Tag Archives: disaster

Recently hyped ‘Swine Flu’ not new – WHO says


A World Health Organization (WHO) expert on Wednesday said the recently publicized swine flu in China was not new and that it has been under close surveillance since 2011.

“It’s important, I think, to reassure people that this is not a new virus — this is a virus that is under surveillance,” said Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, at a press conference on Wednesday,

According to him, “this is a finding from surveillance that’s been carried out over many years.”

The Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus has “been under surveillance by Chinese authorities and by the global influenza surveillance network around the world, and the WHO collaborating centers,” Ryan said.

“It’s been under surveillance since 2011 and in fact, the most recent publication is a publication of all of that surveillance data over that time and obviously reporting both on the evolution of this virus within the swine population but also in terms of occupational exposures to workers over that time,” he explained.


A team of Chinese researchers had examined influenza viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and found the variant genotype 4 Eurasian avian-like H1N1 virus (G4 EA H1N1), according to a study recently published by the U.S. journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“We constantly need to stay on the alert. We need to continue to carry out very very good surveillance on this G4 genotype and we expect that will continue in the coming months and years,” Ryan emphasized.

He added that it’s a very important work that was carried out in collaboration with the WHO collaborating center at China CDC and other collaborating centers around the world, including the WHO collaborating center for influenza at (U.S.) CDC in Atlanta.

This, he said, showed the vital importance of the global influenza surveillance and response system.



Accident at Iran’s inactive nuclear site – no deaths


Iran’s nuclear body said an accident had taken place on Thursday at a construction site in a nuclear complex without causing casualties, state news agency IRNA reported.

“An accident occurred on Thursday morning and damaged a warehouse under construction in open space at the Natanz site” in central Iran, said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

Kamalvandi was further quoted as saying that the complex is currently inactive and there is no risk of radioactive pollution.

The accident did not result in casualties, he added, noting that the cause was under investigation.


He did not give any details on the nature of the reported accident.

Tehran announced in May last year that it was suspending certain commitments under a multilateral nuclear deal unilaterally abandoned by the United States in 2018.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 22, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran. HO / Iranian Presidency / AFP
The 2015 accord promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear programme.

US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal was followed by Washington reimposing biting unilateral sanctions.

The Natanz facility is one of Iran’s main uranium enrichment plants.



Strong security at Ethiopia famous singer’s funeral amid deadly protest


Killing of Oromo singer and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa sparked two days of protests that left some 80 people dead.

Security is high in the Ethiopian town of Ambo for the funeral of popular musician and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, whose killing in Addis Ababa earlier this week sparked two days of protests that killed more than 80 people.

A farewell ceremony began on Thursday with well-wishers laying wreaths in Ambo stadium and mourning the death of the 34-year-old musician from the ethnic Oromo group, Ethiopia’s largest. He will be laid to rest later at a church in Ambo, some 100km (60 miles) west of the capital.

“Haacaaluu is not dead. He will remain in my heart and the hearts of millions of Oromo people forever,” Santu Demisew Diro, his wife, said. “I request a monument erected in his memory in Addis [Ababa] where his blood was spilt.”

The singer was shot dead in the capital on Monday by unknown gunmen.

His songs had provided a soundtrack to a generation of Oromo protesters whose three years of anti-government demonstrations finally forced the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in 2018. Hailemariam was replaced by Abiy Ahmed, the first Oromo to become Ethiopia’s prime minister.

Following the killing, protests broke out on Tuesday morning in the capital and other towns and cities in the surrounding Oromia region. The military was deployed in Addis Ababa as armed gangs roamed neighbourhoods in a second day of unrest on Wednesday.

“The riots and demonstrations we’ve seen in the past 48 hours were caused by the refusal of the government to have Hundeessaa buried in Addis Ababa,” NRM gathered

“The government felt that was not going to go well security-wise and said he should be buried in [his hometown of] Ambo.


“But his supporters, opposition members and officials thought it was befitting that an Oromo man and leading figure … should be buried in the capital.”

At least 35 people have been arrested this week, including fellow Oromo and media mogul Jawar Mohammed who was held after his supporters tried to intercept the singer’s body as it was being transported to Ambo.

Killing of Oromo singer and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa sparked two days of protests that left some 80 people dead.

