Nigeria records 34 new coronavirus cases, total now 407 (Guardian)
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Wednesday confirmed 34 new cases of coronavirus in the country.
NCDC said the new cases were discovered in five different states.
“18 Lagos, 12 in Kano, 2 in Katsina, 1 in Delta, 1 in Niger,” NCDC tweeted.
“As at 11:20 pm 15th April there are 407 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. 128 have been discharged with 12 deaths.” Read more
Samples: Lagos creates 20 centres, FCT combs residents’ houses (Punch)
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Wednesday said 20 centres would be created in Lagos State for collection of samples from people suspected to have contracted COVID-19.
The NCDC Director General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this at a press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the samples would be taken to the molecular laboratories in Lagos for testing.
Ihekweazu also said door-to-door collection of samples would soon begin in Abuja. He added that Nigeria had increased her testing capacity to 3,000.
At the press conference, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed that the ministry had expanded its case definition for COVID-19. Read more
Woman bathes neighbour with hot water in Lagos (Guardian)
A mother of four, Mrs. Mary Joseph, was yesterday taken into custody at the Akinpelu police station after she bathed her neighbour, Jumoke Gbadebo, with hot water at Oshodi area of Lagos State.
Trouble started when the attacker alleged that the victim, whose turn it was to clean the drainage and surrounding of their house, spilled filthy water and dirt into the water she was going to use to bathe her children.
An eyewitness who doesn’t want her name in print, narrated what happened: “I was here bathing my daughter and I heard the woman (Mrs. Joseph) shouting. She said the other woman (Jumoke) poured dirty water inside her water and I told her it was impossible for her to pour dirt into her water knowingly, and that if it happened it must have been a mistake. Read more
Doctor treating COVID-19 patient dies in Lagos (Punch)
A 51-year-old medical doctor on Wednesday died of COVID-19 after contracting the virus from a patient he had treated.
The doctor, who died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, was rushed to the facility on Monday after attempting to manage a COVID-19 patient in a private hospital in Lagos.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Prof Wasiu Adeyemo, said the doctor was not a staff of the hospital but was rushed to the facility after he showed symptoms of the disease.
“The doctor is not a LUTH staff; he was a private practitioner, though he trained in LUTH some 18, 20 years ago. I remember I met him, I know him, he left LUTH around 2002. Read more
Lassa fever killing Nigerians more than COVID-19 (DailyTrust)
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Lassa fever has killed at least 188 Nigerians this year, with experts saying the disease has wreaked havoc since its discovery in the country 51 years ago. Health officials have, therefore, called for a corresponding attention to end the Lassa fever, emphasising that it is equally a deadly disease that has taken a toll on the citizens and medical practitioners over the years. It was gathered that from January this year to the first week of April, 963 people have fallen ill with the disease across 27 states of the country.
Lassa fever has also killed 56 people from the last week of February when the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was recorded in Nigeria. Read more
Lady shuns FRSC officers at checkpoint for not wearing facemasks (Guardian)
The social media was abuzz yesterday following a viral video of a lady who refused to wind down her window or park for officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other security operatives because they weren’t wearing facemasks in Abuja.
In the video, an officer was seen on her bonnet as she attempted to drive away from a checkpoint. She was forced to stop, and the team of FRSC marshals caught up with her. They immediately went on to remove her number plate, as one of the officers also attempted to beat her up.
According to her, she refused to stop for the officers because they weren’t wearing a facemask. In a swift reaction, FRSC authorities announced that a query has been issued to its officials who almost assaulted a lady for speeding off with a policeman on her car’s bonnet in Abuja. Read more
Food vendors make brisk business at checkpoints (DailyTrust)
Food and beverages vendors have taken advantage of the lockdown imposed on the FCT by President Muhammad Buhari in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic to make brisk business at checkpoints mounted at the entry and exit points. Our reporter, who was caught up in the gridlock caused by an Army checkpoint in Kwali, for over two hours observed that some travellers who could not bear hunger alighted from their vehicles to buy rice and beans inside disposable packs. Some sachet water and soft drinks hawkers also made brisk business as weary travellers bought water and drinks. Read more
COVID-19: El-Rufa’i says still in Isolation, not been discharged (Vanguard)
Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State has debunked insinuations that he was free of the covid-19 infection.
The governor, on his twitter handle, said he had not been cleared of Covid-19.
Some residents along Kawo Road near the old Kawo market in Kaduna had earlier alleged that they sighted someone like El-Rufa’i in the area, near his late uncle’s house indicating that the governor’ was okay.
However,the governor in his tweet said “earlier Wednesday 10am-2pm, I took few hours during isolation to chair a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council.”
