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Man drowns while trying to swim to Britain

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The body of an Iraqi migrant who tried to swim across the Channel from France to Britain has been found off Belgium’s coast, Belgian authorities said Monday.

The 48-year-old was discovered on Friday near the seaside resort of Zeebrugge, wearing a makeshift life jacket made of empty plastic bottles and carrying a small bag with his identity papers, the prosecutor’s office in Bruges said.

“It’s the first time we’ve found the body of a migrant,” Carl Decaluwe, the governor of western Flanders province where Zeebrugge is located, told AFP Monday.

Officials believe the man drowned while trying to swim from a beach in northern France to Britain. Currents are thought to have transported his body to Belgian waters.

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He was found drifting near a wind farm some 30 kilometres (18 miles) off Zeebrugge, the Belgian news agency Belga reported.

He had attempted the swim after failing to obtain asylum in Germany, according to the agency.

Eight days before the Iraqi’s body was found, a Belgian sailor had spotted a man wearing a belt made of empty plastic bottles crying for help in waters off the French coast of Dunkirk.

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The sailor had informed French maritime authorities of the August 18 incident, saying he had tried to save the man, but he was swept away by a current.

Migrants are taking ever greater risks to reach Britain from France, which has taken an uncompromising approach towards so-called economic migrants who come to Europe in search of a better life in contrast with those fleeing wars or persecution.

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Since January, some 1,450 migrants have been rescued either by British or French coastguards, more than double the number who attempted to cross the busy shipping channel in the whole of 2018, according to official French figures released Monday.

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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.

MORE READING!  France reports more than 28,500 coronavirus deaths
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JUST IN: Nigeria records182 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,915

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Nigeria has recorded 182 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 8,915 the total number of confirmed cases in the country.

Announcing this Thursday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos recorded 111 new cases of the disease, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 16, Akwa Ibom 10, Oyo eight, Kaduna and Delta six each, Rivers five, Ogun and Ebonyi four each, Kano three, Plateau, Gombe and Kebbi two each, while Kebbi, Bauchi and Borno had one each.

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It said: “Nigeria had recorded 8,915 cases of COVID-19, while 2,592 persons have been discharged with 259 losing their lives

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VSF supports Edo IDPs with COVID-19 palliatives

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The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has supported the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable Nigerians in Edo State with palliatives to help cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VSF Team was led by the Chairperson of the VSF Task Force on COVID-19, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji who was in the company of the Edo State government that was ably represented by the wife of the Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki.

This comes as the country battles over 8700 cases of the respiratory illness that has affected economies across the globe, including that of Nigeria.

MyNigeria.com reports that the VSF palliative was in the form of 200 bags set that contained 10kg of rice, 10kg of beans, 10kg of garri, 4kg of vegetable oil and 2 small packets of salt per bag.

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During the course of delivery of the items, additional bags of foodstuff were added to the initial amount by compassionate officials of VSF to the amazement IDPs Camp Uhogua.

Speaking on behalf of the management team of the camp, Coordinator of International Christian Centre (ICCM) and Coordinator of the Camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho said the VSF is Godsent for coming at this very critical time.

He said the lockdown caused by Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the welfare of the residents of the Camp.

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The visit to the IDPs Camp Uhogua was a response to an “SOS correspondence they recently received from CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development)” and the VSF intends to visit most states in Nigeria.

According to reports, the current cost of preparing a meal for the four thousand five hundred and seventy-five residents of the Camp is about three hundred thousand naira.

National Coordinator of CSED, Mr Edema Fuludu said that they were forced to reach out to VSF and other bodies having seen the plight of the people, though the CSED work is mainly sport/educational intervention.

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“We cannot afford to walk on by when the children/youths we work with are in dire needs of food and basic daily necessities,” Mr Fuludu said.

Mr Fuludu urged public-spirited individuals, corporate organisations and NGOs to continue to provide palliatives to the IDPs and other needy members of the society, as this is the only way they (vulnerable Nigerians) can survive the hunger and social isolation that has been induced by Covid-19.

He noted that “every effort put in touching the vulnerable in the society is the rent we pay to God for allowing us to live on planet earth.”

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