Nigeria Records 328 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 11,844

Nigeria has recorded 328 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 11, 844.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), announced this on Friday.

According to the agency’s report, 121 of the new cases were recorded in Lagos, 70 in the FCT, and 25 in Bauchi.

Other affected states were Rivers with 18 cases, Oyo with 16, 15 in Kaduna, 14 in Gombe, 13 in Edo and Ogun, eight in Jigawa, six in Enugu, five in Kano and two each in Ondo and Osun states.

350 new cases of #COVID19;

Kwara -16

11516 cases of #COVID19Nigeria
Discharged: 3535
Deaths: 323

— NCDC (@NCDCgov) June 4, 2020

However, the NCDC also noted that a total of 3,696 patients have now recovered from the virus and have subsequently been discharged from isolation centers, while 333 persons have died.

Nearly four months since Nigeria recorded its first case in the country, the figures have continued to rise with Lagos still the epicenter after a record 5,663 cases, closely followed by Kano State with 985 cases and the FCT with 862 cases.

With the latest figures, Nigeria is ranked third on the list of most infected African nations after South Africa and Egypt.

To curb further spread of the virus, the Federal Government had imposed a lockdown on the three majorly affected states at the time (Lagos, Ogun State and the FCT) in March.

Subsequently, other states began to impose varying degrees of curfews and governors eventually agreed on interstate lockdowns as they began to record new infections.

But weeks after the FG-Imposed lockdown, President Muhammadu Buhari announced again that there would be a gradual easing of the lockdown in order to allow economic activities resume as the country could not sustain an extended period of economic inactivity.

While essential workers and other levels of workers have been allowed to resume so far, the government has still appealed to those who can afford to stay at home, to do so.

Reducing interpersonal contacts and maintaining social distancing of up to 2-3meters is said to be one of the ways to curb the spread of the virus but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task for most Nigerians.

Other measures to stay safe include sneezing or coughing into your elbow, washing of hands regularly, use of alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing of face masks.

Read Also: Muslims In Abuja Gather To Pray As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

While most businesses have been allowed to resume with strict adherence to the above measures, schools, cinemas, clubs and other places of mass social gatherings remain shut.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has, however, allowed the reopening of worship centers.

While the PTF had said it does not recommend that people resume at places of worship, it noted that if they have to, they must adhere strictly to the guidelines, some of which include the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.

Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.

The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.

In addition, it noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

Some Muslim faithful in Abuja could already been seen gathering for prayers on Friday as the restrictions get lifted.

President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, and other government officials were also among those who attended Juma’at prayers – their first since the lockdown was imposed.

For schools, the government had stated last week that it is not ready to take the risk of resuming just yet.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, debunked reports that schools would open on June 8, adding that there would be no resumption “until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material”….

Nigeria Reports 389 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Hit 8,733-katamablog

COVID-19 cases in Nigeria increased further on Wednesday with 389 cases reported by the country, despite efforts by authorities to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

The new cases were confirmed by the specialist agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Twitter.

This takes the country’s total infections to 8,733 out of which 2,501 have been discharged with 254 losing their lives.

Data from the NCDC showed that the cases were spread across 22 states and with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections for the day with 256 cases.

READ ALSO: Increasing Cases Of COVID-19 May Overwhelm Our System – Health Minister

389 new cases of #COVID19;

Akwa Ibom-11

8733 cases of #COVID19Nigeria
Discharged: 2501
Deaths: 254

— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 27, 2020

Trump threatens to move Republican convention over COVID-19 restrictions-katamablog

Trump suspends funding to World Health Organization | Financial Times

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that he may move the Republican National Convention set for August from North Carolina if the event faces state social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to halt campaign rallies. Some have raised concerns that the large formal nominating conventions that are typically packed with delegates could raise safety issues.

Trump said on Twitter that if Democratic Governor Roy Cooper does not immediately answer “whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” then the party will find “with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”

The conventions include prime-time TV speeches that serve to kick off the final sprint toward the November presidential election. The Republican event is set to start Aug. 24 in Charlotte.

Cooper’s office said in a statement Monday that “state health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”

Later, Trump tweeted he had “zero interest” in moving the convention to his Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. “Ballroom is not nearly big enough,” he wrote.

In October, Trump abandoned plans to host the G7 summit at Doral after Democrats and others had decried the selection as evidence of the president misusing his office for personal gain.

Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News it was “absolutely essential” that Cooper give a “swift response” or the convention could be moved to a state “farther along on reopening.”

The Democratic National Convention, which was postponed by a month because of the coronavirus, is set to begin Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A spokeswoman for the DNC event said earlier this month the convention would follow health officials’ “guidance to determine how many people can safely gather in Milwaukee this August.”

Nigeria’s Economy Slows By -0.68% In First Quarter Of 2020 – NBS

Nigeria's GDP Falls 2.24% In 3rd Quarter of 2016

Nigeria’s economy witnessed a slow-paced growth of -0.68% in the first quarter of 2020 as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 1.87% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the latest GDP report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, Nigeria’s slow economic growth was attributed to the effects of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a sharp fall in oil prices and restricted international trade.

