Tokyo Olympics in doubt as Japan enters fourth wave of Covid-19

A senior Japanese ruling party official said canceling this year’s Olympics in Tokyo remains an option if the coronavirus crisis becomes too dire, as the fourth wave of infections surges less than 100 days from the planned start of the Games.

“If it seems impossible to do it any more, then we have to stop, decisively,” Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said in comments to broadcaster TBS.

Cancellation is “of course” an option, Nikai said. “If the Olympics were to spread infection, then what are the Olympics for?” he added.

A key backer of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, party heavyweight Nikai is known for his frank comments, which come as many other ruling party lawmakers have avoided discussing the hot button issue of a possible cancellation.

The world’s biggest sporting event has already been delayed by a year and is being held without international spectators.

Japan is grappling with rising coronavirus infections, with numbers trending higher in Tokyo after the government ended a state of emergency, and Osaka suffering a record number of cases.

The government is pushing ahead with preparations incorporating social distancing measures and other restrictions for the Games set to begin on July 23, with a scaled-back torch relay underway.

“We’ll hold (the Games) in a way that’s feasible,” Taro Kono, a popular minister in charge of Japan’s vaccination drive, said on a separate TV programme, according to Kyodo News. “That may be without spectators,” he added.

However, polls indicate little support in Japan for holding the Games during a global pandemic. “Canceling Olympics” was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday with more than 35,000 tweets from users.

“If this person says it, Olympics cancellation looks like a reality,” tweeted @marumaru_clm in reference to Nikai.

Olympic organisers, Japan’s national Olympic committee and the Tokyo government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The comments from lawmakers come as health experts raise alarm at the spread of infection and strain it is placing on the medical system.

Japan’s top medical adviser, Shigeru Omi, acknowledged the pandemic had entered a fourth wave, driven by mutant strains, with Kyoto University professor Hiroshi Nishiura urging in a magazine commentary that the Olympics be postponed.

Akira Koike, an opposition lawmaker with the Japanese Communist Party, reacted to Nikai’s comments on Twitter saying holding the event is already “impossible” and a decision on cancellation should be made “quickly”.


1 million Nigerians to benefit from COVID-19 Cash Transfer programme

No fewer than one million Nigerians are to benefit from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Cash Transfer Project which aims to lift the urban poor affected by the pandemic out of poverty.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said this on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the COVID-19 Rapid Response Registration (RRR) Cash Transfer Project.

According to him, the project is a national initiative to build a shock responsive framework for capturing and registering the urban poor and vulnerable populations across Nigeria.

Osinbajo said that the new register complements the already existing platforms under the World Bank supported National Social Safety nets Project (NASSP).

“As of December 31, 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households.

“Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10 billion directly into the hands of about two million poor and vulnerable households every month.”

According to him, the initiative is about the largest evidence-based effort by any administration on poverty reduction and its impact on the lives of the poor is huge.

“This is by way of improving the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through enhanced household purchasing power, smoothening consumption, increasing savings and acquisition of household assets and improving the local economy.”

Osinbajo said that the RRR was designed to focus mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm, and big data analysis.

“This social protection method of targeting is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Nigeria will be the first country for its implementation.

“With the RRR, which uses a wholly technology-based approach, we are primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor.

“Which also helps us achieve our financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme (EFInA).”

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first set of 3,115 beneficiaries have already received N5,000 each cash transfer and the programme will continue until it reaches the one million target.

The cash transfers will be received by the beneficiaries for six months.

Also at the event, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said that the RRR would provide the gateway to many social development initiatives.

“This is because it uses innovative advancements in technology, in combination with ground-truthing processes, to generate an early response system.

“By design, the register also links to other databases such as banking information of respondents and national identity numbers.

“It is a process that is advanced in unifying national databank towards the delivery of social development in Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that in future, as has been demonstrated in the previous presentation, we will be reverting to the process used here and the register itself, to aid emergency assistance and support social protection activities in Nigeria.”

According to her, with the inauguration of the project, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development now has the database that can provide evidence for impact tracing for most social development projects in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director said the COVID crisis hit Nigeria very hard, especially on the socio economic front.

“Even in the absence of the crisis, we were projecting that perhaps another seven million Nigerians were at risk of falling into poverty over the next two years.

