Showing posts from March, 2020

Heroic nurses need full protection against coronavirus, association says

More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses said.
“They are heroic, I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the ICN’s chief executive officer.
Infection rates of 9% and 12-14% have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain, respectively, and deaths among nurses there and in Iran and Indonesia, he said.
“We have no doubt that the rate of infections is related in part to the lack of PPE - personal protective equipment,” he told Reuters at the ICN offices along Lake Geneva.
“There is a global shortage and nurses obviously are at a higher risk given the people that they are caring for.”
The federation represents 130 national associations and more than 20 million registered nurses.
The World Health Organization has called repeatedly for countries and manufacturers to step…

Viral Video Was Leaked By My Orderly, Army Commander, Olusegun Adeniyi, Says After Removal By Buratai

A senior Nigerian Army officer, Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, who headed Operation LAFIYA DOLE and spearheaded the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the country’s North-East region, has reacted to his redeployment to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre as Senior Research Fellow by Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
The redeployment of Adeniyi and over 50 senior officers was announced in a statement on Tuesday.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Adeniyi was removed as commander of Operation LAFIYA DOLE for revealing in a viral video that troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists lacked weapons and credible intelligence to execute their mission.
In the viral video, Adeniyi was seen standing together with his men on the battle field and lamenting how the terrorists shelled their positions with heavy artillery and mortar bombs during an ambush where they recorded heavy casualty.
He disclosed that they lost several soldiers during the mission due to wrong intelligence pro…

Why coronavirus patients complain about isolation centres

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, says complaints by Nigerians on medical attention provided at isolation centres is as a result of lack of preparedness for the nature of the centres.
A video which went viral on social media showed a man, who identified himself as Alamatu, lamenting about the mode of operation at the isolation centre in the state.
In the video, he said a member of his family, a female, had not seen a doctor or nurse since she arrived at the centre.
He added that the patient had also not been fed despite her condition.
“My name is Mr. Alamutu. What the hell are they doing here. She hasn’t seen a doctor, she hasn’t seen a nurse, she hasn’t been fed and you’re telling me I should not take here out. Let her go and die in my house. Simple, I don’t care anymore,” he said.
Reacting to the claims at a press briefing on Tuesday, Abayomi said the mode of operation at the isolation centre is different from that of a hospital ward.
He said it often takes a few days for…

Finance ministry didn’t ask for donations to fight COVID-19, says Zainab Ahmed

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says her ministry did not request donations from the public to tackle coronavirus in the country.
In a statement on Sunday, Yunusa Abdullahi, special adviser on media & communications to the minister, dissociated the ministry from a letter circulating on social media requesting donations from the public.
Abdullahi said the letter was a ruse to deceive the public and defraud them.
He said the ministry did not at any point appeal to the public for donation, and that neither has it received any donation to that effect.
The spokesman described the letter as a scam and asked the public to disregard it.
“The attention of the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning has been drawn to the activities of fraudsters impersonating the Ministry in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting members of the public,” the statement read.
“Of particular concern to the Ministry is the recent purported letter circulating on Social Media …

Coronavirus testing kits heading to the UK contaminated with coronavirus

Testing kits that are due to arrive in the UK were found to have been contaminated with
coronavirus, according to reports.
The Government claims there is currently a capacity to carry out 11,000 tests a day, while the aim is to carry out 25,000 tests per day by mid-April.
Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 3.5 million antibody tests have been ordered
, while Britain has been sourcing kits from private companies to help meet demand.
But according to the Daily Telegraph , it was discovered that key components ordered from Eurofins, a company based in Luxembourg, had been contaminated with Covid-19.
The report claims that Eurofins has warned laboratories in the UK that a delivery of parts referred to as ‘probes and primers’ had been contaminated.
Eurofins said that the issue can be resolved by ‘proper cleaning’ but admitted the discovery would result in a delay.

COVID-19: Athletes face mental health risks

Fear, stress and money worries: coronavirus lockdown is hard for anyone, but athletes are facing extra mental health risks as they go from highly active lifestyles to isolation and boredom, experts warn.
While some housebound athletes have posted upbeat videos of themselves training or attempting internet challenges such as juggling toilet rolls, the stress caused by the extreme adjustment and uncertain future looks likely to take its toll.
Long-term effects on athletes after the SARS and swine flu outbreaks included anxiety, obsessive hand-washing and fear of getting too close to people, Carolyn Broderick, Tennis Australia's chief medical officer, told AFP.
But the impact of the current pandemic is unprecedented, with athletes sidelined worldwide after COVID-19 forced most sports into hibernation and put billions of people in lockdown.
Those affected range from well-paid superstars such as tennis's Serena Williams, who has suffered from depression in the past, to journeyman p…

Stimulus Check Distribution Details : IRS

The Treasury Department and IRS today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and that they will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. See IR 2020-61 . However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.
Who is eligible for the economic impact payment? Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married …

