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Coronavirus researcher killed in murder-suicide

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A research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center’s Computational and Systems Biology Department, Dr Bing Liu, has been shot dead inside the home he shared with his wife in Pittsburgh.

The well respected 37-year-old researcher was alone at his home in the 200 block of Elm Court in Ross Township on Saturday afternoon when another man known as Hao Gu – allegedly entered the residence through an unlocked door and opened fire striking him in the head, neck and torso with bullets.

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His wife was not home at the time of the homicide, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Pittsburgh Police said Gu then returned to his car parked 100 yards away at Charlemagne Circle and shot himself.

According to Pittsburgh police, Liu and his alleged killer, Gu knew each other prior to the murder-suicide, but the nature of their relationship is unknown.

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Dr Ivet Bahar, head of the Computational and Systems Biology Department, told the Post-Gazette that Liu had only recently begun researching COVID-19.

He joined UPMC six years ago and went on to co-author a book and more than 30 publications.

A statement has been released by his employer, UPMC’s Computational and Systems Biology Department, announcing his untimely death.

“Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] infection and the cellular basis of the following complications,’ the statement read. ‘We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.

“Dr. Bing Liu was an outstanding researcher, who has earned the respect and appreciation of many colleagues in the field, and made unique contributions to science,” the statement read.

General

Covid-19: 20 patients discharged in Abuja

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No fewer than twenty (20) COVID-19 patients have been discharged from the Isolation Centres in the FCT.

The Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, disclosed this in a tweet via its Twitter handle on Friday night.

The Administration explained that the patients were cleared to reunite with their families following their successful treatment.

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READ ALSO: COVID-19: Lagos to charge face mask defaulters to court

The tweet reads:

“On July 2nd, 20 #COVID19 patients were discharged from the Isolation Centres in the FCT following their successful treatment. They have now been reunited with their families.

“The total number of discharged patients in the FCT is now 459.”

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is 27,564, according to the NCDC.

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Nigeria Update

COVID-19: Lagos to charge face mask defaulters to court

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The Lagos State Government says it will start charging face mask defaulters to court from next week, as the period of grace was over.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this while briefing newsmen on the update of the COVID-19 management in the state on Friday.

Sanwo-Olu said that at this phase in the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, taking personal responsibility was now more important than ever.

He said that such personal responsibility was not only for self-protection but also for protecting other people, including loved ones.

According to him, mask usage is mandatory in public places as a strategy to curb the spread of the virus.

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”We are asking offices, business and commercial premises to refuse entry to any persons not wearing masks in line with the Presidential Task Force directive on ”No mask, no entry”.

”No mask, no service enforcement agencies will from this week charge defaulters to court, as the period of grace is now over.

”Dear Lagosians, please continue to wash your hands regularly. As much as possible, maintain social distancing, especially in public places.

”On our part as a government, we will continue to do everything possible to protect and uphold the health and wellbeing of the people of the state,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu further said that the state government was committed to scaling up testing and isolation capacity and enforcing the guidelines issued.

”With regards to enforcement, we are increasing our focus and efforts in this area. As you all know, guidelines and directives are effective only to the extent to which they are complied with by the citizenry.

”The best laws and guidelines are of no use if they are disregarded by the people for whom they have been issued.

”Lagos State belongs to all of us. We must join hands to ensure that we defeat this virus,” he said.

The governor noted that the state’s COVID-19 hotline remained 08000CORONA.

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He added that the hotline was available round the clock for people to make reports, seek testing and for infected persons to gain access to counseling and psychological support during the period of isolation and treatment.

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News

Nigeria records 454 new COVID-19 cases, total now 27,564

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Nigeria Centre for  Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 454 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 27,564.

Twelve deaths were recorded from the virus on Friday bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 628.

There was a drop in the number of confirmed cases reported on Friday (454) compared to what was reported on Thursday (626).

The health agency in a tweet Friday night said the new cases were reported in 19 states.

These are Lagos, Edo, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ondo, Benue, Abia, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Delta, Enugu, Borno, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe Katsina, and the Kogi States.

All the reporting states already had at least a case of the virus.

As of the time of reporting, 35 states and the FCT have recorded at least a case of the disease. Only one state, Cross River, is yet to officially report any case of the virus although there are controversies about it.

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Newsmen reported on Friday that five new confirmed cases of COVID -19 had been diagnosed at the University of Calabar. This brings the total unofficial reported cases in the state to six.

However, the Cross River State Government has insisted that there are no confirmed cases of the virus within its territory.

Lagos remains the epicenter of the disease in the country. Zamfara has not reported any new confirmed case in the past 46 days.

“To date, 27, 546 cases have been confirmed, 11, 069 cases have been discharged and 628deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.

The 454 new cases were reported from 19 states: Lagos – 87, Edo – 63, FCT – 60, Ondo – 41, Benue – 32, Abia – 31, Ogun – 29, Oyo – 19, Kaduna – 17, Delta – 16, Enugu – 15, Borno – 14, Plateau – 9, Nasarawa – 8, Kano – 5, Bauchi – 4, Gombe – 2, Katsina – 1 and Kogi – 1.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria in February, NCDC said 144, 833 samples have so far been tested.

A breakdown of the 27, 564 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 10, 910 cases, followed by FCT – 2, 080, Oyo – 1, 451, Kano – 1, 262, Edo – 1, 269, Delta – 1, 165, Rivers – 1, 114, Ogun –927, Kaduna – 835, Katsina – 579, Bauchi – 516, Gombe – 513, Borno – 515, Ebonyi – 483, Plateau – 402, Ondo – 394, Imo – 352, Abia – 482, Enugu – 357, Jigawa – 318, Kwara – 369, Bayelsa – 324, Nasarawa – 221, Sokoto – 152, Osun – 148, Niger – 116, Akwa Ibom – 104, Adamawa – 89, Kebbi – 81, Zamfara – 76, Anambra – 73, Benue – 97, Yobe – 61, Ekiti – 43, Taraba – 19 and Kogi – 5.

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The Director-General, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Thursday, said, “Statistics show the major drivers of COVID-19 spread are the younger populations, however people with underlying medical conditions and the elderly are most vulnerable.”

He explained during the Presidential Task Force briefing on Friday that NCDC data showed that most cases are in people aged 20-40, while most deaths are in those above 50

He said people over 50 years and those with preexisting medical conditions like diabetes are at a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19.

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