“With the COVID crisis and the economic pressures that have resulted, we are now projecting that that number could rise to close to 18 million.

“So, I think it should be pretty obvious that this kind of scale up effort is absolutely critical to the overall COVID response,” Chaudhuri said.

NAN reports that the target groups are small businesses, street vendors and petty traders as well as low-wage employed individuals and families.

It also covers daily labourers earning wages by engaging in construction and other forms of daily wage-based activities, employees of businesses involved in services and workers in different industries, and manufacturing firms.

Others are taxi drivers, street dwellers, orphans and vulnerable children, people living with disabilities, and vulnerable families living in slum areas.

The project provides a sustainable framework that supports humanitarian disaster risk response delivery system and shock response in future emergencies.

Education News

An Open Letter To All Students, Over The Resumption of School Activities in January 2021

I write this letter to call the attention of all university students in Nigeria over the previous announcement from Federal Government. 

It is clearly known to us that, after ASUU called off their long strike, The Federal Government assigned all school to remain closed till January 2021.

The Government assigned the closure of school to contain the second wave of Corona virus – hence, I suggest that any students should use this opportunity to study well for you could face examination days after the resumption.

I suggest that all students should afford facemask for theirselves Government have to provide it to students but don’t wait for Government if you can purchase it for yourself.

When Government summon the resumption of school, all students should practice social distancing in school environment and inside classes when lecture is taken place.

The school management should provide sanitizers to students and place it at any entries in the school.

Students have for long forget most from what they had learned in the school because of the Covid-19 pandemic and ASUU strike, as I stated above, any students should use this opportunity and students well for those professors in University will not be easy for you.


COVID-19: Presidential Task Force warns against hasty reopening of schools

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Nigeria has warned states against rushing to reopen schools saying such action have escalated COVID-19 management situation in some other countries.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, speaking on Monday August 31 in Abuja said it would be in the best interest of Nigeria to stick to it’s slow phased easing of lockdown rules because it was effective.

 “It is in the above context that the PTF appreciates the on-going calls for re-opening of the education sector and indeed some sub-nationals are already making preparations for such.’ Boss Mustapha said.

“Whilst the PTF does not discourage making such preparations, we need to be guided by experiences from countries such as Germany, France, the United States and the UK where opening of schools in some cities led to an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities.”

He also said more sectors of the economy may soon be reopened, and that the PTF would present its recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari this week, which will determine the next phase in the national response.

According to Boss, the last three weeks had shown a slowdown in the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country, as in the last four months of testing, the lowest daily figure of confirmed cases (138) was reported on Sunday August 30th.


WASSCE candidate contracts COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom

A candidate of the West Africa Examination Council examination has reportedly contracted Coronavirus in Akwa Ibom state as confirmed by Governor Emmanuel Udom. 

Speaking on Monday August 24 during a media chat in Uyo, the Governor who did not reveal the name of the school said the affected student is asymptomatic. 

Udom further disclosed that they will be ensuring the student does not miss out on anything from the class.

He said; 

“We have tested over 100 students and it is only one young man that tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. 

“We did what we ought to do medically; I want to believe that by now, the young man should be okay. 

“All of them are in excellent health condition because we have put everything in place to ensure that the students are quite safe. 

“I have directed all my Special Assistants to go to all the schools and monitor the level of compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols and give us first-hand reports in case of any emergency.

“Students observed all COVID-19 protocols before starting their examination. We want to make sure our students are safe even while writing the examination.”

The Akwa Ibom state Governor also announced that they have provided over 100,000 face masks, sanitisers, and all the COVID-19 support to the schools writing the examination across the state.

Udom added; 

“Based on the report I have, I think the students are doing well; it is left for them to reciprocate by giving us excellent WAEC result.”

News World

COVID-19: US approves new form of treatment

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of blood plasma extracted from COVID-19 survivors for treatment.

A statement on Sunday said this was based on scientific evidence.

“The FDA concluded, as outlined in its decision memorandum, this product may be effective in treating COVID-19. It also agreed that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks,” it said

The treatment involves taking blood rich in antibody from recovered COVID-19 patients (convalescent plasma) and giving the same to those infected.

