COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu rolls out economic stimulus for residents (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State Government has unveiled economic stimulus package for indigent and the most vulnerable in the society to cushion the effect of the 14 days stay-at-home directive occasioned by the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus in the state. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had issued a stay-at-home directive to residents, in order to curtail the spread of the virus. The stimulus, which comes in food packs according to the governor is to be distributed to every local government in the state, targeting at least 200,000 in the first phase.
Sanwo-Olu who spoke after an on-the-spot assessment of one of the State-owned food banks, located inside the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Agege, said that the economic stimulus will reduce the burden of the temporary economic downturn on the citizens caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Read more
Coronavirus: Lagos nears total lockdown, fears cases may hit 39,000 (Punch)
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says a total lockdown is imminent if the cases of coronavirus continue to increase.
Sanwo-Olu said this while giving an update on the situation of the pandemic in the state at the State House in Marina on Friday.
Out of the 70 confirmed cases nationwide, Lagos accounts for 44, but the governor said going by the development, the state was gradually moving towards the number.
Sanwo-Olu said, “We are moving in the direction of a total lockdown but there are numbers or indices that we need to see before we carry it out, which we have yet to see. We need to see a huge spike in the numbers of confirmed cases, so, we are looking at that.” Read more
Lagos-Ibadan rail: LASG closes Jibowu, Yaba level crossings (Guardian)
The Lagos State Government says it will be closing down the Jibowu and Yaba Level Crossings for laying of tracks on the right side of the new standard rail line.
The Public Affairs Unit of the state Ministry of Transportation announced this in a statement on Friday.
The statement said the Jibowu level crossing would be closed between 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 and 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 29 as well as between 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30.
It said that the Yaba level crossing would be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31. Read more
Coronavirus: Worshippers desert mosques in Lagos, FCT, Katsina, others (Punch)
Muslims on Friday deserted mosques in the Federal Capital Territory, as well as in Lagos, Katsina and other states in the country in compliance with the various directives by state governments banning social and religious gatherings.
The Federal Government and many states had banned large gatherings of people in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
One of our correspondents, who moved round in Lagos between 12:noon and 3 pm, observed that worshippers stayed away from various worship centres in obedience to the directive of the state government. Read more
Nigeria’s coronavirus cases now 81 as virus spreads to Enugu (Guardian)
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria has risen to 81, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Friday night.
The NCDC confirmed 11 new cases. Eight of the cases were discovered in Lagos, while two were discovered in Enugu and one in Edo State. Read more
Containing Coronavirus: Lessons for Nigeria from South Korea (Vanguard)
Among countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea stands out. The Asian country’s containment effort is widely regarded a model. It has demonstrated that containing the coronavirus, while difficult, can be beaten with smart, aggressive public health measures. With a total of 9,332 confirmed cases, out of which 4, 528 fully recovered (as of 6 am on Friday 27th March), South Korea’s recovery rate is among the highest in the world.
South Korea has managed to significantly slow the number of new cases and appears to have reined in the outbreak without some of the strict lockdown strategies deployed elsewhere in the world. Read more
Coronavirus: Lawyers differ on restriction of citizens’ movement without a law (Guardian)
Following the threat posed by the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent stay-at-home order slammed on citizens by state governors, some senior lawyers have declared such restriction of movement without any legal backing as unconstitutional.
The lawyers are of the view that the State of Emergency ought to have been activated according to law because such actions violate section 41 of the 1999 constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement.
Retired professor of law, University of Lagos, Akin Oyebode, described it as an overreaction. He said: “There seems to be outright overreaction occasioned by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. Read more
Davido goes into self-isolation as fiancee, Chioma tests positive to coronavirus (DailyTrust)
Popular music act, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido has gone into self-isolation as his fiancée, Chioma Avril tested positive to coronavirus. This was revealed by the artiste on his official Twitter handle on Friday. Davido said that Chioma and his close associates decided to take the test as they returned from foreign trips recently. “Hey everyone ! I came back recently from America after cancelling tour. My fiancé Chioma also came back from London recently with our baby. Read more
Go for COVID-19 screening, I Go Dye begs AMVCA attendees (Vanguard)
Ace comedian, Francis Agoda popularly known as I Go Dye has called on attendees of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) which held Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Eko Hotel Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos to go for COVID-19 test and screening. This is in the wake of the announcement by the Lagos State Government that attendees of the event may be at risk after one confirmed case was said to have attended the show.
