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Moderate quake strikes off eastern Indonesia



A 5.5-magnitude quake jolted Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku early Saturday, the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said.

The quake rocked at 7:13 a.m. Jakarta time (0013 GMT) with the epicenter at 186 km northeast of Maluku Barat Daya district and the depth of 63 km under the seabed.

The quake did not potentially trigger a tsunami.

Indonesia has been frequently stricken by earthquakes as it lies on a quake-prone zone in the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”



Israel says over 90 pct of moderate COVID-19 patients better after plasma transfusion




Israeli health ministry’s data has showed success in using convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients, especially those in moderate condition.

Based on the data, 10 of 11 moderate patients showed improvement after the plasma treatment.

“The plasma should be given to people in a moderate situation, and maybe moderate turning severe,” said Eilat Shinar, director of Magen David Adom (MDA) national blood services in Israel.

Shinar said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday that out of all the patients, moderate and severe, who were treated with convalescent plasma in Israel, about 50 percent of them showed improvement.

She introduced that the plasma treatment should be given no later than two days after ventilatory assistance to a patient started.

The therapy is based on the presumption that those who healed from the disease have developed unique anti-virus proteins (antibodies) in their plasma, which can help patients fight the virus, according to Shinar.

She said the optimal effect of the antibodies in neutralizing the virus at the bloodstream occurs before irreversible damage is done.

Each recovered person could provide every two weeks a plasma with antibodies for three patients with the same blood type. The donated antibodies could stay for up to six weeks in the blood of the patients.

Although the current wave of COVID-19 is almost over in Israel, MDA said it is looking for more contributions of convalescent plasma as preparations for another possible wave in the winter.


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Commentary: China firm to advance to moderately prosperous society in all respects




President Xi Jinping’s recent tour to north China‘s Shanxi Province demonstrates the country’s resolve to complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects as planned.

He underscored the importance of promoting high-quality transformation and development to make sure the goal is met, despite the headwinds brought by the COVID-19 epidemic.

China faces mounting pressure to meet the target this year against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak. But the country’s leadership is committed to leading the whole nation to overcome the difficulties.

In Shanxi, Xi visited an organic daylily farm, a community of relocated villagers, a steel mill, the 1,500-year Yungang Grottoes, among other places, to learn about poverty reduction, work and production resumption, and ecological protection. These are key issues concerning whether China can meet the target on time.

The epidemic has brought negative impact to the nation’s economy, as its gross domestic product contracted 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter.

But challenges and opportunities always go hand in hand. The economic contraction would be short-lived and it will be only natural to see rebound in consumer spending, infrastructure investment and foreign trade as the epidemic eases. New growth points such as smart manufacturing and online retailing have showed positive momentum.

On its way to become a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China remains firm and will continue to advance.


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A Moderate Quake Felt in South Island of New Zealand




A 5.6 magnitude earthquake jolted Te Anau, a remote town located to the south of Queenstown, South Island of New Zealand, reported by GeoNet on Monday.

The quake shaked 40 km north of Te Anau, at a depth of 67 km with nearly 3,000 residents reporting the shocks.

GeoNet reported the quakes as occurring at 10:52 am local time.

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COVID-19: Physiotherapist tasks Nigerians on moderate exercise during lockdown



Mr Hamzat Adebiyi, Head, Department of Physiotherapy, Alimosho General Hospital in Lagos, on Saturday urged Nigerians to engage in moderate exercise to keep fit, while the COVID-19 lockdown lasted.

Adebiyi told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the ongoing lockdown should not pave way for a sedentary lifestyle, which could be harmful to the health.

“Nigerians should take advantage of the lockdown to engage in moderate exercise of 30 minutes daily to stay fit and healthy.

“We should avoid sitting in a particular position for too long, because of the negative health implication to the body.

“This is not the time to eat excessively; our food intake should be moderately done, while the period could also be used for spiritual exercise,” the physiotherapist said.

He added that Nigerians should ensure a daily intake of 2.5 litres of water to rehydrate the body.

“Water is essential to keep the body organs functioning well; this also detoxifies the body from toxins that could cause harm, following inactive habits.

