolation centre with equipment for unexpected occurrence and other sub-committees on palliative to the masses.

The chairman of NANNM also allayed the fears of health workers, most especially nurses and midwives, by assuring them that the state government was on top of the situation.

He added that the government had instructed the technical crew to provide all necessary equipment and a daily situational report with the health workers across the state.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

Fatima Mohammed: 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

General news

COVID-19: Plateau Reps,NNPC, donate money, ambulance to Plateau Govt.

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The Plateau Caucus at the National Assembly has donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Plateau Government as its contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of  Representatives, Ahmed Wase ,led the delegation that made the presentation on Monday at Government House, Jos.

Wase commended Gov. Simon Lalong for being the first to install  CCTVs at the state’s borders.

He also commended the efforts of Gov. Lalong toward curbing the scourge of the Coronavirus pandemic in the  state.

He prayed for more wisdom and guidance for the governor to steer the affairs of Plateau toward fast tracking its development.

The deputy speaker said that even though they were giving individual and constitutional responsibilities in interventions to stem the disease, it was still imperative for them to contribute as a group representing the different interests of the state at the National Assembly.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that while  on the visit, the members also presented a Toyota Hiace ambulance bus to the governor under the initiative of the the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Intervention on COVID-19 donated by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Independent Petroleum Producers group.

NAN reports that the donation by the initiative also included two ventilators, 10,000 surgical face masks, 5,000 face masks and 2,000 hand gloves.

Lalong thanked all the members representing Plateau at the National Assembly for the gesture, describing it as laudable and worthy emulation.

He also acknowledged their contributions at their constitutional levels and their efforts to sensitise and enlighten their constituents on preventive measures against the disease.

He assured that their contribution to the Plateau government  COVID-19 trust fund would be put into good use, while appreciating their cooperation to ensure the well-being of Plateau people.

“We will also give you the necessary cooperation to discharge your duties at the National Assembly.

“We have inaugurated a research committee comprising of specialists in the field on alternative ways of addressing COVID-19 and other possible emergence of infectious diseases,” he said.

He said the state had  also established a palliative committee which was already distributing foodstuff  and other essentials to the indigents and vulnerable in the state.

The governor also said it had evacuated Quaranic Education Students (Almajiri),from Plateau to their home states as agreed by Northern Governors in order to protect them from the pandemic, saying they are being tested for the disease before taking to their homes.

He thanked the Members for ensuring Plateau benefited from the intervention of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Intervention, saying he was optimistic that the state through their influence would benefit from more Federal Government interventions.

He said business Mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote through his foundation was establishing a 100 bed capacity isolation center in Shendam Local Government Area.

NAN reports that other members of the delegation were Sen. Hezekiah Dimka representing Plateau Central, Sen Istifanus Gyang representing Plateau North, while the representatives in attendance were Mr Haruna Maitala representing Jos North and Komsol Longgap representing Mikang/Qu’anpan/Shendam constituency among others.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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COVID-19: Publisher lauds FG planned stimulus package for media, creative industry

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A leading Online Publisher, Mr Femi Soneye, has commended Federal Government for the stimulus package being initiated to cushion effects of COVID-19 on Nigerian media and the creative industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also received a pat on the back for the expected intervention.

Soneye, Publisher and CEO of Persecondnews.com, gave the commendation in Abeokuta on Monday while presenting COVID-19 palliatives to Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council at Press Centre -“Iwe Irohin House’’.

“A recent bold step to give a stimulus package to the media and creative industry by the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is cheery news and a timely intervention amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“We urge the minister to pursue this agenda to a logical conclusion,’’ said Soneye, who was represented by Mr Ayodele Akinsola, Persecondnews Managing Editor.

Describing the media as one of the tripod stands on which the nation’s democracy rests, thrives and flourishes, he urged journalists not to spare any effort in holding public officials accountable to the people.

He, however, pointed out that only accurate and factual reports could hold public officials accountable to the citizens.