Japanese businessman, paid US$8.2 million by Tokyo Olympics bid committee, lobbied figure in corruption probe

A businessman, who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo's successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, said he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan's bid.
Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu Inc, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo's bid for the now-delayed 2020 Games , according to financial records reviewed by Reuters.
Takahashi told Reuters his work included lobbying International Olympic Committee members like Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital cameras and a Seiko watch.
"They're cheap," he said.
The payments made Takahashi the single largest recipient of money from the Tokyo bid committee, which was mostly funded by Japanese companies.
After his involvement in Tokyo's successful campaign, Takahashi was named to the bo…

Trump says people in US could have to wear masks ‘for a period of time’

Donald Trump is gambling that his 30-day extension of a national lockdown will halt the spread of the coronavirus inside the United States as he confirmed 1 million tests have been conducted so far – and he warned there might be a period of time when all Americans are ordered to wear masks outside.
“I could see something like that happening for a period of time, but I hope it would be for a limited period of time,” the president said, telling reporters he is examining a study authored by former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gotliebb calling for a mask-wearing country. But he did not issue any formal order.
“We’re sort of putting it all on the line this 30 days,” the president said during his daily
Covid-19 briefing from the White House, in which he bullishly promised $100m (£80m) in medical supplies to Italy despite American hospitals struggling with shortages.
After previously signalling his main goal is to prevent an economic collapse – which could substantia…

COVID-19 survivor with diabetes and lung condition shares how she beat coronavirus

A secondary school teacher with type one
diabetes has described how she beat
coronavirus, after it caused her to throw up and lose consciousness at home.
Sarah Hall, 26, started to feel unwell at the start of March, but blamed her feelings of fatigue on her work. The teacher also suffers from a condition called A1AT, which affects her lungs and liver.
She then began to notice that she was more susceptible to the cold than usual, and the day after developed a cough, which led isolating for a period of 14 days.
After putting in a call to NHS 111, she was told it was likely she had coronavirus. But Sarah continued to work from home, despite feeling light-headed and like she might faint most of the time.
Caption: Sarah Hall, 26, a secondary school teacher from north London, describes her experience of recovering from Covid-19
She told the Daily Telegraph : ‘I struggled to breathe and felt constantly dizzy – I felt like I was about to pass out. But I tried to keep calm, drink plenty of wat…

Harry and Meghan formally quit royal life

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on Tuesday, as they start a controversial new life in the United States. The couple have already relocated to California, according to reports, after announcing in January that they intended to quit royal life and "work to become financially independent". The decision means they will no longer carry out duties on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and are giving up their office within the monarchy in Britain. It follows reports Meghan was deeply unhappy with life inside the centuries-old institution and increasing complaints from the couple about media intrusion. Their shock announcement rocked the royal family, appearing to blindside the queen and other senior family members. It led the 93-year-old monarch to call an emergency summit with her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, and his two sons Princes William and Harry, to thrash out the terms of their departure.

COVID-19 shows U.S. too dependent on cheap medical imports, USTR says

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday said the United States would seek to promote more domestic manufacturing of key medical supplies in light of the strategic vulnerabilities laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lighthizer told trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies (G20) that Washington agreed there was a need to resolve supply chain disruptions and be aware of the impact of its actions on neighbors.
“Unfortunately, like others, we are learning in this crisis that over-dependence on other countries as a source of cheap medical products and supplies has created a strategic vulnerability to our economy,” Lighthizer said.
“For the United States, we are encouraging diversification of supply chains and seeking to promote more manufacturing at home.”
He warned against efforts to use the health and economic crisis to push “other agendas,” either in trade or elsewhere, and said that such efforts would sow distrust, however. He did not elaborate.
Some U.S. of…

CBN temporarily suspends cheque clearing during Coronavirus lockdown

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, announced that all deposit money banks in the country and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) are to suspend the clearing of all cheque instruments in the Nigerian Clearing System, starting from today March 31st, 2020.
According to a statement that was signed by the apex bank’s Director of Banking Services Department, Sam C. Okojere, which was seen by Nairametrics, the directive is intended to “ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities” during the 14-day lockdown that started last night.
What this means: Following the directive, which took effect today, new cheques will no longer be allowed to pass through the Nigerian Clearing System which is overseen by the NIBSS.
In other words, deposit money banks are to stop accepting fresh cheques that require to go through the clearing system. That said, settlement activities will continue for already existing cheques that are lodged into the clearing system prior to the susp…

Outrage in India as migrants sprayed with disinfectant to fight coronavirus

Indian health workers caused outrage on Monday (Mar 30) by spraying a group of migrants with disinfectant, amid fears that a large scale movement of people from cities to the countryside risked spreading the coronavirus.
Footage showed a group of migrant workers sitting on a street in Bareilly, a district in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as health officials in protective suits used hose pipes to douse them in disinfectant, prompting anger on social media.
Nitish Kumar, the top government official in the district, said health workers had been ordered to disinfect buses being used by the local authorities but in their zeal had also turned their hoses on migrant workers.
"I have asked for action to be taken against those responsible for this," he said in a tweet.
India imposed a nationwide lockdown on Mar 25, with thousands of labourers subsequently fleeing cities for their home villages after work - and public transport - vanished.
India has registered more than a thous…

