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Coronavirus: Buhari exempts banks, others from lock down

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Buhari approves sack of NECO Registrar Uwakwe, four others

The Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have secured approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to exempt key players in the financial services sector from COVID- 19 movement restrictions.

A statement jointly issued by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday appealed to President Buhari to enable the financial services sector particularly banks render skeletal services.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday in his nationwide broadcast, imposed a total lockdown restricting movements in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

Addressing Nigerians, the President said:

“Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.”

He urged all citizens in these areas to stay in their homes, adding that travel to or from other states should be postponed.

All businesses and offices within these locations should also be fully closed during this period, President Buhari ordered.

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In a jointly issued statement Monday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and CBN governor, entitled: “Notice to affected stakeholders and the general public regarding COVID-19 and restrictions in movement of persons”, they applauded and appreciated the appropriate and proactive restrictions in personal and vehicular movement imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech of Sunday 29 March 2020.

MORE READING!  Monkeys attack lab assistant, escape with COVID-19 samples

However, the minister and CBN governor noted:

“To ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, we will like to inform the general public and all affected stakeholders that we have obtained exemptions from the President to allow very skeletal operations in the Financial System and Money Markets in order to keep the system in light operations during this time.”

They added:

“All relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies should look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses.”

Zainab Ahmed and Godwin Emefiele stated that they “are mindful of the difficulties these restrictions would bring on ordinary Nigerians and are grateful to the President for approving these exemptions, which should help ease some of these burdens.”

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They urged all Nigerians to be patient, cooperative and united as all hands are on deck to defeat this virus.”

Coronavirus

Monkeys attack lab assistant, escape with COVID-19 samples

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A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and escaped with a batch of coronavirus test samples, it has been reported.

The bizarre incident saw the troop of primates launch their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India.

According to local media, the animals then snatched COVID-19 test samples from three patients and fled.

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One of the monkeys was later spotted in a tree chewing one of the sample collection kits, the Times of India reported – adding that test samples from the patients had to be taken again.

It is the latest example of the highly intelligent, red-faced rhesus macaques taking advantage of India’s nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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While they have proved an increasing problem in urban areas of the country in recent years, lockdown measures in the last two months have emboldened the monkeys.

Reports have shown them congregating in parts of Delhi normally crowded with humans.

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

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Covid-19: Uganda records 36 new cases toll now 317

Uganda has recorded 36 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 317, the country’s Health Ministry said late Thursday.

Out of the 2,230 samples collected from cross-border cargo truck drivers and communities, 24 Ugandan truck drivers and 12 close contacts of previously confirmed cases under quarantine tested positive for the virus, the ministry said in a statement.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915

Twenty-six foreign truck drivers, who tested positive at the country’s common border entry points, were handed over to their country of origin, it said.

Out of the 317 COVID-19 cases, 69 have recovered and no one has died of the respiratory disease in the country, according to the health ministry.

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FG to use hotels, schools as quarantine, isolation centres

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Covid-19: Prepare for the worst- FG tells Nigerians

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government would require hotels and school dormitories as quarantine and isolation centres because of a shortage of hospital beds.

The minister noted that there were four levels of COVID-19 patients ranging from those on quarantine with zero or mild symptoms to those that would need to be in the intensive care unit.

The minister said,

“We have sadly recorded 254 deaths, most of them are persons associated with other ailments, confirming the general observation that risks are higher for those with illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and non-communicable diseases.

“We need to continue increasing bed capacity to match the probable number of patients, so that we do not experience horrific scenes of bed space shortages seen in some European hospitals.

“In event of overflow, we can require hotels and school dormitories to be prepared for level 1 which is quarantine, and level 2, is isolation of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms, to free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3 which are moderate to severe cases and level 4 which is for the high dependency and the intensive care unit.

“I, therefore, call on activists and philanthropists to work with state governments to scale up non-pharmaceutical measures and beef up infrastructural assets for isolation and treatment in their states.”

Ehanire said Nigeria would review its participation in the World Health Organisation solidarity trial. He also stated that proposals for trial of local remedies for COVID-19 had been sent to the relevant research and testing agencies for scientific evaluation.

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He stated,

“The Madagascar herbs have been received at the Ministry of Health, and were found to consist of two varieties; one labelled to be for prevention and the other for treatment. Samples have been given to three agencies of the Ministry of Health and also to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“These are normal processes for new preparations to be approved for use in Nigeria, and include toxicological and efficacy tests and clinical trials. Government will investigate all genuine efforts to find homegrown solutions to the pandemic.”

The minister said Madagascar’s drugs had been sent to NAFDAC, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.

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