“Journalists, as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm after the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, are empowered by Section 22 of Chapter two of the 1999 Constitution.

“Without free press and free speech democracy is endangered. I recall with nostalgia our efforts and struggles on a heroic scale to fight the military to a standstill and return the country to constitutional democracy in 1999 have not been adequately rewarded and reciprocated by the political class with some of them scandalously harassing, brutalizing and  clamping down on the media,’’ Soneye said.

Still expounding the role of the media, the publisher said: “The media, in spite of its imperfections like democracy, are indispensable to the nation’s fledgling democracy of about 21 years and to the Nigeria Project.’’

On the state of the Nigerian media, Soneye noted that the parlous state of the economy had caused thousands of journalists to lose their jobs due to permanent shutdown of their organizations while others are being owed one or two years salaries.

“I wish, therefore, to make a passionate appeal to those in authority at all levels – federal, state and local government – to patronize the media – newspapers, magazines, online publications, radio and television stations – to stay afloat.’’

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Soneye commended the media for their excellent coverage of the health crisis across the country in spite of the attendant risks to the lives and urged them to continue to join forces with the government to rout the virus.

“As experts and WHO have said, it is unlikely for the virus to go away soon. There is, therefore, the need for us as journalists to be COVID-19 protocol-compliant — stay safe, play safe, observe physical distancing, use your face mask, wash your hands and use sanitizers.’’

He also challenged journalists to report research findings and investigations on COVID-19 therapeutics, especially the local cure – herbal or orthodox –, to defeat the virus.

Mr Wale Oluokun, Secretary, Ogun NUJ Caretaker Committee, who received the items on behalf of the chairperson, Mrs Omolola Adeyinka, thanked Persecondnews for the gesture which he described as first of its kind.

“It is quite novel and welcoming that journalists can look back and give back to the profession; it is equally commendable.

“Apart from the gifts, a strong message has been passed to us to take the fight against coronavirus seriously,’’ he said.

 Among the officers present at the presentation were Mr Lekan Yinusa (Sweet FM) and Mr Bidemi Bello (Channels TV), Anthony Gandonu and Bunmi Adigun.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

COVID-19: NAF produces ventilators to support fight against pandemic

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The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has produced locally-made ventilators as its contribution to national efforts towards fighting the novel coronavirus disease.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal (AM) Sadique Abubakar, announced this during Eid-el-Fitri lunch with troops of the Air Component of “Operation Lafiya Dole” at the Airforce Base in Maiduguri on Monday.

Abubakar said that the locally-made ventilator was a product of research development programme by the Nigerian Airforce in partnership with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He said that the ventilators would be commissioned on May 27.

He explained that as part of the measures to combat the pandemic, NAF had distributed reusable face mask to all its personnel while PPE and ventilators were provided at the Nigerian Airforce Hospitals in Maiduguri.

“I wish to remind us of the need to maintain continues vigilance and ensure strict adherence to necessary guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19,’’ he said.

The CAS said that despite the challenges of competing resources, occasioned by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, NAF has maintained the tempo of its operations, not only in the North East, but other parts of the country.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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COVID-19: CAN seeks roundtable over reopening of churches, mosques in Ogun

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The Ogun Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for a meeting between leaders of religious groups and the state government to discuss modalities for the reopening of worship centres.

The Chairman of the state chapter of CAN, Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, made the call in Abeokuta on Monday.

Akin-Akinsanya said the meeting had become necessary to sustain the gains recorded by the state in its ongoing efforts at flattening the curve of the spread of the coronavirus.

The clergy’s call is coming on the heels of the planned expansion of the current phase of the eased lockdown in the state necessitated by the coronavurus pandemic.

Gov. Dapo Abiodun had on Friday, announced that the current phase of the eased lockdown would terminate on Sunday.

The governor also said that the second phase, which would commence on June 1, would be accompanied with a further ease of the lockdown and expansion of the windows of relaxation.

