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BIG STORY

Emirates Offers First Ever $500,000 Multi-Risk Travel Insurance Coverage

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Emirates customers can now plan their travels and fly with even greater assurance and peace of mind, with the airline’s latest industry-first initiative to provide expanded, multi-risk travel cover on top of its current COVID-19 cover.

Provided by Emirates at no additional cost to its customers, and provided by AIG Travel, this cover is the first of its kind in the airline and travel insurance industry. It is designed to provide all Emirates passengers a truly unique offer for stress-free and hassle-free travel.

This new multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover will automatically apply to all Emirates tickets purchased from 1 December and extends to Emirates codeshare flights operated by partner airlines, as long as the ticket number starts with 176.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman, and Chief Executive said: “Emirates was the first airline to offer complimentary global COVID-19 cover for travelers back in July, and the response from our customers has been tremendously encouraging. We’ve not rested on our laurels and instead continued to look at how we can offer our customers an even better proposition. We’re very pleased to be able to now provide this new multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover, which is another industry first, to all our customers.

“We see a strong appetite for travel around the world, especially heading into the winter holidays as people seek warmer climates and family destinations like Dubai. By launching this new multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover, we aim to give our customers even more confidence in making their travel plans this winter and moving into 2021.”

Emirates customers will be covered when they fly to any destination, in any class of travel. Highlights of the coverage include:

Out-of-Country Emergency Medical Expenses & Emergency Medical Evacuation up to US$500,000, valid for COVID-19 (contracted during the trip) and other medical emergencies while traveling abroad; Trip Cancellation up to US$7,500 for non-refundable costs if the traveler or a relative (as defined in the policy) is unable to travel because they are diagnosed with COVID-19 before the scheduled trip departure date, or for other named reasons – similar to other comprehensive travel cover products.

The package also offers Trip Cancellation or Curtailment up to US$7,500 if the school year is extended due to COVID-19 beyond the departure date, and the traveler or a relative (as defined in the policy) is a full-time teacher, full-time employee, or a student at a primary or secondary school. Trip Curtailment up to US$7,500 for non-refundable trip costs and additional costs to return to their country of residence if the traveler or a relative (as defined in the policy) falls critically ill, for instance, contracts COVID-19 while traveling abroad.

Travel Abandonment up to US$7,500 if the traveler fails a COVID-19-related test or medical screening at the airport and is required to abandon the trip.

Furthermore, customers will get US$150 per day per person, for up to 14 consecutive days if, while outside of their country of residence, the traveler tests positive for COVID-19, and if they are unexpectedly placed into a mandatory quarantine outside their country of residence by a governmental body.

“We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Emirates and we are excited to work with them to tailor this product to meet the needs of Emirates customers worldwide,” said Jeff Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel. “Our hope is to help alleviate some of the concerns travelers may have when planning travel during this time.”

Similar to other multi-risk travel insurance products, Emirates’ generous cover also has provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations, or advisories. Customers do not need to register or fill in any forms before they travel, and they are not obligated to utilize this cover provided by Emirates.

Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 31 March 2021, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options if they must change their travel plans. Customers have options to change their travel dates or extend their ticket validity for 2 years.

Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

Dubai is now definitely open for international business and leisure visitors. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world-class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences for visitors. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety

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BIG STORY

Killer Juice: Don’t Take Products Not Approved By NAFDAC, Lagos Warns Residents

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, on his part, advised residents to check the expiry dates of the products they consumed.

Omotoso, in an interview with one of our correspondents, also urged residents of the state not to consume products that were not certified by NAFDAC.

Reacting to the story of the sales of expired citric acid powdered drinks in Kano State, the commissioner said the state consumer protection agency would not allow the ‘killer drink’ to be sold in the state.

He said, “We have a consumer protection agency saddled with the responsibility of curbing fake products and prosecuting people selling such.

“People must watch out for expiry dates on the products they consume and they have to ensure that such products are NAFDAC approved.”

Omotoso also assured residents of the state that there was no need to panic about the ‘killer drink.’

