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Bollywood Actor Amitabh Bachchan & his Son Abhishek Bachchan Test Positive for COVID-19

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The Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday, July 12, announced that 571 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the country.

The health agency gave a breakdown of the new cases recorded across the country as follows; Lagos-152, Ebonyi-108, Edo-53, Ondo-46, FCT-38, Oyo-20, Kwara-19, Plateau-17, Osun-14, Bayelsa-14, Ekiti-14, Katsina-14, Akwa Ibom-11, Kaduna-11, Rivers-11, Niger-10, Ogun-7, Kano-6, Cross River-4, Bauchi-2.

There are now 32,558 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country. 13,447 patients who recovered from the disease have been discharged and 740 deaths have been recorded.


British Government denies Air Peace diplomatic landing clearance for evacuating Nigerians stranded in the UK

The British government have denied an Air Peace airline flight deployed to evacuate Nigerians stranded in the United Kingdom. The Nigeria high commission in London which released a statement on Sunday, July 12, said the evacuation flights from London Heathrow to Abuja and Lagos will now depart from Gatwick Airport on Tuesday, July 14.

The statement reads:

This is to inform all prospective evacuees that have been issued tickets for the Air Peace flights departing on July 13, 2020, from London Heathrow to Abuja and Lagos, that due to landing clearance issues, the flights have been rescheduled to depart on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 10:00 am from Gatwick Airport.

Furthermore, Air Peace Airlines has contracted Air Partner to operate the flight on its behalf and any other information will be communicated directly to the passengers.

In light of the foregoing, the mission wishes to extend its appreciation to the chairman and management of Air Peace Limited for ensuring that our stranded nationals in the United Kingdom return home safely.

Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs responded to the development, disclosing that the UK authorities decided to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.

The Minister added that the Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic.

He tweeted:

Having been allowed to carry out one very successful evacuation of Nigerians from London at very low fares, @flyairpeace in coordination with the @NigeriaGov and full knowledge of the UK authorities scheduled two additional flights.

All the arrangements were made including payments, only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.

Air Peace could have just refunded the passengers but exceptionally, patriotically and altruistically agreed to find an alternative carrier acceptable to the UK authorities to carry out the evacuation a day later than scheduled but for much higher fares.

These higher fares could legitimately have been passed on to the evacuees but Air Peace bore this huge cost itself. This is to let the aggrieved evacuees know that the objects of their grievance should neither be Air Peace nor the Nigerian Government.

They should rather be eternally grateful to Air Peace. The Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic.


Lagos doctors embark on a three-day strike

Doctors in Lagos on Sunday, July 12, announced that they are embarking on a three-day warning strike following the failure of the state government to meet their demands.

Chairman of the Medical Guild in Lagos, Oluwajimi Sodipo said doctors were embarking on the strike after the 21 days ultimatum given to the Lagos State Government had expired. The strike would run from July 13 to 16 and will exempt members working in the state’s COVID-19 isolation centres.

They are embarking on the strike over the wage disparity between the Federal and Lagos state doctors, COVID-19 Hazard allowances and inducement allowances MOU approved by the Federal Government, non-payment of doctors working in isolation centre as well as unceremoniously disengagement of doctors in the isolation centres without recourse to their welfare, The Guardian reports.


Lagos discharges 56 more COVID-19 patients

The Lagos State Government has discharged 56 more recovered COVID-19 patients from its isolation centres after they tested negative for the virus.

Those discharged included 12 females and 44 males.

The patients; 25 from Gbagada, 5 from Agidingbi, 8 from Eti-Osa (LandMark) 3 from Onikan and 15 from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged.

According to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, this brings the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from Lagos isolation facilities to 1897.

The governor stated further that front line health workers in the state have been recording successes in the battle against COVID19.

View this post on Instagram

COVID-19 Update by the Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Good people of Lagos, Today, 56 #COVID19Lagos patients; 12 females and 44 males including 9 foreign nationals were discharged from our Isolation facilities to reunite with the society. The patients; 25 from Gbagada, 5 from Agidingbi, 8 from Eti-Osa (LandMark) 3 from Onikan and 15 from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged after full recovery and testing negative to COVID19. This brings to 1897, the number of #COVID19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged from our isolation facilities. Remember, COVID19 is real! Let's continue to adhere strictly to all public advisories given by government #ForACOVID19FreeLagos Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu COVID19Lagos Incident Commander July 12, 2020 @drobafemihamzat @jidesanwoolu . . . #Covid19Lagos #lagosagainstcovid19 #takeresponsibility #MaskUpLagos #socialdistancing #staysafeactresponsibly #goodhygiene #foracovid19freelagos #ForAGreaterLagos #LASG

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Coronavirus has hit one of Bollywood’s leading families with superstar Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan all being admitted to hospital.

