BREAKING CORONAVIRUS STRIKES HARD

Nigeria has recorded four new cases of coronavirus, three in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and one in Lagos State.

With this, the total number of confirmed cases in the country have risen to 139.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known via its Twitter handle on Tuesday.

” Four new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 3 in the FCT and 1 in Lagos

As at 08:00 pm 31st March there are 139 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Nine have been discharged with two deaths” NCDC tweeted
https://t.co/d8EyMmyGIZ

Details later…

NIMA ALLOTS RELIEF MATERIALS TO IDPs

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today allotted relief materials to victims of armed banditry displaced from three local government areas of Niger.

Director General, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja supervised the delivery of the relief materials to the internal displaced persons (IDPs).

He told the beneficiaries that it was a fetes of Federal government’s concern to their condition, having been displaced from their communities as a result of bandits’ attacks.

Maihaja, who was represented by Alhaji Abdulkareem Abubakar, Head of Relief and Rehabilitation Unit, NEMA, Minna Operations Office, said the items donated included; rice, beans, maize and vegetable oil.

He said other items were sugar, cement, roofing sheets, assorted nails, mattresses, salts, mosquito nets and blankets.

Maihaja maintained that the items were for displaced victims of armed bandits from Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government areas of the state.

Malam Zakari Galadima and Mr Silas Yakubu, who spoke on behalf of the IDPs, applauded federal government continuous support.

They noted that the mime would impact positively on the lives of the victims as well as give them a sense of belonging.

They appealed to the federal government to re-enforce all measures put in place to secure their communities so as to enable them return to their various homes.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the items were distributed in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and representatives of Saidu Doka, member, representing Shiroro, Munya and Rafi Federal constituencies.

Others were representatives of all District Heads of the areas, camp officials, local government officials, the police, DSS and the vigilante.

COVID19: CORRECTIONAL SERVICE TAKES PREVENTIVE MEASURES

The Nigerian Correctional Service says it isolates new inmates before allowing them to merge with other inmates.

A 100-bed capacity isolation centre has been provided as part of preparatory measures against COVID-19.

Edo State Controller of Corrections, Joseph Usendiah, ascertained this on Tuesday in Benin, the state capital.

Usendiah disclosed that the isolation centre was located at the Oko Correctional Centre in Benin.

He said the plan was in compliance with the directive of the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’Afaru Ahmed that all commands put measures on ground to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among inmates.

He said though no case of COVID-19 had been reported among either the staff or inmates in the command, the command had taken measures against the importation and probable spread of COVID-19 within its facilities.

He said, “Towards achieving this, the medical team of the command has commenced the screening of both staff and inmates of the command.

“We have also commenced implementing the suspension order of visits to inmates as directed by the Controller General of Corrections.

“Similarly, we do not allow new inmates into our facilities with their initial clothings as we clean them thoroughly, disinfect them, clothe them and isolate them for some time before they join others.”

STREETS OF ABUJA VIRTUALLY EMPTY

Roads and streets around airport road, central area and Wuse 2 area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, were on Tuesday completely empty as residents and businesses witnessed Day 1 of federal government’s restriction order.

Vehicular and other normal human movements and activities around the places were lonely as virtually all shops and business outlets remained closed.

The busy Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Airport road, central business district and many others adjoining streets off the main road were unusually quiet and disused.

COVID19 TASK FORCE MOVE TO ENFORCE RESTRICTION BAN COMPLIANCE

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said it has met with security chiefs in the country regarding the review of the protocols for implementing the 14-day lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The Chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, during a live Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday, reunified that the lockdown was for the benefit of the country and its citizens.

“The presidential task force has met with the security chiefs to smoothen rough edges of implementation within the first day of implementation and we are working on issuing an appropriate restriction protocol and exemption guidelines, which will guide the subsequent days of restrictions.

“Initial feedback is that there is substantial compliance but, however, there are violations of those restrictions by citizens that we desire to protect. Let me emphasise that the decision to lock down is to prevent community spread which might be dangerous to manage

“It can only be done by Nigerians and for Nigerians. So, we use this medium to implore our people and plead with them to please respect and honour restrictions that have been imposed for the good of our people and nation.” SGF said.

BAUCHI JOINS OTHER STATES IN IMPOSING LOCK DOWN

Bauchi State Government has imposed a total lockdown for 14 days in order to curtail the continues spread of the coronavirus disease in the state.

AIRVIEW NEWS gathered the decision was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the Bauchi State Government, Sabi’u Baba, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.

