You’ll regret defying lockdown order, LASTMA tells motorists (Punch)
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority on Thursday read the riot acts to motorists reminding them that they were not exempted from the government’s lockdown order.
The authority advised motorists to comply with the government’s directive and desist defaulting the order.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in a broadcast to the nation on Sunday evening, had directed cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 p.m. on Monday.
Buhari, who noted that this restriction would also apply to Ogun due to its close proximity to Lagos State and the high traffic between the two states, said the step was to stop the spread of the virus. Read more
LASEMA confirms death of six in Epe road accident (Guardian)
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu has confirmed that six persons died after a truck fell on a commercial taxi on Epe Expressway.
Oke-Osanyintolu told News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Lagos that six out of the seven persons involved lost their lives after the accident that occurred earlier on Wednesday.
According to him, the truck with an unknown registration number had fallen on the fully-loaded commercial taxi OPEL car with registration number Lagos SMK-312ES. Read more
Germans await flight at Lagos airport for evacuation (Nation)
Over 100 German nationals have completed airport security formalities ahead of their evacuation by Lufthansa German Airline to Frankfurt from the international wing of the Lagos Airport.
Airport and Immigration sources disclosed this to The Nation on Thursday.
A security source at Lagos Airport said the Germans have undergone airport security formalities and screening for COVID-19 as they await the Lufthansa flight which landed in the afternoon for the evacuation under ‘emergency’ and ‘humanitarian’ flight operations.
Also on ground at the airport is an Air France aircraft, which is expected to airlift many French nationals purportedly stranded in the country. Read more
Police, health workers bicker over alleged harassment on movement restrictions (Guardian)
The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Medical Guild have raised the alarm over an alleged “undue” harassment of health workers by men of the Nigerian Police Force. The NMA in a release signed yesterday by its chairman, Dr. Saliu Oseni, said the statement made by the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, was exposing its members and other healthcare workers to unwarranted harassment by the police.
“The attention of the association has been drawn to the comments made by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos aired on TVC News on March 31. The CP said, amongst other things, that health workers, in addition to carrying valid means of identification, must show evidence of being on duty whenever they move around the state.
“Is the CP suggesting that health workers engage in ‘illegal duty’ or wander about aimlessly? Perhaps, the CP underestimates the enormity of the work at hand. For the avoidance of doubt, all hands are needed on deck at this critical time. Several countries have already called thousands of health workers out of retirement.” Read more
COVID-19: FG regrets begging US billionaire for ventilators, deletes tweet (Punch)
The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has deleted a tweet in which it pleaded with American billionaire, Elon Musk, for ventilators to treat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry also issued a statement apologising to Nigerians for the error.
The Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the minister, Yunusa Abdullahi, said in a statement that the tweet was not done with the permission of the minister.
The statement read, “An unauthorised post was made on the verified Twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. The fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down. Read more
COVID-19: FRSC impounds 3 vehicles for overloading in Oyo (Guardian)
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Oyo State Command, says it has impounded three commercial vehicles for disobeying government’s order on overloading.
The state FRSC Sector Commander, Mrs Uche Chukwurah, disclosed this in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
Chukwurah reiterated that the aim was to contain the spread of COVID-19, which had been ravaging the world. Read more
Edo doctor treating COVID-19 patients contracts disease (Punch)
A doctor treating COVID-19 patients at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, has contracted the disease, the President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, has said.
The NARD President said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by our correspondent on Thursday.
Sokomba said six doctors had died of Lassa fever while one unnamed doctor had been infected with COVID-19.
He said, “At the moment, as health workers continue to play their part in containing the spread of the disease, the health workers are not protected. One of our colleagues died just yesterday from Lassa fever. This is the state of our health care institutions and that is the fate of most health care workers in the country. Read more
Petrol marketers agree to sell fuel for N123 (Guardian)
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said they have agreed to sell petrol for N123 in compliance with government directive.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of IPMAN once more commends the Federal Government of Nigeria for the further reduction of the pump price of PMS to between N123.50k and N125 per litre,” IPMAN president Sanusi Fari said in a statement.
