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Coronavirus

COVID-19: NCDC equips testing centres in Ibadan, Abakaliki as figures rises

Due to the fast-rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, NCDC has expanded the number of laboratories with the capacity to conduct the test.  

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COVID-19: NCDC equips testing centres in Ibadan, Abakaliki as figures continue to rise, CBN discloses conditions to assess N100b facility, identifies problems in processing facility

In response to the fast-rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has expanded the number of laboratories with the capacity to conduct the test.

With the expansion, the Virology laboratory of the University College, Ibadan is now among the testing centres for the coronavirus infection in Nigeria.

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According to a tweet on its official twitter handle @NCDCgov, NCDC also revealed that plans have been concluded to set up a centre in Abakaliki to serve the states in the southeastern region of the country.

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In a related development, the Lagos state government has taken delivery of a new isolation and treatment centre at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium in Lagos island.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: Total lockdown imminent as Lagos fears confirmed cases could hit 39,000)

The 110-bed facility comes as part of support from a private organisation to aid the government’s efforts to curb the COVI-19 pandemic.

Why this matters: The Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, had said during a press briefing on March 6 that the testing centres in the country were restricted to Lagos and Abuja due to the paucity of resources, giving the assurance that when the need arose, the NCDC would equip more testing centres in other parts of the country.

Jack Ma, Co-founder of Alibaba had donated medical supplies to Nigeria and other African countries to aid the countries in their fight to combat and put an end to the spread of the novel virus.

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Since the arrival of the medical supplies on Tuesday, the number of tests carried out has increased, leading to the confirmation of more cases across the country.

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

By 10:40 pm on Saturday, March 28, the NCDC had reported eight new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, bring the total cases to 97 with 1 death recorded.

Of the 8 cases, 2 were in FCT, 4 in Oyo state, 1 in Kaduna state and 1 in Osun State.

The breakdown of the cases so far as given on the NCDC website is as follows; Lagos currently has 59 cases, FCT – 16, Ogun – 3, Enugu – 2, Ekiti – 1, Oyo – 7, Edo – 2, Bauchi – 2, Osun – 2, Rivers – 1, Kaduna– 1, and Benue – 1.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via ruth.okwumbu@nairametrics.ng

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Coronavirus

New normal for the informal sector

Africa is the world’s last frontier in the fight against extreme poverty where one in three Africans−422 million people−live below the global poverty line.

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Post COVID-19 and Africa's informal sector: Africa and Nigeria "The new normal"

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China has extremely changed the world, as it has turned into a major pandemic and affected millions of people around the world regardless of geographical location, age, race, gender, etc.

While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people worldwide and still counting, the economic fallouts will no doubt be overwhelming and will likely lead to major economic meltdowns; both in the formal and informal sectors.

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According to Brookings Institute, Africa is the world’s last frontier in the fight against extreme poverty where one in three Africans−422 million people−live below the global poverty line. This fact brings to fore, the alarming consequences of COVID-19 in the economic sectors which will increase the income gap backward rather than reduce the number of people living below the global poverty line.

The informal sector arguably constitutes the largest employer of labor in Africa. The International Labour Organisation estimates that more than 66% of total employment in Sub-Saharan African is in the informal sector. With a pervasive informal sector, city governments have been struggling with how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, informal enterprises are typically characterized by low wages and non-exportable goods and services. This sector provides crucial livelihoods to the most vulnerable of the urban poor.

(READ MORE: Recalibrating Job creation within COVID-19 realities )

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The spread of COVID 19 poses a big threat to small scale businesses which serve as a major source of livelihood for many Africans. It is important that, just as Africa is working towards combating the spread of the virus, the government should help to support this vital, yet often excluded segment of the economy.

Post COVID-19 and Africa's informal sector: Africa and Nigeria "The new normal"

The informal sector is very much essential for the welfare of the people living in the local communities and for the expansion of the economy at large. As Africa’s informal sector provides about 80% of employment and contributes over 50% GDP, it is reason enough to save this crucial sector from jeopardy.

