Tag Archives: Italy

Shocker: Italian kill his girlfriend after infecting him with COVID-19.

An Italian nurse allegedly strangled his doctor girlfriend to death because “she gave him Coronavirus.”

After committing the crime, 28-year-old Antonio De Pace reportedly called cops to tell them he had murdered young medic, Lorena Quaranta, 27.

When Police arrived at the scene, they found her dead in their apartment in Italy, while De Pace was found on the floor having cut his wrists but his colleagues were able to save his life at their hosiptal.

The young couple had been working in a local hospital in Messina, Sicily after they were drafted to help during the coronavirus crisis.

De Pace allegedly confessed: “I killed her because she gave me coronavirus.”

A police source said: “She was a doctor who was working hard to save others. It’s such a tragedy.”

NobleReporters gathered that tests were being carried out on both, but it came back negative, meaning neither Lorena or De Pace had the virus.

Lorena had been very vocal on social media about the coronavirus outbreak.

Italian Man Murders His Girlfriend For ‘Infecting Him With Coronavirus’

In a Facebook post just days before her death Lorena wrote: “Now more than ever we need to demonstrate responsibility and love for life.

“You must show respect for yourselves, your families and the country.

”You must think and remember those that dedicate their lives daily to looking after our sick.

“Let’s stick together everyone staying at home. Let’s avoid the next one falling sick is a loved one or ourselves.”

Last month, her boyfriend posted a message congratulating her after she passed a test and said:

“To reach our dreams you have to work hard with determination and you are proof.

“I wish you to keep chasing your dreams, always live the life you always imagined. Well done!


COVID-19: Spain record 864 deaths in 1-Day.

total case reach 100,000 in Spain

third country to surpass China behind United States and Italy.

Spain reports a new record of 864 deaths in one day while total infections broke the 100,000 mark, making it the third country to surpass that milestone behind the United States and Italy.

Spanish health authorities said Wednesday that the total number of deaths reached 9,053 since the beginning of the outbreak.

Total infections hit 102,136. But the 24-hour increase of 7,719 was 1,500 fewer than the increase from the previous day, offering hope that the contagion rate is stabilizing.

Spain is two-and-a-half weeks into a national lockdown with stay-at-home rules for all workers except those in health care, food production and distribution, and other essential industries.

The country is frantically working to add to the number of intensive care units in hospitals which are quickly filling up in the country’s hardest-hit regions.

Spanish authorities are bringing into the country 1,500 purchased ventilator machines and asking local manufacturers to ramp up production, with some creative solutions employed, such as snorkeling masks repurposed as breathing masks.


COVID-19: Italy to extend lockdown till April 12.

Italy will extend its lockdown at least until April 12 to help curb novel coronavirus infections that have already claimed 11,591 lives, the health minister said on Monday.

A meeting of the government’s scientific committee recommended extending all containment measures at least until Easter Sunday, April 12, Roberto Speranza said in a statement.


Juventus surge after players take pay cut.

Shares in Italian football giants Juventus surged Monday after the club’s decision to cut their players’ salaries in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Serie A champions announced on Saturday that they had cut their players’ and coach Maurizio Sarri’s salaries from March until June after all Italian sport was suspended.

The club’s shares rose by 7.94 percent on the Milan Stock Exchange early Monday in a market that has taken a major hit from the coronavirus crisis.

Juventus’ highly-paid stars include five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who joined from Arsenal on a free transfer last year.

“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about 90 million euros ($100.5 million) for the 2019/2020 financial year,” the club had said in a statement.

Juventus, who led second-placed Lazio by a point in Serie A before the suspension on March 9, added that should the season be finished later in the year, the players could be paid extra in those months. Over 10,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, more than in any other nation.

Players at other big European clubs have also agreed to take pay cuts, including Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.


COVID-19: Over 900 death in Italy.

Over 900 people have died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Italy, the biggest daily leap since the coronavirus pandemic began late December in China.

The total death toll in Italy stood at 9,154 after 969 deaths were reported on Friday, NobleReporters learnt. This is the darkest day yet in a country that has been in a complete lockdown for almost two weeks.

The disturbing death toll came after coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed the threshold of half a million.

The global death toll has also climbed past 25,000 after Spain, the 4th worst-hit nation recorded almost 800 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Experts believe the death toll might even be twice the current figure as many people die without being tested.

Countries have continued to report inadequate testing kits for potential patients of Covid-19, a strain of coronavirus which has continued to defy science.

With nearly a 100,000 infections, the U.S which has become the country mostly ravaged by the disease, surpassing China were the virus is believed to have emanated from. This has marked a new milestone in the fight against the global pandemic

Italy also became the second country to overtake China in the number of infections, reaching 86,498 cases.

Why so grim in Italy?

