COVID-19: Lagos task force destroys goods of traders defying ban (Punch)
Policemen attached to the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit are in the eye of the storm after forcibly shutting down shops that defied the state government’s directive.
The operatives in a video are seen destroying goods at a bar and a phone accessory store at an unspecified location in the state.
The state government had directed markets and stores not trading in essentials to shut down to curtail the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Public gatherings have also been reduced to 25 at most, while policemen and other relevant agencies were charged to enforce the directives. Lagos has recorded 44 cases as of Friday. Read more
Lagos Pipeline Leakage: NNPC shutdown supply, deploy excavators from Mosimi (Vanguard)
Following the pipeline leakage at Satellite Town in Lagos, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Saturday, said it has shut down the supply and is currently evacuating petroleum product from the line.
This development is coming 12 days after the March 15 pipeline explosion at Abule Ado, Lagos where about 23 persons dead while over 70 houses and vehicles were destroyed.
Vanguard gathered that, at about 1530hrs on Friday, reports indicated that the NNPC’s ATC-Mosimi pipeline along Ojokwu Street, Navy Town axis of Satellite Town in Lagos was leaking and the cause of the leakage can not be ascertained as yet. Read more
Coronavirus: Print more naira notes, Tinubu tells FG (Punch)
All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, has asked the Federal Government to print more naira notes in order to save the economy from collapse even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite harder.
Tinubu said this in a statement he wrote in commemoration of his 68th birthday.
The former governor of Lagos State said the United States Federal Reserve had printed more dollars in order to boost the economy.
He said Nigeria could also do the same. Read more
Covid-19: Gombe reverts to old minimum wage (DailyTrust)
Gombe has suspended the N30,000 minimum wage and reverted to the previous N18,000 wage, citing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on global economy. The state Deputy Governor, Manassah Jatau who chairs the minimum wage implementation committee, said the joint committee is also working on downward review of salaries of all political appointees and permanent secretaries in the state. The deputy governor said the state ministry of finance would review the 2020 budget in order to reflect the reduction in the price of oil in the international market and subsequent adoption of $30 per barrel bench mark by the federal government. Read more
Don’t accommodate more than three passengers in your car – VIO warns drivers (Guardian)
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Roads Traffic Services (DRTS), also known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), yesterday, advised drivers to desist from accommodating more than three passengers in their cars.
VIO Head of Public Relations, Kalu Emetu, who gave this warning during a sensitisation for drivers in the territory, stressed the need for drivers to carry two passengers at the back and one in the front, as directed by the government to stem further spread of Coronavirus currently ravaging the world.
Emetu said: “Starting from tomorrow, our men will be on the ground and any driver carrying more than two persons behind, will be forced to drop one person and if the person has paid, his money will be refunded immediately. Read more
Imo heads into complete lockdown for coronavirus (DailyTrust)
Imo state goes into complete lockdown this Saturday and has banned all public gatherings in efforts to prevent spread of coronavirus. Governor Hope Uzodimma announced the ban in a broadcast, ordering all markets closed indefinitely and prohibiting all forms of marriage ceremonies, burials, gathering in places of worships. The ban also extends to open evangelism and crusades. Boundaries into Imo will be barricaded and travellers into the state must be cleared by health officials at the checkpoints. Read more
COVID-19: Buhari, health minister, NCDC boss meet (Punch)
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the Minister of Health, Prof Osagie Ehanire, have just rounded off a meeting at the State House, Abuja.
In attendance was the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ikekweazu.
The photographs of the meeting, just uploaded online by the State House, showed Buhari and the other officials observing social distancing during the meeting.
Findings indicated that the official came to give Buhari updates on the raging coronavirus pandemic. Read more
COVID-19: Presidency dismisses report on N30,000 relief package (Vanguard)
The Presidency on Saturday dismissed reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N30,000 relief package to be given to every Nigerian with a verified Bank Verification Number (BVN) to cushion hardships occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had reportedly announced the presidential approval of the package in a statement.