Akin-Akinsanya in a statement, suggested a meeting with the government to analyse the achievements and challenges posed by the pandemic in the state “with a reflection of the realities of the days going forward”.

“We appreciate the positive strides and successes of the state government, particularly during this trying period of the global pandemic.

“The Ogun chapter of the CAN profoundly appreciates the great efforts and laudable initiatives taken by our state government to combat the negative impacts of the ongoing plague.

“The technological and technical innovations deployed to date by the government have been largely responsible for the curb of the expected surge in Ogun; given that the state is Nigeria’s index case.

“The government really deserves commendation for the management of the situation in spite of sharing technically non-delineated border towns with the Lagos State which is the national epicentre of this dreaded pandemic.

“We, therefore, applaud the systematic and carefully orchestrated steps taken by our government to minimise the deleterious effects of the COVID-19.

“We also appreciate the various palliatives provided by the state government for the body of Christ and the general public at large which had undoubtedly provided succour to the masses,” he said.

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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COVID-19: Gombe to install, inaugurate testing centre on Wednesday

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The Gombe Government is to install and inaugurate a Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing centre on Wednesday, a task force official has said.

Prof. Idris Mohammed, Chairman of the state task force on the COVID-19, disclosed this at a news conference on Monday in Gombe, while giving an  update on the pandemic in the state.

He said that the testing machine would be arriving Gombe on Tuesday, May 26, while officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  would be arriving the state on Wednesday May 27, to install and inaugurate it.

According to him, soon after the installation of the machine, testing of suspected cases will begin.

He stated that the presence of the testing centre in the state would ease the difficulties of traveling with samples for test to other states.

Mohammed noted that so far 44 out of the 64 almajiri pupils, who were quarantined in Amada, had tested negative and reunited with their families.

The chairman said they were still awaiting the remaining 20 results of the almajiri pupils who were quarantined.

He said the state was hoping they returned negative adding that as soon as the results were  out they would also be reunited with their families.

According to him, there are only 15 persons in the isolation centres, five at the Specialist Hospital and the remaining 10 at the Kwadon Isolation Centre in Yamaltu-Deba Local Government Area of the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Defence/Security

COVID-19: Army Ordnance Corps distribute palliatives to host community

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The Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps on Monday distributed palliatives to the most vulnerable residents of Ojuoluwa Empire Community in Surulere Local Government Area in Lagos state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items given to cushion the effect of the lock down occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic include rice, beans, garri, groundnut oil and seasonings.

Others are noodles, salt and two packs of 500g sugar each.

Maj.-Gen. O.A. Akintade, the Commander, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, said that Ojuoluwa community was chosen for palliative because of their relationship.

Akintade was represented at the occasion by Brig.- Gen. Effefiong Ekpenyong, Director, Land Service Administration.

He said that the organisation understood the effect COVID -19 pandemic had on the people and decided to reach out to the host communities.

“We are aware of what the current scourge across the world has done, a lot of people are suffering and are feeling the impact of COVID-19 seriously.

“This particular community is our neighbour and we have excellent relationship over the years, it is on that premise that we decided to identify with it,” he said.

On COVID-19, the commander urged the community to keep adhering to measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

“The Presidential Task Force has rolled out about seven protocols for everybody to adhere, which include social or physical distancing, washing of hands and the use of sanitisers.

“I call on the community to religiously implement all these protocols for their safety,” he said.

Mr Olukayode Adeyemi, Special Adviser, Community Affairs, Surulere Local Government appreciated the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai for reaching out to ward F1.

Adeyemi also commended the Army Ordnance Corps for giving out the palliatives in an orderly manner.

According to him, face mask and tags were given to beneficiaries a day before the palliatives were distributed.

Also, Chief Oladunjoye Davies, the Baale of the community said he was grateful that such hand of friendship was extended to his community.

“I am grateful to the COAS, the Commandant of the Ordnance Corps and the officers for bringing this gesture to my community, God will continue to bless them,” Davies said.

He also said that the community had been adhering to the measures rolled out by the government.