The rapid spread of the deadly disease in Italy is largely blamed on its large population of elderly people, who are particularly susceptible to serious complications from the virus. Italy has the world’s second-oldest population, and the vast majority of its dead — 87 per cent — were over 70.

Health authorities also cited other reasons such as the country’s overwhelmed health care systems and the delayed imposition of complete lockdown measures.

Italian authorities have imposed tighter restrictions on people and businesses with countries such as China and Cuba sending personnel and equipment to help stem the tide of the deadly virus in the European country.


COVID-19: 67 priests dead in Italy.

A total of 67 Italian priests infected with the novel coronavirus have died since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country last month, the Avvenire newspaper said Wednesday.

The youngest of those listed by the Catholic Church-affiliated paper was 53.

“Priests get sick and die like everybody else, maybe even more than the rest,” the Avvenire wrote.

The paper said 22 of the fatalities were in the Bergamo diocese, at the heart of the outbreak not far from the financial centre Milan.

Pope Francis asked priests “to have the courage to go out and see the sick” when the pandemic was gathering strength across the country on March 10.

Meanwhile, authorities in Sudan have ordered the release of thousands of prisoners to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading in the country’s jails, state media reported Wednesday.

“The first batch of prisoners from (a total of) 4,217 have been released from al-Hoda prison in the city of Omdurman,” twin city of the capital Khartoum, official news agency SUNA reported.

It did not specify how many prisoners were released or the nature of their crimes.

Sudan, which has so far recorded one death out of three confirmed COVID-19 cases, has declared a state of emergency and almost totally closed its borders.

On Tuesday, authorities imposed an indefinite night-time curfew from 8pm to 6am local time.

They have also announced the suspension of all inter-state bus services starting Thursday.

Sudan has also shuttered schools and universities across the country.


COVID-19: Cases in Nigeria increase by 5 to 40 from 35.

..2 returning travellers

Fresh Four new cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Nigeria, 3 in Lagos, 1 in FCT, Nigeria’s centre for disease control has said.

Four new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria

Two of these cases are returning travellers

As at 11:00pm on the 23rd of March, there are 40 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria. 2 have been discharged with 1 death recorded


COVID-19: Italy record 651 new death.

Italy’s death toll from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak as of Sunday rose by 651 to 5,476, data from worldometers .info has shown.

The number of deaths in Italy has topped what was reported in China where the disease originated from.

Death toll from the country has been on the rise and many health experts are attributing it to the country’s high number of aged people.

The health facilities in Italy have also been overwhelmed as cases keep increasing by the hour.

The death toll reported on Sunday was an increase of 13.5 per cent but lower to Saturday’s figure wherein 793 people died.

As of Monday morning, the total number of cases in Italy rose to 59,138 from a previous 53,578, an increase of 10.4 percent, the Civil Protection Agency said.

This is the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion came to light on February 21, the authorities said.

Of those infected in the country, 7,024 had fully recovered on Sunday compared to 6,072 the day before

Also, there were 3,009 people in intensive care against a previous 2,857.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remained in a critical situation, with 3,456 deaths and 27,206 cases against a previously given 3,095 and 25,515 respectively


COVID-19: Italy death toll rise to 4,825.

Worldwide deaths surged past 11,000 on Saturday, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States. More than 277,000 people have been infected, while some 88,000 have recovered.

Italy announced 793 more deaths on Saturday, the second day in a row of the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic, after surpassing China’s death toll on Thursday.

The total number of deaths in Italy has now reached 4,825. Spain’s death toll has also increased to more than 1,300, while in Iran, the number of deaths hit another grim milestone of 1,500 as the country marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.


COVID-19: 627 Italians die in just a day

The death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 5,000 in Europe – the new epicentre of the pandemic – as Italy, Germany and Spain reported a steep rise in infections.

Italy announced 627 more deaths on Friday, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic, a day after surpassing China’s death toll. The total number of deaths in Italy reached 4,032.

More than 209,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and more than 8,700 have died, according to the World Health Organization.

At least 87,000 have recovered from COVID-19, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States. JHU’s global death toll has surpassed 10,000


COVID-19: More than 2,500 health workers infected in Italy

As coronavirus cases jump and deaths surge in Italy, new figures show an “enormous” level of contagion among the country’s medical personnel.

At least 2,629 health workers have been infected by coronavirus since the onset of the outbreak in February, representing 8.3 percent of total cases, according to a report published on Wednesday by Gruppo Italiano per la Medicina Basata sulle Evidenze or GIMBE – Italy’s Group for Evidence-based Medicine.

“We extracted this number from data provided by the National Health Institute,” GIMBE Director Nino Cartabellotta, a public health expert tip Media, NobleReporters learnt

“Figures regarding the contagion among doctors, nurses and general health professionals have started being disclosed only on March 11. Hundreds of new cases have been daily recorded since then. But medical personnel on the front line should be the first to be protected.”