Jawar was a prominent supporter of Abiy’s appointment but became more openly critical last year. His popular Oromia Media Network gives him the ability to mobilise support quickly across Oromia and his power base could pose a significant challenge to Abiy’s party in the country’s elections, originally scheduled for this year but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ethnic unrest
The funeral was broadcast live by the Oromo Broadcasting Network, which is owned by the Oromia regional state.


Police were turning people away from the stadium, according to one Ambo resident who tried to attend but met crowds of people who had been told to return home.

Members of the military, federal police and regional police were out in force, he said

“It is very sad that his body is accompanied by only a few people and security forces are keeping many others away,” one of Haacaaluu’s relatives, who had been allowed to attend the funeral, said.

Abiy has indicated that foreign forces may have been involved in assassinating the singer in an attempt to destabilise the country.


The prime minister’s rise to power two years ago ended decades of political dominance by ethnic Tigray leaders in the ethnically diverse nation.

His rule has ushered in greater political and economic freedoms in what had long been one of the continent’s most repressive states. He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his reforms and his work to end the conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

But the rise in political activism has also led to an increase in unrest in a country made up of more than 80 ethnic groups. Abiy’s rule has been frequently challenged by local powerbrokers demanding more access to land, power and resources.

“One of the big questions is who actually killed the musician?” David Shinn, former US ambassador to Ethiopia, said.


“This is the match that touched everything off and I think what you’re seeing here is a great deal of ethnic unrest, which has been touched off by this incident,” he said.

Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard publication, described Haacaaluu as a “larger-than-life” iconic figure who embodied the struggle of the Oromo people “for equality and justice”.

“He leaves behind a legacy of a man [who] is the institution of the consciousness of the Oromo people,” she said.

“When people were out on the street being shot at and being killed, he comforted the Oromo people with his songs of revolution, love and resistance to the system that really oppressed the people and led them to their streets.”



Jade Mine: 113 die in Myanmar landslide


The miners were ‘smothered by a wave of mud’ caused by heavy rain, officials say.

A landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has killed at least 113 people, officials say, warning the death toll was likely to rise further.

The incident took place early on Thursday in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state after a bout of heavy rainfall, the Myanmar Fire Services Department said on Facebook.

“The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud,” the statement said. “A total of 113 bodies have been found so far.”

Photos posted on the Facebook page showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide.


‘No one could help them’
Maung Khaing, a 38-year-old miner from the area, said he saw a towering pile of waste that looked on the verge of collapse and was about to take a picture when people began shouting “run, run!”

“Within a minute, all the people at the bottom [of the hill] just disappeared,” he told Reuters news agency by phone.

“I feel empty in my heart. I still have goosebumps … There were people stuck in the mud shouting for help, but no one could help them.”


Tar Lin Maung, a local official with the information ministry, said authorities had recovered more than 100 bodies.

“Other bodies are in the mud. The numbers are going to rise,” he told Reuters.

Photos showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide [Fire Services Department Handout/Reuters]

Fatal landslides are common in the poorly regulated mines of Hpakant, the victims often from impoverished communities who risk their lives hunting the translucent green gemstone.

The government of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to clean up the industry when it took power in 2016, but activists say little has changed.


Official sales of jade in Myanmar were worth $750.4m in 2016-2017, according to data published by the government as part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

But experts believe the true value of the industry, which mainly exports to China, is much larger.

The incident took place in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state [Handout/Myanmar Fire Services Department]

Northern Myanmar’s abundant natural resources – including jade, timber, gold and amber – have also helped finance both sides of a decades-long conflict between ethnic Kachin and the military.

The fight to control the mines and the revenues they bring frequently traps local civilians in the middle.



Wase warns Reps on COVID-19 – says ‘it is not a joke’


The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase on Tuesday warned members of the House against shunning COVID-19 safety protocols, adding, that the global pandemic is not a joke.

Wase issued the warning shortly before the House adjourned plenary till Thursday in honour of the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Adebayo Osinowo, aka Pepper, who died on June 15 of suspected COVID-19 complications.