Iyabode Davies, one of the beneficiary said that she was grateful to the Army for reaching out to the community.

“I am overwhelmed with these gesture, may God continue to bless Buratai and the Nigerian Army because whatever it does, it is excellent,” she said.

Kofo Olalere, a pregnant woman who also received the palliative, thanked the army for reaching out to the most vulnerable in the community.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Foreign

Kenya’s COVID-19 tally rises to 1,286

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Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed 72 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,286.

Mercy Mwangangi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that the latest cases were detected from 2,711 samples which were tested in the last 24 hours.

Mwangangi said that 70 of the latest patients are Kenyans, while the other two are foreigners from Uganda and Somalia respectively.

She said nine patients were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries to 392.

Mwangangi said one person died from the deadly respiratory disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 52.

The east African nation has so far tested 61,971 from 20 national laboratories that are strategically located in critical areas across the country.

The Kenyan government has developed several nutrition guidelines to keep populations healthy, banned movements in and out of the disease hotspots, suspended learning and banned international and domestic flights to help contain the spread of the virus.

The government has also trained 11,000 health care workers and 60,000 community health workers across the country.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Singapore reports 344 new COVID-19 cases

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Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 344 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 31,960.

Of the new cases, 99 percent were linked to known clusters, while the rest were pending contact tracing.

A total of 862 more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 15,738 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, the ministry said.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitri: Mararaba residents celebrate amidst COVID-19 pandemic 

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Muslims in Mararaba celebrated the end of  Ramadan fast with enthusiasm, as they besieged relaxation centres inspite of the physical distancing directive of government, to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Some of them who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Monday, said that the month of Ramadan, also known as Islam’s third pillar of faith,  is a month of mercy, and Muslims were expected to fast, give charity and be mindful of their way of life.

Nofisat Osho, a resident of Mararaba, said that although this year’s Ramadan fast was a bit different due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, she was able complete the fast with the help of Allah.

“It wasn’t easy carrying out the fast and it felt different because of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world for months now.

“I missed five days because I was “un-pure” during the fasting period, but I give thanks to Allah for the completion of the month of Ramadan.

“Pregnant women, women on their monthly periods, the sick and children are the only people allowed to miss the fast.

Hassan Jubril, also a faithful, said Allah’s mercy and peace was sought for by Muslims all over the world during the month of Ramadan and in his opinion, the month of Ramadan was the best month of the year.

Jubril said that he spent his time praying in the mosque and giving  charity to the poor and needy, as he expects the almighty Allah to reach out to them too.

Aisha Musa, also a resident of Mararaba, said she was really happy for witnessing the end of the Ramadan inspite of the Coronavirus pandemic,  as she vehemently offered her prayers to Allah with great expectations.

“I am really happy that the Ramadan has come and gone regardless of the pandemic, it has really been smooth and drawn me closer to Allah,” she added.

Fatima Abdullahi, another believer, said she missed the fast for nine days but hopes to complete the fast after the festive period.

“Although I missed the fast for nine days, Ramadan is really a month of dedication and must be obeyed, I hope to complete the fast after the Sallah (Muslim festival),” she said.

Hamza Yusuf, a Muslim faithful, who was visiting in Mararaba, said that that Ramadan was indeed a beautiful month for all Muslims and the period in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.

“Ramadan is a beautiful month for all Muslims around in the world. It is the third pillar of Islam.

Yusuf, however, added that the pandemic restricted them from many things like going to the mosque to pray and attending lectures, but they had to obey government directives on physical distancing  and stayed at home to pray.

“Due to this current situation, we had to stay home and stay safe because of this COVID -19 pandemic.

“Islam admonishes us to stay home if there is an outbreak of disease.

“However, one of the things we missed due to this lockdown is going to the masjid (mosque) and some Islamic lectures we normally attend.

“But we have stayed at home, and also prayed for this pandemic to end,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the 30 days fast has its unique significance.

