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Covid-19: Lagos spends N720m on 16,000 tests

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Covid-19 cases may hit 120,000 in Lagos by July, says govt

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, says it costs the state government between N40,000 to N50,000 to conduct a COVID-19 test.

He notes that Lagos has conducted 16,000 tests so far.

At an average cost of N45,000 per test, it means Lagos has spent N720m on coronavirus tests.

Abayomi noted that the state government in a week planned to ramp up testing from 800 to 1,000 per day.

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He said,

“Well, for now, the government is providing testing free of charge. And the government pays about N40,000 to N50,000 per test. But as we ramp up our testing, we will have to use some means of subsidising those tests either through insurance or some contributions from donors or developmental partners to help us subsiside the tests.”

The health commissioner said the country was at the stage of active community spread and appealed to those who had the infection to go public with their results.

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He said sooner or later, most residents would catch the virus.

“This issue of stigma is what we must get rid of. If you have COVID, tell people you have it. COVID catches everybody. There is nobody that is immune to it. Stop hiding,” he added.

The health commissioner maintained that the state was on course to register up to 90,000 confirmed cases by the end of July.

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Uber signals recovery in rides as lockdown restrictions ease

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Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday trip requests were gradually picking up, but still remained significantly below prior-year levels, as several countries start to lift coronavirus-led restrictions.

Trip requests are now down about 70 percent from a year earlier, slightly lesser than April’s 80 percent drop, Chief Executive Officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a conference with Bank of America analysts.

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He said the company’s rides business is improving on a week-over-week basis.

He added that the surge in food-delivery orders at Uber Eats recorded in the first quarter, showed no signs of slowing in May, easing concerns of investors who thought it could be a one-off trend during the pandemic.

Ridership in Hong Kong, which has been one of the most successful cities in the world containing the novel coronavirus outbreak, has recovered more than 80 percent from its coronavirus-driven lows, Khosrowshahi said.

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Rival Lyft Inc also signaled a rebound in ridership on Tuesday, saying rides on its platform rose 26 percent in May from the previous month.

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Rivers may demolish markets for flouting COVID-19 directives, says Commissioner

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The Rivers Government warned on Wednesday that some markets in the state might be demolished for flouting the order of the government that trading should stop at the markets because of COVID-19.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, gave the warning in a statement issued in Port Harcourt.

He lamented that traders had continued to flout the government’s directives that markets should be shut, due to rising cases of the coronavirus in the state.

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Nsirim said that five markets in the state might be shut down permanently for flouting the directives. He did not elaborate.

“The Rivers Government wishes to draw the attention of the general public that Mbiama Market has been closed down.

“Any attempt to continue trading activities at Mbiama Market will lead to complete demolition of the market.

The commissioner named Oginigba Market and two others as markets notorious for disobeying Gov. Nyesom Wike that the markets should be closed.

“The government warns that anybody who goes to Oginigba Market for any form of business will face the full wrath of the law.

“Similarly, Oil Mill Market has been closed and as such all those using Igbo-Etche Road as an alternative market are warned to desist forthwith or risk the destruction of their goods.

“Government has not approved any goat market at the Eleme/Ahoada stretch of the East-West road in the state.”

Nsirim directed authorities of Emohua and Ahoada-East Councils to shut down the goat market in the area immediately.

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Buhari greets former Gov. Alao Akala at 70

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President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with former Oyo State Governor, Christopher Alao-Akala, on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

In a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, the President saluted the Ogbomoso-born grassroots politician.

He lauded him for the ability to blend with all classes of society, and touching lives positively.

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President Buhari felicitated with the family, friends, and political associates of the former governor, wishing him long life, good health, and greater service to his people and motherland.

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