The visionary humour merchant and social commentator gave the advice in a one-minute video posted on his Instagram page to help the Federal Government promote more awareness on social distancing. Read more
Coronavirus: Tesla donates hundreds of ventilators to New York (BBC)
Elon Musk has promised to provide New York with hundreds of ventilators to help meet demand from the growing coronavirus outbreak.
The Tesla chief executive said the first batch of donated machines would be delivered later on Friday.
The ventilators were purchased from US government-approved manufacturers in China.
The mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio thanked Mr Musk on Twitter writing “We’re deeply grateful.” Read more
How coronavirus birthed online literary festival (DailyTrust)
On March 23 a unique type of literary festival was introduced by writers of African origin curated by Kenyan author, Zukiswa Wanner. What was it like? Bookshelf reports. The coronavirus epidemic has altered the way things are done in the world today since it hit China and rapidly spread across the world.
Today, many people are isolating themselves and some countries on lockdown to stop the virus from spreading. To keep the literary space alive, 16 writers from 10 African countries organised the Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival curated by Zukiswa Wanner. Read more
Coronavirus: Virgin Atlantic to seek bailout in coming days (BBC)
Virgin Atlantic is expected to ask for a government bailout worth hundreds of millions of pounds in the coming days, the BBC understands.
Requests for state aid are also expected from other airlines.
The government has said it will only step in to help struggling airlines “as a last resort” on a case-by-case basis.
However, the Transport Secretary told MPs he can’t rule out the state taking an ownership stake in UK airlines that have been battered by coronavirus. Read more
What to do if you’re worried about drinking too much during lockdown (Metro)
I don’t know about you, but I have found myself reaching for a soothing glass of wine every night this week. In my normal life, a large glass of red wine is my antidote for a particularly stressful day. And I normally only resort to that once or, at most, twice a week… but these are unprecedented times, and nothing is normal. Using alcohol as a stress-alleviator has never been less sustainable than it is right now. Our stress-levels are through the roof, our emotions are unstable, and with no end in sight, reaching for a bottle every time we have a wobble will likely have a really negative impact on both our physical and mental health. Read more
The US keeps millions of chickens in secret farms to make flu vaccines. But their eggs won’t work for coronavirus (CNN)
Across the United States, prized chickens are laying life-saving eggs at secret farms.
Few people know where the chickens are kept — their locations are undisclosed as a matter of national security.
Each day, hundreds of thousands of their eggs are trucked to storage facilities, where they are protected by guards and multimillion-dollar, government-funded security systems.
But these eggs aren’t for breakfast; they’re the source of your common flu shot.
For the past 80 years, much of the world has relied on chicken eggs for the production of influenza vaccines. Read more
Coronavirus: Russia sees no epidemic but starts shutdown (BBC)
Russia is beginning what Vladimir Putin called a “non-working week”, to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The government is urging people to stay at home, though mixed messaging has left many Russians confused.
Officials now hint the new restrictions could be extended beyond 5 April, depending on the health situation.
The number of Russians infected with Covid-19 passed 1,000 on Friday, with most cases detected in Moscow. Read more
Coronavirus: Trump signs into law largest bailout in US history (BBC)
President Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn), as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill two days after the Senate debated its provisions.
On Wednesday the number of Americans filing for unemployment surged to a record high of 3.3 million people.