FDA Commissioner, Stephen Hahn, said the therapy had shown 35 percent success rate.

“I am committed to releasing safe and potentially helpful treatments for COVID-19 as quickly as possible in order to save lives. We’re encouraged by the early promising data that we’ve seen about convalescent plasma,” he said.

The official added that the treatment still needed to undergo randomised clinical trials to determine safety and effectiveness.

The trials started in New York and some other states since April but suffered delays due to insufficient volunteers.

The announcement was made 24 hours after President Donald Trump accused the FDA of delaying vaccine development and production.

News World

COVID-19 could last less than two years – WHO

World Health Organisation, WHO, chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday modern technology and international cooperation could limit the coronavirus pandemic to less than two years.

“Hoping we can have additional tools like a vaccine, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu,” he told a news conference in Geneva, referring to the Spanish flu pandemic that claimed tens of millions of lives until 1920.

While the novel coronavirus can spread more easily because the world is far more interconnected than it was 100 years ago, modern technology has given humanity the tools to fight COVID-19 more effectively than the Spanish flu, Tedros said.

“So we hope to finish this pandemic in less than two years,” he said.

However, Tedros warned that “even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own.”

Countries must not simply bank on a future vaccine but must implement known effective health measures, while people must adjust their lives to curb infections, the UN health chief stressed.

COVID-19 is believed to have originated in China late last year.

Since then, more than 22 million cases and some 780,000 associated deaths have been reported around the world, according to the WHO.

Addressing more immediate concerns among parents in many countries where new school terms are starting, senior WHO scientist Maria Van Kerkhove said that the pandemic must be fought in the communities where children and teachers live.

If the novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly through communities, it can also enter schools, she said at the press briefing.

“It is really critical that we bring outbreaks under control and transmission under control in areas where schools operate,” Van Kerkhove said, in response to a question about whether WHO recommends reopening schools as cases increase in several European countries.

Schools do not only educate, but also play a vital role in feeding children and providing social interaction, said Van Kerkhove, WHO’s chief COVID-19 scientist.

As mask requirements for young people differ by country, the WHO plans to issue guidance on face coverings for children in different age groups in the coming days.

WHO emergency operations chief Mike Ryan warned, however, that masks are just one of many tools to control the virus’ spread, and that they are not a substitute for social distancing or for a lower number of students in classes.

Van Kerkhove acknowledged that scientific knowledge is still limited about children and the transmission of the virus.

“Studies are preliminary and few,” she said.

What is known is that children of all ages can become infected, but they that they usually suffer only mild symptoms, she said.



60-year-old fake doctor treating Coronavirus patients arrested

A 60-year-old fake doctor identified as Charles George has been arrested for treating COVID-19 patients. 

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria who confirmed the suspect’s arrest on Thursday August 20, said he was apprehended at his one-room apartment at Block 1, Julius Berger Junior Staff Quarters popularly known as Berger Camp in Kubwa, by police detectives from the office of the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory.

Syringe (for abortion) and kidney dish among others were recovered from the fake doctor who was accused of subjecting his clients to unprofessional medical treatment which “may lead to sudden and unnatural death.”

The police presented a fake letterhead and COVID-19 cure threat SMS which the suspect was allegedly blackmailing his clients with, said in its statement;

“George has been vetted as a regular customer of the FCDA Police Station and Kubwa Area Command Headquarters for several matters in connection with mixed medicine and extortion of his clients since 2016.”

The Deputy Registrar and Head of the Inspectorate Department of the MDCN, Dr. Victor Gbenro on his own part said; 

“The arrest of the suspected fake medical/alternative medicine practitioner, by name Dr. Charles George, at his Kubwa premises is a major breakthrough for the MDCN under the leadership of the Registrar, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi.

“Acting on an intelligence report from the IG intelligence team, the Inspectorate Department of the MDCN as directed by the registrar effected the successful arrest of the fake doctor, who has been defrauding unsuspecting members of the public and posing as a member of the NCDC COVID-19 team.

“The suspect is alleged to have been practising alternative medicine without registration or licence from the MDCN, which is statutorily mandated to regulate the practice of medical, dental and alternative medicine in Nigeria.