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BIG STORY

10 Dead, 400 Hospitalized After Drinking ‘Killer Fruit Juice’ In Kano

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The Kano State Government on Thursday said 10 people had died and 400 others hospitalized after drinking a poisonous fruit juice.

The state government had month said the poisonous fruit juice claimed three lives and led to the hospitalization of 183 others.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa, in a video recording made available to journalists in Kano on Thursday, stated that out of 400 people hospitalized, 50 persons were undergoing treatment for kidney-related ailments.

As the Kano State Government gave an update on the killer drink, Lagos, Katsina, Cross River, Sokoto, and Osun state governments urged residents to be vigilant before consuming any fruit drink.

Although they urged residents not to panic, they advised them to check the expiry dates of drinks.

The Kano State Commissioner for Health had at a press conference in Kano on March 16 said the outbreak spread to 13 local government areas of the state.

The state ministry of health said the affected patients showed symptoms such as bloody urine, fever, lethargy, and sometimes yellowness of the eyes (jaundice).

On Thursday, Tsanyawa urged residents to be vigilant when consuming any fruit juice during the ongoing Ramadan to avoid catastrophic consequences.

The commissioner stated, “As you are aware, the ministry of health had in the recent past announced the outbreak of a strange disease traceable to the consumption of a substandard drink.

“The consumption of this fake and substandard product has telling effects on the kidney and other vital organs of the body.

“Due to excessive heat that coincides with Ramadan, there is a possibility for high patronage of juices; I want to use this opportunity to caution residents to be on the watch-out.”

Kano has over the past couple of weeks been battling with an outbreak of a strange disease that has further stretched the health challenges of the state.

Thursday’s update by the health commissioner came after a major breakthrough by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s arrest of the suspects behind selling the Kano killer drink.

The Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Hajiya Hadiza Namadi, in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, said the video on the update of the incident was meant to further warn residents against taking the killer drink, traders were still selling in the state.

NAFDAC) had last week explained that it found out that the chemical added to the drink that led to the death of three persons contained ‘Hyroxylamine,’ used for terrorism.

The regulatory agency disclosed that all the merchants of the deadly chemicals and additives had been apprehended while further investigations were ongoing.

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BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Performs Ground Breaking Ceremony Of Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project [PHOTOS]

Peter Okunoren

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History was made today (Thursday) in Lagos, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu breaking the ground for the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving more than one million commuters daily.

The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta. It will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 daily.

The ceremony was held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station. It was witnessed by Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh.

To be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022, the Red Line, a project of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), will have eight train stations – from Agbado to Oyingbo.

The Red Line is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is at 78 percent completion.

Sanwo-Olu, who was at the event with the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, handed cheques to property owners affected by the right-of-way, described the project as another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.

He said the traffic management and transportation pillar in his Government’s development blueprint – Project THEMES – was being implemented with the goal to develop an efficient and sustainable transportation model that would improve mobility, promote economic growth, and enhance the living conditions of residents.

He said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda.

This is because we recognize the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.

“The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.

“Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the implementation of the Red Line was being supported under the Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) programme – a financing package put in place by the State Government through the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN). The Governor expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, for supporting the State in the bid to make the project a reality. He praised also the bankers who facilitated the funding.

To facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including six overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.

Sanwo-Olu said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.

“Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”

The Governor presented cheques of varying amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses, and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected. Many of the property owners and tenants were smiling as they got their cheques.

Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the Red Line as a continuation of the implementation of the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which made provision for six standard rail lines, one monorail, 14 BRT corridors, and over 20 waterway routes.

He said the intervention was a deliberate effort of the State Government and its development partners to make Lagos livable beyond the Year 2032.

Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, said the project was a bold step and commitment of the Governor to solving transportation challenges in line with his administration’s development blueprint.

She noted that the construction would not be delayed by funding and human factors, as stakeholders were duly carried along in the projects.

The Lagos mass transit rail dream began in 1983 during the tenure of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, but it was stopped by the then Federal Government. Sanwo-Olu has vowed to ensure that the Blue Line and the Red Line are completed to the memory of the late Jakande.

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