He said that the lockdown will commence on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 from 6:00pm.

COVID19: INMATES ATTEMPT JAILBREAK

There was an assayed jailbreak by some inmates at the Kaduna Correctional Centre on Tuesday.

AIRVIEW NEWS learnt that there was uproar among the inmates when reports riddled into the facility located along the Independence Way in the metropolis over the possible spread of the coronavirus to the facility.

The inmates, feared that they might be infected by the deadly virus as a result of the.

A resident close to the correctional facility said that he heard sounds of some gunshots fired inside the prison.

Another source said some of the prisoners attempted to escape to avoid contracting the disease but were unsuccessful.

One of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said “We learnt the prison inmates are protesting. There is actually uproar there. They are protesting that they can be infected with the coronavirus.”

The Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna Correctional Centre, Mr. Nathaniel Gagas, confirmed the incident.

“There is normalcy now in the prison. Security has beefed up in and outside the facility. There is no cause for alarm,” another source said.

The PUNCH gathered that the correctional authority had to reinforced other sister security agencies such as the Army, Police as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps before the situation was brought under control.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as “Shi’ites”, has warned that nothing must happen to their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, currently being held in the facility.

OVER 11 MILLION NIGERIANS TO BENEFIT FROM FG CORONAVIRUS INTERVENTION

Federal government has said it will be embracing more than 11 million Nigerians with palliatives to bumper the harsh effects of the measures set to fight back outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Also, the government has said it will continue to increase capacity to test for cases of the Coronavirus on weekly basis.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, while reacting to questions on Tuesday at the daily media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, also revealed that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Northeast part of the country already received two months rations of relief materials.

She said the government already had a social-register with details of those considered as the vulnerable in society in 35 states of the federation, adding that these people belong to around 2.6 million households across the country.

Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chike Ihekweazu, said Nigeria would continue to develop capacity to test for COVID-19, said while it now has the capacity to test up to 1,000 this week, it hopes to be able to test as many as 1,500 next week.

EKITI DISCHARGE ONLY VICTIM OF COVID19

Ekiti State Government on Tuesday divulged that the only index case of COVID-19 recorded in the state had been discharged from its isolation centre after being safe to go home.

The victim had been receiving treatment at the Ekiti State Infectious Disease Control Centre, Ado-Ekiti, since March 18, 2020, when he tested positive to the coronavirus, was discharged from the centre on 2.00pm Tuesday noon.

The state Commissioner for Health, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade who made this divulgence when addressing newmen in Ado-Ekiti, said that the patient was discharged after two tests run on him have come back negative.

She maintained that other tests carried out on the patient also revealed that his vital organs are functioning well and in good condition.

“The tests carried out show that his organs are also functioning well. So, we are happy to discharge him.

“We shall still keep monitoring him from his base and we also appeal to members of the public to call the emergency numbers to report any suspected case, so we can take action in a timely manner. It was the timely intervention that saved our index case.

She further affirmed that the state was monitoring the 41 contacts that had been put in self-isolation, adding that they would remain there for the prescribed 14 days, saying the contacts were stable and without any symptom.

The Commissioner noted that several guidelines have been put in place to curtail the spread of the coronavirus in Ekiti State, stressing that the female caregiver of the late American, who had been in isolation, had also undergone tests for three times and that she was negative.

E.U COMMENCE EVACUATION OF MEMBERS

The European Union has divulged mass departure flights for nationals of its 27 member States in Nigeria.

This is just as Nigeria’s cases of COVID-19 hit 135 with two recorded deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Member States of the EU include Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Ireland, amongst others.

The Federal Government had since restricted flights from some of these countries identified as high-risk COVID-19 places before finally shutting all international airports in the country.

But the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria on Monday divulged that the EU would evacuate its citizens from Nigeria beginning Thursday, April 2.

The Embassy via its Twitter handle, @SwedeninNigeria, stated that evacuation flights are meant for all citizens in the Eurozone with prime health conditions who wish to leave Nigeria amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“To Swedish residents in Nigeria. Opportunity for EU citizens to be placed on a waiting list for flights from Lagos to Munich, April 2; Abuja to Vienna, April 3. Wishes are sent immediately to the

Note special medical conditions.” the tweet stated

Some countries including Israel, UK, US, amongst others have started evacuating their nationals on special flights permitted by the Nigerian government despite airport closures.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as of 5pm on Tuesday, Mar 31, there are 777,798 cases of COVID-19 including 37 272 deaths in Europe.