Lagosians make gradual return to pre-Covid lockdown (Guardian)
Life is gradually returning to pre-COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos State, The Guardian observed yesterday, which shows that Lagosians are tired of staying at home without food after more than three weeks of the lockdown.
At Iyana Ipaja yesterday, commercial vehicles were seen plying Oke-odo, Abule-egba, Kola, Toll Gate, Sango, Ifo among others to Oshodi. Also, motorcycles lined up as before the clampdown on February 1, looking for passengers.
While some vehicles going towards Sango took inner-city roads to beat some police checkpoints, some dared the consequences to pass through the roadblocks manned by policemen and soldiers.
A passenger travelling to Ogun State from Iyana Ipaja said: “If they extend this lockdown, the government should be ready to face civil disobedience from hungry Nigerians. By the time people start revolting and leave their homes to go about their businesses, I would see whether the government would force them back into their houses” he said. Read more
Friends, family demand justice as estate chairman kills footballer (Punch)
The Chairman of the Victory Estate in the Iba area of Lagos State, Olu James, has allegedly shot dead a resident of the estate, Stephen Doubra.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident happened on Saturday, April 18, 2020, while the chairman and other residents were securing the estate against hoodlums.
PUNCH Metro gathered that James had an altercation with the victim, who held on to his shirt after allegedly hitting a helmet on him.
The chairman was said to have pulled out a gun and shot Stephen, a footballer, in the chest. Read more
Woman allegedly beats maid to death, claims suicide (Guardian)
A woman, Nene Steve, has been arrested by operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Lagos State police command for allegedly killing her maid, Joy Adole Aboel. Steve, who is a resident of No. 18, Ogundola Street, Bariga, Lagos, was accused of beating her maid (Aboel) to death and then went ahead to hang her in order to make it look like a suicide action.
It was gathered that the suspects were arrested on Wednesday by detectives following a complaint lodged by the suspects at the station. The couple had gone to the station to report the death of their house-help who, according to them committed suicide.
It was further gathered that contrary to their claims, homicide detectives, on arrival at the scene discovered that the deceased was still standing while a rope was hanging on her neck, which made the suspect’s story suspicious. Read more
Actress sacks domestic worker while on COVID-19 isolation (Punch)
A domestic worker, Oyindamola Alexander, has lost her job while being treated for the coronavirus disease, which she claimed to have contracted from her boss’ son.
Our correspondent learnt that while Oyindamola was receiving treatment at the Lagos isolation centre in Onikan, the boss, who is a popular actress, Caroline Danjuma, allegedly threatened to arrest her.
Oyindamola, who was discharged on April 20 after testing negative, said she was depressed by the allegations made against her by the celebrity, who also threatened to sue her over a missing laptop. Read more
Nigeria records 108 new coronavirus cases, total now 981 (Guardian)
Nigeria’s coronavirus cases increased to 981 on Thursday with a single-day discovery of 108 new cases confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Lagos has the highest number of confirmed cases on Thursday night with 78 cases.
Nigeria’s capital city Abuja has 14 new case, while Ogun State got five new cases.
The spread of the virus intensifies in Gombe State, with the state recording four new cases.
Three new cases was discovered in Borno State, two new cases in Akwa Ibom State. Read more
ASUU rejects BVN submission as condition for payment of withheld salaries (DailyTrust)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities has rejected the submission of Bank Verification Number as a condition for the payment of February and March withheld salaries of its members at federal universities.
ASUU President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday in a statement approved the payment of February and March withheld salaries of lecturers in universities, who were yet to enrol on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System. Read more
Immigration extends suspension of passport issuance, processing over coronavirus (Guardian)
The Nigeria Immigration Service on Thursday extended the existing suspension passports processing in its offices across the country.
A spokesman for the immigration Sunday James in a statement said the extension was in compliance with the government’s restriction of movement over the spread of coronavirus.
“The Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede MFR, has accordingly directed for the extension of the temporary suspension of processing of passport and Migrant e-Registration from the 23rd April – 23rd May 2020 in pursuance of the government’s directives on Restrictions on International Flight and closure of land borders,” James said. Read more
Troops raid militia hideout in Benue, kill 3, recover weapons (DailyTrust)
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have killed three suspected members of an armed militia and recovered several weapons in Anku Mbagen community of Ukum Local Government Area in Benue State following a recent military operation carried out in the vicinity.
Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major-General John Enenche, in a statement mailed to our correspondent in Makurdi on Thursday, said the troops of OPWS made up of Sector 2 deployed at Katsina Ala, Ukum and Logo LGAS of Benue state and those of Sector 4 drawn from parts of Taraba state carried out the operation. Read more
Lebanese offering Nigerian woman for sale on Facebook arrested (Punch)
The Lebanese, who advertised a Nigerian woman for sale on Facebook, Wael Jerro, has been arrested.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, gave the update on Twitter on Thursday.
She stated that the suspect, who was arrested by the Lebanese government, would be prosecuted.
“The Lebanese Government just announced the arrest of Mr Wael Jerro for onward prosecution against criminal sales of a human, a young Nigerian girl,” she wrote. Read more
Coronavirus: Congress passes $484bn economic relief bill (BBC)
The US Congress has passed a new Covid-19 relief package totalling $484bn (£391bn), the fourth aid bill to clear Congress in response to the pandemic.
The legislation, approved 388-5 by the House of Representatives, tops up a small business aid fund, while funding hospitals and testing.
President Donald Trump said he would enact the bill, which passed the Senate unanimously on Tuesday.
The US has over 845,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 46,800 deaths. Read more
South Africa to gradually ‘ease’ virus lockdown from May 1 (Guardian)
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said a five-week nationwide coronavirus lockdown would be slowly eased starting from next month.
“We have accordingly decided that beyond Thursday the 30th of April, we should begin a gradual and phased recovery,” Ramaphosa said in a televised speech.
“We will implement what we call a risk-adjusted strategy through which we take a deliberate and cautious approach to the easing of current lockdown restrictions.” Read more
Coronavirus: Kenya quarantine escapees arrested while drinking at bar (BBC)
Two people who fled a quarantine centre in Kenya have been arrested at a bar where they were found drinking despite social distancing regulations.
They were among dozens of people filmed jumping over a wall of the facility in the capital, Nairobi, drawing public condemnation.
While under arrest they said they had planned the escape because they were not getting tested for the virus. Read more
Ramadan: Fasting safely during coronavirus crisis (BBC)
Millions of people around the world will be observing the “holy month” of Ramadan under lockdown this year.
Each year, many practising Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the whole of the lunar month – either 29 or 30 days – as part of the ritual of dedicating oneself to contemplation and prayer.
Fasting is obligatory for all adult followers of the faith who are able to safely go without food and drink.
But there are some considerations when it comes to fasting during a pandemic.
Fighting infection takes a lot of energy, University of Sussex immunologist Dr Jenna Macciochi says. Read more
US food supply strained even as farmers keep producing (VOA)
Inside a sprawling barn on a farm outside Cambridge, Wisconsin, Tina Hinchley tends to hundreds of cows as part of her daily chores, something that hasn’t stopped during the COVID-19 crisis.
“There is huge demand,” she said, for the kind of milk produced by Hinchley’s cows, which line up, one by one, to an automated machine that collects the product from their udders.
Historically, about 90% of the milk produced on the Hinchley farm supplied Wisconsin’s famous cheese industry, which, like everything else in American life, is in upheaval due to the coronavirus. Read more
Hopes dashed as coronavirus drug remdesivir fails first trial (BBC)
A potential antiviral drug for the coronavirus has reportedly failed in its first randomised clinical trial.
There had been widespread hope that remdesivir could treat Covid-19.
But a Chinese trial showed that the drug had not been successful, according to draft documents accidentally published by the World Health Organization.
The drug did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream, it said.
When will we have a vaccine?
The US firm behind the drug, Gilead Sciences, said the document had mischaracterised the study. Read more
COVID-19 threatens centuries old Ramadan traditions (VOA)
The coronavirus outbreak threatens to upend faith-based traditions that have gone on for almost 1,500 years. The world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims will not be able to hold communal feasts and prayers that are a hallmark of Ramadan, their holiest month, starting this week.
The pandemic has forced many governments to order restrictions on travel, gathering and collective prayers the likes of which the world has not seen before. Around the world, mosques that worshippers swarm during Ramadan are expected to be empty or have limited attendance.