“As law-abiding citizens, our members shall comply immediately.”
The government through the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Wednesday reduced fuel price from N125 to N123. Read more
Police in Anambra apprehend 4 fake health officials with fake sanitisers (Nation)
The Anambra Police Command says it has arrested four suspects, who allegedly posed as health officials to sell fake sanitisers and unhygienic face masks to members of the public in Onitsha.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Haruna Mohammed, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Mohammed identified the suspects as Anthony Oyatubo (30); Nwachukwu Chidi (31); Chris Okeke (30); and Olisa Moura (25).
“On March 31, at about 3p.m., following intelligence report, police operatives attached to Central Police Station, Onitsha, arrested members of the syndicate. Read more
Sex workers reveal their struggle to survive the coronavirus (NYPost)
Selling sex isn’t an “essential service” during the coronavirus lockdown.
Sure, Anna, a Brooklyn-based sex worker, is still seeing her regulars despite the social-distancing measures being implemented to fight the spread of COVID-19. But business is down “80 percent” as the global infection count surpasses 857,000 cases.
“Before the virus came, I was seeing one or two clients a day, making around $200, $300 a day,” she tells The Post. Now, Anna is living on $300 a week, and there “could be days where you sit around all day not knowing what to do with yourself.”
The 35-year-old Russian immigrant, who declined to give her full name for privacy reasons, says she can’t leave her line of work altogether. She has to support herself and her 17-year-old daughter. And unlike employees laid off from mainstream — i.e., legal and taxed — businesses, she’s ineligible for unemployment benefits. Read more
Emirates to resume limited passenger flights (Punch)
Emirates Airline said Thursday it is to resume a limited number of outbound passenger flights from April 6, less than two weeks after its coronavirus-enforced stoppage.
“Emirates has received approval from UAE authorities to restart flying a limited number of passenger flights,” its chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter.
“From April 6, these flights will initially carry travellers outbound from UAE,” he said, adding that details would be announced soon.
Dubai-owned carrier Emirates, the largest in the Middle East with 271 wide-body aircraft, grounded passenger operations last week as the UAE halted all passenger flights to fight the spread of coronavirus. Read more
North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus (Guardian)
North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as confirmed global infections near one million.
The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures.
Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that the efforts had been completely successful. Read more
Saudi Arabia imposes 24-hour curfew in Mecca, Medina (DailyTrust)
Haruna Gimba Yaya Saudi Arabia has imposed 24-hour curfew in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina on Thursday, extending measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,700 people in the kingdom and killed 16. The Interior Ministry said in a statement there were some exceptions, including for essential workers and in order for residents to buy food and access medical care. Cars in those cities’ residential districts may only carry one passenger to limit the virus’ transmission, it said. Read more
COVID-19: Malaria drugs getting scarce – Doctors (Punch)
Limited global stocks of two anti-malarial drugs could wreck plans to use the medicines, currently in clinical trials, to treat COVID-19, doctors cautioned on Thursday.
Around the world, countries are expanding access to chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which are used to treat malaria and are known to have anti-viral properties.
The medicines have shown early promise against the COVID-19 illness in studies in France and China.
CQ, which is the less toxic of the two, is also used as an anti-inflammatory to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, purposes it is primarily known for outside the tropics. Read more
Deep concern’ over coronavirus emergency powers (BBC)
Hungary was not singled out but there has been widespread condemnation of the sweeping powers handed to the prime minister
A group of 13 EU member states have said they are “deeply concerned” about the use of emergency measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
It was legitimate to use “extraordinary measures”, they said, but some powers could threaten “democracy and fundamental rights”.
Earlier this week Hungary’s parliament granted Prime Minister Viktor Orban sweeping new powers.
