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FG Threatens To Extend Stay-At-Home Order As COVID-19 Cases Rise To 210 In Nigeria, Death Toll Hits Four

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Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos State and Ogun State face a possible extension of the ongoing 14-day Coronavirus lockdown if they continue to violate the stay-at-home order.

The federal government warned on Friday that the only way to stop the spread of the deadly virus is for the people to play the part the government expects of them.

The virus claimed two more lives on Friday to take the country’s COVID-19 death toll to four.

Twenty additional confirmed cases were also recorded according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

There were also fears in Ilorin on Friday that the virus may have spread to Kwara State following the Thursday night death of a returnee from the United Kingdom.

The State government sought to play down the matter saying there was no evidence that Alhaji Jimoh Muideen, a chartered accountant, had the virus even after the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Chapter’s asked its members who in whatever way attended to the deceased to immediately proceed on self-isolation.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State last night confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the state.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, who dropped the hint of a possible extension of the lockdown, said the stay at home order was not being strictly observed.

“If we don’t behave ourselves, there is a likelihood that the lockdown will be extended. But if we behave ourselves, there might not be an extension and I hope we do so,” he said at an interview session with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He added: “If we stay at home for two weeks and we are doing everything we are supposed to do, we should be able to effectively contain the disease.

“Therefore, my appeal to Nigerians is that they should obey the directive on social distancing, personal hygiene and shun gatherings. After two weeks, we will resume our normal life.

“But if they think it is a joke, then we may have to stay at home more than the two weeks.”

President Muhammadu Buhari announced the lockdown in a broadcast last Sunday as part of the effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The President said it would last two weeks in the first instance to “identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases.”

There were 111 cases in the country when he made the broadcast a week ago.

During the NAN interview, the Information Minister also said that the government would not allow families of coronavirus victims to claim their remains for burial.

Mohammed said such corpses are delicate hence the Federal Government has assumed responsibility for their handling and burial.

“Coronavirus is very dangerous and contagious; there is no medicine for it yet and it is not just capable of killing, overwhelming health care system but it will destroy the economy,” he said.

“In some countries, they are putting dead bodies in big refrigerators because the morgues have filled up.

“Nigerians should not forget that this is not the type of corpses that can be claimed for burial because it must be handled by the Ministry of Health.”

The minister who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus said the Federal Government had advised state governors to provide, at least, 300-bed space facilities in their respective states in case of an upsurge in the coronavirus pandemic.

He was optimistic that the government would use the COVID-19 advantage and experience to further develop the health facilities in the country.

“We pray sincerely that we will not fall into the same error after we fought Ebola, and we relaxed,” he said.

“We intend to use the opportunity of this coronavirus to improve our health care system at the federal, states and local government levels.

“Nobody ever thought that what is worse than Ebola will come. The successes we have achieved so far is through technology, sharing data with WHO, US Centre for Disease Control.

“The governors must not wait for a deluge of patients before making the preparation.

“We are not asking them to build hospitals, but if they have facilities that can be converted such as hotels, conference centres, let us know and we will come and accredit them.

“We will tell them what equipment they would need and what type of training we are going to give as support.”

Mohammed said the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was yet to receive any money from the funds donated by the private sector towards the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

When his attention was drawn to calls by some Non-Governmental Organisation for the probe of the task force over the disbursement of monies gathered from the donations, the minister said: “We have not received even one kobo; people want us probed for how we spent monies we have not even seen.

“I can say without any fear that as of this moment, the task force has not received a kobo from anybody.

“The only money we will be able to account for is whatever money we receive from the federal government.

“The Nigeria Economy Group-led private sector has said it is not going to give a penny to the task force; it says it will only raise the money and ask us what our needs are.”

COVID-19 Claims Two More Lives

One of the latest Coronavirus deaths occurred in Lagos and the other in Edo State.

Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Prof Lanre Adeyemo, confirmed the death of the COVID-19 patient at the hospital.

Contacted last night by Newsmen to react to reports of a suspected case of Coronavirus dying in the hospital, Adeyemo said: “Yes, that is correct.”

Continuing, he said: “He had initially presented himself at the Infection Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba.

“The policy, for now, is that when a patient presents they take the sample, and most of the time, they send the patient home. It is only when it is positive they bring them to Yaba.

“This one, before they announced that he was positive, the patient deteriorated and went to one hospital which referred him to LASUTH.

“LASUTH referred him to us but he came in at 4 am deteriorated. When we suspected that he had COVID-19, we kept him in the holding area and he was the only person there.