Taking Nigeria to be the case study, the wave of the pandemic is showing no sign of reduction unless a permanent solution is found.

However, looking on the bright side, there is a possibility that a vaccine could be found sooner or later to counter this unpleasant enemy. But until then, how will we as a country adjust to the “new normal”, that is life after COVID-19, as the experts who used this terminology explained that life, as it was before, will not come back to normal for some time to come. Let’s take a few instances.

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One major normal, which is of general importance with a massive impact on our livelihood, is the loss of jobs. Yes, our means of making ends meet have been threatened. Many people will be rendered jobless as all economic activities the world over, have slowed down.

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Those who will be hit the hardest are, as already mentioned, small-scale businesses that may find it challenging to adapt to the new normal of doing business via virtual means, etc. The small-scale businesses are also employers of labor, so going down means their employees will suffer the same loss with them. Amongst the unemployed, the hardest hit is the daily wage workers whose livelihoods are based on their daily incomes.

(READ MORE: 7 common money mistakes I made and why you should avoid them)

Therefore, a lot of people will suffer unemployment in this time, and paying bills such as house rent bills, food bills, school bills will become near impossible.

Post COVID-19 and Africa's informal sector: Africa and Nigeria "The new normal"

Another new normal is that, classes and lessons will have to be done online, and this could be the pattern for some time to come. This will pose major challenges for parents who do not have the resources to acquire gadgets or even buy the data required for their wards/children to participate in online classes. This new normal is also applicable to post-secondary students, who have a higher need for gadgets and data to participate in online classes.

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By this time in the old normal, schools would have begun a new term. Being the third term in which promotional exams are done, both parents and pupils will be up and doing to ensure preparations in order to secure promotions. Most especially those preparing to take examinations to secure admission into the universities.

The question posed here is, how can the government help in reducing the burden of both the parents and the students who are on lockdown right now and can’t make ends meet talk less of spending the little resources being managed this period to acquire required gadgets or even data? As we are all aware the data rate in our country is high, unlike in most countries where data is cheap or even free. Can the government help in reducing the data rates in order to reduce the burden on parents and students?

(READ MORE: Rethinking Inclusive Education: COVID-19 realities, post implications on education)

With the wave of the pandemic being on the rise, so many countries have moved away from multilateralism and have retreated into fending for themselves with several measures to protect their own people and economies, regardless of the effects on the rest of the world which has led to certain restrictions.

Post COVID-19 and Africa's informal sector: Africa and Nigeria "The new normal"

This restriction could also be the new normal, as we are left with the questions of what if? What if the COVID 19 pandemic continues in a second wave, with borders still shut, food importation restricted, what if we can no longer travel out for medical attention and must rely on our hospitals here? Talk less of education, what if we can no longer travel out to study abroad and must rely on our educational system here?  We can no longer be dependent on the world for everything.

For a country of over 200 million people, we cannot continue to keep ignoring the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally, because the security and well-being of our nation is solely based on building a productive and well-diversified economy.

We have no clear vision of what the world will look like after the pandemic is over, therefore as a nation, we need to seize the opportunities of the “new normal” and make the best out of them. As much as all these new developments seem troubling, it is a clear opportunity to work things out for a better future ahead.

We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare for all social classes, and pioneering education for our people. We can transform Nigeria into a modern, sophisticated and self-sufficient economy in which we don’t have to be dependent on other countries for everything and can thrive on our own, protecting the poor and vulnerable and being able to compete with other strategic sectors internationally.

