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Coronavirus

The value of the Internet in difficult times

Despite all the gloom and doom occasioned by COVID-19, one way of life that has proved to be of good use during this time of uncertainty is the internet.

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The value of the Internet in difficult times

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has definitely disrupted life across the globe while forcing people into self-isolation for an indefinite period. Despite all the gloom and doom, one way of life that has proved to be of good use during this time of uncertainty is the internet.

While we are stuck in our homes, we have this global system of interconnected computer networks that allows us to watch our favourite shows on Netflix and even communicate with friends and family through social media platforms. Besides its use for leisure and entertainment, the internet has proven to be vital for several businesses, particularly on the African continent.

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Jumia, the renowned Pan-African e-commerce company, is using its digital network to battle the COVID-19 outbreak. Just last Friday, representatives from Jumia announced that they would be donating face masks and other healthcare facilities to ministries in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda.

In addition, Jumia has planned to reduce its fees on the Jumia Pay finance product in order to advocate digital payments as opposed to cash, according to Tech Crunch, which also reports that the company plans to work with several health ministries across various African countries and vows to use its website, as well as its mobile platforms to share important messages on COVID-19.

[READ MORE: Africans using mobile payments to curb COVID-19)

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Most corporate entities, including American chambers over the region, business schools, etc.,  are holding workshops and conferences virtually.

The value of the Internet in difficult times

Some private schools, even in Nigeria, are transiting to virtual classes in this world of the new normal.

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Mobile service providers, such as Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom have implemented mobile money systems, which allow their subscribers to transfer money through the use of apps.

According to Kahwa Tungu, Safaricom recently announced that customers can send money for free for all transactions of Ksh 1,000 and below, within a total period of 90 days.

There are companies that are also expanding their outreach with the presence of e-commerce. This is the case for Copia Global Inc. in Kenya. According to Bloomberg, the company takes orders, from kitchen appliances to tinned foods, and delivers these items to remote parts of the country. This is made possible by the agents they have contracted to the company, who own businesses that may be in need of these items.

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The report from Bloomberg further notes that Copia’s sales from the e-commerce business are growing at a rate of 15% every month in Kenya. This shows that the internet has a significant role in the future growth of online businesses.

READ MORE: GTBank launches Beta Health, expands access to health insurance for low-income Nigerians

There is measured optimism in utilizing internet in this manner due to the inability of people in remote areas of the African continent to have access.

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As at 2017, the World Bank estimated that only about 25% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa had access to the internet; however, according to Engoo, that number increased in recent times to 40%.

Engoo’s report also indicates that 47.1% of Nigeria’s population had access to internet in 2018, mostly through the use of mobile phones. This number increased to 74% in June 2019; however, only 24% of Nigerians were accessing the internet through computers. The percentage is much lower in the rural areas.

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A second hindrance to internet access is electricity. Obviously, without the availability of electricity, there would not be as much internet penetration. Brookings Institute stated that Africa had an average 43% access rate to electricity.

[READ ALSO: Lessons for Nigerian fintechs, as Square gets nod for banking license)

However, there have been marginal improvements over the last couple of years. According to General Electric (G.E), the company installed its 100th power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as an installed base of over 300 turbines in 22 countries on the continent.

The internet is definitely the future and it is one that would produce maximum profits, particularly during this indefinite lockdown period.

I implore all Africans to make good use of the internet during this period, not only to keep themselves “busy” or to entertain themselves, but to also find new avenues of generating income.

African leaders should learn from this situation and prioritize the infrastructure growth, and regulatory reforms that will help improve the internet, and encourage local and foreign investment in this area.

Remember, things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

Article written by Paul Olele Jnr

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Coronavirus

FG announces schedule for 4th evacuation flight from the USA 

The evacuees will be expected to present an original COVID-19 negative test result not older than 14.

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flights, Nigeria sets conditions for border reopening, COVID-19: Nigerians in diaspora have not asked to be evacuated – FG, Attacks on Nigeria diplomatic residence, FG to engage Ghanaian government  

The Federal government has approved the fourth evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States of America for July 28.  