“We then called our expert here in LUTH who is also part of the IDH Yaba to come and take a sample so that we could confirm.

“In that process, he needed to get go-ahead from IDH which eventually told him that the patient had, had his sample taken earlier and that it was positive.

“They came from Yaba to evacuate the patient. He eventually died at the holding area.”

Asked if the deceased visited the hospital alone, Prof Adeyemo replied: “He couldn’t have come alone to the hospital. I think some friends brought him, but we couldn’t find them again.”

He dismissed fears that more people might have been infected in the hospital as the deceased might have had contact with some patients at the hospital.

“It is all rumour. This is a tertiary hospital. COVID or no COVID, we have universal precautions that we take. The patient had no contact with any other patient. He was alone at the holding area,” he said.

There were no immediate details about the Edo State case.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 20 additional cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 210.

BIG STORY

World-Famous Society Writer, Lanre Alfred Feeds Over 3000 Indigent Nigerians As He Adds A Year [PHOTOS]

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He is loved by many and respected among his ilk like he is fondly called, ‘African Prince’ by his friends simply because he is truly a prince of royal parentage and halts a princely heart.

Lanre Alfred as a celebrity journalist, author and businessman and publisher of The Capital; an online publishing platform, is former society editor and columnist at This Day Newspaper, author of five books and owner of Old English provision store with branches in Lagos

Lanre, on his birthday, generously doled out many good things to indigents people and this, he has been known for in past years.

This ace journalist, as many know he for, doesn’t give a hoot about giving to the underprivileged and he is remaining in that realm of generosity, philanthropy, charity, and human nature. And this is why many love him for his good gestures and kindness at all times.

Meanwhile, if not for COVID-19 pandemic in town, those who know Lanre as a man about town would readily tell that the man that writes about the intimate affairs of the rich, high and mighty of the society, would have painted the town red for his birthday because he has that pedigree and he calls all the shots when it comes to good partying.

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BIG STORY

Rape Epidemic: 12-Year-Old Girl Gang-Raped By Four Masked Men In Lagos

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A 12-year-old girl, Blessing (not real name), is said to be experiencing trauma after she was allegedly gang-raped by four masked men at her residence in Abijo area of Ajah, Lagos State.

She was said to have been raped while playing alone in the compound around 2 pm on Thursday.

According to Saturday PUNCH, the victim, a secondary school pupil, was left bleeding from injuries she sustained in her private parts.

When our correspondent reached out to her mother on Friday morning, the victim was said to be asleep after receiving medical treatment.

The mother, identified simply as Anthonia, explained that she was not in the house when the perpetrators raped her daughter.

“I went to the office and was called (on the phone) and told that my daughter was raped in our house. I learnt she was having her online class when suddenly, there was a power outage. My husband rushed out to get fuel at a filling station so that she could participate in the class seamlessly,” the mother recalled amid futile attempts to control her emotions.

She stated, “Favour told us that while she was in the compound, four masked men jumped into the house through the fence. They took her inside and took turns to have sex with her, leaving her with multiple injuries.”

The distraught mother said incidentally in her office, she was listening to a radio programme about the recent wave of rape incidents in the country on the day her daughter was raped. Little did she know that her daughter would also become a victim.

“Immediately I received the call, I became so mad. I headed for the hospital where my daughter was rushed to. When I got there, I was told she suffered from ‘vaginal trauma’. The underneath of her clitoris was bruised and she had a deep tear that made her bleed severely,” Anthonia explained, painting a graphic picture of the cruel assault.

“She could have passed out if not that her dad got back home early. She lost a lot of blood. The bleeding stopped after the tear was stitched; although, she is still experiencing very severe pain,” the mother added.

Anthonia said the case had been reported at Ajiwe Police Station in Ajah.

She said, “I don’t think we are secure anymore because it seems like we are being monitored. They perpetuated their evil within the few minutes it took my husband to buy fuel.

“They could not enter through the gate because of ongoing construction at a building opposite ours. The site was crowded and that made them avoid entering through the front door. They scaled the fence. Some policemen followed us to the house and saw how the attackers scattered our things around.”

When our correspondent called Anthonia back on Friday evening, the victim was said to be suffering from trauma and could not speak on the incident.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, said the command had been duly informed of the crime and investigations were ongoing.

He said, “The police have been duly informed of the atrocity and have commenced an investigation into the case. We are on the trail of the culprits. It’s a bit complicated because those guys wore face masks, which makes us suspect the culprits are people close to them. They probably covered their faces to conceal their identities.”

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BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)

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