339 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Nigeria
According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), out of the 339 new cases, 139 were recorded in Lagos, 28 in Kano, 28 in Oyo, 25 in Edo, 22 in Katsina, 18 in Kaduna, 14 in Jigawa, 13 in Yobe, 13 in Plateau, 11 in FCT, 8 in Gombe, 5 in Ogun, 4 in Bauchi, 4 in Nasarawa, 3 in Delta, 2 in Ondo, 1 in Rivers, and 1 in Adamawa State.
The agency says there are now 7016 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1907 patients have been discharged while 211 deaths have so far been recorded.
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 21, 2020
Schools will reopen soon but no specific date is given
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made the clarification on Thursday during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 news conference in Abuja following rumours making the round the Federal Government would reopen schools in the next two weeks.
He disclosed that there are plans to soon reopen schools nationwide, however, it won’t happen in two weeks as being speculated in some quarters. The minister said there is no exact date yet for schools to resume, adding that schools will be reopened after they are ”resourced properly”.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, Nwajiuba said:
The issue around reopening has nothing to do with the availability of the schools or not. It has to do with national governance. The idea of shutting down the schools has nothing to do with the schools per se.
You heard the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the SGF, keep saying it is a national response. It is a single national response and everything we do flows from that.
When they determine, I’m sure you have seen all the experts here, that there is the measure of safety to which we can expose our children, we will gladly do that. We are watching and we are working with all bodies within and outside the country.
The five countries of West African Examination Council (WAEC) are meeting and I just came out of a meeting with African Union (AU) Ministers of Education, everybody is concerned as you are. We hope to reopen very soon.
This morning, I met with the Ministry of Science and Technology. We are looking at putting a system in place that can disinfect every child as he goes into a school and disinfects him as he goes out.
If we resource our schools properly we can begin to reopen. But we must be able to ensure that the children go in safe and come out safe and not become a conduit for further infection in society.
13 COVID-19 patients discharged in Lagos State
Thirteen more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from different Isolation centres in Lagos State. This news was disclosed on the state’s official Instagram page.
The discharged patients, 9 males and 4 females were discharged from the Onikan, Eti-Osa, Lekki, and Lagos University Teaching Hospital Isolation centres.
COVID-19 Update By The Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Good people of Lagos,
Today, 13 more COVID19Lagos patients; 9 males and 4 females, all Nigerians have been discharged from the Onikan, Eti-Osa (LandMark), Lekki and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation facilities to reunite with the society.
The patients, 1 from the Onikan, 4 from Eti-Osa (LandMark), 3 from Lekki and 5 from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged having fully recovered.
With this, the number number of #COVID19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos has risen to 662.
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu
COVID19Lagos Incident Commander
May 21, 2020
View this post on Instagram
COVID-19 Update By The Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Good people of Lagos, Today, 13 more COVID19Lagos patients; 9 males and 4 females, all Nigerians have been discharged from the Onikan, Eti-Osa (LandMark), Lekki and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation facilities to reunite with the society. The patients, 1 from the Onikan, 4 from Eti-Osa (LandMark), 3 from Lekki and 5 from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged having fully recovered. With this, the number number of #COVID19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos has risen to 662. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu COVID19Lagos Incident Commander May 21, 2020 @profakinabayomi @g.omotoso @drobafemihamzat @jidesanwoolu . . . #Covid19Lagos #lagosagainstcovid19 #curbingthespreadofcoronavirus #MaskUpLagos #takeresponsibility #socialdistancing #stayhomestaysafe #staysafeactresponsibly #ForAGreaterLagos #LASG
Mark Zuckerberg is taking Facebook’s massive workforce remote
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, announced remote work is here to stay, and that half of the social network’s staff could be doing jobs from afar within a decade. This was made known on a live-streamed “town hall’ meeting with employees to how a remote-work trend compelled by the pandemic is being embraced by employees without affecting productivity.
He outlined steps Facebook will take to adapt operations to remote work for the long-term, saying it is quite possible that about half of the company’s employees could do their jobs that way within 10 years.
“We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale,” Zuckerberg says. “We need to do this in a way that’s thoughtful and responsible, so we’re going to do this in a measured way. But I think that it’s possible that over the next five to 10 years — may be closer to 10 than five, but somewhere in that range — I think we could get to about half of the company working remotely permanently.”
The next step of what we’re doing, starting tomorrow, is we’re unlocking remote hiring. It just kind of makes sense because, right now, everyone is pretty much working remotely, but we’re still just constraining our hiring to people who live around an office which isn’t open. So we’re going to start remote hiring.
Then on the existing employees, we’re going to allow people to request to be a permanent remote worker at some point. And they don’t have to make that decision right now, obviously. We already announced that people can remotely work through the end of 2020 if they want. And if COVID is still prevalent, it’s possible that that extends beyond that. But on a long-term basis, we’re going to let people request to work permanently remotely. We’re going to focus on experienced employees rather than new college grads, who I think need to be in the office more, for training.
Watch the video below:
There are over 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Africa
As of today, May 22, there are over 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the African continent. According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when.
Major African stats: confirmed cases – 99,977, number of deaths – 3,095, recoveries – 39,336 and active cases – 57,546.
Over 99,400 confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 39,000 recoveries & 3,078 deaths. View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: https://t.co/V0fkK8dYTg pic.twitter.com/46DZhvIegy
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) May 22, 2020
Boss Mustaphas urges Nigerians to take personal responsibility during Sallah celebrations
On Thursday, the SGF and Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, stated in at Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 that states relaxing restrictions because of Sallah celebrations to exercise caution in doing so. He urged all Nigerians to take personal responsibility during the Sallah so as not to cancel the gains of the past weeks.
