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COVID-19: Philanthropist donates palliative to boxers in Enugu

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The Enugu State Boxers Association (ESBA) on Thursday distributed food items to boxers in the state  as palliative to cushion the effect of COVID-19.

The items including bags of rice, Garri, salt, cartons of tomato paste, spices and cash, were donated by Mr Chales Ike, a board member of the association.

Ike,board, a businessman, had in time past, donated a boxing ring to boxers in the state.

Mr Ebere Amaraizu, ESBA Vice-Chairman, while distributing  the food item among the boxers in Enugu,  said the gesture would bring relief  to the boxers who had been facing untold hardships due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Amaraizu, who was a former Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) , Police Command, Enugu said it would put boxers in the spirit of competition pending the return of normal activities.

”We believe that after the pandemic, activities will resume and this is  to ensure that the boxers were good to go for action.

”Also, it will boost their morale for competitions coming ahead, so that was why the palliative became necessary,” he said.

Amaraizu said that the boxers had been training daily with the observation of the Nigeria Council for Disease and Control (NCDC) measures on coronavirus.

Also speaking, Director for Coaching in the Enugu State Ministry of Youths and Sports, Ben Onuaguluchi, appreciated the philanthropist gesture to the boxers.

He said that what the donor did showed that he had passion for  boxing.

”The donor is magnanimity enough to have secured this food items and it shows that he has passion for the sports.

”Ike has set the pace and others need to follow suit and the authority need to put people who have passion for sports at the head of sports association,” he said.

Onuaguluchi pleaded with the state government to ensure that the athletes were called back to camp immediately after the pandemic.

He said the reason was to foster good outing at the postponed National Sports Festival (NSF) which might  likely come up once the pandemic was over.

In her response, a boxer, Modesta Agbowo, thanked the donor, Ike,  and  ESBA for remembering boxers this time of  Coronavirus pandemic

”This is not the first time you people are coming to our aid and on behalf of my colleagues, I say may God continue to enrich you all, ” she said. 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Spotlight: How would United States exit from WHO harm global fight against COVID-19?

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The U.S. exit from the World Health Organization (WHO) would undermine international efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that guarantee public health and save lives, officials and experts across the world have warned.

United States President Donald Trump said on Friday that his country is “terminating” its relationship with the WHO. The announcement came days after the White House, in a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, threatened to make the temporary freeze of United States funding “permanent” and reconsider its membership in the organization.

Experts have voiced concerns over the decision made by the United States government, saying the move is undermining the irreplaceable role of the WHO in coordinating global efforts in combating COVID-19 and delivering necessary aid to developing and particularly under-developed countries whose public health systems are very vulnerable.

For those countries which are still struggling with the rising COVID-19 cases and are highly dependent on the guidance, equipment and concrete life-saving services provided by the WHO, the U.S. funding freeze is no doubt a fatal shock, they said.

Dad Mohammad Annabi, an Afghan researcher and editor-in-chief of the Islah Daily, said: “Cutting more than 400 million United States dollars to the WHO definitely would undermine the global health agency’s performances including the war on COVID-19 and research on how to make a vaccine to cure the killing disease in the world.”

“Afghanistan is part of the international community and like other nations has been fighting COVID-19, and certainly a financial cut to the WHO would undermine the entity’s support to Afghanistan,” Annabi said.

Trump’s plan has also triggered widespread criticism from the international community, even from the traditional allies of the United States. The U.S. exit from the WHO is contrary to multilateralism and would disrupt global efforts to fight against the virus, especially those in vaccine development.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in a statement that “the WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future.”

“For this, the participation and support of all is required and very much needed. In the face of this global threat, now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions. Actions that weaken international results must be avoided,” they said in the statement.

“In this context, we urge the United States to reconsider its announced decision,” they said in the statement.

Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris described Trump’s plan to cut ties with the WHO as an “awful decision” on Twitter.

“Awful decision. Now more than ever the world needs multilateralism. A global pandemic requires the world to work together,” Harris tweeted.

Apart from criticism from the international community, Trump’s announcement also triggered disagreement across the United States. The country alone has reported more than 1.7 million COVID-19 cases with over 104,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Both figures are far higher than those in any other country or region.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law and director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, described the move as “foolish and arrogant” on Twitter.