The US has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 100,000 positive tests. Read more
Virtual dates, phone sex and self-isolation chats – how coronavirus is changing dating (Metro)
There are very few positive aspects of a pandemic, but if there’s one thing that the coronavirus health crisis has highlighted, it’s the importance of human connection. And, that in times of crisis, we prioritise three things: toilet roll, pasta and dating. You might have thought that a deadly virus and most of the country being in self-isolation (apart from our hero key workers) would put a dent in dating lives, but it appears that COVID-19 has had the exact opposite effect. Dating apps have all seen an increase in sign-ups and swiping – and people are actually talking, too (one of the most well-known aspects of online dating is that people swipe but don’t engage in conversations). Read more
Premier League, EFL & PFA say ‘difficult decisions’ to come for clubs (BBC)
“Difficult decisions will have to be taken” to counter the financial impact of coronavirus on English football, say the Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association.
All games have been postponed until at least 30 April and will only resume “when it is safe and conditions allow”.
A Premier League, EFL and PFA statement said their thoughts “continue to be with everyone affected by the virus”.
“We have agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions,” it added. Read more
COVID-19: ‘We are good’ – Juventus star Paulo Dybala gives update to fans (Nation)
Paulo Dybala has told Juventus fans that he and his girlfriend Oriana Sabatini ‘are good’ just four days on from news they had tested positive for coronavirus.
The 26-year-old forward stunned the world of Italian football when he announced that he had contracted the deadly virus but he appears in high spirits while the pair quarantine at home.
Writing on his Instagram page, where he made the announcement that he was COVID-19 positive on March 21, Dybala wrote ‘estamos bien’ (‘we are good’) to caption a photo of him doing an OK hand gesture. Read more
Atletico Madrid to announce wage cuts (Guardian)
Atletico Madrid is close to announcing a package of wage cuts and temporary redundancies that will affect as many as 500 employees including players.
If Barcelona is the club most struggling with the financial consequences of the coronavirus because of their huge over-spend, Atletico Madrid is not far behind them.
Atletico made a huge investment last summer when they spent £112million on then 19-year-old Joao Felix and it stretched the club to the extent that, when injuries to Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata meant they needed a forward in January, they were unable to buy one. Read more
Doping in sport: US Anti-Doping head fears athletes could ‘take advantage’ of reduced tests (BBC)
The head of US Anti-Doping Travis Tygart fears some athletes will “take advantage” of reduced drug testing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tygart says the outbreak, which has led to almost 24,000 deaths globally, opens a “window of opportunity” for those not “willing to compete clean”.
US Anti-Doping (Usada) is continuing to carry out “mission critical testing”.
However, Tygart thinks the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be the “cleanest Games we’ve seen”.
“People around the world have indicated significant reductions [in testing], in some places it may have shut down entirely,” the American told BBC Sport. Read more
Tokyo Olympics: Justin Gatlin, 38, says he can win gold (BBC)
Former Olympic and world 100m champion Justin Gatlin says he can win gold at the Tokyo Olympics despite him likely being 39 when the postponed Games take place.
The Olympics, due to begin in July, were postponed this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
American Gatlin, 38, won gold at Athens 2004 and the world title in London in 2017 after a second doping ban.
Asked if he could win in Tokyo, he told TMZ Sports: “My educated guess is yes.” Read more
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol criticises Rio Ferdinand for saying Premier League season should be voided (Metro)
Steve Nicol insists Liverpool should get their chance to win the title this term and has criticised Rio Ferdinand’s controversial calls to void the rest of the campaign due to the coronavirus crisis. All Premier League fixtures have been suspended until the end of April at the earliest amid the devastating pandemic but it’s been confirmed that the season will be extended ‘indefinitely’ until it has been completed. There have been suggestions that the remaining 92 matches could be played behind closed doors as a potential solution. Read more
Zambia is biggest climber in latest FIFA ranking (Guardian)
Zambia is among several teams to have earned a FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking boost following a busy start to the year.
A combination of Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualifiers and several friendly tournaments have caused significant movement across the continents, and while the Zambians (100th, up 6) are this edition’s biggest climbers after clinching a spot at the Olympics with a shock triumph over Cameroun, they are not the only team ascending the order.
France (3rd, up 1), Brazil (8th, up 1), Korea DPR (10th, up 1) and Korea Republic (18th, up 2) have all edged upwards in the top 20, while both Slovenia (49th, up 1) and Jamaica (50th, up 1) are now in their highest-ever positions. Read more