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INTERPOL Discovers €1.5m COVID-19 Face Masks Fraud traced to Nigeria | Check Out Other Updates

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Coronavirus has infected more than 2.06 million people and killed at least 137,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. According to the WHO African Region, the number of COVID-19 cases on the African continent rose to over 15,900, with 3,084 recoveries and 520 deaths.

An account in Nigeria linked to European COVID-19 mask fraud – INTERPOL

On Tuesday, INTERPOL “unmasked an international COVID-19 fraud” involving three European countries, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. Nigeria was mentioned, as the source to an account that was to receive a fraudulent transfer.

The report by Interpol titled ‘Unmasked: International COVID-19 fraud exposed’ said:

It all started with an email address and website which appeared to be linked to a legitimate company in Spain selling face masks. Unbeknownst to the buyers, the site was a fake and their legitimate email addresses had been compromised.

Through email correspondence, the company initially claimed to have 10 million masks, only for the delivery to fall through. As consolation, they then referred the buyers to a ‘trusted’ dealer in Ireland. The Irish middleman promised to put them in touch with a different supplier, this time in the Netherlands.

Claiming to have a strong commercial relationship with the company, the man provided assurances that the alleged Dutch company would be able to supply the 10 million face masks. An agreement for an initial delivery of 1.5 million masks was made, in exchange for an up-front payment of EUR 1.5 million.

The buyers initiated a bank transfer to Ireland and prepared for delivery, which involved 52 lorries and a police escort to transport the masks from a warehouse in the Netherlands to the final destination in Germany.

Just before the delivery date, the buyers were informed that the funds had not been received and that an emergency transfer of EUR 880,000 straight to the Dutch supplier was required to secure the merchandise.

It further added that “The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service quickly tracked down the EUR 880,000 which had been transferred from the German company. Nearly EUR 500,000 of those funds had already been sent to the United Kingdom, all of which was destined for an account in Nigeria.”

China says no proof of COVID-19 “lab leak”

Speaking on Thursday at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily media briefing, spokesman Zhao Lijian said there is no proof of COVID-19 originating from a Chinese laboratory, CNN reports:

Spokesman Zhao Lijian said:

China’s position has been clear on the origin and transmission routes of the novel coronavirus. We always hold the view that this is a scientific issue that should be studied by scientists and medical experts.

I would like to remind people: The head of the World Health Organization has repeatedly stated that there hasn’t been any evidence pointing to the virus being lab-created. Many renowned medical experts around the world have also described theories such as ‘lab leaks’ as lacking any scientific proof.

An infectious disease is the common enemy of humankind and the international community can only defeat it through rational responses. China will continue to work with other countries, helping each other and banding together to win this fight between humanity and a major infectious disease.

Kano State records first death

On Wednesday, Kano State recorded its first coronavirus death, while the number of cases in the state rose to 21. Following this development, Kano State now has a total number of 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19, no recovery but one death.

Kano State Ministry of Health confirmed the news on Twitter.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai still COVID-19 positive

On Wednesday, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said he is still under isolation for testing positive to COVID-19 and is yet to be given the green light from the virus.

El-Rufai revealed he chaired a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council for the first time since he was diagnosed and urged Nigerians to ignore false reports stating that he was free of the virus.

The Governor tweeted on his personal Twitter account that; “Earlier Wednesday 10am-2pm, I took a few hours during isolation to chair a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council. I haven’t been cleared of COVID-19 yet and will personally announce when confirmed negative. Ignore fake news even if you like it.”

 

Femi Gbajabiamila says the maltreatment of Nigerians in China has been sorted between both countries

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the maltreatment of Nigerians in China has been sorted between both countries.

He shared the news on his personal Twitter page, saying the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria has communicated his findings on the issue. Femi Gbajabiamila also expressed hope of future communication being swift and clear even where there are allegations of wrongdoing by citizens of other countries.

He tweeted:

I’m glad the matter of maltreatment of Nigerians in China has been sorted out between both countries. The Ambassador has communicated his findings and we hope that moving forward communication will be swift and clear and due process will be observed even where there are allegations of wrongdoing by citizens of other countries. It is important that we follow up on this and Nigerians can legitimately go about their business in the People’s Republic of China.

I spoke with the Acting Consul General, Mr Razak Lawal whose robust defence of the rights of Nigerians in China went viral and I salute the gentleman diplomat for his dedication to duty and his patriotism.

Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers

Emirates has started testing passengers for COVID-19 before flying out of Dubai, in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic.

According to a statement by Emirates, a quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.

The Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities. We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”

Read the full statement:

 

NCDC confirms 34 new coronavirus cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 34 new coronavirus cases in five states across the country.

The announcement was made in a tweet on Wednesday, around 11:20 PM, with 18 patients in Lagos, 12 in Kano, 2 in Katsina, 1 in Delta and 1 in Niger State. This brings the country’s total to 407 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 128 discharged and 12 confirmed deaths.

Here are the number of states with confirmed cases of coronavirus

Lagos- 232
FCT- 58
Osun- 20
Kano- 16
Edo- 15
Oyo- 11
Ogun- 9
Katsina- 7
Bauchi- 6
Kaduna- 6
Akwa Ibom- 6
Kwara- 4
Delta- 4
Ondo- 3
Enugu- 2
Ekiti- 2
Rivers-2
Niger- 2
Benue- 1
Anambra- 1

Sources say the USA may likely endure social distancing until 2022, while the U.K will likely have to maintain social distancing till a vaccine is available

On Thursday an epidemiologist Neil Ferguson in an interview with the BBC said the United Kingdom will likely have to maintain social distancing until a coronavirus vaccine is available. Neil Ferguson said:

It’s not going to be going back to normal. We will have to maintain some level of social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available. We have a relatively little leeway, if we relax measures too much then we’ll see a resurgence of transmission.

According to researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who published their findings in a science journal on Tuesday, the US may also have to endure social distancing measures, such as stay-at-home orders and school closures, until 2022.

Governor of Nairobi, Mike Sonko plans to distribute alcohol as part of food packs for poor families

Even though WHO has warned against several claims about alcohol protecting people from contracting the virus, the governor of Nairobi, Mike Sonko, spoke about plans to distribute alcohol as part of food packs for poor families who are missing work because of coronavirus pandemic.

He made the announcement at a media briefing on Tuesday, saying he had “small bottles of Hennessy in the food packs that we will be giving to our people”.

He added, “From the research which has been conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and various health organisations it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus”.

Photo Credit: femigbaja

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