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I’ll prioritise students, staff welfare, attract research funding – New KWASU VC

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Prof. Muhammed Akanbi, the new Vice-Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, says his priorities will include students and staff welfare, attracting research funding and usage of ICT for development.

Prof. Akanbi told newsmen on Friday in Ilorin that he would strive to help academic staff attend local and international conferences to widen their horizon and secure grants for them for research and innovations.

He added that he would also focus on adequate motivation of members of staff to enable them deliver optimally.

The professor of law said that he would also ensure that the university focused on its students, stressing that the essence of a university was to primarily teach students and, in turn, help the society.

”I will also be looking at funding, because in a state university, we need funding. Without adequate funding, we will not be in a position to deliver much.

”I also intend to look into Information Technology (IT), because we live in an IT world.

”The school already has a solid foundation for IT. So we intend to improve on it.

”As you can see, with the Coronavirus challenge that we are having, students are not in school but we can’t sit down.

”We will have a vibrant and robust ICT learning resource centre and we can, from our homes, do teaching and research.

“Of course, the people that will support me to achieve this mission are the members of staff, both academic and nonacademic. So I intend to invest in their welfare.

”We are going to ensure that they are well motivated so as to be able to deliver”, Akanbi said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the state government had, on Wednesday, accepted the recommendation of KWASU’s governing council to appoint Akanbi as the new Vice Chancellor.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

Bushrah Yusuf: 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

Foreign

New York state to provide death benefits for fallen COVID-19 frontline workers

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New York state and local governments will provide death benefits for those frontline workers who died from COVID-19, said Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, also the country’s annual Memorial Day.

He began with a moment of silence to honor the fallen veterans of the United States, including those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

“I personally feel a grave responsibility to our frontline and essential workers who understood the dangers of this virus, but went to work anyway because we needed them to,” said Cuomo.

He noted that those covered by the benefits include public health care workers, police workers, EMS workers, fire department workers, among other frontline workers who got infected with the virus while working during the pandemic and finally succumbed to it.

“And we’re going to make sure that every government in the State of New York provides death benefits to those public heroes who died from COVID-19 during this emergency,” he added.

Cuomo also called on the federal government to provide dedicated federal funding for hazard pay to frontline workers “as a way of saying ‘thank you.'”

The briefing was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, an aircraft carrier docking by the west side of Manhattan, to mark the special day.

Long Island and Mid-Hudson in New York state are ready to restart the economy later this week, and the governor has said he expects New York City to follow suit in early June.

The state now allows gatherings with up to 10 people following the governor’s order last Friday. On Monday, New Yorkers held small ceremonies and car convoys to honor Memorial Day instead of parades as they traditionally did.

The state lost 96 people to COVID-19 the previous day, and other major indicators such as total hospitalizations and net change in hospitalizations kept trending down.

Another 1,249 cases were confirmed, bringing the state’s total to 362,764 as of Monday afternoon, state data showed.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt registers 702 new COVID-19 cases, tally close to 18,000

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The Egyptian government on Monday announced 702 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the North African country to 17,967.

Meanwhile, 19 new deaths were recorded, taking the total number of fatalities to 783, while 93 more fully recovered and were discharged from hospitals in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,900, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Feb. 14 and the first death on March 8, both foreigners.

During the six-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which started on Sunday, the evening curfew in Egypt lasts 13 hours instead of nine to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the increasing COVID-19 infections.

After the Islamic holiday, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours for two weeks, before the government will consider from mid-June easing restrictions and gradually resuming suspended activities.

Egypt has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Egypt has received three batches of medical aid from the Chinese government to help its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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20 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Syria, 106 in total

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Syria registered on Monday 20 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 106, the health ministry said in a statement.

All new cases are those who returned from abroad as part of the government’s effort to bring stranded Syrians back, said the ministry.

A total of 41 have been cured of the virus while four died, the ministry added.

China has offered help to Syria to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. On April 15, a batch of China‘s donation, including 2,016 COVID-19 test kits, arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus.

On April 23, a video-conference was held between Chinese and Syrian medical experts for sharing the experience in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Morocco reports 99 new COVID-19 cases, 7,532 in total

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The Moroccan health ministry on Monday reported 99 new infections with COVID-19, bringing the total number in the North African country to 7,532.