In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the doors of Kaaba, the holiest of sites for Muslims, usually full to the brim with worshippers from around the world during Ramadan. Now, they are closed. Masjid al-Nabawi, the mosque of Muhammad, the Muslim Prophet, is similarly shut. Read more
Tom Hanks writes to boy called Corona who said he was bullied (BBC)
US actor Tom Hanks has written a letter and sent a Corona-brand typewriter gift to an Australian boy who said he was bullied because of his name – Corona.
Corona De Vries, 8, first wrote to the Toy Story actor and his wife Rita Wilson after they fell sick with the virus in Queensland.
“I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus,” the boy wrote. “Are you OK?”
He added that he loved his name but was being called “coronavirus” at school.
“I get very sad and angry when people call me this,” he wrote.
In response, Hanks replied with a letter that began: “Dear Friend Corona”. Read more
European Athletics Championships cancelled because of coronavirus (BBC)
The 2020 European Athletics Championships in Paris have been cancelled amid the coronavirus crisis.
The event was due to be staged at the French capital’s Charlety Stadium from 25-30 August.
Great Britain topped the medal table at the 2018 championships in Berlin.
“We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer,” said European Athletics interim president Dobromir Karamarinov.
“The health and safety of all athletics’ stakeholders – including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport – is paramount.” Read more
Don’t rush to restart La Liga, Bale warns (Guardian)
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale says there should be no rush to restart La Liga during the coronavirus lockdown as the Spanish football federation plans tests and a return to training.
Testing players is being discussed with a view to completing the Liga season and thereby avoiding financial disaster, a source close to La Liga told AFP on Thursday.
Bale said he wanted to get back into action but felt it wise to wait and see.
“Everyone wants to play football, but the most important thing is everyone stays safe, we don’t want to come back too early. We need to make sure everything is done safely so we avoid the second wave of this virus,” Bale told British broadcaster BT Sports. Read more
Bundesliga ‘ready to return on 9 May’, says German Football League (BBC)
Despite football being halted across the globe by the coronavirus pandemic with all major leagues and competitions suspended, the Bundesliga is now eager to return to action with plans to play spectator-free games in May.
Germany has led the way in its approach to combating the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s intense programme of consistent testing from early on has resulted in far fewer deaths than the worst-affected countries.
The German Football League (DFL), responsible for operating the Bundesliga and the second division, is determined to finish the current season. Its 36 professional clubs met on Thursday to discuss a restart of the season next month. Read more
COVID-19: Chelsea star buys protective masks for traders in Sierra Leone (DailyTrust)
Antonio Rüdiger of Chelsea Football Club of England has launched a $30, 000 fund raising campaign to procure 60, 000 protective face masks for distribution to low income market traders in Free Town, Sierra Leone.
The initiative according to the soccer star was aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus in the West African country.
He launched the Gift Box on his official twitter handle, appealing to wealthy individuals and groups to support the initiative for the vulnerable group in Freetown.
He kick started the donation with a pledge of $5, 000. Read more
Eric Dier: Tottenham midfielder charged by FA after confronting fan (BBC)
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier has been charged by the Football Association after he climbed over seats to confront a fan after a match in March.
The incident happened after Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Norwich.
“Eric Dier has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3,” the FA said in a statement.
“It is alleged that his actions at the conclusion of the fixture were improper and/or threatening.”
Dier has until 8 May 2020 to respond. Read more
Sports nostalgia all the rage during virus lockdown (Guardian)
From Premier League stars reliving their own iconic moments to the documentary that broke records in America, the lack of sport during the coronavirus lockdown has triggered a wave of nostalgia among fans and players.
With virtually no live-action anywhere in the world due to the pandemic, sports lovers have been forced to go cold turkey over the past two months.
Whether it is the Premier League being postponed, cricket tours being cancelled or US leagues going into hibernation, the sudden shutdown has been a shock to the system. Read more
COVID-19: Ahmed Musa denies testing positive (DailyTrust)
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has debunked the news making rounds that he tested positive to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed this in a post via his Instagram handle: @ahmedmusa718
Musa, who plays football in Saudi Arabia for his club side arrived Nigeria over the weekend in a private jet with another Super Eagles teammate, John Ogu, alongside some family members.
He said that he had gone into self-isolation alongside his family members on arrival in line with government’s directive, describing his alleged positive COVID-19 status as “false news.” Read more