The first 10 days of the fast is for seeking the forgiveness of Allah, the second 10 days is for the blessings of Allah and the last 10 days is for freedom.

The search for the night of majesty (Lailatul Qadri) is believed that prayers are answered quickly and the heavens are opened as requests are answered by Allah.

The Muslim faithful are  expected to fast for the whole month (29-30) days.

The fast, however, begins at the sighting  of the moon and ends at the sighting of the moon, it is called the month of mercy.

The moon indicates the beginning of a new month.

Muslims are expected to practice good habits, reach out to the needy, read and assimilate the Quran, so as to continue in good deeds after the fast.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

 

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COVID-19: NRC working out guidelines of operations to contain spread

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)  is working  out new guidelines of operations  to help to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Director  of Operations of NRC, Mr Niyi Alli,  made the disclosure  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday.

“We are working out modalities on how to operate because train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.

Alli, however, said that train operations nationwide would not restart  until  lifting of the ban on interstate travel.

“Although the corporation has lost much finances,  the safety of our customers remain paramount,” he said.

NAN reports that  there has been  ban on interstate travels  since May 4, in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“We  cannot commence Mass Transit Train Service until interstate travel ban is lifted.

“We have been receiving calls and messages from our esteemed customers to commence operations but we cannot flout  the order banning  on interstate travels.

“The Federal Government is our employer; we have to help to contain the spread of this pandemic ravaging the world,” he said.

Alli appealed  to commuters to be patient until the  lifting of the ban on interstate travel.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Yemeni gov’t confirms 11 new COVID-19 cases, 233 in total 

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The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the Yemeni provinces controlled by the government has increased to 233 as health authorities confirmed 11 new cases on Monday.

According to a brief statement released by the country’s Health Ministry, “during the past 24 hours, 11 new cases were officially recorded in three provinces controlled by the government.”

The war-torn Arab country recorded also two more deaths among the people being treated for COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 44 in the Yemeni areas under the control of the government.

The pro-government health authorities said that the number of recoveries has increased 10 since the outbreak of coronavirus on April 10.

The Yemeni government has taken several measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, including imposing a partial overnight curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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Online child sexual abuse in Philippines triple during COVID-19 lockdown

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The Philippine justice department on Monday reported a steep upswing in online child sexual abuse cases while the country was under lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Citing data by a private organization National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Cybercrime said 279,166 child sexual abuse cases have been reported from March 1 to May 24 this year, compared to 76,561 cases over the same period in 2019.

The cases of internet-based sexual exploitation of children this year was an increase of 264 percent, the DOJ added.

“The aforesaid increase is attributable to the fact that during the enhanced community quarantine, strict home quarantine is observed in all households, and internet usage surges as people stay home,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The Philippines has been under lockdown since mid-March due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.

The DOJ blamed the increase in online sexual abuse on the failure of internet service providers (ISPs) or telecommunication companies to remove access to forms of online sexual exploitation of children.

Philippine Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete stressed the need for internet service providers to install available technology, program, or software to ensure that access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered.

(XINHUA)

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ADB approves 20 mln USD loan to support Laos’ emergency response to COVID-19

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Monday a 20-million-U.S.-dollar loan to support Laos’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Monday.

The loan, as additional financing to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Health Security Project, will assist the Lao Ministry of Health in procuring personal protective equipment, laboratory equipment, testing kits, medical devices, and ambulances.

It will also help the Lao government provide supplies and training to frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, lab testing, and clinical care for COVID-19 patients. It will also cover the government’s costs for contact tracing, risk communications, and other interventions.

“The additional financing will boost the resources and capacity of the Lao PDR’s health system to address the impacts of the pandemic,” the KPL quoted ADB Health Specialist Ye Xu as saying in a press release.

“The Lao PDR has been managing the outbreak relatively well, thanks to improved communicable disease surveillance and response capacity over the last decade. It still needs to maintain maximum preparedness and strengthen the health care service system to be able to respond to any resurgence of COVID-19,” said the health specialist.