The number of the recoveries increased to 4,774 after 71 new ones were added, Mohamed El Youbi, director of Epidemiology at the ministry, said at his daily briefing.

He also reported one new fatality, bringing the death toll from the coronavirus to 200.

The official underlined the stability of the coronavirus mortality rate in Morocco which stands at 2.7 percent, saying the recovery rate rose to 63.4 percent.

Casablanca, where 2,510 cases have been confirmed, registers as the region with the largest number of infections in Morocco.

(XINHUA)

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822 new COVID-19 cases reported in UAE, 30,307 in total

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced 822 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 30,307.

UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said in a statement the new cases of many nationalities are all in a stable condition and receiving medical treatment.

And 601 more patients have recovered from the virus, taking the tally of the UAE’s recoveries to 15,657, according to the ministry.

It also confirmed three more deaths, pushing the country’s death toll from the pandemic to 248.

The UAE was the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases.

(XINHUA)

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Turkey reports 987 new COVID-19 cases, 157,814 in total

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The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey reached to 157,814 on Monday, with 987 new daily cases, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The death toll surged to 4,369 after 29 new fatalities in the past 24 hours, the minister tweeted.

Turkey conducted 21,492 tests for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of tests carried out to 1,853,754, he stated.

Some 1,321 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of patients recovered from COVID-19 to 120,015 while 756 are being treated at intensive care units and 371 are intubated, the minister said.

Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case on March 11. Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. China has facilitated the procurement of medical supplies by Turkey.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Somalia confirms 95 new COVID-19 cases as total hits 1,689

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Somali health ministry on Monday confirmed 95 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of infections to 1,689.

Fawziya Abikar, health minister, said 31 people recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have been discharged from hospitals to 235.

The minister said five patients succumbed to the disease, raising the total number of deaths to 66.

Somalia has taken urgent measures to counter the effects of COVID-19 and contain the spread of the virus, including closing schools, banning large gatherings and suspending both international and domestic passenger flights.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

1,751 new COVID-19 infections detected in Qatar, total 45,465

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Qatar’s Health Ministry on Monday announced 1,751 new infections of the COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 45,465.

“A total of 1,193 people recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 10,363, while three died, raising the fatalities to 26,” the official Qatar News Agency reported, quoting a ministry statement.

Most of the new cases are of expatriate workers who have been subject to quarantine after they were found to have been in contact with confirmed cases.

A total of 192,484 persons have undergone lab tests for COVID-19 so far.

China and Qatar have offered mutual help during the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Laos reports 38 new cases of dengue fever, 1 new death

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Laos reported 38 new confirmed cases of dengue fever and one new death from the disease, according to Lao Ministry of Health report.

The highest number of dengue patients were reported in Lao capital Vientiane at 345 with two deaths, while 190 cases were reported in Attapeu province, and 186 cases were reported in Vientiane province.

As of Sunday, 1,337 people had been diagnosed with dengue fever and four deaths were recorded, according to the Center of Information and Education for Health under the Lao Ministry of Health.

Lao health authorities urged people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of dengue fever.

Meanwhile, improvement of the diagnosis and treatment of dengue at hospitals and dispensaries is necessary to prevent unavoidable deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, dengue is one of the fastest emerging infections and is currently the most rapidly spreading viral disease known, with Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore also seeing high incidence. The number of cases in the Western Pacific Region has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

(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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Foreign

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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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

Japan lifts state of emergency over coronavirus for entire country, ushers in era of “new normal”

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency in the five remaining prefectures still under restrictions, including Tokyo, as the spread of the virus has largely been brought under control.

“Today the government will lift the state of emergency across the nation. We’ve set some of the most strict criteria in the world to lift the declaration, and we concluded that prefectures across the country have met that standard,” the Japanese leader told a press conference.

The five prefectures that had remained under restrictions were Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama and Hokkaido.

The lifting of the state of emergency came after the government’s coronavirus advisory panel showed support for the move earlier in the day.

The emergency measures were issued first for Tokyo, Osaka and five other urban areas on April 7, before being expanded nationwide in mid-April and with the deadline extended thereafter until the end of May.