Cartabellotta said the actual number was likely to be higher because healthcare workers are not always tested and protection measures at hospitals were inadequate.

Many who tend to coronavirus patients are still only using surgical face masks with no proper protective filters to shield them from contagion.

The percentage of health workers infected in Italy is almost double the number registered throughout the epidemic in China, during which a total of more than 3,200 people died.

According to figures published in JAMA Network Open, an online medical site from the Journal of the American Medical Association, infected medical staff in China made up 3.8 percent of the total cases, with only five deaths.

Over 60 percent of the medical staff who were infected were registered in the epicentre’s outbreak, Wuhan.

Italy is the worst-hit country after China.

On Wednesday, Italy announced that over the preceeding 24 hours, the number of deaths had risen by 475 to 2,978, an increase of 19 percent, as cases jumped to a total 35,713.

There are no official figures on the number of medical personnel who have died of coronavirus in Italy.

According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, a general practitioner from the province of Lodi died on Wednesday. This raised the death toll of family doctors in the area to four. Other regions have also registered losses among medical staff.

A lack of equipment, resources and personnel has piled pressure on Italy’s health system.

Italy does not produce masks. With the pandemic spreading, some of its closest neighbours have been reluctant to export supplies they may need soon.

“The problem right now is the supply of the protective gear,” Cartabellotta said. “The government should have thought of this some time ago. It is logical that following the global explosion of the pandemic, countries producing masks and other protective devices are now keeping them to themselves and stopped their exports.

“We already have a limited number of doctors and nurses. Under extreme circumstances, we could even ask them to keep working even if [they] tested positive for coronavirus. Still, they should be equipped with protective devices to avoid spreading the virus further.”

An emergency decree presented by the government on Monday allocated 3.5 billion euros ($3.8bn) towards the ailing health system.

“We are importing medical personnel from abroad and throwing new young healthcare professionals without licenses into the fray,” Cartabellotta said. “If we don’t provide them with adequate protection, it will end up like in a war where soldiers don’t die while fighting on the battlefield, but because of lack of equipment. The more medical personnel is infected, the weaker the responsiveness of the healthcare system.”


COVID-19: APC seek closure of schools, NYSC.

italy is locked down.

high tech China struggling.

America almost in unprecedented state.

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Director of Planning during the 2015 presidential campaign, Dr. Theodore Ekechi, has alerted that a surge in the cases of coronavirus is imminent in the country.

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to urgently shut down all schools from primary to tertiary levels and orientation programme of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for at least 40 days so as to avert an impending national catastrophe occasioned by coronavirus outbreak.

He stressed that a surge of coronavirus was imminent in Nigeria and if it did, its impact would be devastating considering that the country has neither the capacity nor the skilled medical personnel to tackle the challenge, adding that the situation would be more challenging due to adequate infrastructure and standard hospitals.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Ekechi observed that with deficiencies in the health sector, coupled with insurgency, banditry and other socio-political and economic drawbacks including the global oil crash, Nigeria may wake up one day to see a disappearing population and advised state governments to follow suit.

He further called on the government to ban all Public Gatherings of 50 people and above, including Church and Mosque worship places, crusades, rallies of all kinds, birthday parties, burials, and ban all non-essential government-sponsored activities like seminars, workshops and external trips, among others.

Ekechi argued that the global threat now posed by coronavirus was no longer an monir issue, adding that the discourse on this earthshaking disease was in multiple times more than the weather in Europe, dissected in dozens more than terrorism in America and more than corruption and poverty in Asia and Africa.

“In all the countries and continents, practical, effective and well-coordinated measures have been put in place to provide thorough counter poise in the fight against coronavirus.

“China, with its commendable heights, advancement in science and technology, as well as it heroics in medicine, has been struggling to curb COROVID-19 challenge. America is almost in a state of unprecedented panic and Italy is locked down!

“If coronavirus can poke China in the face, rattle America, dislocate Iran, forces Italy to a humiliating and gruesome lockdown, in spite of their great feats in modernity, which includes well organised urbanisation, highly structured dwelling places, infrastructure assets and responsive public service culture, you can imagine the huge devastation coronavirus will cause, if it is allowed to thrust its notorious tentacles in Nigeria,” he stated.


COVID-19: IFF to ask for postponement of Euro 2020.

Italy’s football federation will ask for Euro 2020 to be postponed over the coronavirus outbreak so they can complete the Serie A season.

“We will propose to UEFA the delay of the European Championships,” Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation said.

“We will try to get to the end of this [domestic] championship because it is fairer and more correct after the many investments and sacrifices of our clubs.”

Top-flight football across Europe has ground to a halt as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, with national and continental club competitions suspended or postponed.