Boss Mustapha noted that states must ensure that there are no gatherings of over 20 persons, state governments ensure compliance to restriction guidelines and take community ownership to the grassroots, and he also apologised for any poor treatment meted out to all essential workers by security agents.
The foregoing admonition becomes critical as we prepare for celebrations at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the prayer of the PTF that we shall all celebrate this Sallah and many more in good health and beseech the Almighty to accept our supplication and look upon our Nation and the World, with mercy.
I, therefore use this opportunity to wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a very happy and safe Eid celebrations. But as we celebrate, we want to once again caution on the need to wear a mask, keep physical distances, avoid large congregations, avoid unnecessary inter-state travels and observe personal hygiene amongst other suggested safety measures.
The Governors were also advised on the decision taken by some of their colleagues to permit large gatherings as such decisions could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings. The strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond twenty persons remains prohibited and should be adhered to.
Geoffrey Onyeama says more evacuation plans were underway
During the daily briefing at Presidential Task Force in Abuja on Thursday, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama announced that more evacuation plans were underway. He reiterated that so far returnees have arrived from the UAE, UK, US and more recently Saudi Arabia in that order.
“We’re coming to end of 14-day quarantine for first and second batches of Nigerian evacuees. Some of them need to travel across state lines to get home. I spoke to Inspector General of Police and he has directed ComPols in Abuja and Lagos to give them personalised passes for travel,” he added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs @GeoffreyOnyeama:
4 batches of Nigerians have been evacuated home so far:
First Batch from Dubai
Second Batch from UK
Third Batch from USA
Fourth Batch from Saudi Arabia (292 people, who arrived this week).
More evacuations coming. #PTFCOVID19
— Covid-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF) | Nigeria (@DigiCommsNG) May 21, 2020
Lagos State government urges residents to continue to flatten the curve of coronavirus
While giving an update on coronavirus in Lagos State, Commissioner of Health, Akin Abayomi disclosed that the government had projected to see figures near 200 at this time. He further urged residents to continue to comply with the measures put in place to flatten the curve of coronavirus in the state.
Here are 10 takeaways from Thursday’s briefing Akin Abayomi on the Lagos COVID-19 response, as tweeted by Jubril Gawat, SSA on New Media.
— Gawat Jubril A. (@Mr_JAGss) May 21, 2020
- Lagos State Govt has tested 16,000 suspected cases of #COVID19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria. The highest in the country.
- The cost of testing a patient ranges between N40,000 and N50,000. It is free for patients and Government bears the cost. Efforts are on to get the cost subsidised through Insurance or donations by aid partners.
- Due to the global shortage of reagents used in testing, Lagos Govt has contacted local scientists to produce alternatives. Two of the scarce reagents have been produced locally, thereby taking the pressure of chasing manufacturers of reagents overseas.
- With the availability of reagents, Lagos to commence 1,000 tests per day on the coming days.
- Lagos is about to roll out HydroxylChloroquine trial.
- Lagos will be validating a rapid-testing model, which will give hospitals the opportunity to test any person coming to the medical facility under 10 minutes. Some manufacturers have been engaged in this activity.
- LASG is reviewing Bio-Security Emergency Preparedness Plan that will enable the State to ramp up capacity of its healthcare system & emergency response for future pandemic(s). This plan will raise the Government’s capacity in controlling water-borne, airborne infectious diseases.
- Post-COVID, Lagos will be looking at urban renewal plan that will ensure people don’t live in a way that aid the spread of infectious diseases.
- COVID-19 is NOT a death sentence; there’s a high recovery rate, except there’s an underlying health issue.
- The Government is anxious to slowly reactivate the economy but residents must be coronavirus-conscious in their dealings
First Lady Melania Trump sends a message of support to students around the US
The First lady of the United States, Melania Trump thanked students in the US on Thursday for adapting to the new realities of life in the past few months.
She said, “These changes were not easy, but you have been so strong and I am proud of the examples you have become”. She acknowledged students who have missed seeing friends during in-person classes, sports, prom and graduation, assuring them that “your determination to get through this will define your generation for years to come.”
“So, thank you for helping your families, your friends, your communities and our country to stay healthy and safe during these unusual times,” she added. “Thank you for keeping up your studies and learning in new ways.” The first lady urged students to read, play sports, help around the house, stay in contact with loved ones “and make sure you are being your best self”.
Watch the video below:
The UK to introduce 14-day quarantine for international arrivals
Britain is to introduce a quarantine period of 14 days for those arriving in the UK, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed Friday (May 22) and said ministers would give details later.
The new arrangements will be explained by Priti Patel, Home Secretary, at the daily coronavirus press briefing, Lewis told Sky News.
“We’re a country that welcomes people from all over the world. But it is appropriate that we say that if you’re coming to the United Kingdom, we need to protect your own health and the health of the people of the United Kingdom,” he said.
“And the best way to do that is to ensure people do go through that quarantine period to ensure they have no symptoms and are not able to add to the spread of the virus.”
He added that British citizens will be able to complete the quarantine at home. Airlines and airport operators have previously warned that a 14-day quarantine will cause significant economic damage to the UK’s tourism and travel industries.
Oxford University coronavirus vaccine study moves to the next phases of human trials
An Oxford University coronavirus vaccine study is ready to begin its next phase, entering human trials involving 10,260 participants, the university said in a statement.
According to the statement, it completed phase 1 of the trial, with more than 1,000 immunizations in April. Phase 2 will now expand the age range of participants receiving the trial vaccine, to include older adults and children.
Next, phase 3 will assess how the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18.
Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said the studies, “The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population. We are very grateful to the huge support of the trial volunteers in helping test whether this new vaccine could protect humans against the pandemic coronavirus.”
Photo Credit: @ChukwuemekaNwajiuba