“I haven’t been cleared of Covid-19 yet & will personally announce when confirmed negative. Ignore all fake news even if you like it.-@elrufaiKADUNA UPDATE: I am grateful to our team ably led by the Deputy Governor for keeping the Goverment going without me.” Read more
COVID-19: Markets in FCT to operate twice weekly (DailyTrust)
In a bid to ensure strict compliance to the cessation of movement so that the territory does not witness an escalation in the number of COVID-19 cases and prevent a public health emergency, the FCT Minister has said that markets will henceforth operate only on Wednesday and Saturday. The Minister further stated that mobile courts will be activated to try violators of the order. The minister who spoke during a COVID-19 Security Committee, yesterday, lamented that residents have used the excuse of going to the market to flout the lockdown directive. He also said compliance at the satellite towns has been discouraging. Read more
M.I and AQ release joint EP “The Live Report” (Guardian)
Nigerian rappers M.I Abaga and AQ have released a new collaborative project, “The Live Report” an extended play.
“The Live Report” is coming after both rappers had each released and featured on each other’s individual projects last month – M.I’s “Judah The EP” and AQ’s album “God’s Engineering”.
On “The Live Report”, M.I and AQ make commentaries on current issues in the society such the COVID-19, conspiracy theories, fake pastors, living fake lives on social media and even death. Read more
South Korea election: Ruling party wins amid coronavirus outbreak (BBC)
The party of South Korean President Moon Jae-in has won a decisive victory in parliamentary elections.
South Korea was among the first countries with a major coronavirus outbreak to hold a national vote since the pandemic began.
Safety and social distancing measures were put in place so that the election could take place as scheduled.
With nearly all votes counted, Mr Moon’s Democratic Party won 163 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly. Read more
Car-rental firm Hertz seeks coronavirus bailout (NYPost)
Carl Icahn’s car-rental company, Hertz, is seeking a bailout from Uncle Sam to fend off a looming cash crunch that threatens to push it over the edge, The Post has learned.
Hertz Global Holdings, known for snagging OJ Simpson as its spokesman at the height of his football career, faces a $1 billion-to-$1.5 billion budget shortfall in the coming months as the coronavirus eats away its business and the resale value of its cars, sources say.
But the publicly traded car-rental chain only has $1 billion in cash on hand to make good on that debt, according to financial records. Read more
Covid-19: G20 endorses temporary debt standstill for the poorest countries (France24)
The Group of 20 nations announced support Wednesday for a temporary halt to debt payments by the world’s poorest nations as they struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We support a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries that request forbearance,” the G20 finance ministers and central bankers said in a communique following their virtual meeting. “All bilateral official creditors will participate in this initiative.”
The group, which brings together the world’s largest economies, also called on private creditors, working through the Institute of International Finance, to participate in the initiative that extends to the world’s 76 poorest countries. Read more
Coronavirus: Why lockdowns may not be the answer in Africa (BBC)
Many African countries have introduced lockdowns in order to halt the spread of coronavirus, but, as Alex de Waal and Paul Richards argue, ordinary people have to be involved in choosing the solutions that will work for them.
Countries on the continent have learned much from tackling epidemics such as HIV and Ebola that should be put to good use as they face the impact of Covid-19.
The most important lesson is that communities must be at the forefront of responding.
This is not a pious mantra but fact of life.
First, infectious disease outbreaks unfold differently in different communities, according to social conditions that only local people can know. Read more
Germany set to be European pioneer in partially lifting Covid-19 restrictions (France24)
Germany has drawn up a list of steps, including mandatory mask-wearing in public, limits on gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, to help enable a phased return to normal life after its coronavirus lockdown is set to end on April 19.
Germany on Wednesday unveiled plans to lift some restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first major European nation to take on the delicate task of reopening without triggering a new wave of infections.
As US President Donald Trump came under increasing fire for ordering a freeze on American funding for the World Health Organization, the Group of 20 (G20) announced a one-year debt moratorium for the world’s poorest nations. Read more
Robots to the Rescue During COVID-19 Lockdown (VOA)
When COVID-19 hit Washington, D.C., and health officials said people had to stay 2 meters apart, Broad Branch Market owner Tracy Stannard knew it meant an end to business as usual.
Customers had been packing the store to stock up.
“We realized that it was getting a little too risky to have so many people in the market,” Stannard said. “We wanted to keep people outside.”
But she also wanted to keep selling groceries.
So she turned to Starship Technologies’ delivery robots.
“The bots seemed like a great option,” she said. Read more
Coronavirus: Why is NYC reporting surge in virus deaths? (BBC)
New York City’s death count has spiked to more than 10,000 after it reported 3,778 people who likely had Covid-19, but died without being tested.
Firefighters and paramedics had been recording drastic increases in deaths at home around the city, assumed to be caused by the virus.
The new figures, from the city’s Health Department, mark a 60% rise in deaths.