The Premier League and EFL have postponed all fixtures until April 4 and 3 respectively at the earliest.

Representatives of European clubs and leagues and the players will join national federations on an emergency video-conference call organised by UEFA on Tuesday.

Discussions will include Euro 2020 which is due to take place in 12 European countries, including Italy, from 12 June to 12 July.

Gravina said he hoped that Serie A could finish by June 30, although he did not rule out extending it for another month.

He also suggested that Italian clubs should not train for the time being.


COVID-19: Index Italian patient to be discharged soon – Nigeria.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has revealed that the Italian man, the index case of Coronavirus in Nigeria, will be discharged soon.

The Minister disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during a conference with the diplomatic community about measures taken by the Federal Government to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria.

Dr Ehanire stressed that there are only two confirmed cases in Nigeria as of now which includes the index case and the second who was a primary contact of the index case.

The 44-year-old Italian citizen was confirmed to have the COVID-19 after series of tests were carried out by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in February.

The Commissioner of Health in Lagos, Professor Akin Abayomi had earlier disclosed that the health of the Coronavirus patient was improving.

He said this on February 29 while addressing journalists and giving an update on the patient who was being managed at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,.

Professor Abayomi urged the residents not to panic and assured them that the government was putting necessary measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.


COVID-19: Buhari releases N620m to fight virus.

The Federal government has released N620 million for the fight against coronavirus.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, in a statement released on Friday March 6th, said the approval and release of the funds by President Buhari was based on emergency.

She said the first tranche of N364 million was earlier released, making a total of N984 million released to tackle the spread of the virus in the country.

“The approval by President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of funds to tackle COVID-19 was an emergency and the process of releasing the fund was also an emergency as it was an unexpected expenditure,” the statement read.

“However, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had released the first tranche of N364 million sometime ago and the process of releasing the second tranche has been concluded with the release of N620 million this morning, bringing total release to N984 million.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“Responding to a media enquiry yesterday, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, promised that the second tranche of the needed fund would be released today, which has been done, keeping to the promise.” she said

Nigeria recorded its first case of the virus on February 24th.


COVID-19: Italy prohibit handshakes, kisses.

Italy has urged people to stop greeting each other by kissing or shaking hands to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus.

Other measures adopted to reduce the spread of the virus include playing all football matches without fans.

Italy has borne brunt in Europe of the new virus now spreading across the world faster than it is in the central Chinese region where is was first detected late last year.

The Mediterranean country’s 79 deaths have made Italy the world’s third-most affected by number of fatalities after China and Iran.

It has more than 2,500 cases in all and the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus appears to be spreading faster and wider by the day.

Italy recorded 13 deaths over the weekend while 18 more deaths were reported on Monday, followed by 27 on Tuesday.

The overwhelming majority of the deaths have occurred in Milan’s Lombardy region and the neighbouring Northern area around the cities of Bologna and Venice.

But 21 of the 22 regions have now had cases, with only the Aosta Valley on the French border so far unscathed.

The government met on Wednesday to plan new and more radical steps aimed at the country’s overall population of 60 million — and not just the North where restrictions have been in place for over a week.

Media reports said people will be advised to stay at least a metre (three feet) apart and to avoid crowded places whenever possible, and notably to avoid the traditional greetings of kissing on the cheeks or shaking hands.

Exhibitions and shows are set to be rescheduled — a measure that will be especially painful for Italy’s already hard-hit hotel and restaurant industry.


COVID-19: Italy close all schools as case rise.

Italy has confirmed that it will shut all schools from Thursday for 10 days as it battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

All schools and universities are to close until 15 March, officials said.

A total of 107 people have now been killed by the coronavirus in Italy, which has the most serious outbreak in Europe.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country’s health service risked being overwhelmed.

Most of the more than 3,000 cases are in the north but others have been confirmed in 19 of Italy’s 20 regions.

Globally about 3,200 people have died and more than 90,000 have been infected, the vast majority in China, where the virus emerged late last year.

The World Health Organization has so far stopped short of declaring a pandemic – an epidemic spreading across the world through local transmission – but on Wednesday Germany’s health minister said the coronavirus now met the definition.

“The situation is changing very quickly… What’s clear is that we have not yet reached the peak of the outbreak,” Jens Spahn said.

Media captionThe BBC Health team talk you through what the NHS says about protecting yourself from Covid-19
Confirmed cases have been reported in 81 countries, with Italy, Iran and South Korea emerging as hotspots outside China.

What is Italy doing?
Education Minister Lucia Azzolina said she hoped students would be able to resume classes as soon as possible.

“My commitment is to ensure that the essential public service, albeit from a distance, is provided to all our students,” she said.

Local media said health experts and Italy’s health ministry had been in favour of closing schools. Health experts also want football matches to be played behind closed doors. Several games have already been postponed.

