The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, has tested positive to COVID-19 on Monday. He was said to have returned to Edo from the United Kingdom.
The state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, disclosed this to newsmen at a press briefing in Benin on Wednesday.
He also noted that the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who had close contact with Bauchi state governor Senator Bala Muhammed, at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the National Economic Council (NEC) meetings.
The Governor also had contact with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who has also tested positive to the virus.
He has now gone into self-isolation, with his samples sent for testing.
Brazil’s top football clubs are giving out their stadiums to health authorities to turn them into field hospitals and clinics to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Since football has been suspended until further notice, more than half the clubs in Brazil’s Serie A have handed over their stadiums as authorities in densely populated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro seek to expand hospital capacity to deal with the crisis.
Current South American champions Flamengo are giving control of their famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro to health authorities, said club president Rodolfo Landim.
Following an audio recording that has been circulated on social media insinuating that Nigeria was planning to buy used protective gear from China has been declared untrue by the Federal Government.
At a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known, he also debunked the claim on the same platform that Nigeria was waiting for money from the World Health Organization (WHO), before taking drastic measures.
The commissioner stated that claims that the country had no funds to tackle the disease because its foreign reserves had been exhausted, funds had been stolen, and that the figure of those infected by Corona virus was understated, are all incorrect.
“This is a most irresponsible, inaccurate and definitely orchestrated job by a charlatan and should be disregarded by all Nigerians. It is obvious that this hatchet job is aimed at distracting the hard working health officials and misinforming Nigerians in order to create panic. The Federal Government will not be distracted in its efforts to fight this disease and keep Nigerians safe. Therefore, we urge all Nigerians to disregard the senseless audio,” he said.
Mohammed also stated that the news being circulated on social media that government planned to pay N8,500 to each citizen to stay at home for one month starting from March 30 is also a fake news.
He encouraged citizens seeking genuine and up-to-date information on Corona virus to log on to the website of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Resident of Central China, Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected are allowed to go back to work and public transport is restarting, as some normality slowly returns after a two-month lockdown.
The easing of restrictions in Wuhan city comes as Chinese health officials reported Monday no new local cases of the deadly virus but confirmed another 39 infections brought from overseas.
Wuhan residents considered healthy can move around the city and take the bus or metro so long as they show ID, official said. They can also go back to work if they have a permit from their employer, and leave the city for other parts of the surrounding Hubei province after being tested for the virus and receiving a health certificate.
The virus, which emerged in a market that sold wild animals in December, sparked a dramatic lockdown of the city on January 23 that was then widened to the rest of the province of nearly 60 million people.
The number of persons infected have slowed dramatically and for five straight days and there have been no new cases in Hubei.
Another nine people died in Wuhan, the National Health Commission said Monday in its latest update.
The easing of restrictions follows Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the city earlier this month — his first since the crisis erupted.
As the rate of infection slows in China, the rest of the world has stepped up measures to try and battle the raging pandemics
As part of its precautionary measures to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus across Nigeria, the Federal Government has shut down three international airports in the country.
The three airports shut are; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, stated in a statement released that the three airports would be closed starting Saturday, March 21 until further notice.
He noted that the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos would still be opened. However, no flight operations will be allowed from the thirteen COVID-19 high-risk countries.
Italy has recorded the highest number of deaths related to coronavirus, making it surpass China’s death record.
The number of deaths in Italy reached 3,405 on Thursday, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said at a news conference — 156 more than China’s toll, which, according to Johns Hopkins University, stands at 3,249.
He added that the total number of cases in Italy rose to 41,035 with 5,322 new cases
The grim figure comes hours after China marked a major milestone in the battle to limit the spread, reporting no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began.
Italy imposed nationwide restrictions similar to those seen in China, placing more than 60 million people under lockdown.
Italy’s world-class health system has been pushed to the brink amid the outbreak, especially in the country’s north, which has seen the highest concentration of cases.
People are being treated in field hospitals and lined up in corridors inside its straining public hospitals. Doctors and nurses are being infected, due to a lack of adequate protection.
Italian authorities are considering extending school closures beyond April 3, amid rumors of the lockdown also being extended.
“I think we are going toward an extension,” Italian Education minister Lucia Azzolina said Thursday, adding that schools would reopen once there is certainty of absolute safety.
Corriere della Sera quoted Thursday Italian PM Giuseppe Conte as saying “it is clear” the measures to tackle the outbreak, “both the one that has closed a lot of the country’s businesses and individual activities, and the one that concerns the school, can only be extended to the deadline.”
To prevent illegal migrants and people infected with the coronavirus from entering the city, the South African government has announced plans to install a 40-kilometre fence on its land border crossing with Zimbabwe.
This move was identified as a preventive measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The government stated that the fence is expected to be completed within a month but the costs weren’t specified.
The Department of Public Works in a statement on Thursday revealed that the government has appointed a contractor for the project.
South Africa has confirmed 150 coronavirus cases so far with Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga are the only affected provinces for now.
Although the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize on Thursday stated that the Covid-19 patients are recovering.
The federal government has announced a ban on entries from 13 different countries including the US and the UK.