“Trump’s action is an enormous disruption and distraction during an unprecedented health crisis,” said Gostin, also the director of the WHO collaborating center on national and global health law. “The President has made us less safe.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said that “the United States cannot eliminate this virus on its own and to withdraw from the World Health Organization — the world‘s leading public health body — is nothing short of reckless.”

(XINHUA)

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Armenian PM, family test positive for COVID-19

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Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced via Facebook on Monday that he and his family had tested positive for COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Life edges closer to normal as Aussie states ease COVID-19 restrictions

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Life for Australians in several major states edged closer to normal on Monday, with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and businesses after months of strict lockdowns.

Gatherings of up to 50 people were permitted once again, with restaurants and pubs being allowed to reopen, along with gyms, zoos, beauty salons, places of worship and other public institutions such as libraries and galleries.

While specific rules differed from state to state, with some only allowing gatherings of 20 people, the effect on thousands of businesses nationwide was significant and offered the return of a lifestyle similar to that of pre-COVID-19.

There were however rules for establishments to follow to prevent a second wave of infections, including allowing only one person per four square metres of space.

“We need to accept life will be different until we have an effective treatment or a vaccine,” New South Wales State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

“A simple tip advocated by health experts is to act as if you are infectious which will help you think twice about how you interact around others, as more restrictions are eased.”

With many domestic borders remaining closed despite discussions between state leaders, Aussies were urged to take a holiday closer to home and help reinvigorate the nation’s badly affected tourism industry.

State leaders encouraged their constituents to take the money they would normally spend overseas or interstate, and use it to support local businesses and attractions.

“In terms of our spend, we spend billions and billions on international or interstate travel each and every year,” Western Australia State Premier Mark McGowan said.

“This is the opportunity to spend all of that money right here in Western Australia, whether it is our magnificent regional communities or our great city places to spend your money.”

The easing of restrictions follows a significant drop in the number of new cases being recorded despite widespread testing.

On Monday, the aged care home which staged one of the country’s largest clusters was declared infection-free.

Nineteen residents died, with 37 residents and 34 staff testing positive for the virus at the nursing home during the outbreak, which began in mid-April after a member of staff worked six shifts with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

(XINHUA)

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Mongolia confirms 6 new COVID-19 cases, 185 in total

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Mongolia reported six new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, bringing the national count to 185, the country’s National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Monday.

“A total of 371 tests for COVID-19 were conducted in the country yesterday and six of them were positive,” NCCD head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu told a daily press conference.

The new patients are Mongolian nationals who returned home from Russia on May 15, said Nyamkhuu.

All the COVID-19 cases in Mongolia were imported, mostly from Russia. Among them, a total of 44 patients, including four foreigners, have recovered.

No local transmissions or deaths have been reported in the Asian country so far.

(XINHUA)

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India reports highest daily spike of 8,392 COVID-19 cases as total reach 190,535

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India’s federal health ministry Monday morning reported 230 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 8,392 more positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 5,394 and total cases to 190,535.

This was so far the highest single-day spike in the cases.

According to officials, 91,819 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

“The number of active cases in the country right now is 93,322,” reads the information.

The fifth phase of the nationwide lockdown came into force from Monday, making several relaxations and reopening in a phased manner.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown On March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19 and break the chain of infection.

(XINHUA)

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S. Korea reports 35 more COVID-19 cases, 11,503 in total

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South Korea reported 35 more cases of the COVID-19 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.

Of the new cases, five were imported, lifting the combined figure to 1,264.

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

A total of 17 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number of recoveries to 10,422. The total recovery rate was 90.6 percent.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 921,000 people, among whom 885,830 tested negative for the virus and 24,058 are being checked.

(XINHUA)

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Spotlight: More countries to ease COVID-19 restrictions as global cases rise with Latin America as new epicenter

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More countries in Europe and Asia began to ease restrictions and resume operations, but more than 1 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, now the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 6.16 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

NEW EPICENTER

Brazil on Sunday said its nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 514,849 after 16,409 people tested positive in the past 24 hours, while the death toll neared 30,000.