“It is very imperative, therefore, to keep an open mind at this time, basically on positive values, in order not to trigger the wrong cells of anxiety and its dangerous effects,” Adebiyi said.

The physiotherapist explained that a five-minute deep breath should be observed three times a day to keep the heart healthy.

He also urged individuals on prescribed medication to adhere strictly to such medications.

“Your life is your personal business; live it well enough to prevent dseases, stroke and maintain good hygiene to prevent and curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Olagoke Olatoye

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Kwara bye-election records moderate turn out, peaceful conduct 



The Kwara House of Assembly bye-election on Saturday witnessed a considerable turn out of voters in some polling units while many other electorate defied the restriction of movement order to carry out their normal businesses.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed March 14 for the election to fill the vacancy in the seat of Patigi constituency at the state House of Assembly.

The vacancy occurred following the death of the erstwhile occupant of the seat, Saidu Ahmed Rufai, in December 2019.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that many residents were seen engaging in commercial activities as major markets in the area opened for business.

Security agents, however, mounted road blocks at some strategic places in the area to check vehicular movement.

The election, notwithstanding experienced reasonable turn out of electorate particularly in the polling units of political stalwarts.

Such units were Gada Shaba 03 polling in Lade Ward I, where the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party exercised their franchise, and the Dispensary Centre 01 in Patigi Ward III, where the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Aisha Ahman-Patigi, voted.

A voter at the Patigi Central polling unit, Mr Ibrahim Adamu, told NAN that the experience was due to the fact that people left polling stations immediately after their votes since accreditation and voting went on simultaneously.

Adamu stated that the election has been very peaceful and orderly.

He commended INEC and the people for their peaceful conduct.

Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also joined in monitoring of the poll.

An operative of the commission, who preferred anonymity told NAN that their mission was to check vote buying and other forms of financial inducement.

He, however, noted that the exercise had been very orderly without any infractions on the rules and regulations guiding electoral processes.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Taraba LG Polls: Political stakeholders appeal for moderate nomination fees



Political Stakeholders in Taraba have appealed to the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) not to charge high nomination fees for the May 16, 2020 Local Council elections.

The stakeholders made the appeal on Thursday during a meeting with the Executive Chairman of the commission, Dr Philip Duwe and other commissioners in Jalingo.

They said charging moderate and  affordable nomination fees would encouraged massive participation in the process.

Mr Peter Achagwa, the Taraba Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), noted  that charging high nomination fees for chairmanship and Councillorship positions would shut out smaller political parties from the process.


According to him, if the commission charges moderate fees it would enable all willing political parties to field candidates in all the positions.

Achagwa explained that it would be better to have more people participate in the process than to charge high fees that many people could not afford.

Similarly, Alhaji Saadu Musa, the Taraba Chairman, Inter party Advisory Council (IPAC), said the body would want massive participation in the electoral process, hence the need for the commission to charge moderate fees to enable every willing members contest.

Musa also called for calm among members of IPAC in the state over the de registration of some political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He urged them to close ranks and work together for the success of the elections pending the determination of the court cases over the deregistration by INEC.


Earlier, the Executive Chairman of SIEC, Duwe had told the stakeholders that the commission expected them to be united and work together for the success of the election at the local councils.

Duwe noted that the commission was almost at a crossroads over the de registration of some parties by INEC.


He added that the commission would apply wisdom by putting all the party logos on the ballot if the pending court case was not decided before the time of printing.

The chairman, who said the timetable had already been released to the political parties, assured the stakeholders that the commission would continue to carry them along throughtout  the exercise.

“You will recall that this is our third meeting in series of attempts to get the process right and we will not relent until we succeed,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency , reports that Duwe had on the Feb. 10, 2020 announced the commencement of the processes leading to the conduct of LG polls by May 16.




Edited By: Abiemwense Moru and Isaac Ukpoju


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Trading moderates on NSE, indices appreciate marginally by 0.07%



Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) moderated on Friday with the market indicators improving marginally by 0.07 per cent.

Specifically, the All-Share Index grew by 19.82 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 29,415.39 compared with 29,395.57 recorded on Thursday.

Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities improved by N10 billion or 0.07 per cent to N15.174 trillion from N15.164 trillion reported on Thursday.

An analysis of the price movement table shows that Okomuoil led the gainers’ table, increasing by N6 to close at N66 per share.

BUA Cement followed with a gain of N2.55 to close at N41, while CAP gained N1.05 to close at N25 per share.

UACN added 90k to close at N10.25, while C and I Leasing rose by 60k to close at N6.75 per share.

On the other hand, Dangote Cement topped the losers’ chart, dropping by N3 to close at N172 per share.

Guaranty Trust Bank trailed with a loss of 60k to close at N31.95, while Africa Prudential lost 19k to close at N4.51 per share.

Presco was down by 15k to close at N56.90, while Zenith Bank also dipped 15k to close at N21.85 per share.

The financial service sector dominated trading activities with Access Bank emerging the most active stock, exchanging 45.23 million shares valued  N497.38 million.

Zenith Bank followed with an account of 29.18 million shares worth N640.66 million, while United Bank for Africa sold 22.14 million shares valued  N186.39 million.

Flour Mills traded 21.79 million worth N512.09 million, while UACN traded 17.73 million shares valued N176.01 million.

In all, the volume of shares traded dropped by 59.47 per cent as investors bought and sold 280.92 million shares worth N4.82 billion in 5,189 deals.

This was against a total of 693.19 million shares worth N7.44 billion achieved in 6, 634 deals on Thursday.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Kidney Disease: Medical doctor advises moderate intake of salt



A Katsina-based Nephrologist, Dr Okonta Efam, has cautioned against high intake of salt to avoid

kidney disease.

He gave the warning in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

Defining kidney disease as the inability of the kidneys to filter waste and excess fluid from the blood the way they should, he said that

as kidneys fail, waste build up and begin to develop symptoms.

He explained that the kidneys are mainly responsible for filtering waste products, excess water and other impurities out of the blood,

the toxins are stored in the bladder and then removed during urinating.

He added that “the kidneys also regulate salt and potassium levels in the body, produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control

the production of red blood cells.

“The kidneys activate a form of vitamin D that helps the body to absorb calcium.”

The medical doctor, who also cautioned against smoking and alcohol, noted that there are many causes to

kidney damage, including diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli)

Efam said that kidney disease could lead to other health problems, including weak bones, nerve damage and malnutrition, noting that

some early warning signs are fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, trouble to sleep, poor appetite, muscle cramping, swollen feet.

Other signs are puffiness around the eyes in the morning, dry and scaly skin and frequent urination at night.

Efam said there are severe symptoms that can mean the kidney disease is progressing into kidney failure such as

nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, change in urine colour.

Also, fluid retention, anaemia, decreased sex drive, raised potassium level and inflammation of the pericardium.

He said that if hypertension and diabetes were properly managed, the risk of kidney disease would be reduced.

He also stressed the need for prompt treatment of infections and avoid indiscriminate use of Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS).

The medical practitioner said kidney diseases were not hereditary and advised patients to go for proper check up and treatment. (NAN)


Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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NiMet predicts moderate rainy activity for Sunday



The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has predicted moderate rainfall over the southern region with chances of thunderstorms over most cities in the central and northern regions.

NiMet’s weather outlook on Saturday in Abuja forecast cloudy condition over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Yobe, Jigawa, Borno and Adamawa in the morning.

According to it, thunderstorms are anticipated over most places in the region later in the day with day and night temperatures of 28 to 33 degree Celsius and 21 to 24 degree Celsius respectively.

“For central states, moderate rains are anticipated over Gombe, Bauchi, Makurdi, Minna, Bida, Lafia, Abuja and Jos in the morning.

“Later in the day, most cities in the region are expected to experience thunderstorms and rains with day and night temperatures of 23 to 32 degree Celsius and 17 to 25 degree Celsius respectively,” it said.

NiMet envisaged cloudy condition over southern states in the morning hours with slim chances of moderate rain in the afternoon/evening period with day and might temperatures of 27 to 31 degree Celsius and 22 to 23 degree Celsius respectively.

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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