Year on year, the economy also dragged by –0.23% points when compared to Q1 2019, while Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27% compared to 5.59% recorded in the preceding quarter.

The statistical agency said in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N35,647,406.08 million in nominal terms.

“This performance was higher when compared to the first quarter of 2019 which recorded N31,824,349.67 million, with a nominal growth rate of 12.01% year on year.

“Relative to the first quarter of 2019, the nominal growth rate was higher by 0.11% points but lower than the preceding quarter by –0.32% points.”

In the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria sustained the daily average oil production of 2.07 million barrels per day (mbpd), when compared to the 1.99mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2019.

The report stated that the country’s oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06% (year-on-year) in Q1 2020 indicating an increase of 6.51% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 11.30% in Q1 2020. The Oil sector contributed 9.50% to aggregate real GDP in Q1 2020, up from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, as the share of the non-oil economy declined.”

Meanwhile, the non-oil sector grew by 1.55% in real terms during the reference quarter, but slower by –0.93% points year on year.

The report showed that the non-oil sector was driven mainly by “Information and Communication (Telecommunications), Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions), Agriculture (Crop Production), Mining and Quarrying (Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas), and Construction”.

It added that the non-oil sector contributed 90.50% to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020, less than its share in the first quarter of 2019 which was 90.78% and the fourth quarter of 2019 recorded as 92.68%.

Makinde Reviews Curfew As Oyo Coronavirus Cases Hits 233-katamablog

Governor Seyi Makinde has reviewed the curfew in Oyo State, despite some spikes in the number of Coronavirus cases within the state.

The governor had earlier put in place a 7:00 p.m. till 5:00 a.m curfew in the state but this has now been reviewed to 8:00 p.m till 5:00am.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa said that the decision was reached at the COVID-19 Task Force meeting presided over by the governor on Sunday.

He also added that the state has so far recorded 233 COVID-19 positive cases, while 171 of them are active cases.

Adisa assured that a number of creative measures have been approved for implementation by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to contain the spread of the virus in the state.

“The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force headed by His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde has approved that the curfew currently in force in the state runs from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The new directive replaces the initial order which pegs the curfew at between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“Agreement has been struck with the management of a facility in Ibadan to provide bed spaces for a number of positive cases, whose status have been well considered by the experts,” his statement read.

He further stated that the government is wrapping up renovations of Isolation centres located at Agbami, Jericho, Ibadan, Igbo-Ora, Ogbomoso, Saki and Aawe, near Oyo town.

He added that the planned community testing, which could not be kickstarted at the weekend owing to the festivities and public holidays, would commence by the end of the week.

WHO Suspends Trial Of Hydroxychloriquine As Treatment For COVID-19-Katamablog

This handout image provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 22, 2020 in Geneva shows WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending the 147th session of the WHO Executive Board held virtually by videoconference, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Christopher Black / World Health Organization / AFP

The World Health Organization said Monday it had “temporarily” suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.

The decision came after the publication last week of a study in the Lancet indicating that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

Tedros said that the executive group of the so-called Solidarity Trial, in which hundreds of hospitals across several countries have enrolled patients to test several possible treatments for the novel coronavirus, had as a precaution suspended trials using that drug.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” Tedros said.

“The other arms of the trial are continuing,” he stressed.

Hydroxychloroquine is normally used to treat arthritis but pronouncement from public figures including US President Donald Trump — who announced last week he is taking the drug — has prompted governments to bulk buy the medicine.

Brazil’s health minister also recommended last week using hydroxychloroquine, as well as the anti-malarial chloroquine, to treat even mild COVID-19 cases.

The Lancet study found that both drugs can produce potentially serious side effects, particularly heart arrhythmia.

And neither drug benefitted patients hospitalised with COVID-19, according to a Lancet study, which looked at the records of 96,000 patients across hundreds of hospitals.

Tedros stressed Monday that the two drugs “are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.”

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan meanwhile told Monday’s briefing that the WHO-backed Solidarity Trial had been looking only at the effects of hydroxychloroquine and not chloroquine.

The decision on suspending enrolment for trials using hydroxychloroquine was “a temporary measure”, she said.

“We’re just acting by precaution,” WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan agreed

Buhari: Nigeria has ‘No Money’ to import food-Katamablog

ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerian farmers must produce enough for the country to eat, saying that the country has “no money to import” food.Advertisementsabout:blankREPORT THIS AD

The comments follow concerns around food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic and rising food prices in Africa’s most populous nation.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Programme, even before the Covid-19 crisis, farmers had not been able to satisfy demand for Nigeria’s population of some 200 million.

Although the agricultural sector remains a major employer, it has suffered years of neglect as the country’s economy focused heavily on oil revenue.

Nigeria has been trying to boost domestic rice production for some time, cracking down on smuggled imports from Thailand by closing the country’s land borders last year.