This was made known by the secretary to the government of the federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, accompanied by the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehinare, in his office on Wednesday.
He stated that those who arrived in Nigeria in the last 15 days from any of the 13 countries, would have to be supervised and be self-isolated for 14 days.
He further explained that the ban on the 13 countries which would take effect from Saturday, March 21, 2020, became compulsory because of their high-risk status in terms of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He added that the Visa-on-Arrival policy had been temporarily suspended. He further advised all Nigerians with foreign travel plans to the banned countries to either cancel or suspend such plans.
The 13 countries include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has declared the suspension of all forms of daily congregational prayers as a means of curbing the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The decision was made on Tuesday by the Council of Senior Scholars in a statement made available to the Saudi Gazette, a Saudi news agency.
Alarabiya, a reliable news platform for Saudi and Middle Eastern news is also reporting the development.
However the council said, the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah are excluded .
“The 25th extraordinary session of the council held in Riyadh ruled that all the mosques will remain closed on a temporary basis but the call for prayer (adhan) shall be made as usual,” the statement reads.
In an attempt to tackle the spread of the virus, the kingdom had earlier suspended the annual pilgrimage prayers, and also imposing a temporary lockdown on its eastern Qatif area, home to a large Shia-Muslim population, to prevent the spread.
This was after it recorded 38 new cases of the coronavirus as at Tuesday as the total number infected rose to 171.
Saudi Arabia had earlier suspended all educational and Quranic activities at the mosques.
The National Open University of Nigeria has announced the cancellation and postponement of its 9th convocation ceremony which was set for the 21st of this month at its Headquarters in Jabi, Abuja. About 25,000 graduating students were said to have been expected to participate in the ceremony.
Felix Edoka, NOUN’s Registrar, announced the postponement in a statement that was issued in the early hours of Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement revealed that the Governing Council and Senate of the university jointly took the decision in view of the health dangers inherent in the gathering of a large number of people at this time.
“The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) wishes to inform the general public, especially our over 25,000 graduating students, that the 9th convocation ceremonies, scheduled for March 20 and 21, 2020 have been postponed indefinitely.
Council and Senate jointly took the decision in view of the health dangers inherent in the gathering of a large number of people at this time. The inconvenience caused our graduating students, family and friends is regretted,” the statement read.
As U.S. coronavirus cases increase, more efforts are bing imputed to prevent future spread of the virus. Presently U.S has at least 3,485 cases and 65 fatalities.
A preventative measure encouraged by health and government officials is Social distancing. This preventative measure is alteringthe way people in the U.S. eat, work, study and socialize.
President Trump officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency Friday, pledging $50 billion in federal funds to combat the virus.
Trump said private labs and vaccine developers would be provided millions of coronavirus tests within a month, including half a million this week.
On Saturday night, The White House announced that Trump had tested negative for the coronavirus. He was tested Friday night after recent contact with two people who have tested positive.
The president, speaking Friday at the Rose Garden event, had said of the outbreak: “This will pass. This will pass through, and we will be even stronger for it.”
A clinical trial for a vaccine to protect against the virus begins Monday. The first participant received an experimental dose, a government official told the news agency.
Healthy volunteers will get different doses of shots, which are developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. The volunteers participating will not become infected because the shots do not contain the virus itself. He said
Along with sports leagues, museums and other cultural institutions, churches and mosques, synagogues and sanghas, temples and gurudwaras have temporarily closed to guard against spreading the virus.
Many Catholic parishes have suspended public mass, while other churches offered services online and on television. Episcopal congregants receiving Holy Communion over the weekend could choose not to dip the consecrated bread in a shared chalice, and many Muslims were asked not to embrace or kiss each other on the cheek, but greet each other with a respectful nod or warm smile.
Students in at least 31 states, as well as in Los Angeles and New York city, are not heading to school. School districts and universities have started to transition to online methods of instruction until work can resume in classrooms.
The world health body, WHO, on Monday condemned the lack of urgency on the part of many countries in combating the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
At a briefing in Geneva, the Director-General, WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said many countries are not taking testing, isolation and contact tracing (carefully monitoring people who are in close contact with someone who has been infected) seriously. Instead, they are quick to place restrictions on social gatherings.
Mr Ghebreyesus acknowledged that cases of Covid-19 are rapidly escalating because many countries are putting the cart before the horse in their approach to tackling the virus. He said most countries are quick in banning social engagement while they are not doing enough to conduct testing, isolation and contact tracing.
“We have also seen a rapid escalation in social distancing measures, like closing schools and cancelling sporting events and other gatherings. But, we have not seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing – which is the backbone of the response. Social distancing measures can help to reduce transmission and enable health systems to cope,” he said.
Mr Ghebreyesus emphasised that testing, isolation and contact tracing are the key ways countries can fight the scourge of the disease.
“As I keep saying, all countries must take a comprehensive approach. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected.
He said the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission. And to do that, you must test and isolate. We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case.
“If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in close contact with up to two days before they developed symptoms, and test those people too,” he said.