“The President announced the relief package to be given out N30,000 to every Nigerian who has a verified BVN account to ease pressure posed by the order to lockdown economic activities. Read more
COVID-19: Kogi residents defy stay- at- home order (Nation)
Residents of the Kogi State capital, Lokoja, on Saturday ignored government’s stay- at- home directive as part of measures rolled out to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic.
The government had on Friday announced that it would shutdown the state as from Saturday as a measure to contain the spread of the dreaded coronavirus in the state.
The commencement date of the directive, which fell on the weekly market day and also being the last Saturday of the month, for which the government had announced the observation of its environment sanitation day, witnessed huge turnout at the Kpata market, even before the close of the clean-up exercise. Read more
A sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden has ignited a firestorm of controversy (Vox)
Last year, several women came forward publicly to say Joe Biden had kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable.
One of them was Tara Reade, who said Biden used to “put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck” when she worked in his Senate office in 1993.
Reade now says there was more to her experience with Biden. In an interview with podcast host Katie Halper, which aired Wednesday, Reade says Biden sexually assaulted her, pushing her against a wall and penetrating her with his fingers. When she pulled away, she says, he said he thought she “liked” him.
“It was like an earthquake,” Reade told Vox. “I was so excited about this job,” she said. “I thought this was my future, and so when that happened I felt, it’s like someone pulling the rug out.” Read more
Joseph Lowery: Veteran US civil rights leader dies aged 98 (BBC)
Joseph Lowery, a veteran US civil rights leader and former “dear friend” of Martin Luther King Jr, has died aged 98, US media report.
Rev Lowery was a founding member of the Christian Leadership Conference, where he worked alongside Dr King.
He spoke at the funeral of Dr King’s wife, Coretta, and at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Months later, Mr Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour. Read more
Coronavirus fears spark urban exodus across Africa (Guardian)
No one can remember ever seeing as many people heading out of Antananarivo along national highway number 7.
Madagascans have joined the exodus in their hundreds in recent days, forming long queues to get away after the authorities declared a lockdown to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Richard Rakotoarisoa hit the road during the morning, surrounded by dozens of other people who have decided to head south on foot, rather than risk being stuck in the city with little or no food.
“We stopped work and accepted the constraints of confinement, but we still have to eat and feed our children,” the 30-year-old father, says. Read more
Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown (BBC)
The Indian government has defended its handling of the coronavirus outbreak after a strict lockdown – introduced with little warning – left millions stranded and without food.
The country’s response had been “pre-emptive, pro-active and graded”, it said in a statement.
India’s population of 1.3 billion was given less than four hours’ notice of the three-week lockdown on Tuesday.
Officially about 900 people have coronavirus in India.
However, experts worry that the real number of infections could be far higher. India has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, although efforts are under way to ramp up capacity. Read more
There are at least 102,702 coronavirus cases in the US (CNN)
There are at least 102,702 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through public health systems,
So far, 1,590 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus.
The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Read more
Coronavirus: Number of UK deaths rises above 1,000 (BBC)
The number of people to have died with the coronavirus in the UK has reached 1,019.
The latest government figures on Saturday showed there were another 260 deaths in the UK in a day, up from 759 on Friday.
There are now 17,089 confirmed cases in the UK.
It comes as the government said it was ramping up testing for frontline hospital staff who have symptoms, or who live with people who have symptoms.
Critical care doctors and nurses will be prioritised first, with testing expected to follow for A&E staff, paramedics and GPs.
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, health workers are already being tested. Read more
Spain counts 832 deaths in 24 hours, pushing toll to 5,690 (Guardian)
The death toll from coronavirus in Spain surged over 5,600 on Saturday after a record 832 people died in 24 hours, and the number of infections soared over 72,000, the government said.
Spain has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll after Italy with 5,690 fatalities. The number of confirmed cases have jumped to 72,248 as the country moves to significantly increase testing.
Although Spain’s latest figures showed a daily increase of more than 8,000 cases, the rate of new infections appears to be slowing, with officials saying the epidemic appeared to be nearing its peak. Read more
China and Vietnam finally ban wildlife trade due to coronavirus (NYPost)
A security guard stands outside the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan in January.