“Investigation revealed that his practice is not known or registered by the FCDA Private Health Facility Registration Agency. The police have commenced further investigation and prosecution of the suspect. This is one among the several efforts of the council at sanitising the medical profession in the country.”


WAEC student tests positive for Covid-19 in Kwara State

A final year female student in Kwara state has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 16-year old student is now writing her West African Senior Secondary School Certification Examination at the Kwara state COVID-19 isolation centre, Ilorin.

She was discovered through contact tracing after one her family members tested positive for the virus.

A WAEC official is supervising her at the isolation center.


President of Russia approves first COVID-19 Vaccine

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine for use on Tuesday, claiming it as a “world first,” amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.

According to CNN, He said: “A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning,” Putin said on state TV. “I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity.”

“I hope our foreign colleagues’ work will move as well, and a lot of products will appear on an international market that could be used.”

The vaccine — developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute — has been named Sputnik-V. The name is a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union.
The treatment is yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.

Putin added that one of his daughters had already taken it; he said she had a slightly higher temperature after each dose, but that: “Now she feels well.”


BREAKING: Senator Kashamu Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

Former member of the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu is dead. His death was announced on Twitter by his former colleague, Senator Ben Bruce -Murray on Saturday.

Bruce Murray said:

“I have just lost my good friend of forever to #COVID 19.. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable. He died today at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”

There was anxiety on Saturday over the health condition of a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Kashamu who represented Ogun East Senatorial District from 2015-2019, contracted coronavirus and had been battling for survival.

A source told our correspondent that the politician cum businessman had been hospitalised at First Cardiologist Hospital, Lagos in the last few days.

He was said to have tested positive for the virus and that his condition became critical due to underlying ailments he is suffering from.Efforts to confirm the story from Kashamu’s family sources have not yielded results.


COVID-19: Buhari Gives Order For Mandatory Use Of Facemasks

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enforce the use of face masks in public places across the country.

The Chairman, Presidential Task force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made this known at the daily briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Mustapha, while reviewing the activities of the committee, said the president also approved that the current phase of the National Response to COVID-19 should be maintained for another four weeks, but with some modifications.

“President Buhari also asked the PTF to partner with states and local governments to improve community sensitisation and engagement to step up response to the COVID-19 response.

“He also encouraged state governments to collaborate with local government authorities to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots mobilisation and risk communication.

“He also ordered that collaboration with other mandate groups at federal/state levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response be strenghtened on the short, medium and long-term basis,” he said.

Mustapha warned against stigmatisation and skepticism among Nigerians in the fight against COVID-19.

“I wish to remind all Nigerians that this fight is for every one; everyone must take responsibility.

“Disbelief and skepticism will further complicate our situation; we should not stigmatise anyone infected. Our communities should own the response and educate our citizens,” he said.


COVID-19: FG extends ease of lockdown for another four weeks…

The Federal Government has announced the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha made the announcement during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday August 6. 

The extension is the third for the second phase.


Am having an affair with a married woman and i want her husband to contract Coronavirus – Man Says

A Nigerian man (Name withheld) Narrates how her fell in love with a married woman whom husband allegedly scolds always and wants to marry her.

According to the man, he is happy that the husband of his lover always scold her if not, he wouldn’t have met her.

Sharing the story with a relationship Doctor, Joro, He wrote: “Am having an affair with a married woman and e sweet die, but her husband is a scum.”

“This woman is so cute and sweet she is even tight than all the single girls i have ever met, after 3 children her pussy is still clean and tight.”

“Her Husband always scold her, says she burn plantain, or she added much salt in Food.

“I thank god for the Man. I he treats her well, i wouldn’t have met her, God is good in fact God do pass.”

“Last week, i thought the man contracted Coronavirus but it was Malaria, I would have been happy.”

“I will wait for her till am 35, if she have the courage to leave her Husband, i will marry her.
God be my Witness.”


Schools Reopening: Parents kick as schools levy ₦25,000 for COVID-19 test in Ogun (video)

Parents of private school students in Ogun State have protested against a N25,000 fee returning boarding students have been asked to pay for a coronavirus test.

The state had earlier fixed resumption of SS3 students for Tuesday, months after a nationwide halt of academic activities over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reopening is to allow the students to prepare for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) slated to begin on August 17.