According to a statement that was signed by the Consulate General of Nigeria, the Ethiopian Airline with flight number ET509 will depart Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey on Tuesday 28 July 2020 by 21:15hrs and arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday 29 July 2020 by 13:25hrs. 

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“All prospective evacuees duly registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA should purchase their one-way tickets at a cost of $1250 for economy class and $2800 for business class for adult/child fare including all taxes with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2 years,” the statement read. 

READ ALSO: FG acquires profiling robots for airport

In line with the earlier announced protocols from the Nigerian Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the evacuees will be expected to present an original COVID-19 negative test result not older than 14 days on the day of departure at the airport. 

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There will also be a temperature check at the airport, and any intending evacuee with a body temperature above 38°c or any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will not be allowed to check-in. 

Evacuees are also required to wear a face mask as a matter of necessity and be in possession of hand sanitizer for intermittent use during the flight, while also adhering to the instructions of the  

Furthermore, all returnees are enjoined to adhere strictly to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols on arrival. 

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 9th of July 2020, 499 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continue to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 30,748 confirmed cases.

On the 9th of July 2020, 499 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,302 samples across the country.

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To date, 30,748 cases have been confirmed, 12,546 cases have been discharged and 689 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 171,931 tests have been carried out as of July 9th, 2020 compared to 169,629 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 9th July 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 30,748
  • Total Number Discharged – 12,546
  • Total Deaths – 689
  • Total Tests Carried out – 171,931

According to the NCDC, the 499 new cases were reported from 24 states- Lagos (157); Edo (59); Ondo (56); Oyo (31); Akwa Ibom (22); Borno (21); Plateau (19); Kaduna (18); Katsina (18); Bayelsa (17); FCT (17); Delta (14); Kano (11); Rivers (10); Enugu (8); Ogun (6); Kwara (4); Imo (3); Nasarawa (2); Osun (2); Abia (1); Ekiti (1); Niger (1); Yobe (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 11,827, followed by Abuja (2,365), Oyo (1,604), Edo (1,562), Delta (1,337), Kano (1,302), Rivers (1,294), Ogun (1,063),  Kaduna (907), Katsina (646), Ondo (606), Borno (584), Gombe (524), Bauchi (519), Ebonyi (503), Plateau (497), Enugu (439), Abia (401),  Imo (359), Jigawa (318).

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Kwara state has recorded 311 cases, Bayelsa (299), Nasarawa (236), Osun (212), Sokoto (153), Akwa Ibom (134), Niger (125), Benue (121), Adamawa (100), Anambra (93), Kebbi (86), Zamfara (76), Yobe (62), Ekiti (46), Taraba (27), while Kogi and Cross River state have recorded 5 cases each.

 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Coronavirus

Former Liberian President to sit on WHO review panel of COVID-19 response effort

Ellen Sirleaf has been picked alongside Helen Clark, to serve as co-chairs of the independent panel.

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Former Liberian President to sit on WHO review panel of Covid-19 response effort

Following stern criticism by US President, Donald Trump, over their handling of the COVID-19 response efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it will implement an independent panel to review said response efforts to the pandemic.

To this end, Liberia’s former President and West Africa’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has been picked alongside former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, to serve as co-chairs of the independent panel. They will be responsible for selecting the other members of the panel, according to the WHO.

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WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, announced the panel will produce an interim report in a November meeting of global health ministers. Meanwhile, the substantive report would be produced by May 2021.

Tedros also said that the size of the pandemic calls for the need for a “commensurate evaluation, an honest evaluation”, adding that the WHO would be very serious with the preparation of the report.

READ MORE:COVID-19: WHO warns worst is yet to come as firm charges $2,340 for virus treatment

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The WHO members in May agreed to an independent review of the organization’s response to the pandemic. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the review of the body’s response would be challenging but looks forward to her role in doing what she can contribute to the response of the pandemic’s challenges.

The panel will also report monthly updates on the body’s response and will not only review the WHO’s response but also the International community’s response. Tedros added that it’s time for an honest reflection on the global response, saying a response will help with lessons on the pandemic.

 

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