Italy’s death toll from the virus jumped by 28 to 107, the Civil Protection Agency said on Wednesday. Most of the deaths have been in the Lombardy region around Milan and in northern areas near Bologna and Venice.

Earlier measures including the quarantine of 11 towns near Milan with a combined population of 50,000 have failed to stop the spread of infections.

Quarantined inside Italy’s red zone
Italy is now also considering closing cinemas and theatres and banning public events, Reuters reported, quoting a draft government decree.

The decree also tells Italians to avoid hugging and shaking hands as much as possible.

Media captionQuiet on Venice streets amid coronavirus fears
Which other countries have closed school?
Mainland China and Hong Kong, Japan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates have already closed schools or are about to do so – affecting millions of school children.

France has also closed about 120 schools in areas with the largest numbers of coronavirus infections.

Both primary and secondary schools have been shut in an area north of Paris where the main cluster of French cases has emerged and where two people who have died of the virus lived.

What else is happening?
Israel is imposing new travel restrictions on five European countries – France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Switzerland
There are fears of global shortages of some common drugs after India limited the export of certain medicines
Saudi Arabia has suspended the lesser Muslim pilgrimage, or Umra, for Saudi citizens and residents of the Gulf kingdom
Iraq is to suspend all trade with Iran and Kuwait for a week. The northern Kurdistan region said religious ceremonies at mosques, churches and temples were banned until further notice
The US has recorded new cases in New York while the city of Los Angeles has declared a public health emergency
Australians have been stockpiling toilet paper after the country’s first two deaths were reported
German airline Lufthansa says it is grounding 150 of its 770 aircraft due to “extraordinary circumstances”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of the growing economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, predicting a drop in global growth below last year’s modest level
But International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted this summer’s Games in Tokyo would go ahead as planned


COVID-19: Nigeria identify 100 people that had contact with infected Italian man

In furtherance to the placing of the patient of the Coronavirus disease, a 44-year-old Italian, in a quarantine centre, Lagos and Ogun state governments have identified at least 100 persons who had contact with the index case of the disease in the country.

Subsequently, the contacts are being followed up as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus in the states and the country at large.

Nigeria had been spared of the coronavirus outbreak, which was first recorded in Wuhan, China, until it was detected on Thursday on an Italian businessman aboard a Turkish Airlines flight arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Milan, Italy, having transited through Istanbul, Turkey.

The victim arrived in Lagos on Monday night and was said to have spent the night in a hotel around the airport area before leaving for business in Ogun State on Tuesday morning.

He was said to have fallen ill, after which he tested positive for the virus. He was thereafter taken to the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

However, authorities said the patient was clinically stable.

Speaking on Saturday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said the patient was clinically stable and had no signs of respiratory symptoms which could make his infection contagious.

Abayomi also said over 100 contacts with the Coronavirus index case had been identified and followed up.

In an interview with Channels TV, which was monitored by one of our correspondents, the commissioner stated this at the Emergency Operation Centre at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, where the patient was being quarantined.

“By Saturday, his symptoms had subsided. He hasn’t developed any respiratory symptoms and we are quite happy about that because if he has respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing, which makes the disease more contagious,” Abayomi said, adding that the 100 persons the Italian had contact with were being jointly monitored by Lagos and Ogun states.

Earlier in an interview, which was monitored by one of our correspondents, Abayomi said the authorities had identified the hotel room where the Italian patient lodged on Monday night.

“We’re going there this morning (Saturday) to decontaminate the room and the entire hotel. We will identify all the people who had contact with him in the hotel,” he said.

Plateau quarantines three Chinese nationals

As part of measures to stop the spread of the disease in Plateau State, the state government said on Saturday that it had quarantined three Chinese citizens.

It said that the Chinese were quarantined in Wase town for suspected case of the virus.

The state Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, disclosed this to Channels Television.

The report noted that the Chinese, who are workers in a mining site in Wase, flew into Abuja on Wednesday.

Manhang said, “The situation right now is that they have been isolated. The three of them came in through Abuja and once we heard that, the Commissioner for Health had to take a proactive measure to send a medical team to Wase to investigate.”

The commissioner was also quoted to have said that the quarantined Chinese nationals made their way to Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Thursday, adding that they were being clinically examined by a medical expert deployed by the state Ministry of Health.

However, he said there was no confirmed case of the virus in the state, and that people should remain calm.

He said, “The problem that we have is that there is a tendency for people to think that investigation or quarantine, as the case may be, means that there is an outbreak of the virus.

“As far as Plateau case is concerned, there has been no known case of this virus on the Plateau; we just took proactive measures to make sure that we place them (the Chinese nationals) under investigation and that will take 14 days.”

The government, according to the commissioner, awaits the report of the team that was sent to Wase before taking the next step.