In terms of per-capita death rate, New York City has now outpaced Italy – home to the highest death toll in Europe. Read more
Kanye West says he was a ‘functioning alcoholic,’ but has quit drinking (PageSix)
Kanye West stopped drinking after realizing he’s a “functioning alcoholic.”
The rapper — who has publicly struggled with mental health problems — told GQ in its May cover story that he had been drinking vodka in the morning.
But “I haven’t had a drink since I realized I needed to take it day by day, but I never owned up, or was even told, ‘Hey, you’re a functioning alcoholic,’ ” he said. “People have called me a crazy person, people have called me everything … but not a functioning alcoholic.” Read more
‘Super Eagles manager’s job is not vacant’ (Guardian)
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has not advertised for applications for a new coach for the Super Eagles, an official of the federation has said.
Many coaches have been jostling to take over Gernot Rohr’s job since the NFF brought out conditions that the German must meet before getting a new contract.
Recently, former Super Eagles’ handlers, Clemens Westerhof, Jo Bonfere and Sunday Oliseh, as well as former Nigerian forward, Emmanuel Amuneke have been bandied as those interested in taking over the job.
However, Oliseh and Amuneke have since denied showing interest or having been contacted by the NFF on the possibility of taking over from the Rohr. Read more
United offer Ighalo £200k weekly pay-cut for permanent deal (Punch)
Former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has reportedly been told that he would have to accept a staggering £200,000-a-week wage cut if he wants to seal a permanent move to Manchester United.
Ighalo joined United in a shock loan move from Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January.
The Nigerian striker has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford with four goals in eight games, before the season was suspended until due to the coronavirus crisis. Read more
Badminton federation boss, Orbih hails Umpire Oyinloye’s elevation (DailyTrust)
The President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih has welcomed the upgrade of one of Nigeria’s certified national badminton umpires, Naomi Adeoyin Oyinloye, by the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) with immense satisfaction. Oyinloye’s upgrade was conveyed via a letter dated April 9, 2020 and signed by BCA Secretary General, Sahir Edoo after the completion of the BCA Umpires Assessment which took place in Casablanca, Morocco during the All African Games in August, 2019. In a statement, Orbih said the BFN has always believed that the growth of the game is not just about the development of the players, but should also encompass the development of the technical department of the game. Read more
Newcastle United takeover Q&A: Who are the main people involved in the potential deal? (BBC)
Newcastle United fans are used to false dawns when it comes to potential new owners replacing the much-maligned Mike Ashley.
But as a group of investors backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund move closer to ending Ashley’s 13-year reign, even the most-sceptical supporters are starting to believe in a new future.
Documents revealed on Tuesday show that the group’s leader, financier Amanda Staveley, has laid down the legal framework with Ashley’s company for a potential £300m takeover.
Those involved in negotiations are cautious about dealing with Ashley. Nothing appears over the line yet. Read more
Inter want Griezmann in Martinez swap (Punch)
Inter Milan are reportedly willing to entertain a straight-swap deal involving Lautaro Martinez and Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann.
Throughout the majority of the season, Martinez has been linked with a future switch to Camp Nou as Barcelona look to find a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.
However, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen whether European football’s top clubs will be able to spend big money in the transfer market.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are prepared to consider exchanging Martinez for World Cup winner Griezmann without involving a fee. Read more
COVID-19 chaos: Nigerians who clamoured for FIFA ban won’t repeat such mistake -Patrick Pascal (DailyTrust)
Following the suspension of all football related activities in Nigeria due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent losses being suffered by stakeholders in the sector, the chairman of Bauchi State Football Association, Patrick Pascal has said those who once clamoured for FIFA to ban Nigeria would now know that they were playing with fire. It will be recalled that in the past, the world football governing body, FIFA had threatened to ban Nigeria due to the crisis that engulfed Nigerian football over leadership tussle between Amaju Pinnick and his rival, Chris Giwa. On such occasions, some stakeholders urged the federal government to damn FIFA sanctions by interfering in the crisis, even if it meant Nigeria would be banned for as much as four years by the international organisation. Read more
Olajuwon praised for Houston Rockets’ title-winning years (Nation)
Twenty five years after leading Houston Rockets to two consecutive NBA titles, Coach Rudy Tomjanovich has commended Hakeem Olajuwon for his all-round play which won the Rockets the title in 1994 and 1995.
Tomjanovich, who reached out to the Nigerian-American Superstar on Twitter when he (Tomjanovich) took part in the NBA Together initiative, said no one would be talking to him if Olajuwon wasn’t in the Houston Rockets’ team when he got the coaching job.
“I loved coaching Hakeem Olajuwon, because he was such a great player, such a willing student of the game,” the legendary coach said when he was asked about coaching Olajuwon. Read more