He said: “COVID-19 is real. We should not joke about it. The way and manner we conduct ourselves is not good enough. We are the ones making the regulations and the laws for the country, and if there are protocols that have been established regarding the pandemic, I think we should be honourable enough to observe every protocol that has been put in place.

“I must say that we have lost quite a number of persons, some very close to us. We should not joke about this matter. I want to plead that we should sit in accordance with the spacing.”


In his contribution, the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, urged Wase to ask the sergeants-at-arms to mark seats as part of measures to force members to observe social distancing.

Upholding Ado-Doguwa’s prayer, the deputy speaker asked the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, to ensure that the lawmakers sit according to the marking.

While also speaking, the member representing Agege Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Adejare, recalled how Osinowo was a cheerful giver, recalling how the late lawmaker once shared N150,000 to security men on his way out of the National Assembly and he was shocked.



COVID-19: Police pledge to punish anyone seen publicly with no face mask


The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it would prosecute those who violate the compulsory use of face masks in public places in the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer CSP Frederick Nnudam, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, CP Imohimi Edgal in a Statement on Tuesday, said all the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs and other members of the Enforcement Committee have been mandated to arrest and prosecute offenders

The Statement reads in parts, “In its renewed efforts and determination to enforce the provisions of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations, 2020 as amended, reaffirms that wearing of facemask by all persons in public places will be vigorously enforced.

“For the avoidance of doubt, paragraph 12 (1) of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2020 states that “the use of facemask by all persons in public places is hereby made mandatory”. While paragraph 12(2) provides a fine of ten thousand naira (N10, 000.00) for a first time offender or community service for seven (7) days and a fine of twenty thousand naira (N20,000.00) for a second time and subsequent offender or community service for fourteen (14) days.

“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police has directed all Area Commanders, DPOs and other members of the Enforcement Committee to arrest and prosecute any pedestrian, passenger, driver, congregation, seller, buyer and other persons found in public places without facemasks.”

The Command however urged the people to always wear facemasks in public places and follow other safety measures aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.



News+: India behind Karachi terror – Imran Khan says


Prime Minister Imran Khan while paying glowing tribute to martyred four security guards and policemen who defended Karachi Stock Exchange during Monday’s terrorist attack, has said that Pakistan has no doubt that this attack was planned and orchestrated by India.

Speaking in National Assembly on Tuesday, Imran Khan said “I pay tribute to all the four martyrs including Inspector Shahid and three security guards.” He said no powerful country of the world would have foiled this kind of terror attack like these four Pakistani heroes thwarted it.

In a treasury benches-clad parliament the members of the Opposition parties walked out amid verbal clashes between the rival speakers.

“India planned to destabilize Pakistan,” Imran Khan said, adding “We were all-prepared against such terrorist attacks. We had already foiled four such attacks. But no one can always stop such terror attacks.”

“The government knew that all our intelligence agencies were on high alert. They pre-empted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad.”

The primer said the attackers of Karachi Stock Exchange wanted to make people inside the market as hostage. “The martyrs laid down their lives and saved the country from enemy’s big terror plan,” he said.


He said the defenders of the country, security guards and policemen and law enforcement agencies (LAEs) foiled the terrorist attack that was being orchestrated in the style of Mumbai-attacks.

“What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same; they wanted to create an uncertain (environment). We have no doubt this was done by India,” Imran Khan.

He said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were on high alert. “I want to pay tribute to the intelligence agencies of the country.”

Imran Khan responding to the opposition criticism of ill-handling of COVID-19 and other issues pertaining to sugar, wheat and oil scandals that hit the country recently said “Get ready for institutional reforms or get ready for tough times.” He said there is mafia sitting in every institution.


The Prime Minister said there are mafias in Pakistan International Airlines and now reforms are inevitable in institutions. “They {opposition} asked not to publish PIA report.”

Imran termed Opposition ‘liberally corrupt’. “My mission is to take on the mafia under the rule of law,” Imran vowed.

Criticising the main rival party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Imran Khan said that they had no principles as on the one hand they seek money from Taliban and on the other they become liberal in the US.

Earlier, Imran Khan thanked his team for their efforts which led to the passing of the budget although with some amendments. “There was a lot of speculation that a lot could happen, if you had watched TV you would have thought it was our last day,” he said, referring to fears the budget would be unable to sail through the National Assembly.