A security guard stands outside the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan in January.AFP via Getty Images
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If there can be a bright side to the coronavirus pandemic, which started in a “wet market” in Wuhan that sold live animals in deplorable conditions, it has finally spurred China and Vietnam to ban consumption of wild animals.
The two countries have been behind the skyrocketing death rates for endangered animals like the rhinoceros, elephant and the heavily trafficked pangolin, which have been killed for food and homeopathic “medicinal” cures in the countries. But this trade and the wet markets have been behind not just the recent outbreak, but the SARS explosion in 2002 (which is believed to have emanated from a small mammal called a civet), the swine flu and others. Read more
Coronavirus: What is it like to play behind closed doors? (BBC)
Whether it was the Champions League, Europa League or top-flight matches in Spain, Italy or France, the sight of top-level football being played in empty stadiums became increasingly commonplace at the start of this month.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a major impact across sport, with a huge list of events postponed.
When football does eventually return, the prospect of playing games behind closed doors appears a very real possibility.
Such matches are known as “ghost games” and, according to some of those to have done it, playing in a top-class competitive match without a crowd is an “eerie experience”. Read more
AC Milan eye Osimhen as Ibrahimovic replacement (Punch)
Italian giant, AC Milan, has joined in the race for the signing of red hot Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen, following his impressive performance for Lille this season.
AC Milan will rival Manchester United and Real Madrid for the signature of the Nigeria international, as both clubs had been linked with the player in the past.
Football Espana had earlier reported that the Spanish giants were ready to table an offer in the region of €40m for the 21-year-old striker, an offer way below the asking price of the French side. Read more
UEFA chief says season can still be saved (Guardian)
The head of UEFA said European football leagues were still looking at all options and not ruling out finishing this season — if the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
“We could start again in mid-May, in June or even late June,” Aleksander Ceferin told Italy’s La Repubblica daily.
Any time after that and “the season will probably be lost,” he said.
The idea of the entire season simply being cancelled stirs panic in fans of clubs such as Liverpool — on the cusp of lifting their first title in 30 years. Read more
Pedro reveals angst of separation from children due to virus (Guardian)
Chelsea winger Pedro admits he is finding it hard separated from his children due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Pedro’s kids are back in Spain and the 32-year-old is unable to go home to see his family because of the travel restrictions imposed around the pandemic.
The Spaniard has remained in England and the separation has been an unsettling experience.
“It’s hard not to be seeing your children, your parents, your siblings, not having them close by at a complicated, difficult time for us all,” Pedro told Chelsea’s website. Read more
Uruguayan football federation lays off 400, including coach Tabarez (Guardian)
The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) announced that almost all of its staff, including coach Oscar Tabarez, have been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic that has frozen sport worldwide.
“The executive committee informs that, due to the current health crisis which has brought to a halt all its activities, it is obliged to take a series of tough decisions in order to protect the future functioning of the institution,” the AUF said in a statement on Friday.
The main measure was to “send all its staff to collect unemployment insurance” including Tabarez, 73, who has been the coach of the Uruguayan national team since 2006, leading them to a World Cup semi-final and a Copa America title. Read more
Phil Neville: How Olympics delay could affect England boss (BBC)
The Olympic Games have been pushed back a year and a postponement of the 2021 Women’s European Championship is also on the cards, so what impact does that have on England manager Phil Neville?
The 43-year-old has just over a year left on his contract and was due to take charge of a Team GB squad in Tokyo this summer.
But with the Olympics now taking place next year and a potential build-up of back-to-back major tournaments in store, will Neville want to stick around? And are the Football Association reconsidering his position? Read more
Falcons move to 38th in FIFA rankings (Punch)
The Super Falcons have moved up one place and are now 38th in the world in the latest FIFA Women’s World Football Ranking released by the football governing body, on Friday.
It is the first ranking for the women in 2020 and the African champions moved a spot up from their 39th position in December 2019 despite their inactivity since playing a 2020 Olympics qualifier in October 2019.
In the ranking for the month of March, Nigeria maintained their previous points of 1,614 from December, which positioned them as the best female team in Africa.
Nigeria ranked first in the continent ahead of Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana and Ivory Coast, who are second, third, fourth and fifth respectively. Read more