(READ MORE: Gold prices surge by 17.4% in 2 months due to global economic crisis)

To achieve this goal, what needs to be done include:

  • Supporting both the smallholder and large-scale agriculture production.
  • Creating a better educational system that will enable creativity and reasoning in order to prepare our children for the world tomorrow.
  • Creating more factories, storages, and logistics companies which also serve as a way of creating job opportunities for the youths.
  • Developing initiatives programmed to help support or promote youths who want to acquire skills and take them up as professions.
  • Providing security for the poor and vulnerable, and developing the policies that bring financial services to them.
  • Developing a standard and trusted health care system to keep Nigerians healthy irrespective of social class.
  • Creating easy access to cheap and long-term credit for SMEs and large corporates.
  • Creating a reliable power supply that can engender industrial activities.
  • Developing venture capitalists for nurturing new ideas and propagate Nigerian businesses to compete globally.

This is the opportunity to create a better Nigeria and do the needful to become a better country.

COVID-19 may have thrown us all into a crisis of unprecedented proportions but we can still make the best out of it. However, mismanagement of the challenges could leave us to suffer untold hardships for some time to come.


Written by Abraham John Onojaa

abrahamjonoja@gmail.com

+2348164208130

 

 

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Coronavirus

Covid-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 24th of May 2020, 313 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 7,839.

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COVID-19: FCMB reschedule operations

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria has continued to rise rapidly as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed Nigeria now has 7,839 confirmed cases.

On the 24th of May 2020, 313 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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To date, 7839 cases have been confirmed, 2263 cases have been discharged and 226 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 44,458 tests.

The 313 new cases were reported from 17 states- Lagos (148), FCT (36), Rivers (27), Edo (19), Kano (13), Ogun (12), Ebonyi (11), Nasarawa (8), Delta (8), Oyo (7), Plateau (6), Kaduna (5), Kwara (4), Akwa Ibom (3), Bayelsa (3), Niger (2), Anambra (1).

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

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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.

The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 3505, followed by Kano (896), Abuja at 505, Katsina (308), Borno (250), Jigawa (241), Oyo (240), Bauchi (232), Ogun (231), Edo (191), Kaduna (189),  Gombe (145),  Sokoto and Rivers (116), Plateau (83).

Kwara State has recorded 79 cases, Yobe (47), Nasarawa (46), Osun (42), Delta (39), Ebonyi (33), Kebbi (32), Niger (28), Adamawa (27), Akwa Ibom (24), Ondo (23), Ekiti (20), Taraba and Enugu (18), Bayelsa (11), Anambra (9), Imo and Abia (7), while Benue state has recorded 5 cases.

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

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DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
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

British High Commission releases flight schedule for final evacuation

The commission also made provisions for nationals who are cash strapped.

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The British High Commission has released flight schedules to evacuate its nationals from Nigeria within a fortnight.

In a video made available to Nairametrics, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stressed that they would be the final evacuation flights from Nigeria back to the United Kingdom, and urged nationals to take advantage of it.

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Speaking about eligibility, Laing stated:

“These flights are aimed at British nationals and dual nationals who are normally resident in the UK, and their immediate dependents. We’ll be prioritising people who are already on our waiting list.
“After that, we will allocate seats on a first come first served basis, and those of you who are non-British nationals but have indefinite leave to remain in the UK could also be eligible. We will pick up any foreign nationals if we have seats available.”

READ ALSO: British airways set to suspend 32,000 employees

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Schedule

There will be flights from Lagos to London on May 29, and June 1, 2020, while the flights from Abuja to London will only run on June 6, 2020.
There are also arrangements to pick up stranded nationals in Port Harcourt, and connect them to Abuja where they will board the flight home.

According to Laing, the Commission will be using Virgin Airlines for its Lagos flights and Titan Airways to convey nationals from Abuja.

READ ALSO: Time for Nigeria to forget crude oil

What it will cost

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Britons taking the flight from Lagos will be expected to pay £445 for their tickets, while passengers from Abuja will pay £600.

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Laing added that the commission has also made provisions for nationals who are cash strapped.
“If you are struggling and you have exhausted all other means, there are loans available,” she said.

Bookings are to be made at the ‘return to the UK’ part of their travel advise page, and details of the loans can also be found there.

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