However, as part of the conditions for school resumption, the state government announced that COVID-19 and malaria tests are mandatory for returning boarding students.

While the COVID-19 test is free for public secondary school students, their counterparts in private schools are required to pay N25,000.

Some parents who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday described the fee as insensitive on the part of the state government.

“How many parents can afford to pay N25, 000 in Ogun where there is acute poverty?” a parent whose child attends Redeemers’ High school in Mowe asked. “The ministers of health and education should better think of another means to rake in money from people,” she said .

Watch the video below;


COVID-19: Nigeria now has over 43,000 confirmed cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday night, confirmed 462 new cases of COVID-19.

It brings the current tally in the country to 43,151.

NCDC’s tweet read: “462 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;


43,151 confirmed
19,565 discharged
879 deaths.”

Lagos State has the highest number of cases in Nigeria with 15,121. FCT Abuja, Oyo and Edo have 3,803, 2,760 and 2,292 respectively.

Kogi has the lowest number with five infections. Out of that number, three persons have been discharged and two have died.


COVID-19: APC rejoices with Fayemi over recovery

The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has rejoiced with Governor Kayode Fayemi over quick recuperation from COVID-19 infection.

The party said Fayemi’s quick recovery was due to God’s intervention, since the pandemic had killed so many prominent Nigerians even with better medicare.

Speaking with journalists, on Saturday, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Hon Ade Ajayi, glorified God for showing mercy for the governor.

“We are really happy about this cheery news, in fact, it gladdens our heart and showed that the prayers of Ekiti people had been answered.

“All we have to say is to glorify God and the people of Ekiti State, including our opponents for their prayers over the Governor.

“We urge all Ekiti people to be wary of COVID-19, by complying strictly with all laid down protocols.

“They should also cooperate with the governor now that he has resumed back to the office to make the job of fixing Ekiti easier and faster,” he stated


Nigeria’s capital, Abuja tops list of confirmed COVID-19 cases for third consecutive day

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja has topped the list of states with new cases in Nigeria, for the third consecutive day.

On Saturday night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 386 new cases in 17 states and the FCT.

While 130 new infections were recorded in the FCT, Lagos was second with 65.

Total number of recoveries have now topped 20,000.

The number of discharged patients rose from 19,565 to 20,087, while the fatality figure has increased from 879 to 883.

Nigeria currently has 43,537 confirmed COVID-19 cases.


Ogun state government mandates all returning students to undergo COVID-19 tests

As students in exiting classes prepare to resume for academic activities nationwide on Monday, August 3, the Ogun state government has mandated all students in boarding houses to undergo Malaria and COVID-19 tests as that would make them admissible into their boarding houses.

In a statement released today August 1, Ronke Soyombo, the Special Adviser to the governor on Primary and Secondary Education, said all boarding students must stay in school hostels only as private hostels would not be allowed to accommodate students in order to ensure effective monitoring. Read the statement below

As part of the frantic efforts of the State Government to ensure a safe learning academic atmosphere for both learners and teachers of all our public and private schools particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and as instructed by NCDC, all Principals of schools (private and public ) in Ogun State are hereby instructed to inform and update all SS3 learners on the following instructions;

1. That ALL the returning boarding students are to stay in the school hostels only

2. That parents are hereby advised that private hostels are exempted from accommodating students during this period to ensure strict compliance with NCDC directives.

3. That the Ogun State Ministry of Health has made provision for a COVID-19 and MALARIA TEST for all SS3 BOARDING students in Ogun State as part of the conditions for the re-opening of schools in the under listed Public Health Care facilities between Friday 31st July and Monday 3rd August, 2020

(a) Abeokuta : The 250 MTR, Okemosan, Abeokuta (A white edifice opposite the State Secretariat)

(b) Ado-Odo Ota : Ogun State General Hospital, Ota.

(c) Sagamu : Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu

4. That part of the strong condition of admittance to school for boarding students is the COVID-19 CERTIFICATE showing NEGATIVE

To this end, all Principals are therefore directed to immediately disseminate the above important information to all SS3 learners in the State and to ensure that the above instructions are strictly adhered to as sanctions will be meted out to any defaulting school.

E – signed
Mrs Ronke Soyombo
S A on Primary and Secondary Education