COVID-19: 566 fresh COVID-19 cases as total infections run over 25,000


Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control records 566 fresh cases of COVID-19 as total infections hit 25,133 with recoveries of 9,402 and deaths rate of 573.


566 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;


25,133 confirmed
9,402 discharged
573 deaths



COVID-19: Oyedepo blast FG, fault continuous church ban.


The Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church International, popularly known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, yesterday, condemned the continuous closure of churches, saying that COVID-19 has suddenly become an anti-church virus.

The cleric, in a sermon tagged “Breaking Invisible Barrier,” wondered why schools are closed because of the virus, but children go to the markets hawking and helping their parents.

He wondered why places, where healings take place (the churches), are shut but markets, where diseases could easily be spread, are opened. Oyedepo, therefore, noted that there were unseen forces behind the closure of the churches and Christians must rise to pray.

He said: “What they called coronavirus has suddenly become anti-church virus. The market places are rocking, people are running over themselves, physical distancing is zero, hand washing is zero, yet, coronavirus doesn’t go there; it only goes to the churches.

“I know that the gods of the land are behind this; some merchants of evil are behind this. But it is a hard thing for any man, no matter the backing he may have, to kick against the bricks. The church where healing takes place around the world is shut down and the market places where diseases are easily spread is opened. There are some states in Nigeria that have opened activities some weeks ago, and there are no high cases recorded. Even one state in the North that has the worst case has opened up a long time ago.

“This is an anti-church virus and the God of the church of Christ neither sleeps nor slumber. As of today, we have 114 clear cases of coronavirus healing testimony and there are many churches where healings take place by the word of God and not diabolical means.”
Is that where to shut down?”



COVID-19: 9007 recoveries as total infections hit 24,567 with 490 fresh cases


Nigeria records 490 new cases of COVID-19 as total infections hit 24,567, up to 9007 recoveries and 565 deaths.

  • On the 28th of June 2020, 490 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
  • No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
  • Till date, 24567 cases have been confirmed, 9007 cases have been discharged and 565 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory
  • The 490 new cases are reported from 20 states- Lagos(118), Delta(84), Ebonyi(68), FCT(56), Plateau(39), Edo(29), Katsina(21), Imo(13), Ondo(12), Adamawa(11), Osun(8), Ogun(8), Rivers(6), Kano(5), Enugu(3),Bauchi(3), Akwa Ibom(3), Kogi(1), Oyo(1), Bayelsa(1)


490 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Akwa Ibom-3

24,567 confirmed
9,007 discharged
565 deaths



Nollywood Actress, Ify down with cancer | Full Story


Popular Nollywood actress, Gloria Young has taken to her Instagram page to solicit for help for her colleague, Ify Onwuemene who is down with cancer.

According to Young, Ify needs urgent financial help so she can beat the deadly disease.

Gloria wrote:

“Folks please we need help for our sister @ifyonwuemene an actress from the days of Sam loco and Enebeli Elebuwa. I worked with her last on the set of Tajudeen Adepetu’s “Everyday People” in the late 90’s. She is down with endometrial cancer. She has tried sourcing for funds on her own, but nothing is too small. Please send whatever you can to Ifey Onwuemene, Fidelity Bank 6010999993.
Thank you”

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Ify had earlier took to her page, sometime in October, 2019 to solicit for help.

She begged the Lagos state Government and her colleagues to come to her aide.

“On behalf of my family and I, I hereby appeal to the members of the public,@lagosstategovt @womenindeltastate @nollywood_fanpage @dsgovernment to please come to my aid. Thanks and God Bless Nigeria.” She wrote.



COVID-19: Global death toll exceed 500,000


The global number of COVID-19 deaths has exceeded 500,000, with the US reporting the highest number of fatalities.

The worldwide reported death toll in the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed half a million, according to figures published by Johns Hopkins University, with the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom being the three countries recording the highest numbers of fatalities.

The number of confirmed deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, reached 500,108 on Sunday, while the total number of infections passed the 10 million mark worldwide, with some 10,055,037 cases reported.

Johns Hopkins' tally registered the new milestone after India and Russia reported thousands of new cases. The US has confirmed more than 2.5 million infections, the most in the world.