Its death toll rose to 29,314, the fourth highest in the global pandemic after the United States, Britain and Italy, after 480 deaths had been reported since Saturday, while another 4,208 deaths are still being investigated for any linkage with COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said.

Also on Sunday, Mexico‘s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said that the country reported 3,152 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 90,664.

There were 151 new coronavirus deaths in Mexico, taking total fatalities to 9,930, Lopez-Gatell added.

Meanwhile, Chile‘s COVID-19 cases increased by 4,830 to reach 99,688 on Sunday.

In the past 24 hours, 57 more patients died, the highest number of fatalities in a single day so far, taking the death toll from the disease to 1,054.

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.

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.

EASING RESTRICTIONS

Italy has now recorded fewer than 600 new cases per day for eight consecutive days, a dramatic drop from peaks of more than 6,000 new infections a day, when Italy was the epicenter of the pandemic in late March.

Recent trends show that the spread of the virus has slowed dramatically despite a gradual easing of Italy’s national lockdown at a two-week interval, first on May 4 and again on May 18.

The next step toward easing will come on June 3, when Italians will be allowed to move freely between regions even if for non-essential reasons. It will be the first time such travels will be allowed since March 9, the day before the national lockdown entered into force.

Many businesses across Turkey on Sunday also prepared to resume operation for the first time after over two months of closure amid a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, daycare centers, kindergartens, libraries, sports facilities, swimming pools, and museums will be operational as of June 1 as part of the new normalization process announced on May 28.

Following the announcement, the Health Ministry prepared a guide in particular for the eating and drinking industry, explaining the new rules in a detailed way.

Likewise, the Egyptian government on Sunday announced a decision to reduce its curfew from 10 hours to nine, 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.

Chairing Saturday‘s Downing Street daily briefing, British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Britons will be able to exercise outside with up to five others from different households from Monday, provided that strict social distancing guidelines are followed.

He also announced that from Monday, competitive sport will be allowed behind closed doors in England, paving the way for the return of live sports on TV screens in almost three months.

The move came as some experts warned that lifting restrictions before cases come down is too “risky.” Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England‘s deputy chief medical officer, said that Britons need to “actually follow the guidance.”

(XINHUA)

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COVID-19 hotspots in South Africa may be placed on higher alert level: president

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Some COVID-19 hotspots in South Africa may be placed on a higher alert if special interventions fail to contain the pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

Different approaches have been introduced to deal with high-infection areas, known as hotspots, and low-infection areas, which require vigilance and surveillance, Ramaphosa said during a virtual engagement with the South African National Editors Forum.

The remarks came a day before the country is set to lower the alert level from four to three, under which 8 million people will be allowed to return to work as most economic sectors in the country reopen.

“We are re-opening most areas of the economy so that people can earn a living, and so that this immediate health crisis does not result in a permanent economic crisis,” Ramaphosa said.

But hotspots where confirmed cases rise at a fast rate remain a concern, particularly after the further easing of restrictions, the president said.

Special interventions will be made in hotspot areas by deploying dedicated, multidisciplinary teams to contain the outbreak, including epidemiologists, doctors, nurses and community health workers, he added.

As of Sunday, the country reported 32,683 cases of COVID-19 with 683 deaths. The Western Cape, the hardest-hit province, recorded 21,382 cases with 503 deaths.

“It is of utmost importance that we reduce the rate of spread in the Western Cape and we do everything possible to prevent other parts of the country from following a similar trajectory,” Ramaphosa said.

Each hotspot will be linked to testing and quarantine facilities, and additional hospital beds when necessary, with a close focus on tracing contacts and isolating them so as to prevent further transmission, Ramaphosa said.

(XINHUA)

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Peru confirms 8,805 new COVID-19 cases as total hits 164,476

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Peru reported 8,805 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 135 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total caseload of infections to 164,476 and the death toll to 4,506.

Currently, 8,882 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with 988 in intensive care units and on ventilators, the Health Ministry said.

Peru will continue to use the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat patients, Health Minister Victor Zamora said, adding that it was recommended by a team of experts.

The World Health Organization has recently advised against using the medication on COVID-19 patients due to an estimated higher mortality rate caused by the drug.

Peru’s lockdown has been extended to June 30 in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

(XINHUA)

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

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