86 Nigerians Arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport

Eighty six Nigerians on Friday arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, via Air Sudan.

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this in a tweet but did not reveal where they returned from.

According to the NIDCOM boss, the returnees will go on a 14-day isolation, in line with the guidelines set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as well as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278990235364450304&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.channelstv.com%2F2020%2F07%2F03%2F86-nigerians-arrive-nnamdi-azikiwe-airport%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Sudan Air arrives Abuja with 86 stranded Nigerians on board. As expected, they proceed on a 14 day compulsory isolation as stipulated by the @DigiCommsNG @NCDCgov . Welcome home pic.twitter.com/bC1af1QKkm

— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) July 3, 2020

Also, NIDCOM tweeted on its handle that the returnees had tested negative to COVID-19.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278991967599419394&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.channelstv.com%2F2020%2F07%2F03%2F86-nigerians-arrive-nnamdi-azikiwe-airport%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

BREAKING:
EVACUATION UPDATE:

Another 86 Evacuees arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja at 10 am local time via Air Sudan today, Friday, 3rd of July, 2020.

All Evacuees tested Negative to #COVID19 and will now proceed on 14 days SELF-ISOLATION as mandated PTF on #COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/keMnwyaKfr

— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) July 3, 2020


On Wednesday, 172 Nigerians citizens arrived Abuja from Uganda and Kenya at around 10:20 am via Air Peace flight from Nairobi.

While some of the evacuees disembarked in the nation’s capital, others proceeded to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

All the evacuees who tested negative for COVID-19 are to undergo a 14-day self-isolation as mandated by the NCDC, the federal ministry of health and PTF on COVID-19.

The latest evacuation was put together by Nigeria’s missions in Nairobi, Kenya, and Kampala, Uganda.

VIDEO: Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has explained how the ministry is working to ensure the safety of passengers as airports set to reopen for domestic flights.

Nigeria Records Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Infections

ncdc-covid-19-update-today

Nigeria on Thursday recorded its highest single-day COVID-19  infections with 745 new cases. 

This was revealed in a late-night tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to the NCDC, Lagos State had the highest number of infections for the day with 280 cases and is followed by Oyo and Ebonyi states with 103 and 72 cases respectively.

The health agency said other states with infections for the day include:  FCT (60); Imo (46); Edo (34); Delta (33); Rivers (25); Kaduna (23); Ondo (16); Katsina (12); Kano (10); Bauchi (8); and Borno (7).

READ ALSOHow Nigeria Can Limit COVID-19 Death Rate – Health Minister

Others states with fresh infections are  Kwara (5); Gombe (4); Sokoto (2); Enugu (2); Yobe (1) Osun (1); Nasarawa (1).

A further breakdown of the figures showed that the West African country now has 18,480 cases of the virus with 6307 persons discharged.

Of the number of recorded cases, 475 people have died from the disease, according to the data from the NCDC.NCDC@NCDCgov

745 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-280
Oyo-103
Ebonyi-72
FCT-60
Imo-46
Edo-34
Delta-33
Rivers-25
Kaduna-23
Ondo-16
Katsina-12
Kano-10
Bauchi-8
Borno-7
Kwara-5
Gombe-4
Sokoto-2
Enugu-2
Yobe-1
Osun-1
Nasarawa-1

18,480 confirmed
6,307 discharged
475 deaths

View image on Twitter

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Global Outlook

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 450,386 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP as of 1900 GMT on Thursday.

At least 8,410,400 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,866,200 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Democracy Day: Pray For Nigeria To Overcome Its Myriads Of Security Challenges – Gbajabiamila-Katamablog

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated Nigerians for marking this year’s Democracy Day.

The Speaker said since 1999, Nigeria has come a long way in democratic practice, noting that the country’s system is growing by the day.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said he believes Nigeria has learnt a lot in the last 21 years of uninterrupted democracy.

Gbajabiamila used the occasion to call on Nigerians to remain united in the face of daunting challenges facing the country.

READ ALSO: June 12: Democracy Is A Process That Evolves With Time – Senate President

He also called for fervent prayers for the country to overcome the myriad of security challenges in parts of Nigeria.

