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Lockdown: Yobe enforcement team visits Int’l border, monitors closure



The Yobe State COVID-19 Sub-Committee on Security and Enforcement, on Monday visited Yobe-Niger Republic border communities.

The visit is aimed at monitoring and ensuring strict adherence to the total lockdown directive of the state government.

Brig-Gen. Dahiru Abdulsalam (Rtd), the Head of Security and Enforcement Committee, explained the aim of the committee, while addressing the Area Commander of Gaidam and other security operatives in Yunusari Local Government Area.

“The essence of this visit is to evaluate the level of compliance with the restriction of movement in and out of Yobe, to avoid importing the virus to the state.

“The visit is also to see how the security agencies are conducting themselves and carrying out their assigned tasks.

“It is also to encourage them on the assigned tasks and to find out if they have challenges, so that we can assist them to address the challenges for better and more efficient performance of their duties, “he said.

Abdulsalam noted some challenges identified by the committee.

“Apart from the weather condition which is very harsh, there is issue of articulation of command between the various security agencies.

“This, we have resolved and directed them on how to conduct the operations, which must be with unity of command among them.”

Dr Ali Abbas, the Secretary of the Sub-Committee, emphasised that fighting Coronavirus was like fighting a war which must be addressed collectively irrespective of differences.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the Committee visited Yobe-Niger Republic, Yobe-Bauchi, Yobe-Gombe, Yobe-Jigawa borders to monitor and evaluate compliance of the lockdown directive.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)


South Africa eases lockdown level




A horse rider practices at a horseback riding site in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 3, 2020. South Africa imposed the lockdown on March 27 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was lowered from level five to level four on May 1, and again eased to level three on June 1. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

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Lockdown: Abubakar Rimi Market loses over N15m revenue



The management of the  Abubakar Rimi Market, Kano,  says it has lost over N15 million in revenue since the lockdown of the state aimed at curbing  COVID-19 spread.

Mr Muhammad Bashir, the market’s Director of Administration and General Services,  gave the figure while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Kano.

“As a result of this loss, we cannot even pay our staff salaries; we pay our staff from revenue we generate.

“Every month, we generate over N12 million out of which we normally spend over N8 million as workers’ salaries,” he said.

Bashir said that huge business activities in the market were making social distancing difficult.

The director said that the management of the market had, however,  received over 20,000 face masks from the Kano State Government for distribution to traders and  customers to reduce COVID-19 spread. 

Bashir appealed to the state government to assist the management with funds to enable it to pay workers’ salaries.

The director said that payment of workers’ salaries would reduce hardship induced  by the 45-day-old lockdown.

He hailed the state government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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Uber signals recovery in rides as lockdown restrictions ease




Bengaluru, June 3, 3030 Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday trip requests were gradually picking up, but still remained significantly below prior year levels, as several countries start to lift coronavirus-led restrictions.

Trip requests are now down about 70 per cent from a year earlier, slightly lesser than April’s 80 per cent drop, Chief Executive Officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a conference with Bank of America analysts.

He said the company’s rides business is improving on a week-over-week basis.

He added that the surge in food-delivery orders at Uber Eats recorded in the first quarter, showed no signs of slowing in May, easing concerns of investors who thought it could be a one-off trend during the pandemic.

Ridership in Hong Kong, which has been one of the most successful cities in the world at containing the novel coronavirus outbreak, has recovered more than 80 per cent from its coronavirus-driven lows, Khosrowshahi said.

Rival Lyft Inc also signalled a rebound in ridership on Tuesday, saying rides on its platform rose 26 per cent in May from the previous month.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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General news

Lockdown: Gov. Oyetola orders reopening of worship centre in Osun



Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun on Wednesday ordered partial reopening of worship centres in the state for two weeks.

Oyetola, in a meeting held with Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Osogbo, said the decision to reopen worship centers partially was in response to the leaders’ request.

He also said that the reopening was due to Federal Government resolve to lift ban on religious activities.

The governor said the state government had prepared guidelines that must be followed to forestall possible spread of the virus as a result of the reopening of worship centres.

Oyetola said further actions by the government would be determined by the effect of compliance level to the guidelines by churches and mosques during the two-week period.

He also said that only regular church services of not more than one hour and maximum of two services would be allowed.

”Jumat service including khutbah (sermon) and prayers must not exceed 20 minutes.

”Vulnerable individuals such as those from age 65 and above and people with underlying ailments such as tuberculosis and diabetes were to continue worshipping at their respective homes,” Oyetola said.

He also directed that all church and mosque premises be fumigated to ensure that the environment are free of virus and other infectious diseases.