While the university reports only confirmed coronavirus cases, some experts believe the true number of people who have been infected could be as much as 10 times that figure, given that so many people cannot get tested or may have the virus without showing any symptoms.

The surge in the number of cases comes as countries around the world roll back lockdown restrictions that were imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization warned of a second wave of infections as governments rushed to reopen their economies amid soaring joblessness.



Popular Actress dies – Nollywood wails


A veteran Nollywood actress, Bose Adewoyin, is dead. This thespian passed on Tuesday morning. She was buried at about 4p.m. the same day.

Late Adewoyin is famous for her role as Madam Tinubu in ‘EFUNROYE TINUBU’, written by Professor Akinwumi Isola and directed by Gbenga Adewusi in 1989.

EFUNROYE TINUBU was later adapted for television and was a screen hit all through 1989/1990.

The play toured Nigeria before finally being staged in the USA in 1986.

Aunty Bose, as she was fondly called, was a quintessential actress, dancer and costumier. She was on the contingent of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture that performed Funmi Odusolu’s famous dance musical, ‘ORÍ’ (Destiny).


Madam Tinubu would later costume many plays for stage and screen while she also acted along. She acted alongside Oga Bello (Adebayo Salami) in Funke Akindele’s ‘ỌMỌ GHETTO’.

While she played Mama Onimama, Oga Bello played Baba Onibaba.

A staffer of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, she participated in many editions of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST.

Bose Adewoyin, now dead, also took part in many of the council’s plays and dance productions.



Lagos building collapse, kill two.


Two children have reportedly lost their lives after being trapped beneath the rubble of a storey-building which collapsed in the Gafari Balogun area of Ogudu, Lagos State on Wednesday.

Confirming the incident, the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the building collapsed due to mudslide resulting from a downpour.

He stated that the victims were children, adding that their corpses had been recovered.

He said, “The LASEMA Response Team received a distress call at 12.40 pm about the collapse of a one-storey building at the Gafari Balogun Street in Ogudu.


“On arrival at the scene, the agency’s responders observed that the building collapsed as a result of a mudslide at the rear of the building which was caused by heavy rainfall.

“The agents were informed that two children, one male, and one female were trapped and immediately commenced a search and rescue operation. Unfortunately, they were found dead and their remains had been transported to the mortuary.

“Integrity testing will be carried out on the remainder of the building which has now been cordoned off.”



Ibidunni Ighodalo’s Death: Eniola Badmus Lament in Tears


Eniola Badmus has reacted to the painful death of Ibidunni Ighodalo, wife of Pastor Ituah Ighodalo.

According to the 36-year-old actress, Ibidunni Ighodalo who is also the chief executive officer of Elizabeth R, a leading public relations and events management company, had plans to decorate the venue for Davido and Chioma’s wedding for free.

Eniola Badmus disclosed that Ibidunni was a beautiful soul and she will be greatly missed.


Read all she wrote below;

“I’m absolutely speechless and I don’t even know where to start from ……. The first time we met was 2006 when we both modeled for V-mobile advert then we became friends fast forward to 2009 when I went for city people event at TBS I remember when I was leaving the venue there were hoodlums and area boys outside and I was so scared to go out and she gave me the courage to go,in the process of doing that three of the boys were about to rob me and Ibidun faced them and got injured in the process and Ibidun’s phone was snatched away and her bag……..Fast forward to 2019 when Davido engaged Chioma, Ibidun called me and said she wants to decorate their venue for the engagement and wedding and she will be doing it at no cost……..what a beautiful soul, I will miss you Ibidun



Anambra in confusion over unknown diseases attack | Details.

Some Nigerians have taken to social media to report alleged strange diseases experienced by some residents of Onitsha, Anambra state.

Strange diseases reported in Onitsha, Anambra
According to the reports, sufferers are allegedly losing their senses of taste and smell, and many of them are reportedly treating malaria.

Taking to Twitter, a lady identified as Unachukwu wrote that people should reach out to their loved ones as the alleged strange disease has been confirmed by many residents of the city


She wrote:

Hearing this news on how a lot of people in Onitsha are sick and losing their sense of smell and taste too. A few friends have confirmed it to be true, please reach out to your family and friends.