His residence in the city has been declared a containment zone. All staff members working at the residence have tested negative for COVID-19, CNN reports.

“We have screened all employees at the studio, nobody there showed any symptoms, we have advised everyone to home quarantine,” Vishwas Mote, an assistant commissioner at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

Amitabh Bachchan was in a “stable” condition in the isolation unit at Nanavati Hospital, the facility said in a statement after he and his son Abhishek Bachchan were both admitted following positive tests late Saturday evening. And soon later Abhiskek Bachchan’s wife, the heralded actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, also entered the hospital. The couple’s daughter tested positive too.

On Sunday, Amitabh Bachchan tweeted his thanks to the many well-wishers.



WHO team in China investigating COVID-19 origins

The WHO has sent a two-person advanced team to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and how it made the leap from animals to humans.

“The experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission. The mission objective is to advance the understanding of animal hosts for Covid-19 and ascertain how the disease jumped between animals and humans,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program.

“The team consists of two experts, one an expert in animal health and the other an epidemiologist. This is an advance team, which means they are in China to be able to determine the agenda, the scope and scale of a greater investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. It is still very early on in this process”, CNN reports.

According to the WHO, the two experts will try to get answers to two very critical questions:

  • We know that the virus is found in bats, but is there an intermediate species — another animal host — that also transmitted the virus?
  • How did this virus make that leap from animals to humans?


India records another highest-daily jump in coronavirus cases

India has recorded its highest 24-hour jump in COVID-19 cases yet, with 28,701 infections announced on Monday morning by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The latest jump brings the total positive cases in the country to 878,254 — the third highest in the world, after the United States and Brazil, the health ministry said. In total India currently has 301,609 active cases; more than 550,000 people have recovered since testing positive. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 11.8 million tests have been conducted across the country.


Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Japan

Japan recorded 411 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the country’s health ministry said today. In the capital Tokyo, 206 infections were reported on Sunday, the fourth straight day that cases have topped 200.

The western city of Osaka also reported an uptick in infections, with 32 cases. This figure does not include the 62 cases detected on US military bases in Okinawa between July 7 to 12, which are all US personnel and their families, according to the Okinawa prefecture local government.

The total number of people infected by the virus in the country stands at 22,580, with 995 deaths.


According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 12,910,357 cases have been detected worldwide, with 569,128 deaths and 7,116,957 people recovered.

South Africa: 276,242 cases / 4,079 deaths

Nigeria: 31,987 cases / 740 deaths

Ghana: 24,248 / 135 deaths


South Africa to introduce curfew as from Monday

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa spoke directly the nation at 20:00 this evening, Sunday, to discuss the Covid-19 situation, with the number of cases rising rapidly across the nation.

Ramaphosa said the “surge of infections” predicted by experts three months ago has now arrived, in particular in Eastern Cape and Gauteng, with the latter fast approaching 100,000 cases. Each of the provinces is expected to hit their peak between July and September. “The storm is upon us,” he warned.

He said that there are now 276,242 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 4,079 deaths, with a quarter of those deaths coming in the past week. “There is an equivalent of 500 new infections every hour,” said the President.

He said the NCCC and cabinet have been discussing whether there was a need to move back to lockdown level four or five, however, the expert advice they had been given was that moving back to a higher level would not necessarily lead to a reduction in the infection rate, but would have a massive impact on the economy, negatively impacting livelihoods.

Therefore the country will remain at level three for the time being, however with additional strict measures. “As we reach peak of infection we must take extraordinary measures to slow the rate of infection,” he said.

The main measure to be introduced will be a curfew, which will take effect from tomorrow, Monday. The curfew will run from 21:00 to 04:00, with all citizens required to be in their homes during this period. Only people who need to travel for work or who need to seek medical assistance will be allowed out.

Cabinet has approved an extension to the National State of Disaster, through to Saturday, 15 August. “There is no way that we can avoid the coronavirus storm, but we can limit the damage it causes to our lives,” says the president.

Read the full statement here.


Photo Credit: Amitabh Bachchan (Twitter)