As of Monday, Laos reported 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with evidence of limited local transmission.

The country is highly vulnerable, as the outbreak in the region forces many migrant workers to return from heavily affected neighboring countries. The health system, with limited medical personnel, supplies, and equipment, could be overwhelmed by the rapid spread of the virus, said the KPL report.

(XINHUA)

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Maldives to draft responding policy as COVID-19 cases rise to 1,395

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The government of the Maldives said it will draft a responding policy as the country’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 1,395, local media reported here Monday.

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen was quoted in state-owned Public Service media saying that a policy is being formulated in consultation with healthcare workers on how to govern the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Ameen said the experiences of the lockdown enforced on the capital region of Greater Male since April 15 will influence policy. The policy will include regulations on opening hours of private health operators as well as the establishment of a medical response team to evaluate patients before they are admitted to the hospital.

The COVID-19 has strained the healthcare system of the Maldives, Ameen said, emphasizing the need for decentralization. The government plans to create tertiary hospitals in five regions of the island as part of a long-term plan to provide trained healthcare workers to all regions.

These new hospitals will be equipped with laboratories, x-ray rooms, and ultrasound scanning facilities, with a total of 19 OPD consultation rooms, six private rooms, three ICU beds, three NICU beds, two operation theatres, and eight wards with twelve beds each.

Meanwhile, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said 24 additional COVID-19 cases were recorded as of 4:30 p.m. local time on Thursday including four Maldivians, 18 Bangladeshis and two Indians.

A total of 144 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the Maldives with four deaths reported so far.

(XINHUA)

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Health

COVID-19: WHO advises on healthy diets

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Eating healthy diet is important during the COVID-19 pandemic as food and drink can affect the body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from infections, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO said this in a statement on Monday from Geneva.

It said that no food or dietary supplements can prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, adding that healthy diets are important for supporting immune systems.

“Good nutrition can also reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer,” it said.

WHO said that for babies, a healthy diet means exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, with the introduction of nutritious and safe foods to complement breastmilk from six months to two years and beyond.

“For young children, a healthy and balanced diet is essential for growth and development. For older people, it can help to ensure healthier and more active lives,” it said.

The health agency gave tips for maintaining a healthy diet, stressing that consumption of variety of food, including fruits and vegetables was nutritious.

“Every day, eat a mix of wholegrains like wheat, maize and rice, legumes like lentils and beans, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, with some foods from animal sources like meat, fish, eggs and milk.

“Choose wholegrain foods like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice when you can; they are rich in valuable fibre and can help you feel full for longer.

“For snacks, choose raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and unsalted nuts,” it said.

It advised that salt intake should be reduced, adding that it should be limited to five grammes, equivalent to a teaspoon a day.

WHO advised that moderate amounts of fats and oils should be eaten, saying that replace butter, ghee and lard with healthier fats like olive, soy, sunflower or corn oil when cooking.

“Choose white meats like poultry and fish which are generally lower in fats than red meat; trim meat of visible fat and limit the consumption of processed meats.

“Select low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products; and avoid processed, baked and fried foods that contain industrially produced trans-fat.

“Try steaming or boiling instead of frying food when cooking,” it said.

WHO added that intake of sweets and sugary drinks such as fizzy drinks, fruit juices, liquid and powder concentrates, flavoured water, energy and sports drinks, ready-to-drink tea and coffee and flavoured milk drinks should be limited.

“Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate. When other dessert options are chosen, ensure that they are low in sugar and consume small portions.

“Avoid giving sugary foods to children. Salt and sugars should not be added to complementary foods given to children under two years of age, and should be limited beyond that age,” it said.

The health agency advised that people should stay hydrated by drinking enough water, adding that good hydration was crucial for optimal health.

“Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is a simple way to limit your intake of sugar and excess calories,” it said.

It advised people to avoid hazardous and harmful alcohol use, stressing that alcohol was not part of healthy diet.

