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(FILES) This file handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Lizabeth MENZIES / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...
(FILES) This file handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Lizabeth MENZIES / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP.
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President Patrice Talon announced Sunday that Benin could not enforce public confinement because it lacks the “means of rich countries” who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rich countries are putting up huge amounts of money and some are even resorting to barely disguised monetary solutions, or printing notes to prevent what would otherwise be unavoidable socio-economic chaos,” he said in a televised address.

“Benin (…) does not have such means,” Talon said. “If we take measures which starve everybody, they will quickly end up being defied and violated.”

The president did announce from Monday a ‘cordon sanitaire’ around eight major urban areas, including the business capital Cotonou where public transport will be halted.

But questions have been asked about the lack of protective measures in the West African country where officially just six cases of novel coronavirus have been recorded.

READ ALSO: Spain Records 838 Coronavirus Deaths In 24 Hours 

A student demonstration at Cotonou’s Abomey-Calvi university last week calling for classes to be halted ended with one protester dead. Schools, churches and mosques were ordered to close on March 22-23.

Neighbouring Togo has reported 28 cases and Ghana 141. Both have imposed confinement or restrictions on movement.

Across Africa 4,267 cases have been declared with 134 deaths, although testing has been limited in many countries where large numbers of people live in poverty.

AFP

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  1.   29 March 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng
Members of the Iranian Red Crescent test people for coronavirus Covid-19 symptoms, as police blocked Tehran to Alborz highway to check every car following orders by the Iranian government, outside Tehran on March 26, 2020.  STR / AFP

 

Iranian security forces are searching for 54 escaped inmates following a prison break over which four guards...

Members of the Iranian Red Crescent test people for coronavirus Covid-19 symptoms, as police blocked Tehran to Alborz highway to check every car following orders by the Iranian government, outside Tehran on March 26, 2020.  STR / AFP

 

Iranian security forces are searching for 54 escaped inmates following a prison break over which four guards were arrested, Iran’s state news agency reported on Sunday.

“Some prison guards were summoned and four of them were arrested and others released on bail,” Mojtaba Shirouzbozorgi, a judicial official in Kurdistan province, told IRNA.

According to the agency, 74 inmates escaped from Saqqez city’s prison on Friday, 20 of whom have so far either turned themselves in or been captured.

On March 19, 23 prisoners escaped from another jail in the western city of Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province, hours before the start of Iran’s New Year celebrations, IRNA said.

They reportedly escaped during the night while guards were making preparations for a New Year amnesty.

The escapees had been serving a maximum of one-year sentences, the agency said, denying that dangerous criminals were at large.

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There were also prison riots in Hamedan and Tabriz provinces, and Aligoudarz city in Lorestan as authorities prevented escapes.

Hamedan’s prosecutor told IRNA that the unrest there was “over the excuse of the coronavirus outbreak.”

One inmate died and another was injured at the riot in Aligoudarz prison.

Around 10,000 prisoners are expected to be released in the New Year amnesty, according to Iran’s judiciary.

The move aims to “reduce the number of prisoners in light of the sensitive situation in the country”, a judicial spokesman said, making no explicit reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran’s judiciary has also temporarily released 100,000 detainees in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease, the spokesman said on Sunday.

According to the latest official toll, the virus has killed 2,640 people in the Islamic republic, ranking it among the world’s worst-affected countries.

AFP

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  1.   29 March 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. 

Thousands are dead and thousands more have been confirmed to have the disease.

The coronavirus has changed narratives all around the world and has dominated our quotes for the week.

Here are some of the quotes that made the rounds in the passing week, and shaped the world’s narrative...

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. 

Thousands are dead and thousands more have been confirmed to have the disease.

The coronavirus has changed narratives all around the world and has dominated our quotes for the week.

Here are some of the quotes that made the rounds in the passing week, and shaped the world’s narrative giving us a better view of the health challenge we are facing.

1. Let me say, without mincing words, that we are not getting the
kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians. Many are
busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the
stipulated directives to keep people safe.

 

The Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, says the Federal government is not getting the kind of cooperation it deserves as the fight against Coronavirus intensifies.

2. If it is an average of three months, we should be able to close the year with positive growth. But if it goes longer than that – six months, one year – we will go into recession.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed,  warns that Nigeria may go into recession if the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues for the next couple of months.

3. Hello @NCDCgov,” NPA tweeted. “In respect to the 6 new cases that “were detected on a vessel” in Lagos, the Authority in collaboration with Port Health has not recorded any confirmed cases to date.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has faulted the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s discovery of six new cases of coronavirus on a vessel.

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4. This is the kind of support we need. Identify a problem, run with it and include a sustainability plan in your solution. We are very grateful for this new partnership with 54gene at a critical point in our health security.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has hailed a biotech company, 54gene for raising the sum of $500,000 in 24 hours to fight the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

5. The concocted audio message about President @MBuhari’s whereabouts should be totally disregarded. It is Fake News in its entirety. The President tonight at the State House, at work.

The presidency debunks an audio making the rounds that President Muhammadu Buhari has been flown abroad for treatment over coronavirus.

6. More than ever before now is the time for action, solidarity, and patriotism. Let’s all brace up and work together to combat this new scourge COVID- 19.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says more actions are needed even in this time when the world is facing a devastating health challenge occasioned by the coronavirus.

7. Infectious diseases are the common enemy of mankind and do not recognise borders or races.

President Xi Jinping says China and the United States should “unite to fight” the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Read more

  1.   29 March 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association treasurer Tapiwa Mungofa addressing the media at a press conference at Parirenyatwa Hospital where they vowed to boycott work unless the government provides adequate protective gear for medical staff to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Harare on March 26 2020. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Zimbabweans braced...