The advisory panel had been focusing on criteria for the emergency period being lifted which was based around the number of newly reported cases over the past week, the availability of medical resources, and the capacity to provide virus tests and monitor the spread of the virus.

“The advisory panel has agreed that all prefectures no longer need to be under a state of emergency and that lifting the declaration is appropriate,” Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, adding that the situation would be closely monitored and reviewed every three weeks.

Nishimura also said that social and economic activities, including large-scale events, would be phased back in, although people would still be asked not to travel across prefecture lines until the end of the month.

The government, while showing caution amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been keen to see the economy fully reopened as the five prefectures that had remained under emergency restrictions account for around one-third of the country’s gross domestic product.

Data released by the government showed that Japan’s economy shrank for a second straight quarter in the January-March period and entered a technical recession under the impact of the pandemic.

The Cabinet Office said the economy shrank by an annualized real 3.4 percent in the January-March period from the previous quarter.

The decrease in the quarter corresponds to a 0.9-percent decline on a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, the Cabinet Office said.

The Japanese leader is now tasked with ushering in a “new normal” for the society, which balances the rejuvenation of the economy with guarding against an explosive second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Abe had said earlier that another state of emergency could be declared if the country is faced with a second wave of infections.

“Our businesses and daily routines will be completely disrupted if we continue with strict curbs on social and economic activity. From now on, it’s important to think about how we can conduct business and live our lives while still controlling the risk of infection,” Abe said.

He said wearing face masks in public should be kept up and social distancing measures maintained. Abe also said that teleworking does not need to be immediately halted as medical experts have warned that relaxing too many restrictions too soon could trigger another wave of infections.

As for the greater Tokyo area, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike offered her thanks to the people for their efforts to help contain the pneumonia-causing virus, but warned them to remain cautious and not to let their guards down.

“There could be a second or third wave of infections so I need to ask the citizens of Tokyo for their continued cooperation,” Koike said.

Under Koike’s stewardship, the Tokyo metropolitan government has set out a roadmap toward resuming economic and social activities in the nation’s capital. The roadmap has been divided into three phases.

Phase one, which could kick off as soon as Tuesday, will see restrictions begin to be eased on museums and libraries. Restaurants and bars in this phase will be allowed to stay open until 10:00 p.m., beyond the previous closing time of 8:00 p.m. under the prior emergency measures.

The second phase, possibly to begin at the end of the month, involves easing the restrictions for cinemas and theaters and cram schools, while the final phase will allow restaurants to stay open until midnight and amusement parks and pachinko parlors to reopen, although high-risk businesses like karaoke bars, gyms and hostess bars will be requested to stay closed.

Professional sports, including baseball and basketball leagues, will be allowed to resume without spectators from June 19, according to the government’s latest plans issued Monday.

High schools that fall under the auspices of the Tokyo metropolitan government will be phased back in, with students rotating between classes and online learning. The number of students attending regular classes will be gradually increased, with the situation being constantly monitored, Tokyo officials said.

For the city to move to the next phase, there must be fewer than 20 daily infections on average across a week, with the percentage of untraceable cases remaining below 50 percent. The number of total weekly infections must be lower than the previous week, while the number of seriously ill, testing capacity and medical facilities’ occupancy rates will also be factored in, the officials said,

“Recently, the number of new cases in Tokyo has been relatively low. If this welcome trend continues, we may progress along the roadmap more quickly than expected. We want to be flexible,” Koike has said.

According to the latest figures on Monday evening from the health ministry and local authorities, 17 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed nationwide, bringing the total to 16,628 cases.

The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus, including those from a cruise ship that had been quarantined in Yokohama, totals 864 people.

(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

Brunei reports no new COVID-19 cases for 18 straight days

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Brunei reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday with the national tally of cases standing at 141, marking the 18th consecutive day without new cases.

According to Brunei’s Ministry of Health, no more recoveries were recorded on Monday, maintaining the total number of recovered cases at 137.

Only three active cases are still receiving treatment at the National Isolation Center, and two patients remain in critical condition. There has been so far one death resulting from the COVID-19 in Brunei.