C’River monitors five foreigners

Also, five foreigners who arrived at Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar, Cross River State, on Friday have been placed under observation following the detection of a carrier of the virus in Lagos.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Beta Edu, on Saturday said, “We profiled five foreigners who came in from locations that have recorded the virus and they came in through Lagos that morning (Friday).

“We got their biodata and asked them to self-isolate. And of course we gave them the thermometer and got their contacts. We have been following up with them. None of them has shown any symptom so far. Two of the foreigners are from Europe, one from India and two from China.”

She said sensitisation was being carried out and all entry points into the state were being manned by health workers to detect and prevent the spread of the virus in the state.

She added, “Our isolation centre is ready and protocols have been sent to all health workers.

“Special protective equipment have been sent to all health workers, the army, paramilitary agencies and private practitioners across the state,” she said.

LASG moves patient to better facility after PUNCH story

Meanwhile, following Saturday PUNCH’s exclusive report that exposed the poor state of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos (formerly Infectious Diseases Hospital), the state government said on Saturday that it had moved the Coronavirus patient to a better facility that would make him comfortable.

The report, published on Saturday, pointed out that the patient was angry and had attempted to escape due to the state of the isolation centre.

A health worker at the hospital told Saturday PUNCH on the condition of anonymity on Friday that the patient had been very upset about the surroundings as he “complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes.”

The source decried the “very poor quality” of the isolation centre, lamenting that “the authorities have not matched words with action.”

“There is nothing there (inside the isolation ward) aside from bed and hospital locker. He almost ran away and is still threatening to do that,” adding that the level of preparedness in Lagos State for infectious diseases such as Coronavirus and Lassa fever “is zero.”

The report was in contrast to the earlier claim by the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who said on Friday on a programme on Television Continental that the state government had built a facility to handle the situation and that the patient was getting better.

Hamzat had said, “It is a lab that can accommodate 100 for now, but it is only one bed that is occupied today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t spread. We are ready and we are well equipped. He (the patient) is there and he is getting better. He is steady. The doctors say he is going to be fine.’’

But, following the report that showed the true state of the facility against government’s claims, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who had in a tweet on his page earlier in the day referred to the report as fake news, admitted on Arise TV when he appeared as a guest on a programme that the patient indeed complained about discomfort but that he had been moved to a better facility.

Abayomi said, “I saw him at about 6pm yesterday. He was explaining his condition and we were taking some new data from him.

“He’s in an isolation room all by himself and we had moved him into a particular room because we were doing a general overhaul of the whole facility because we want to be ready.

“There were some discomfort in terms of heat, but about 9pm we moved him over to the renovated facility which has lots of air conditioners, fans and it’s a 28-bed brand new facility, and he’s there on his own in the whole ward, and as of 6am this morning I’m told he’s comfortable.”

Renovation still ongoing at hospital

Our correspondent also observed during a visit to the isolation centre that ongoing renovation was ongoing.

The commissioner, however, said the renovation was to improve the internal facilities at the centre, adding that, “Work has been completed in one ward, it can hold 14 patients; the tents are complete, they can hold another 20 patients each; another ward will be completed in another two days and that will hold another 14 patients.

“If we get another 10 patients tonight, we are still okay. It’s not a construction in its entirety; we are just refurbishing the facilities to make sure anybody we bring is in a comfortable position.”

Number of quarantined persons in Ogun hits 39

Also, in furtherance to the 28 persons that were quarantined in Lafarge’s factory in Ogun State on Friday, the company’s Industrial Director, Segun Soyoye, said on Saturday that the number of those identified to have had contact with the patient, who visited the company’s facility on Tuesday, had risen to 39.

The patient had visited the factory on Tuesday for a business appointment after arriving in the country on Monday evening. He was said to have developed fever while still with the company.

But, speaking on Saturday while addressing journalists at the plant facility in Ewekoro, Ogun State, Soyoye said all the contacts had been quarantined alongside the guest house, clinic, as well as the vehicles used in conveying them.

He said the quarantined persons included the driver, who took the patient from a hotel in Ikeja, Lagos to the factory and those who served him food and drinks. He added that the quarantined contacts would be kept at the isolation centre for 14 days so as to monitor their temperature.

He added, “The doctor is here and so far, everybody is stable. They are not symptomatic; we are providing everything for them over there. The clinic that was used for the infected person is closed, disinfected and we have moved everybody out.”

He, however, debunked the closure of the cement production lines because of the virus, noting that the Italian was in the company to inspect the installations of machines bought from a Swedish firm.

Meanwhile, The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kunle Somorin, in a statement denied reports that the taxi driver of the patient in the state escaped. The report had claimed that the driver escaped and threatened to spread the virus unless he received N100m from the state Commissioner for Health.