“Drinking alcohol does not protect against COVID-19 and can be dangerous,” it warned.

WHO maintained that frequent or excessive alcohol consumption increases immediate risk of injury, as well as causing longer-term effects like liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness.

“There is no safe level of alcohol consumption,” it said.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 110,000: Africa CDC

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent surpassed 111,348 as the death toll from the ongoing pandemic surged to 3,348 as of Monday afternoon, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The Africa CDC, in its latest continental situation update report issued on Monday, showed that some 44,630 people who have been infected with the COVID-19 have recovered across the continent as of Monday afternoon.

Figures from the Africa CDC also showed that amid the rapid spread of the virus across the continent, the highly COVID-19 affected African countries include South Africa with 22,583 confirmed cases, Egypt with 17,265 confirmed cases, Algeria with 8,306 confirmed cases, and Nigeria with 7,839 confirmed cases.

The Africa CDC said that the Northern African region is the most affected area across the continent both in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of deaths.

The continental disease control and prevention agency added that the COVID-19 pandemic had spread across all 54 African countries.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Senegal reports 83 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, total reaching 3,130

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Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action on Monday reported 83 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 3,130 in the country.

Of the 83 new cases, 79 are follow-up contact cases and four community-transmission ones, ministry spokesperson Aloyse Waly Diouf told a daily briefing on the pandemic.

A total of 1,091 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours, he said.

An additional 59 patients recovered from the disease, bring the total of recoveries to 1,515. The number of patients in intensive care units rose to 15, Diouf said.

The death toll remains at 35 across the country.

Senegal, which reported the first confirmed case on March 2, now has a total of 3,130 cases, including 2,761 follow-up contact cases, 89 imported ones and 280 community-transmission ones.

President Macky Sall on Sunday urged citizens to stay vigilant and observe preventive measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Although the situation appears to be stabilizing in the country, Senegal faces a possible rise of imported cases from neighboring countries.

Its northern neighbor Mauritania reported a surge of confirmed cases last week, while Mali on Monday reported nine new cases in the western region of Kayes, right next to the border with Senegal.

Across Senegal’s southern border, Guinea-Bissau on Sunday reported 64 positive cases out of 84 samples tested.

Senegal’s state of emergency over the pandemic, declared on March 24, was extended early May to last through June 2. Residents are subject to a 9 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew and required to wear masks at all public places.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

COVID-19 cases in Belarus rise to 37,144

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Belarus reported 946 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking its total to 37,144.

Of all the country’s confirmed cases, 14,449 people have recovered so far, while 204 people with chronic diseases have died from the epidemic, according to the health ministry.

As of Monday, over 463,000 tests for the novel coronavirus have been conducted across the country, the ministry said.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Kwara records 4 new COVID-19 cases

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The Kwara government says it has recorded four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 74, as of May 24.
Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Spokesman of the state Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement issued on Monday in Ilorin.
Ajakaye said that out of the 1,112 tests so far conducted, 1,030 tested negative for the coronavirus, while 44 were active out of the remaining 74 cases.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in its verified website, stated that 34 patients had so far been discharged and one death recorded in the state.

Edited By: Joe Idika and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Japan to add 11 countries to entry ban list amid spread of COVID-19

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that Japan will deny the entry of foreign nationals from an additional 11 countries including India, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to the entry ban, non-Japanese citizens who have been in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Guinea, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, South Africa and Tajikistan within two weeks of their arrival in Japan will be turned away at the border.

The ban will take effect from Wednesday, said Abe, adding that it will remain in place “for the time being.”

The addition brings the total number of countries and regions covered by the entry ban to 111, including China, South Korea, the United States and all of Europe.

While Japanese citizens can re-enter the country, they must undergo coronavirus testing and self-quarantine for two weeks to see if they develop symptoms such as high fever and coughing.

Japan will maintain other border control measures until the end of next month, including visa suspensions and a two-week quarantine period for all arrivals, said Abe.

(XINHUA)

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