(XINHUA)

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Ukraine reports 259 new COVID-19 cases

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Ukraine’s health ministry said on Monday that 259 more people have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising the total number to 21,245.

The ministry said 623 people have so far died from the disease, while 7,234 patients have recovered. Of the infected, 1,546 are children and 4,112 are health workers.

A total of 6,620 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized since the beginning of the epidemic, it said.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian government introduced adaptive quarantine measures from May 22 to June 2.

(XINHUA)

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Belgium enters new deconfinement stage with more students returning to school

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Belgium entered in a new stage of the government’s Phase-2 deconfinement plan Monday, with more pupils filing back to the classroom.

The wearing of masks is not compulsory for children under 12 years old. However, hygiene measures and physical distance will have to be respected.

The new stage also concerns prisons. Visits will resume there under the strict conditions of one visit per prisoner and once a week.

The public health institute Sciensano on Monday reported 250 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 57,342 since the pandemic hit the country.

“These new infections confirm the continuing downward trend… over the past few days,” said Yves Van Laethem, inter-federal spokesman on the fight against COVID-19.

The same 24 hours saw 27 new hospitalizations, a decrease of around 4 percent, and 32 deaths, according to Laethem.

As of Monday, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 9,312 lives in Belgium since its outbreak. Currently, 251 patients are in intensive care, down by five from a day earlier.

Belgium entered Phase-2 deconfinement on May 18, with schools reopening to some grades under strict organizational conditions.

(XINHUA)

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Gov. Oyetola mourns New Telegraph editor, says death huge blow to journalism

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Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has described the death of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Saturday Editor of The New Telegraph Newspapers, as “a devastating blow and a great loss to his immediate family and journalism in Nigeria”.

Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Monday in Osogbo, commiserated with Bakare’s family, friends, colleagues, the Journalists’ Hangout family and the management of The New Telegraph Newspapers over the loss.

The governor described Bakare as a hardworking, talented, cerebral and an accomplished journalist that would be sorely missed by all.

“I received with great shock the passing of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Editor, Saturday New Telegraph.

“His death is not only a loss to his family, but also to the journalism profession.

“As people who believe in God, we should take it in good faith and give gratitude to God that the late journalist ran a good race and gave a good account of himself as a newsroom leader and gatekeeper.

“As a professional and a devout Muslim, Bakare showed class in the discharge of his responsibilities.

“My deep condolences go to the entire family, the New Telegraph management as well as all journalists in Nigeria. He will be sorely missed.

“I pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljanah Firdaus. I also pray Allah to comfort his bereaved family and loved ones,” Oyetola added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bakare died on Sunday after a brief illness.

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Foreign

Bangladesh records highest daily spike with 1,975 new COVID-19 cases, death toll tops 500

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh reached 35,585, including 1,975 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours, the biggest daily jump since March 8, a senior health ministry official told a media briefing on television on Monday.

With 21 new deaths, the toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country reached 501 on Monday, said Professor Nasima Sultana, additional director general of Directorate General of Health Services under the Ministry of Health.

She said 9,451 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh, which used to record the highest daily increase of 1,873 cases on May 23.

During the last 24 hours, she said 433 more patients were released from hospitals and clinics, bringing the number of recovered patients in the country to 7,334.

(XINHUA)

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Indonesia reports 479 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths

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The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 479 within one day to 22,750, with the death toll adding by 19 to 1,391, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference on Monday.

Jakarta, home to some 10 million people, suffers the highest number of deaths totaling 501, followed by East Java 292, West Java 128, Central Java 70, Banten 66, South Sulawesi 66, South Kalimantan 61 and the rest recorded in other areas.

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

Authorities have been conducting rapid tests in areas where cases were detected, and ordering the public to always wear masks to curb the spread.

The COVID-19 National Task Force’s Chief Doni Monardo said people who are traveling in the country must show medical certificates proving that they had gone through either rapid tests or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the COVID-19.

The certificates for rapid tests and those for PCR tests last three days and seven days respectively, he added.

Monardo said the certificates must be shown to authorities at security screening checkpoints in roads, airports, seaports and railway stations.

“If a person can’t show the certificate, authorities will require the person to return to his or her departure point,” he stated.

(XINHUA)

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