The commissioner, Tomi Coker, commended the company for the measures taken so far, noting that the state had also set up an Emergency Operational Centre, which she heads.

The Team Leader of World Health Organisation in Nigeria, Ibrahim Mamadu, also lauded the efforts made by the company.

Pope Francis cancels official engagements as Lagos archdiocese suspends sprinkling of holy water

For the third day in a row, Pope Francis has cancelled his official engagements as he struggles with an apparent cold in Italy where more than 800 people have been infected with the disease.

Although the 83-year-old lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, he has never cancelled so many official audiences or events in his seven-year papacy, the Daily Mail said on Saturday.

It also said Francis last appeared in public on Wednesday when he was seen coughing and blowing his nose during an Ash Wednesday Mass. During his weekly audience at the Vatican, the Pope had expressed his ‘closeness’ to Coronavirus-infected patients as he hugged and kissed people in the crowds.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Alfred Martins, has suspended handshakes and the use of holy water fonts indefinitely due to the spread of virus.

The Archbishop, in a statement, also encouraged Catholics to observe the annual Stations of the Cross held at Lent privately on Wednesdays but keep hand sanitisers handy as Holy Communion would be received on the palms.

TheCable quoted Martins as saying, “The shaking of hands during the time for the Sign of Peace during Mass is suspended for the time being. May the Lord deliver us from this plague and all evils.”

Kaduna, Delta on the alert as labour bemoans poor health facilities

The Commissioner for Health, Kaduna State, Dr Amina Mohammed Baloni, said the state government had constituted an Emergency Operational Centre, following the announcement of the first case of the virus in Lagos.

Also, the Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, said the state government had established isolation centres in hospitals, airports and other strategic locations in a bid to tame the spread of the virus in the state.

In the meantime, the Trade Union Congress on Saturday expressed its fears over containment of the virus, citing the collapse of health facilities in the country.

TUC, in a statement signed by its President, Quadri Olaleye, and Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, pointed out that Nigeria faced a daunting task, especially with more technologically advanced countries battling with little success to control the spread of the virus in their countries.

It said, “We call on the government at all levels to give the health sector the attention that it deserves. Government should provide adequate protective equipment for health workers to be able to do their work effectively. Traveling abroad for medical care is not the recipe. Some viruses are not selective. Coronavirus is on and we must rise up to the occasion now.”

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Government says it has canceled the trip of 20 of its citizens who were earlier screened to travel to China for studies under its scholarship scheme.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported on Saturday that the state, under Governor Bello Matawalle, had secured admission for 200 indigent students to study various science and technology-related courses. They were to study in India, Sudan, Cyprus, China, among others.

P’Harcourt hospitals operate without sanitisers, face masks

Despite the spread of the virus into Nigeria, some hospitals in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have yet to start using of hand sanitisers and other protective equipment like face masks.

Our correspondents, who were at different health facilities in the state capital on Saturday, observed as patients walked into the various health facilities without being asked to wash their hands or use sanitisers.

At New Mile One Hospital, a staff member said, “Currently, we have not brought out hand sanitisers at our lobby for patients, only our doctors and nurses inside use it.”

At Mgbundukwu Model Primary Health Care Centre, there was also no sanitiser available for patients and other visitors to the hospital. A staff member, who did not disclose his name, said, “We used to have sanitisers in this health centre, but they were always stolen by patients.”

Also, at the Fortison Hospital along Iwofe Road, only one health worker was seen wearing a face mask, while others were working without protecting themselves.

And at the laboratory section of the hospital, the laboratory scientist was seen working without hand gloves while taking the blood sample of a patient.

FCCPC warns against arbitrary increase in prices of sanitizers, face masks

Meanwhile, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on Saturday warned suppliers and retailers of safety and protective apparel, such as face masks and latex gloves as well as personal hygiene products like sanitizers and anti-bacterial wipes, against increasing their prices.

The warning became imperative following the high demand for these products due to the need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Chief Executive of the FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, in a statement said, “Any conspiracy, combination, agreement or arrangement to unduly limit or manipulate supply, in order to unreasonably enhance price or otherwise restrain competition is a criminal offence under S.108(1)(b) and (c), FCCPA.

“Any exercise or exploitation of undue pressure in selling or the sale of goods or services, or price manipulation between displayed, and selling price are also serious violations of the FCCPA under Sections 115(3) and 124(1).”

CAN warns politicians, says virus, a sign of end time

Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria has cautioned politicians against politicising the outbreak of the virus but to ensure that the disease does not spread. It noted that the recent development in the world was a sign of the end time as predicted in the Holy Bible.

“More importantly, we want everyone to remember the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ concerning the end of the world and His second coming”, CAN’s Acting General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said in a statement, which also quoted Luke 2: 11-12.