He said Nigerian leaders and the citizens must work toward sustaining the country’s democracy as it is the system that protects the interest of all.

Gbajabiamila expressed satisfaction that June 12 has now become Nigeria’s Democracy Day, courtesy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government.

He paid glowing tributes to the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy, saying their efforts must be improved upon.

Messi Back In Barca Training Ahead Of Mallorca Restart

Lionel Messi trained again with his teammates on Monday to give Barcelona a massive boost ahead of their La Liga return against Mallorca on Saturday.

Messi has been suffering from tightness in his right thigh and had not trained fully since last Tuesday. He sat out sessions on Wednesday and Friday before working alone at Camp Nou on Saturday.

But Barcelona said in a statement their captain has re-joined “the rest of the team in the week of the return to competition in the Spanish league”.

Asked if Messi would be able to face Mallorca, Barca coach Quique Setien told Movistar on Sunday night: “Messi is not the only one that has not trained and felt some discomfort.

“It’s what has happened to everyone or practically everyone since they have been back.

“It is some minor tightness and we have it under control. He is doing perfectly and will not have any problem.”

Setien also gave an update on the fitness of Luis Suarez, who has been given the green light by the club to return after undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.

George Floyd: Staff At US Embassy In Nigeria Join Protest For Justice

The staff of the United States Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, showed their support in the call for justice regarding the killing of African-American, George Floyd, by the police.

In a photo posted by the Embassy on Monday staff could be seen going down on one knee, a gesture that shows support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in America and across the globe.

According to the tweet, the US Mission to Nigeria said it joined together in 84 seconds of silence in solidarity with those at home and around the world protesting the murders of George Floyd & others.

The Mission’s statement further said that it sincerely hopes that everyone will learn from this episode and use it as inspiration to create a better world.

READ ALSO: US Accuses China Of Using Floyd Death For PropagandaU.S. Mission Nigeria@USEmbassyAbuja

Today at the Embassy, we joined together in 84 seconds of silence in solidarity with those at home and around the world protesting the murders of George Floyd & others. We sincerely hope that all of us will learn from this episode & use it as inspiration to create a better world.

View image on Twitter

Bail Set At $1 Million For Policeman Charged With Floyd Murder-Katamablog

Bail was set at $1 million on Monday for the Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd as mourners paid their respects in his hometown of Houston to the African-American man whose death has sparked massive protests for racial justice across the United States and beyond.

In Washington, Democratic lawmakers knelt in silent tribute to Floyd before unveiling a package of police reforms in response to the killing of black Americans by law enforcement.

The move comes a day after the Minneapolis city council voted to dismantle and rebuild the police department in the Minnesota city where the 46-year-old Floyd died during a May 25 arrest.

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was filmed pressing his knee on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until he expired, made his first court appearance on Monday.

Chauvin, 44, appeared by video from state prison to face charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The 19-year veteran of the police force could face decades in prison if convicted.

In a procedural hearing that did not require Chauvin to submit a plea, the Hennepin County District Court judge set his bail at $1 million with conditions and $1.25 million without conditions.

Meeting the conditions would require him to surrender his firearms, not work in law enforcement or security in any capacity, and have no contact with the family of Floyd.

Three other Minneapolis police officers appeared in court last week to face a charge of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder for their roles in his arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

All four officers have been fired.

 ‘Bringing us together’ 

In Houston, the Texas city where Floyd grew up, hundreds of mourners waited patiently in stifling heat outside the Fountain of Praise Church to pay their last respects.

A stream of mourners passed in front of Floyd’s casket, some making the sign of the cross, some taking a knee and others bowing their heads in silent prayer.

All were required to wear masks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s bringing us together as a country,” said Kevin Sherrod, 41, who was accompanied by his wife and two sons aged eight and nine.

“Being here with my boys means a lot,” Sherrod added. “It is a time in history and they will remember they were part of it.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was flying to Houston on Monday to meet privately with members of Floyd’s family.

Floyd is to be buried in Houston on Tuesday next to his mother.

Floyd’s death, the latest of a black man at the hands of police, has unleashed protests for racial justice and against police brutality in cities across the US and around the world.

The Minneapolis city council pledged on Sunday to dismantle and rebuild the police department.