“Worshipers are to keep reasonable space in churches and mosques and no worship centre must be filled to capacity during any service and solat, respectively.

“Attendance at any service or solat must not exceed one-third capacity of the church or mosque.

“There should be provision of washing facilities or sanitisers for worshipers before entering the churches and mosques.

“Also, use of face mask is important, sharing of worship devices such as microphones and other musical gadgets should be discouraged. Water and food distribution during service should not be allowed.

“Worshippers must avoid exchange of banters and social distancing must be strictly observed.

”Windows in churches and mosques should be opened during worship for ventilation.

“Signage and notices should be placed at strategic locations to remind worshippers of best hygiene practices to be observed,” the governor said.

He also mandated churches and mosques to provide thermometers to check temperature of worshippers, adding that whoever has high temperature should not be allowed into the worship centres.

The governor added that vigils and children activities remain suspended, and that worship centres with support of security operatives should set up taskforce to enforce compliance with measures put in place by the government.

He, however, appreciated the leadership of both religions for their cooperation and understanding since the lockdown began in the state.

“We seek your continued cooperation so that we can together save our people from this deadly outbreak,” the governor said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Number of working Italians declines in April amid coronavirus lockdown




The number of Italians with jobs dropped again in April, pushed in part by people who stopped looking for work, Italy’s National Statistics Institute (ISTAT)said Wednesday.

Employment levels in Italy fell in February and again in March due to the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, which started to slow the global economy in February. In March, Italy declared national lockdown due to the coronavirus.

What is unusual about April is that unemployment levels actually dropped, falling to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since 2007. That was down from 8.4 percent unemployment in March.

But the ISTAT said the figure dropped mostly because fewer people were looking for work. On a monthly basis, the number of people actually employed in April dropped by 1.2 percent, representing a loss of 274,000 jobs.

The losses were across the board, including female workers (down 1.5 percent), male workers (down 1.0 percent), independent workers (down 1.3 percent), and across all age groups.

All told, the number of people ISTAT records as “inactive” — those who are unemployed and not looking for work — grew by 5.4 percent, an increase of 746,000 workers compared with March.

Economists are split on what the figures will show for May. Italy carried out methodical easing of lockdown rules starting on May 4 and again on May 18, meaning more shops, restaurants, bars, and other businesses could reopen. That is likely to have created jobs that had been dormant in April, but it may have also increased the number of job-seekers, which would push unemployment figures higher.


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Lockdown: FRSC tasks personnel on enforcement



The Corp Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has tasked Commanding Officers to approach the enforcement of the Presidential directives with all vigour.

The Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, disclosed this in a statement released to the News Agency of Nigeria, on Wednesday in Abuja.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on the commencement of the Phase II of eased lockdown, spanning from June 2 to June 29

Oyeyemi said the call was necessary in order to flatten the curve of the deadly pandemic in the country.

According to him, the directive is to further reiterate FRSC’s commitment towards sustaining existing collaborations with the national, subnational governments and key stakeholders in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

He said it was to further ensure that the order on restrictions were diligently and effectively enforced with all sense of professionalism, civility and resilience.

He charged commanding officers to ensure adequate deployment of personnel on all routes.

“As the nation moves into the second phase of the eased lockdown regime, personnel must show diligence.

“They must ensure total enforcement of inter state travels, compulsory use of non medical facemasks and physical distancing, amongst motorists,” he said.

Oyeyemi decried the alarming upsurge in deaths and spread of the virus across the country, which he said had become a major priority operation of the corps.

He ordered commanding officers to ensure the full utilisation of the work force through effective deployment of personnel to arrest without hesitation.

“Any motorist who contravenes the national orders by overloading their vehicles, violating directives on inter state travels and compulsory use of facemasks would be sanctioned.

Commanding Officers must ensure that the vehicles are impounded and the occupants handed over to the Police for prosecution in the Court of Law for contravening the Presidential Orders. 

“Except the vehicles and the occupants were accredited essential workers with proof of identification, conveying agricultural produce, manufactured goods or petroleum products,”he said.

Oyeyemi called on the public to take advantage of FRSC’s numerous public relations platform to report any driver sighted violating the Presidential orders.

“The public is hereby directed to call Centre through the toll free line: 122 or the studio of the National Traffic Radio, 107.1 FM through the telephone lines: 08052998090  and 09067000015 for immediate action.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Cyprus proceeds with phase 3 of lockdown easing




The government of Cyprus on Wednesday confirmed the further relaxation of coronavirus lockdown but made no decision on bringing forward the fourth phase of the country’s gradual rollback of restrictions, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

However, he said that the third phase will last from June 9 to June 24, thereby shortening the period for the application of the measures by three weeks.