Prior to the ban, Nigeria used to import over a million tonnes of rice from Thailand annually.

Now it only allows foreign rice through its ports – and imposes high import taxes.

Food prices have risen in Nigeria since the onset of coronavirus and government revenues have been hit badly by the fall in global oil prices.

The International Monetary Fund predicts that Africa’s biggest economy will contract by 1.5% points in 2020.`Advertisementsabout:blankREPORT THIS ADAdvertisementsabout:blankREPORT THIS AD

Ighalo Set For United Exit As Chinese Club Reject Loan Extension

Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo could be on his way out of Manchester United after his parent club, Shanghai Shenhua rejected the Old Trafford side’s request to keep him for another three months.

Ighalo, 30, joined United on the January transfer deadline day this year and has won many hearts with his display which has seen him scoring four goals in eight matches.

United signed the former Watford striker on a six months loan deal for £3m following an injury to English star, Marcus Rashford.

READ ALSO: NFF President Pinnick Condoles With Eagles Star Osimhen Over Father’s Death

Although Ighalo wants to stay back with the Red Devils who are interested in keeping the Nigerian until August when the season ends, the Chinese Super League outfit are asking the player to return to the Asian country to finish off the delayed campaign, according to Daily Mail.

Already, they have offered him a two-year contract extension of £400,000 a week until 2024.

With contract talks stalled and pending a late breakthrough, Ighalo may have played his last match for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team as his loan deal elapses on Monday, May 31.

The English giants may have to pay about £20million – an amount Shanghai are willing to let go of the Nigerian – to get him on a permanent deal if speculations about the player’s future are anything to go by.

But that cannot go through until the beginning of the summer transfer window in August.

The 30-year-old resumed training the United squad at Carrington last week but it remains unclear if Ighalo will be at the Old Trafford by this time next week.

COVID-19: Thailand Enters Global Race For Vaccine With Trials On Monkeys-Katamablog

Thailand is conducting tests on macaque monkeys as it races to produce a cheaper, alternative coronavirus vaccine it hopes will be ready by 2021, a top researcher said Monday.

More than 100 candidate vaccines are currently in various stages of development around the world, at least eight of which are in clinical trials with humans, according to the World Health Organization.

Oxford University researchers are considered the frontrunners in the race, starting clinical trials last month on a version based on a different virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.

Dr. Suchinda Malaivitjitnond, director of the National Primate Research Center of Thailand who oversaw Saturday’s vaccine injections to an initial group of 13 monkeys, said she hoped a “Made in Thailand” vaccine would be cheaper than a European or American drug.

The testing phase on the macaque monkeys came after trials on mice were successful, researchers said.

They are working in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania in the US using a new technology based on mRNA, a type of genetic material never before used to make a vaccine.

The process entails injecting a short sequence of viral genetic material to trigger an immune response by producing proteins acting against the virus.

READ ALSO: Italy Proposes 60,000 Volunteers For Post-virus Vigilance

At least two other companies — pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and US-based Moderna — are developing vaccines using the same technology, with the latter reporting positive preliminary results last week from clinical trials.

Thailand was the first country outside of China to detect an infection in mid-January but has so far reported just over 3,000 cases and 57 deaths.

If the tests on the macaques go well, human trials should start in October, said Dr. Kiat Ruxrungtham, chair of the Chula Vaccine Research Center at Chulalongkorn University.

“Our dream is that low- and middle-income countries should not stay a buyer for our whole lives.”

Lagos To Close Marine Beach Bridge For Five Months

Governor of Lagos State: Babajide Sanwo-Olu Photo by Kidco Group

The Lagos State Government on Sunday announced its plan to partially close the Marine Beach Bridge located by Total Gas, inwards Apapa for five months.

According to the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, this is to enable repair work on the bridge.

The closure of the bridge will take effect from Wednesday, May 27 till Wednesday, October 21.

Oladeinde adds that the planned repairs on the bridge by the Federal Ministry of Works is vital to the safety of the people of Lagos, especially motorists plying the route to access different parts of the State.

He explained that necessary repair works have already been carried out on all alternative routes around the construction site.

“Motorists inwards Wharf Road will be diverted to the other section of the bridge for vehicles exiting Apapa.

“A contraflow of 200 metres will be put in place for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inwards Ajegunle or Wharf Road, Apapa, in order to ensure that motorists descending to Total Gas underbridge will drive without any hindrance,” Oladeinde said.

He added that the exercise, which will entail bearing and expansion joint replacement, is planned for two phases, with each phase focusing on one lane of the Bridge at a time.

During the first phase, work will be done on the Apapa inbound lane, while the second phase will concentrate work on the outbound lane.

He concluded that adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure that traffic within the axis is effectively managed during the construction period.

The Commissioner noted that the officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other State law enforcement agencies will be deployed to the axis to ameliorate inconveniences that might arise from the closure.

Oladeinde, therefore, appealed to vehicle owners and residents of the area to cooperate with the traffic management officers during and after the period of the construction.