“We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe,” council president Lisa Bender said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that while he supported “structural reform to revise this structurally racist system” he was not for abolishing the department.

Other US cities have already begun to embrace reforms — starting with bans on the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.

 ‘We hear you’ 

In Washington, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and two dozen other lawmakers knelt in silence at the US Capitol for the eight minutes and 46 seconds that Chauvin spent with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Democrats then unveiled a wide-ranging police reform bill, one of the chief demands of demonstrators who have taken to the streets for the past two weeks in the most sweeping US protests for racial justice since the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The bill aims to create “meaningful, structural change that safeguards every Americans’ right to safety and equal justice,” the Democrats said.

The Justice and Policing Act, introduced in both chambers of Congress, would make it easier to prosecute officers for abuse and rethink how they are recruited and trained.

“Black lives matter. The protests we’ve seen in recent days are an expression of rage and one of despair,” House Democrat Steny Hoyer said. “Today Democrats in the House and Senate are saying: ‘We see you, we hear you, we are acting.’”

Democratic leaders did not include language calling to “defund the police” — increasingly a rallying cry for protesters — and White House hopeful Biden issued a statement flatly rejecting the suggestion.

Even so it is unclear what support the proposed reforms might find in the Republican-controlled Senate — or whether Trump would sign such legislation into law.

Trump has adopted a tough approach to putting down the protests and has proposed no specific policy changes in response to the widespread outrage over Floyd’s death.

“LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone crazy!” he tweeted on Monday ahead of a scheduled roundtable with law enforcement at the White House on Monday.

A CNN poll published on Monday of registered voters had Biden with a 14-point lead over Trump — his biggest margin yet in the White House race.

Nigeria Records 315 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 12,801

A patient who is suspected of suffering from COVID-19 coronavirus undergoes testing at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital isolation centre on May 10, 2020. Audu MARTE / AFP

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 315 new positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

NCDC disclosed this in a tweet on Monday night, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 12,801.

According to the health agency, Lagos State recorded the highest number of infections for the day in the country with 128 cases while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Rivers State had 34 and 32 cases respectively.

READ ALSO: About 60% Of 979 Deaths In Kano Linked To COVID-19 – Health Minister

A further breakdown of the new cases showed that Edo State has 28 infections, Oyo (22), Kaduna (20), Gombe (13), Ogun (8) and Plateau (5).

Others are Delta (7), Kwara (7), Kano (5), Bauchi (4), and Katsina (2).

Of the number of positive cases in Nigeria so far, 4040 persons have fully recovered and have been discharged while 361 persons have died.NCDC@NCDCgov

315 new cases of #COVID19;

Lagos- 128
FCT-34
Rivers- 32
Edo- 28
Oyo- 22
Kaduna- 20
Gombe- 13
Ogun- 8
Plateau- 5
Delta- 7
Kwara- 7
Kano- 5
Bauchi- 4
Katsina- 2

12801 cases of #COVID19Nigeria
Discharged: 4040
Deaths: 361

View image on Twitter

Man City Face Critical Appeal Against Two-Season European Ban-Katamablog

Manchester City’s appeal against a two-year ban from European competition will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from Monday in a case of wide-reaching repercussions.

City are accused of overstating sponsorship revenue to hide that they had not complied with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules between 2012 and 2016 and were also handed a 30 million euro ($34 million, £27 million) fine.

UEFA’s case was prompted when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails in 2018 that purported to show how City manufactured extra sponsorship revenue from a series of companies with connections to the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour.

Under the Sheikh’s ownership, City’s fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years.

However, billions of investment in players and managers has not yet been able to deliver the club’s first ever Champions League title.

City are still involved in this season’s competition and will be allowed to compete should the 2019/20 edition of Champions League return in August no matter the outcome of the appeal.

– Financial hit –

But a two-season ban from the competition would represent a huge blow to the club’s prestige, finances and hope of hanging onto manager Pep Guardiola and key players like Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“Two years would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with,” De Bruyne told Het Laatste Nieuws last month.

READ ALSO: Bayern Close On Title As Bundesliga Steps Up Racism Protests 

City banked 93 million euros from prize money and television rights alone by reaching the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League.