Time to raise suspicion at entry points – NMA

Also, the President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Francis Faduyile, has called on the Federal Government to have high index of suspicion for all visitors coming into the country.

In an interview, “Anybody coming to Nigeria through any of our point of entries should be thoroughly screened. We should have high index of suspicion in our hospitals. More importantly is the awareness we create among the people. People should learn to stay at least 1.5 meters away from someone who is sneezing and those who sneeze must cover their mouth and nose. We should be conscious of washing our hands and we need to protect ourselves more.”

Supply gap pushes price increase of products from China

Findings have also shown that outbreak of the virus has begun to negatively affect trade in Nigeria as prices of some products from China have began to soar.

Checks by one of our correspondents in Abuja revealed that mostly affected were phones produced in China but imported into the country.

Confirming the development, the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha, said, “The Coronavirus has seriously affected trade between Nigeria and China and the rest of the global community.”


COVID-19: Why we invited the infected Italian man over – Lafarge open up

The Industrial Director of Lafarge Plc, Mr Segun Soyoye, has said “the Italian who brought coronavirus to Nigeria came to inspect some installations of machines bought from a Swedish firm”.

He said this during an on-the-spot-assessment by Ogun State Government, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and World Health Organisation teams to Lafarge facility at Ewekoro on Saturday.

Soyoye added that the Italian didn’t go behind Lafarge the guest house at Ishofin Estate before he was evacuated, having developed abnormal temperatures that suggested he had been infected with Covid-19.

He added, “The Italian came for a business visit. He was in Lagos on Monday and slept at Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Our driver took him there.

“When we observed abrnomal temperatures and symptoms, we quickly instituted an Emergency Response Team which is led by the Company CEO. We have to find a way of analysing and identifying not only the Italian but also the other contacts.

“The contacts are now 39 and we have quarantined them, the house and clinic as well as the vehicles. We don’t take chances that is why they are put there.

“They will be there for 14 days. We will continue to observe them, we have their database, showing their biodata and other information.

“The doctor is here and what he is doing is to check them on a regular basis. So far, everybody is stable. They are not symptomatic, we are providing everything for them over there.

“The other thing that I have not said is that the clinic that was used for the infected person is closed, disinfected and we moved everybody out.

“All the guys on duty that day, they were also quarantined, so they will be there for 14 days as well.”

He also said its production lines were not shut as the guest house where the Italian was lodged is 5km to the manufacturing plants in Ewekoro.

The Team Leader of World Health Organisation in Nigeria, Mr Ibrahim Mamadu, commended the internal processes undertaken so far by Lafarge Africa to contain the deadly disease.

He however advised the company and others to acquire digital thermometers to check body temperatures instead of infrared thermometers for accurate body temperature readings.


COVID-19: Minister of Health visit patient in Lagos

The Lagos state commissioner of health, Professor Akin Abayomi, has visited the Italian coronavirus patient at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba, where he is being isolated and treated.

The Commissioner said he spoke with the man and assured him that he would be taken care of.

While there, he took time to inspect the ongoing renovation of the isolation wards. The renovation should be completed in a couple of days.


COVID-19: Mexico confirm 3 cases

Mexico’s government said on Friday it had detected three cases of coronavirus infection in three men who had all recently traveled to Italy, making the country the second in Latin America to register the fast-spreading virus.

The first case is a 35-year-old man who showed positive in an initial test in Mexico City also test positive in a second test early on Friday, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez told a news conference.

That man was linked to the second case, a 41-year-old in the northern state of Sinaloa, Lopez-Gatell told reporters, speaking alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Health officials confirmed the third case, a man who had traveled with the other two, at another news conference late on Friday but said all three cases were imported and that there was so far no evidence of human-to-human transmission in the country.

President Lopez Obrador urged the population to remain calm.

“We have the capacity to handle this situation,” he said. “Because according to the information available, this is not something terrible, really bad.”

Mexico’s main stock index suffered one of its biggest falls in months, tumbling more than 4% in morning trading, while the peso fell by more than 1% against the dollar.

The three men confirmed with coronavirus were in Italy for about a week in mid-February, and likely became infected at a convention in the northern city of Bergamo, the government said.

All three were being held in isolation, Lopez-Gatell said, and officials are observing five family members in isolation.

The Mexico City resident had light, cold-like symptoms and was at low risk, he added. However, the man in Sinaloa did not show symptoms, Sinaloa’s health minister Efren Encinas said at a separate news conference.

For now, there are no grounds for closing schools or having people stay away from their workplaces, Lopez-Gatell said.

“There’s absolutely no reason at this point,” he added. “There is no generalized transmission.”

Still, Lopez-Gatell recommended that people refrain from light hugs and kisses on the cheek that are commonplace greetings in Mexico. Brazil was the first country in Latin America to report a case of the new coronavirus.