Creamy_Jaunty (Anaeriaku 1 of Ihiala)
Hearing this news on how a lot of people in Onitsha are sick and losing their sense of smell and taste too.
A few friends have confirmed it to be true, please reach out to your family and friends.


@OluchukwuBelon1 wrote:
Not only in Onitsha, in Lagos state, some many people are treating either malaria or typhoid and this baffles me because they are too much of them now than before.

no big deal, seen a lot of people in Aba with the same symptoms, treatment is basic malaria drugs and vitamin C supplements, or if you are traditional, boil a mixture of neem, lime, grape in water and drink 2 cups everyday( 1morning and 1night) for 3 days. Not a medical advice.


@onyeka01 wrote:

Everybody is onitsha is sick, malaria drugs has increased in the local market . We are all taking injections


I live and work in Fegge. I can confirm that this is true but more true is that they’re recovering. Speculations say it is a result of the fumigation that was carried out in the markets.



COVID-19: Viability period in patients – NCDC

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said on Wednesday the longest viability period of the COVID-19 in a patient was 10 days.

Ihekweazu, who disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing in Abuja, said the agency’s strategy on managing COVID-19 patients was guided by the latest local and international scientific evidence.

He added that the NCDC would evaluate if the latest evidence could be incorporated into its patient clinical management plan.

Ihekweazu said the NCDC would release new case management guidelines for COVID-19 to review criteria for admission and discharge of patients.

He noted that the move would help in managing challenges faced in isolation centres across the country, particularly with the shortage of bed space.


The NCDC chief said: “We are now relooking our practice in terms of discharge criteria, and even who to keep in hospital, and who can stay at home and for how long.

“Right now, the entire case management team which includes our colleagues at the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC and few clinicians are reviewing our case management guidelines to redefine our approach around admission in terms of who is admitted and duration of admission and when to discharge.”



Locusts attack: Operation against plant devoring locust intensified

The joint teams of Ministry of Food Security, agriculture department and Pakistan Army are carrying out survey and controlled operation in different parts of the country, said National Locust Control Centre.

According to officials, 1,124 teams are taking part in the drive in 58 affected districts, during which survey has been completed in an area of 221,561 square kilometres with control operation conducted on 4,728 square kilometres.

During the past 24 hours, survey and control operation were conducted over an area of 3,247 square kilometres and 36 square kilometres respectively, where 2,330 litres of pesticides had been used.

Aerial spray using planes and helicopters is part of the control operation which has so far been completed in an area of 2,650 square kilometres in Balochistan, 1,465 in Punjab, 351 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 254 square kilometres in Sindh.

Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari joined the discussion on the locust issue, as he said on Wednesday that locusts had destroyed crops but the federal government seemingly did not have any planning.


Zardari said he had been warning about the destruction caused by locusts from day one.

Locusts have engulfed the entire country and destroyed the crops, he said, adding that ignoring a serious problem like locusts were condemnable.

Earlier on Tuesday, PML-N secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday blasted the government for not doing anything to control the locust attack, saying spending Rs100 million on a timely spray at entry points [to the country] would have saved the country from Rs800 billion loss to crops.


In a tweet, Ahsan described it as another disaster on the part of the government and said crops and plants had been destroyed over hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

He also addressed a press conference and said the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) had warned Pakistan about the locust attack and their path, but the government did not pay any attention.

The incompetent and inexperienced government creates a new problem for Pakistan every day, as they do not believe that they have entered the power corridors after leaving the D-Chowk, the senior PML-N leader remarked at a press conference in Lahore.


Ahsan said the government believed that getting the political rivals arrested through NAB was a solution to all the problems.

The only thing they do is the character assassination of opposition, the only thing they do is disrespecting the opposition, he added.



Borno State IDP Camp Razed By Fire – 1 Dead

One person has been confirmed dead and many others injured in a fire outbreak at the Muna garage IDP camp in Borno state over the weekend.

According to NEMA, the fire was ignited from one of the kitchens in the Emergency shelters erected in the camp.

1613 HouseHolds have now been displaced as a result of the fire outbreak.



COVID-19: Kwara stretch Palliatives to Unilorin

The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) says about 643 of its workers had benefited from the COVID-19 palliatives being distributed by the Kwara Government.