The added loss of gate receipts and commercial revenue would make it extremely difficult for the club to meet FFP regulations in the future without cutting costs.

City have steadfastly refuted UEFA’s allegations.

“Based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics,” said CEO of the City Football Group Ferran Soriano.

UEFA has been under pressure, most publicly from La Liga president Javier Tebas, to impose a harder line on clubs backed by states, like City and Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain.

European football’s governing body also have plenty riding on the case. Lose the appeal and the future of UEFA’s FFP regulations will be called into question.

– Premier League impact –

The hearing will be held by videoconference due to coronavirus restrictions from Monday to Wednesday.

If no verdict is immediately announced after the hearing, the decision “could be made during the month of July,” said Matthieu Reeb, secretary general of CAS.

Even if City’s appeal to CAS fails, the English champions could present a further appeal before the Swiss Federal Court.

A delayed outcome would leave a cloud hanging over the return of the Premier League season.

City seem certain to secure Champions League qualification on the field with a 12-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United.

If they are excluded, fifth would be good enough for the riches of next season’s Champions League, which are all the more valuable during the economic crisis caused by coronavirus.

Just six points separate United from Crystal Palace in 11th leaving plenty to play for in the final nine games of the season once the Premier League restarts on June 17.

Pope Says Worst Of COVID-19 Is Over, Vatican Clear Of Cases

Pope Francis said on Sunday the worst of the coronavirus crisis was over in Italy, addressing the faithful for the first time in Saint Peter’s Square since the health emergency began.

The pontiff’s address came a day after the Vatican said there were no more cases of COVID-19 within its population.

“Your presence in the square is a sign that in Italy the acute phase of the epidemic is over,” Francis told those assembled for his weekly Angelus prayer.

“But be careful… do not celebrate victory too soon,” he added, warning of the need to continue following social distancing rules.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement late Saturday that the last person found to have been infected with the coronavirus in recent weeks had tested negative.

“Today there are no more cases of coronavirus among employees of the Vatican,” or within Vatican City, he said.

READ ALSO: Britain To Reopen Places Of Worship On June 15

Twelve people in total within the Vatican had been infected by the virus.

The Argentine pope expressed his sympathy for those in some Latin American countries like Brazil and Peru, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately in other countries — I am thinking of some of them — the virus continues to claim many victims,” he said.

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“Last Friday, in one country, one person died every minute! Terrible. I wish to express my closeness to those populations, to the sick and their families, and to all those who care for them,” he said.

During Italy’s two-month lockdown which began in March, Francis continued to address the faithful via videoconference from within a chapel within his Vatican residence.

The COVID-19 epidemic has killed nearly 34,000 people in Italy, but experts believe it has now been mostly been controlled.

Avoid Worship Centres, Govt Tells Lagos Residents Above 65 Years

Lagos State Government has advised residents of the state above 65 years to avoid visiting worship centres in order to curb COVID-19 in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi gave the advice during a press conference in Alausa, Ikeja, the state capital.

The Commissioner who noted that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the reopening of religious centres in the next two weeks as the state entered the second phase of the ease of lockdown, in line with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and NCDC protocols on ease of lockdown.

Abayomi reiterated the commitment of the state government to manage the public health of residents, noting that the government is deeply worried by the aged group considered as vulnerable.

“If you are over the age of 65, you should not go to these houses of worship. In fact, you should continue to exercise due diligence as to where you go and to what kind of environments you go to.

“For now, we are advising that over the age of 65, avoid these engagements. For those that do go to this engagement and go back home, what happens? Those that do go to the houses of spiritual worship, while you are there, we have cut down the number of people that can be in a room.

READ ALSOMosques, Churches In Lagos To Reopen From June 19 And 21 – Sanwo-Olu

“And while you are in that room, you must practice what we are standardizing as social distancing so that it reduces your chance of contracting the virus and taking the virus home to where you may have somebody in the house above the age of 65,” he said.

The Commissioner’s remarks come a day after Governor Sanwo-Olu reviewed some of the protocols being used to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu announced that the government would be relaxing the measures in the coming days, insisting that worshippers at such centres must not exceed 500 during a session.

He, however, noted that the government has allowed authorities to conduct more than one service but must maintain proper hygiene of the environment.