Other states are considering similar measures. Read more
Google boosts support for checking coronavirus facts (DailyTrust)
Google on Thursday said it is pumping $6.5 million into fact-checkers and nonprofits as it ramps up its battle against coronavirus misinformation. Fact-checking organizations, which often operate on relatively small budgets, are seeing a surge in demand for their work as mistaken or maliciously false information about the pandemic spreads, according to Alexios Mantzarlis of the Google News Lab. “Uncertainty and fear make us all more susceptible to inaccurate information, so we’re supporting fact-checkers as they address heightened demand for their work,” Mantzarlis said. Read more
Domestic abuse cases could escalate during coronavirus crisis: experts (NYPost)
Domestic violence victims stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic and facing economic burdens that the crisis brings with it could experience increased abuse, experts warn.
“Something that might have been emotional or financial might turn into physical [abuse],” Crystal Justice, chief development and marketing officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, told Axios in a report published Thursday.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline told The Post last week that an increased number of victims who reach out by text or phone mention COVID-19. Read more
Premier League clubs threatened with extra tax on players’ wages (Punch)
Premier League clubs that use government money for the salaries of non-playing staff, while continuing to pay players their full wage could be hit by a new tax.
Julian Knight, who chairs the British government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, expressed his “dismay” at clubs using the government’s furlough scheme which will guarantee 80 per cent of salary for staff members up to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,000) a month.
Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich have so far said they will use the scheme for non-playing staff, although Norwich will top up the government’s contribution to ensuring 100 per cent of salaries are paid. Read more
Donations show ‘togetherness’ against virus, says Rashford (Guardian)
The public response in donating to charity to help feed deprived children after an appeal by Marcus Rashford has impressed the Manchester United forward.
The 22-year-old England international teamed up with FareShare, a food distribution charity, after schools in the Manchester area were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations as of Wednesday totalled £134,000 ($167,000) surpassing his initial target of £100,000. Read more
Club Bruges to be named champions as Belgian Pro League cancelled (BBC)
The Belgian Pro League is set to become the first major European league to be cancelled because of coronavirus.
Club Bruges will be declared champions with the current league table set to stand.
There was one match of the regular season remaining when the league was suspended, with play-offs due to decide the top positions.
The league’s board of directors made the decision and have made a recommendation to the general assembly. Read more
Coronavirus crisis to end ‘unhealthy’ spending in football – Rummenigge (Punch)
pandemic will stop the “unhealthy” inflation of player wages and transfer fees in football, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wrote in an editorial published on Thursday.
“With every crisis comes an opportunity,” Rummenigge noted in Bayern’s own club magazine. “For a long time, we have seen unhealthy amounts of money paid in wages and transfer fees. The coronavirus and the crisis it is causing will at least put an end to this idea of ‘always more, everything more expensive and quicker than before’.”
He added: “Supply and demand will regulate the market and help establish a new equilibrium”. Read more
Transfer: Chelsea swoop for Barcelona, Porto stars (DailyTrust) Chelsea have entered talks to sign Porto defender Alex Telles and Barcelona playmaker, Philippe Coutinho, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira. Telles, who is valued at £35million, recently hired super-agent Pini Zahavi having previously being represented by his family. It iss believed Zahavi’s long-standing relationship with Blues owner Roman Abramovich could prove hugely beneficial for the Stamford Bridge club. Schira says that talks to bring Barcelona forward Coutinho, 27, back to the Premier League are also underway with Tottenham also interested. Read more
Masahiro Tanaka leaves US for Japan over coronavirus ‘danger’ (NYPost)
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Masahiro Tanaka recently returned to Japan with his family, in fear of contracting the coronavirus.
Having been in Florida following the suspension of the baseball season, the Yankees starting pitcher revealed on Twitter that he traveled back to his homeland in late March because he believed he, his wife and two children were in “danger” of potentially becoming infected with COVID-19.
Tanaka, 31, said no one in his family is showing any symptoms of the disease, but they would self-quarantine for two weeks in Japan, as the government requests. Read more
Jerome Boateng: Bayern defender fined by club for leaving Munich (BBC)
Bayern Munich have fined Jerome Boateng after the defender broke government lockdown rules by leaving Munich to visit his ill son.
In a statement, Bayern said the 31-year-old had “transgressed the guidelines issued by the club by being too far away from his home.”
Bavaria was the first German state to go into lockdown in response to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
Boateng said he would respect the decision but called it “sad”. Read more