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association treasurer Tapiwa Mungofa addressing the media at a press conference at Parirenyatwa Hospital where they vowed to boycott work unless the government provides adequate protective gear for medical staff to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Harare on March 26 2020. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Zimbabweans braced Sunday for a three-week lock-down to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has killed one person so far and infected six others, and for many, the lockdown means tough times ahead.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day “total” lockdown from Monday that will curtail movement within the country, shut most shops and banks, and suspend flights in and out of Zimbabwe.

with independent sources saying the official number of infections is understated, the spread of COVID-19 could prove devastating for a country whose economy is crippled by hyperinflation and whose social health care systems are crumbling.

Poor rains have exacerbated the crisis, with half of the 15-million-strong population facing severe food shortages.

“We are not against the lockdown,” said Isaac Sayeed, who runs a stationery stall in the capital, Harare.

“But 21 days is rather too long. We already have shortages of basic foodstuffs,” he said.

The looming lockdown has triggered panic-buying and a spike in prices, adding more upward pressure to an inflation rate that currently stands at 540 per cent.

Price of cooking gas shot up almost 50 per cent overnight.

Long queues have formed in supermarkets as people rush to buy whatever they can afford.

“We are supposed to stock up enough things to last us 21 days, but most of us live on what we earn daily, so we only manage a few groceries. I can see us facing tough times ahead,” said Sayeed.

The cash-strapped government will not be able to cushion businesses against the lockdown.

“If they failed to buy ventilators for the treatment centres, where will they get the money to shore up small businesses which are in the majority?” Sayeed asked.

Sayeed said his business would take a knock, but he did not dare ignore the lockdown, which will be imposed with both police and military patrols.

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The lockdown will be “a huge challenge for most people who rely on their daily earnings to survive,” said Prince Gwanza who sells books and mobile phones.

 ‘Starving in their own homes’ 

“I can foresee people starving while confined in their homes. There are few people who can afford a square meal on an average day, to expect them to stock up for three weeks in to expect the impossible,” he said.

Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labour and Economic Research Institute of Zimbabwe think-tank also warned that the impact of the lockdown would be “severe in terms of livelihoods. We are a high in the formalised economy.”

According to independent statistics, as many as 90 per cent of the employable population do not have formal jobs and many choose to emigrate.

“Most people have no access to social protection and companies are not getting the huge bailouts that those in other countries are getting.”

Trade unionist Japhet Moyo said that “most people are living from hand to mouth and some companies may not recover after this”.

“While we are aware of the disastrous effects of the lockdown on the economy, we are faced with a choice whether its better to save lives and rebuild tomorrow.”

President Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 with the backing of the military, has struggled to revive the moribund economy and curb hyperinflation.

The public healthcare system already faces shortages of basic drugs and lacks essential equipment and running water. But doctors and nurses staged a walkout last week in protest over a lack of protective clothing to care for coronavirus patients.

On Saturday, health minister Obadiah Moyo made assurances that such protective gear has been secured.

AFP

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  1.   29 March 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has asked Nigerians to be vigilant against criminally-minded individuals amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has warned Nigerians to be vigilant against criminal elements

Adamu also asked the citizens to take precautionary steps against some...

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has asked Nigerians to be vigilant against criminally-minded individuals amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has warned Nigerians to be vigilant against criminal elements

Adamu also asked the citizens to take precautionary steps against some individuals who might explore the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.

In a statement issued on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the “IGP’s advice is informed by intelligence at the disposal of the Force which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.”

According to Mba, “intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (COVID-19) medical products.”

READ ALSO: President Buhari To Address Nigerians Tonight

The police spokesman noted that the fraudsters use names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items.

Speaking further, Mba explained that victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.

On how to prevent being a victim, the police advised Nigerians to avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments, ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely, use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles.

He also wants the citizens to keep their software updated, including antivirus software, manage their social media settings and to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products.

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

COVID-19 PANDEMIC: POLICE ALERT NIGERIANS ON EMERGING CRIME TRENDS
•       Reel-out security tips

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has enjoined members of the public to remain vigilant and take precautionary actions against criminal elements who might explore the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.

The IGP’s advice is informed by intelligence at the disposal of the Force which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Specifically, intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (COVID-19) medical products. In some cases, they use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.

The IGP, therefore, enjoins the public to strictly adhere to the following security tips:

i.      Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments;
ii.     Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely;
iii.    Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles;
iv.     Keep your software updated, including antivirus software;
v.      Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings;
vi.     You are advised to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products;
vii.    You are advised to ignore and report calls purportedly emanating from a caller who pretends to be a relative currently being treated at the hospital asking you to pay for the cost of the medical treatment by transferring money or by paying cash to fake public health representatives;
viii.   Do not open letters or emails related to the pandemic from unknown persons who claim to be health authorities. Often times criminals access sensitive information, steal personal information and steal funds of victims by tricking them into connecting to a specific webpage and logging-in with their credentials;
ix.     Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles;
x.      Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline;
xi.     If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.

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Against the foregoing, the IGP has placed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja – Nigeria on red alert. The NCB which houses the cybercrime unit of the Force shall in the coming days and beyond work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe particularly to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner. This is to engender concerted efforts in cracking down on any individual or all forms of organized criminal gangs that may want to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to perpetrate crimes.

The Force also enjoins commercial bank operators to strengthen their online banking security systems and report promptly any suspected case of fraud and other cybercrime-related activities in their banks.

While reaffirming the determination of the Nigeria Police Force in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGP assures the public that the Force is unrelenting in clamping down on criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate criminal acts.

DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA

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  1.   29 March 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng
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