He explained that more test kits are being produced to meet global demand. WHO said it has shipped almost 1.5 million test kits to 120 countries and is working with companies to increase the availability of tests for those most in need.
The agency also advised that all confirmed cases, even mild cases, should be isolated in health facilities, to prevent transmission and provide adequate care.
Since the global spread of COVID19, many countries have been banning social gatherings, closing schools and locking down communities or areas in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Some of the countries which have taken such measures include; Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Malaysia, Thailand among others.
While the UN agency said it was a move that could reduce the spread of the virus, it, however, said much cannot be achieved until testing, isolation and contact tracing are implemented effectively.
There are increasingly new numbers of cases across the world. As of Tuesday, 8:10 GMT, about 183,065 confirmed cases have been reported in 162 countries with 7,175 deaths.
Meanwhile, while cases in China have been slowing down, cases are erratically increasing across countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Germany, UK, U.S. and Switzerland.
Currently, over 89,000 people infected are in mild condition and over 6,000 are in serious or critical condition. However, all is not bad news as over 87, 000 people have been treated and have recovered from the virus.
Gabon and Ghana have become the ninth and tenth countries in sub-Saharan Africa to register positive cases of coronavirus. The two countries confirmed their first cases of coronavirus on Thursday
The region has so far been less badly hit by coronavirus than Europe or China. Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, South Africa, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also registered cases.
Gabon’s government announced in a statement that its case was a 27-year-old Gabonese man who had returned from France on March 8.
However, Ghana’s health ministry said its two cases were people who had returned recently from Norway and Turkey.
“These are imported cases of COVID-19. Both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable,” the ministry said in a statement.
More than 127,000 people have been infected globally and over 6,500 have died since the virus first emerged in China late last year.
Sub-Saharan Africa did not confirm its first coronavirus infection until Feb. 28 in Nigeria, but experts warn that rising cases could test already fragile health systems.
The Premier League has announced it will convene an emergency meeting with top-flight clubs on Friday morning regarding fixtures following Arsenal’s announcement.
Arsenal announced in the early hours of Wednesday morning that a number of players and four members of staff were self-isolating after meeting Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis before the Europa League last-32, second-leg tie in north London 13 days ago on February 27.
Arsenal was due to face Manchester City in a rearranged fixture at the Etihad on Wednesday night, only for the game to be postponed as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A club statement read: “Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID -19 result this evening.
Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines.
We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.
Arteta said “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
The Premier League’s follow-up statement read: “In light of Arsenal’s announcement tonight confirming that their first-team coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding future fixtures.
The Premier League will make no further comment until after that meeting.”
Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s managing director explained that “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is.
Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits. We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
Nigeria’s second case of Coronavirus has tested negative for the virus and will soon be released to go home.
The federal ministry of health released the latest update in Nigeria on the coronavirus pandemic. Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, revealed this on Friday. He said, Nigeria has recorded success in tackling the Covid-19 virus.
Ehanire explained that the second case who had contact with the Italian citizen had initially tested positive to the virus but has now begun to test negative after isolation and treatment. He said the Nigerian will soon be allowed to go home.
While briefing news men in Abuja, the Minister also said that Italian citizen is progressing and will be closely monitored till early next week when he is expected to be discharged too.
“The index case is clinically stable and is much improved. Stable progress until next week will guide the medical team in discharging him.” He added.
Although there has been no confirmed case of coronavirus in Rwanda, authorities in Rwanda’s capital Kigali have prohibited any form of concerts and public gatherings because of fears of the COVID-19.
“The city of Kigali wishes to inform that entertainment shows, social gatherings, trade fairs, exhibitions and other gatherings that assemble many people are officially suspended till further notice,” the Kigali City Council announced in a statement Sunday.
However, the policy does not extend to venues hosting smaller numbers of people; such as wedding venues, churches, hotels, restaurants, bars, and sports clubs, which are told to apply good hygiene practices and supply soaps and water for hand washing.
The first concert that was affected was an International Women’s Day concert, which was to feature the singer Cécile Kayirebwa, the concert was cancelled a few hours before it was supposed to start.
Some residents have turned to social media to approve the preventive move, but others see it as a harsh move to Rwanda since no coronavirus cases have been recorded.
The government has advised its citizens against traveling to countries where coronavirus has been confirmed.
Togo has confirmed its first cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa hit by the epidemic to five
Togo reported that a 42 year old Lome resident tested positive the previous day. She had returned from a trip to Benin, Germany , France and Turkey.
Togo president made it known that the woman is in isolation at a treatment center and all people she had contact with have been identified and put in quarantine.
The outbreak has found its way to Africa and is spreading across the continent.
Last month, Nigeria confirmed the first coronavirus in the country after that, Senegal and South Africa. North African countries have registered more than two dozen cases.
In the central African country of Cameroon, the health ministry said a 58-year-old French citizen who arrived in the capital Yaounde on Feb. 24 had fallen ill with the virus. It later said the man’s female partner had also tested positive.
“We need to follow his contacts. Our collaborators are on the ground; they are working,” said Health Minister Manaouda Malachie.
Since the outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, it has infected over 100,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000, mostly in China.