According to the institution’s bulletin issued on Monday, no fewer than 643 Departmental Staff have received food items donated by the state government as palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.

The university said that the food items, which included 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar, were distributed to the workers.

It noted that the Deputy Registrar, General Services, Mrs Maymunat Zakariyya, was charged with the distribution.


It also said that the management of the university headed by Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, had in its letter commiserated with the Kwara Government on the Global COVID-19 pandemic.

Zakariyya noted that the letter requested the state government to kindly extend the distribution of the Federal Government palliatives to its low cadre staff to ease their economic situation in this period of the lockdown.

“The state government responded by presenting 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar to the university administration.


“She added that the university administration, however, identified 643 staff on CONTISS 1 and 2, and departmental staff of the university as the most vulnerable, and the Vice-Chancellor graciously directed that the food items be shared to this category of staff,” it stated.

Zakariyya, however, admonished the beneficiaries to observe the COVID-19 protocols, imploring them to endeavour to stay safe while hoping that the world will soon get out of thd crisis.

According to the bulletin, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Ajadi Suleiman, who spoke on behalf of others, commended the Kwara government and Unilorin management for the support.


Suleiman however advised the beneficiaries to accept whatever they got with joy and happiness.

“What the government has done is a good thing. We should all receive whatever gets to us with joy and happiness as it will do us a lot of good,” he said.



Breaking: Japan lift lockdown as cases pause

Japan was poised to lift its nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus on Monday, gradually reopening the world’s third-biggest economy after new cases slowed to a crawl.

Compared with hard-hit areas in Europe, the United States, Russia and Brazil, Japan has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with 16,581 cases in total and 830 deaths.

Yet with infections threatening to run out of control, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared an initial state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions on April 7 — later expanding it to cover the entire country.

Businesses and schools were urged to shut and people were requested to remain home but Japan‘s “lockdown” was far softer than in other parts of the world and there was no punishment for anyone flouting the rules.

Citizens largely heeded the orders, with most of Tokyo’s famously packed streets falling quiet, and the number of new infections has fallen from a peak of around 700 per day to just a few dozen nationally.


“It was acknowledged that the state of emergency measure was not necessary for all the prefectures and the declaration for lifting (the state of emergency) was approved,” said Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the virus response.

Abe was expected to confirm the decision formally at a news conference at 6 pm (0900 GMT).

There does not appear to be one single reason why the pandemic has hit Japan as hard as other comparable countries, and trying to pinpoint possible causes has become a favourite sport on social media.


High levels of hygiene and general health, removing shoes indoors, widespread masks, bowing as a greeting rather than shaking hands or kissing: all have been advanced as possible reasons but analysts agree there has been no silver bullet.

– Recession and deflation –

Japan has come under fire for a relatively low level of testing with around 270,000 carried out, the lowest per capita rate in the group of seven advanced economies, according to Worldometer.

But Japanese authorities insist that mass testing was never their strategy, as cases remained low enough to rely on aggressive contact tracing to contain clusters.


Nevertheless, testing has been ramped up in recent weeks as authorities warn of a possible next wave of the virus that could overwhelm their previous strategy.

Medical facilities are also being boosted after horror stories of coronavirus victims being unable to find a suitable hospital bed — mainly for administrative reasons as only certain establishments are designated to deal with the virus.

Although the human toll has been less severe than in other parts of the world, the economy — already struggling from the effects of natural disasters and a consumption tax hike — has suffered.


The world’s third-largest economy has plunged into its first recession since 2015, data published last week showed, shrinking by 0.9 percent in the first quarter.

With economic activity slowing to a crawl, the spectre of deflation is looming again, with consumer prices in March logging their first drop in more than three years.

In a bid to stem the damage, Abe has ordered a mass handout of 100,000 yen ($930) per person, part of a stimulus package worth around $1 trillion.


Coronavirus has also taken its toll politically, with polls showing support for Abe falling rapidly — a recent survey for the Asahi Shimbun suggested backing had dropped to 29 percent, the lowest since he took office in 2012.

He performed a rare U-turn on the cash handouts — initially announcing an entirely different policy — and is seen to have bungled another signature move involving the distribution of two masks per household, which attracted widespread mockery.

#Newsworthy. ..