Just two months after WHO declared that the coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern”, it is now causing disruption all around the world on an unprecedented scale.
Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the WHO and other sources, puts the total number of cases worldwide at more than 218,800, with at least 8,800 deaths.
Governments all around the globe have taken different measures in tackling what is fast becoming a global and economic crisis.
Lagos is shutting down public and private schools
As part of the preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Lagos State Government shared that all public and private schools will be closed starting from Monday, 23rd March, 2020.
The state government said “the move became necessary to prevent children and their teachers from getting more vulnerable to the pandemic. It is important for parents to ensure that their children practise ‘social distancing’ while at home, wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizers and observe high standards of personal hygiene. Children should be encouraged to remain at home. The closure is not intended to create panic but to arrest the spread of the disease, which has become a global threat”.
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CORONAVIRUS: LASG TO SHUT DOWN SCHOOLS As part of the preventive measures against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lagos State Government is closing down all public and private schools from Monday, 23rd March 2020. The move becomes necessary to prevent our children and their teachers from getting more vulnerable to the pandemic. It is important for parents to ensure that their children practise ‘social distancing’ while at home, wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizers and observe high standards of personal hygiene. Children should be encouraged to remain at home. The closure is not intended to create panic but to arrest the spread of the disease, which has become a global threat. The Incident Command Centre, headed by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is the Incident Commander, will continue to trace all contacts of the identified cases and encourage anyone who has information about suspected cases to report to the nearest hospital or call the emergency telephone numbers 08023169485, 08033565529, 08052817243 and 08023401214. @lagoshealth @profakinabayomi @g.omotoso @drobafemihamzat @jidesanwoolu . . . #preventingcoronavirus #COVID19Lagos #ForAGreaterLagos #LASG
In other to contain the pandemic, the UK government says after schools shut their gates on Friday, March 20, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
The report also added that “Nurseries, private schools and sixth forms should also follow this guidance. We will provide financial support for these settings as required”.
After schools shut their gates from Friday afternoon, they will remain closed for most pupils – for the vast majority of pupils – until further notice.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 18, 2020
This serves as a precautionary measure for the safety of those affected by the decision, which is subject to renewals depending on the health measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has requested those holding valid UAE visas, and now staying out of the country, to pursue the following procedures:
- Those currently in their countries of origin should contact the UAE diplomatic missions in their respective countries for all necessary support and streamline their return to the UAE.
- Those currently outside the UAE for business should contact their employers here as well as Emirati diplomatic missions in their host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return to the UAE.
- Those currently on vacation should contact the UAE diplomatic mission in their respective host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return to the UAE.
In Italy (Bergamo), military trucks now move corpses to the next cities as the crematorium can’t handle the large numbers
According to Sky News, the Italian city of Bergamo is dealing with transporting the dead out of the city as its crematorium is struggling to cope, despite working for 24hrs.
It says “army vehicles have been brought in to move dozens of coffins from Bergamo to other regions. Coffins have filled up two hospital morgues, and then a cemetery morgue, and are now being lined up inside a cemetery church. Relatives have been allowed to enter the cemetery to pay their respects, but only in limited numbers and with the recommended amount of distance between each other to prevent the spread of the virus and the local newspaper’s daily obituary section has increased from two or three pages to 10”.
Canada has got its citizens covered
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau shared on Twitter that its government has got the citizen covered. He wrote:
No matter who you are or what you do, right now you should be focused on your health – and not about whether you will lose your job or run out of money for things like groceries or medicine. So today, we announced our plan that will help you and your family.
If you do not qualify for Employment Insurance and do not have access to paid sick leave but have to self-isolate or quarantine, or if you need to take care of a family member who has COVID-19, you can receive an Emergency Care Benefit every two weeks for 14 weeks.
If you have kids, we will boost your Canada Child Benefit to help with the increase in childcare costs as schools remain closed. And in the coming months, we will add more to your GST Credit – every adult who qualifies will get up to $300, and every child up to $150.
If you’re a student, we are pausing your loan repayment for six months, interest-free. To those experiencing homelessness, we are boosting funding to address your needs. And for those who do not feel safe self-isolating at home, know that we are increasing funding for shelters.
If you own a small business, we will provide you with a temporary wage subsidy for three months so you can keep your workers on the payroll during these uncertain and challenging times. Because no one should feel like they have to lay off a worker due to COVID-19.
If your business needs support navigating this challenge, @ExportDevCanada is here for you. For farmers and our primary food producers, we will boost Farm Credit Canada. And we will keep looking at ways to help the sectors most vulnerable to COVID-19.
And to support immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities, we are setting up a distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund. We will make sure you get the help you need.
The spread of COVID-19 is forcing all of us to change our ways, and we know it’s a big adjustment. But we have your back, and together we will get through this.
Fake News is now a Crime in South Africa
With the continuous spread of the pandemic and multiple reports from different sources, it is no surprise that fake reports is being dished out.
As part of measures to stop the spread of the virus and curb misleading rumours on social media, the South African government has announced that the spreading of false information about the coronavirus is now a crime, punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine, or both.
Just in that fake news/ disinformation about #COVID19 becomes a criminal offence in South Africa; today’s Government Gazette with regulations under Disaster Management Act; thanks @Billbobbird for sharing: section 11(4) 1/
— Dario Milo (@Dariomilo) March 18, 2020
Punishable by 6 months imprisonment or fine or both Requirement of “intention to deceive” likely means justifiable limitation on freedom of expression in the circumstances. An example of the narrow criminal offence I mentioned on @MediaMattersZA disinformation panel today
— Dario Milo (@Dariomilo) March 18, 2020
South Korea experiences a rise in cases
Just when South Korea thought they had conquered the virus resulting to a few number of reported cases, as at Wednesday, according to CNN, South Korea experienced a rise in the number of new cases, that is a total of 152 new coronavirus patients.
According to Johns Hopkins University, South Korea now has 8,565 coronavirus patients, and 91 dead patients.
Photo Credit: JustinTrudeau