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COVID-19: NMA, NANNM, PSN speak on reopening of worship centres

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The Nigerian Medical Association [NMA], the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives [NANNM] as well as the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria [PSN] spoke on reopening of worship centres as the country battles coronavirus [COIVID-19] pandemic.

The new President of the NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah, said the government should approach the issue of reopening of worship centres scientifically.

He said the government must sensitise religious groups and other segments of society to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Ujah stated that churches, mosques and others must abide by social distancing and use of face masks.

He stated,

“What have we put on the ground to say they should push back a little bit? I don’t have the answer because I have to have evidence.

“They said there shouldn’t be more than 50 in a church or a mosque. But have we not seen congregation of people everywhere? What about markets?”

“But I have no power to say yes or no. I am only saying we should approach these things scientifically, because it’s science. It’s not about emotions. The National Orientation Agency should also do its job. In this case, in my opinion, the NOA is not doing well. I think it should do more in sensitisation.”

He noted that with the eased lockdown, Nigerians were not abiding by social distancing and the use of face masks.

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Ujah stated,

“The issue of face masks and physical distancing is not obeyed or followed. I am a scientist and I’ve even commissioned some boys to look at the compliance on the use of face masks and social distancing.”

On non-compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, Ujah said though burials should be done quietly, people had been sighted crowding around graves.

He stated,

“If you go to Lugbe, Nyanya (Abuja) or a place like Mararaba, Nasarawa State, there is nothing like social distancing. Over 90 per cent do not wear face masks. You have to have water to wash hands. We need to know whether there is universal availability of water to wash hands. That’s the truth.”

But the President of the NANNM, Abdulrafiu Adeniji, said the reopening of churches and mosques should be gradual.

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The nurses’ president said,

“In the first instance, they (churches and mosques) are expected to be partners of progress with the government. A religious organisation (in the United States) went to court against the government and it lost. There is no way it could say the government should not try as much as possible to enforce public health law.”

But the General Secretary of the PSN, Emeka Duru, said the important issue regarding reopening churches and mosques was the economic ramifications.

According to him, churches are more ready than other sectors for reopening.

Duru said,

“I think churches, from what I can perceive, are more ready, because they want to continue their activities, and they wouldn’t want the Federal Government interrupting their activities again, so they would try to enforce guidelines.

“For instance, in the Catholic Church, to which I belong, they also tell people not to engage in stretching of hands anymore. I believe that churches, especially the Catholic Church, would decide the number of people that will attend a particular session of mass, so that there would be a reduced number of people.”

He, however, expressed concern about the reopening of what he described as “mushroom churches.”

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The PSN secretary-general explained that in such churches, as with any uncontrolled gatherings, “anything can happen, just like the buses we see on the road where everybody is on his own.”

Duru said,

“It is not a matter of being ready. It is a question of if our economy is ready to sustain the present reality we have found ourselves. The Federal Government is a big institution, including provision of security, and it wouldn’t like to be embarrassed as the citizens are opening up the lockdown themselves.”

 

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Man recounts how ‘drunk’ Lagos police officers arrested and tried to extort N300,000 from him

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A man has recounted how he was arrested by some Police officers who were ‘drunk’ and tried to extort him of N300,000.

In a series of tweets, the man using his social media page, @Mobenjaminmusic recounted how the Police officers arrested him just two minutes away from his house, seized their phone, harassed everyone they stopped and asked for 300k payment.

He wrote;

So the police stopped me last night at 9:58pm and I was literally just 2 mins away from my house. The madness started. They seized my phone, harassed everyone they stopped, asked for 300k payment, made us stand out for 1 hour without our face masks. These guys were ruthless….

They were drunk and high, you could see it in their eyes and they weren’t ready to reason with anyone. They treatened some women there and took them to the back of some bus. I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life like this. Some how I got a lady’s phone and called my dad….

My dad wanted to talk to their commander but he didn’t want to listen. They noticed I drive a federal government number car so they kept asking me for more money, I told them I only had 10k but they didn’t want to hear that. My father called his friend to come and meet me….

My fathers friend came and one of the police started to tell him that they stopped me because I do “streets” I’m like what the hell is “streets” it got so bad that my Uncle said I should tell him that truth and he won’t tell my parents. I was like see me see wahala o …🙆🏾‍♀️🙆🏾‍♀️

Eventually he pulled them to the side, paid some money and they gave me back my phone, car keys and left. My parents called the lady’s phone a few hours later and they were still with the police. My uncle tried to help others but they weren’t having it.

I’m just here thinking of all the people who have been stopped, harrassed, raped, beaten by these law enforcement because they didn’t have an uncle or father to come save them. This needs to stop!! We need to hold them accountable. They can’t keep on misusing their power

 

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See his Tweet below;

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Cape Town to suspend officers who dragged naked man from shack

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Four law enforcement officials who were spotted in a viral video manhandling a naked man in Khayelitsha, now risk being suspended by the City of Cape Town.

In the video which went viral on Wednesday, July 1, the man who was about bathing, was seen being dragged out of a shack and wrestled to the ground by officers.

He, however, escaped from the officers and dashed back to his shack, which was partially torn down.

Reacting to the viral video in a statement released on Wednesday night, the City’s executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said they have initiated plans of suspending and applying disciplinary procedures against the four law enforcement officials.

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The statement read;

“The suspension also ensures that staff are not targeted while on duty. We are saddened by the conduct depicted on the video footage, and we do not condone any forceful and dehumanising conduct by our staff members.

“The City takes these allegations very seriously, and while our staff are subjected to very challenging circumstances while carrying out anti-land invasion operations, which are to protect land earmarked for housing opportunities and other services.

“We will not condone violence of any nature by law enforcement staff. I have asked for the facts to be gathered as a matter of urgency and that the investigation is concluded without delay.

“After the removal of illegal structures, new attempts are made to invade again on a daily basis. There is an interdict in place as well as a recent court order which allows only 49 households to temporarily remain on the land until after the lockdown,” Bosman said.

“The City must also maintain this recent court order, which the community is aware of.”

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Covid-19: Havana lifts quarantine as Cuba recovers from pandemic

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The Cuban Government said that quarantine measures in the capital Cuba would be lifted and the rest of the country would move the second phase of reopening as the coronavirus outbreak wanes.

Phase one of reopening will see public transport, services and trade gradually resuming, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said in televised comments.

Citizens will have to wear face masks and observe social distancing in public spaces.

In the second phase, the use of masks will be required wherever there is a large number of people in a small space.

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People with respiratory problems will not be given access to the workplace.

As of Wednesday, Cuba reported a total of 2,348 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 2,218 people have so far recovered with 86 deaths.

Cuban authorities are considering the spread of the virus under control.

Marrero said that, aside from Matanzas, some 90 kilometres east of Havana, all other 14 provinces will start to move towards phase two of the reopening plan, starting on Friday.

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Havana, the capital of two million people where the new cases have been concentrated, was the only territory that went into total quarantine.

The announcement came as international tourism to the country was reintroduced though foreign visitors will have to travel on charter flights directly to beach hotels in the north of the country without having contact with the local population.

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The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic also reopened their borders on Wednesday, making it possible for tourists to access hotels and beaches in limited numbers and under hygienic safety measures.

Three months of coronavirus restrictions have battered the economy of the Caribbean region, where tourism is a key source of income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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