He added that this leaves open the possibility of relaxing some of the measures earlier than planned, depending on the development of the epidemiological situation.

Speaking after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, which approved the easing of restrictions, Ioannou said that on June 9 flights to and from 19 countries will resume, all hotel facilities as well as shopping malls, department stores and outdoor cinemas and theaters will reopen and ports will allow the disembarkation of tourists from cruise ships.

Some hotels in seaside resorts have also reopened offering discount prices to local guests for a three-day holiday period starting on Saturday.

An official of the Hoteliers Association, Doros Takkas, said that most hotels will not reopen for customers before June 20. They will wait for flight bookings and reservations to build up in response to their discount offers.

He also said that with the United Kingdom, Russia and Sweden not included in the list of countries from where tourist arrivals will be allowed, it would be difficult for several hotels to reopen for a few guests only.

These three countries account for more than 55 percent of tourists holidaying in Cyprus.

He urged hotel owners to open their establishments even if this would mean losing money in the first month, as they would send the message that tourists can book a holiday in Cyprus.

Ioannou said that swimming pools will reopen sooner than planned, as of June 5, while casinos will reopen on June 13 and restaurants will receive indoor guests despite reservations voiced by some officials, as these facilities group many people close together.

“If people understand that they should take measures of self-protection, such as personal hygiene and keeping social distancing, then there would be no reason for concern,” Ioannou said.

Theme parks, water parks and amusement parks are also scheduled to reopen on June 13, along with gyms and dance schools, kindergartens, nurseries, children’s clubs, outdoor playgrounds and summer schools.

Ioannou said that wedding receptions, a multi-million-euro business, as well as graduation ceremonies, festivals and concerts will be allowed as of Sept. 1.


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Thai PM appeals for patience over further easing of lockdown restrictions




Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday appealed to the public not to pressure the government to hasten the fourth phase of the easing of lockdown restrictions, and not to expect a quick cure to COVID-19 pandemic as Thailand is still in the midst of researching an effective vaccine.

“It has to be done step by step,” Prayut said.

The third phase of lockdown relaxation took effect on June 1.

Speaking to the media after his visit to the Grand Palace on Wednesday, Prayut said that with the public continuing to abide by the guidelines of wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, and with a flattening of COVID-19 curve, the government will then determine the date of the fourth phase of relaxations.

“The government has eased lockdown restrictions on many activities to allow the economy to start recovering but if we let loose of ourselves and converge without adhering to social distancing, we will see a second wave of infections,” Prayut added.

The fourth phase of lockdown relaxation will include resumption of pubs, concerts, boxing stadiums and venues that require convergence of large gatherings.

Thailand on Wednesday reported one new case of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative cases to 3,084.


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Eased lockdown: NGO urges religious leaders to provide facilities, adhere guidelines



The Society for the Promotion of People’s Right, an NGO, on Wednesday called all the religious leaders to provide handwashing facilities as Federal Government eased the lockdown in various Churches and Mosques.

Mr Williams Osaze, the president of the organisation made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja.

Osaze said the religious leaders should ensure that handwashing facilities were provided in the entrances of the Churches, Mosques and adhere strictly to the guidelines for safety of the members.

He said that the ease lockdown on Churches and Mosques would give room for worshippers to continue in fervent prayer for God’s interventions on COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the ease lockdown will create an opportunity for worshippers to pray for our leaders, the health workers and the country at large for God to eradicate the disease in our land.

“People will also hear testimonies from members during the service and sermons from anointed men of God.

“The testimonies  and the Word will encourage and strengthen those who are already discouraged because of the terrible situation they are facing during this lockdown.

“The experts cure, while our God heals, and it is only when we gather together in agreement and call on our God that things will start working well.

“I am not saying that people have not been praying all the while but, when we meet together, raise our voices to God, I believe their will be great intervention from healer of our land.

Provision of Water Sanitation Hygiene, (WASH), items such as, soaps, tap runing water, sanitisers, hand cloves, face masks, extensive or random temperature in worship centres to check members is important.

“The leaders should also ensure that all the worshippers wash their hands with soaps and check their temperature before they enter into the worship centre.

“Since the members should not be more than 20, for those that use to have more than such number should schedule specific times to be meeting and split the members.

“They should ensure that they maintain distancing to avoid crowded members and the worship time should as well be short and brief,” he said.

Osaze urged the worshipers and the leaders as well to maintain orderliness and ensure they adhere to the guidelines on COVID-19 to avoid more spread of the pandemic.

He advised elderly people, infants and those with underlying health conditions to avoid such gathering for now.


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