Experience At Lagos coronavirus Isolation Centre- Discharged patient

A lady who tested positive for coronavirus has narrated her experience inside the isolation centre in Lagos after she was discharged and was given a clean bill of health on Monday, March 30.
The lady, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, who wrote of her experience on her twitter handle, @AyodejiOsowobi, said she contracted the disease during a post-Commonwealth event in the United Kindgom.
Displayin various photographs of what she went through in the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Miss Osowobi said for now, she had conquered coronavirus.
“Life finds ways of throwing LEMON at me. I’ve struggled with coming forward, but I want to inspire hope. I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) and fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated. Days after, I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.
“Before returning, I had planned several interviews, I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job & was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions. I lost the…

Wuhan locals believe coronavirus may have killed 42,000 people not 3,200 claimed by Chinese authorities

Wuhan locals claim coronavirus has killed 42,000 people in the city alone, more than ten times the national figure claimed by Chinese authorities.
The killer bug, which originated in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province has claimed the lives of 3,300 people and infected more than 81,000.
Of those, 3,182 deaths were reported in Hubei Province.
But residents in Wuhan claim 500 urns have been handed out to grieving families every day from seven separate funeral homes all serving the city.
The homes – in Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang – have told grieving families that they will receive the ashes before April 5, the date of Qing Ming festival where people tend the graves of their ancestors.
This means that 42,000 urns could be distributed in that 12-day period.
Earlier reports stated that the Hankou premises received two shipments of 5,000 urns in just two days, according to local media.
It comes as the province relaxed its two-month lockdown of 50million people.
People who have a ‘green’ health …

Panic as Governor Obiano self-isolates in Anambra

There is tension in Anambra State following the self Isolation of Governor Willie Obiano for the past eleven days
Briefing reporters on Monday at the Government House in Awka, Secretary to the State, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu and the Chief of Staff, Chief Primus Odili, said Obiano had been on Isolation for the past eleven days.
The duo said the Governor decided to Isolate himself having sat next to the Bauchi State Governor during the last National Executive Council NEC meeting
However, they said there was no cause for alarm as the Governor had not developed any form of symptom since then, adding “he is hale and hearty “

FDA approves plan for Ohio lab to sterilize thousands of masks for reuse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized an Ohio company to sterilize thousands of respirator masks for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Battelle, a private non-profit research institute, had previously received partial approval by the FDA, which limited how many masks they could clean each day. That decision didn’t sit well with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. He asked the FDA to reconsider and sought support from President Donald Trump.
“I want to thank President Trump for his leadership and Dr. Hahn of the FDA for approving the use of this life-saving technology that Battelle has developed,” DeWine said. “This will not only help Ohio’s healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, but Battelle will also be helping health care workers in hot spots throughout the country including New York and Washington state.”
The lab is capable of sterilizing up to 80,000 masks per system each day. Each mask can also be decontaminated about…

Man refuses to allow son back in house after spring break trip amid coronavirus outbreak

A New York man refused to allow his 21-year-old son back into his home after the college student went on a spring break trip to Texas.
According to the New York Post, 51-year-old Peter Levine tried to get his son, Matt, to end his vacation early.
Matt Levine and his friends from Springfield College visited South Padre Island, a popular destination for spring breakers. The group spent many days congregating outdoors and listening to live music.
Peter Levine says he spoke with his son every day, urging him to come home.
“I was aggravated. The news here was getting worse and worse,” said Peter Levine, referring to the coronavirus outbreak.
When Matt Levine and his friends were ready to return from their trip, Peter Levine told them there was “no chance” he would pick them up from the airport.
When they arrived at his home via car service, he stopped them from entering the house.
“They got out of the car near our driveway, and I said, ‘Stay right there! Do not go any further!’” Peter Levi…

Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum during coronavirus closure

Thieves stole a painting by Vincent van Gogh overnight from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands, its director said on Monday.
The gallery, in the town of Laren to the east of
Amsterdam, is currently shut to the public due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The painting "Lentetuin", or "Spring Garden," which depicts the garden of the rectory at Neunen and dates to 1884, had been on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
"I am shocked and absolutely livid that this has happened," Jan Rudolph de Lorm, director of the Singer Laren Museum, said in a video statement posted on YouTube.
"This splendid and moving artwork by one of our great artists has been stolen, taken from the community," he said.
Police said the thieves had forced the building's glass front doors open at around 3.15 a.m. (0115 GMT).
The stolen painting depicts a woman in a garden with sparse red-flowered bushes and the church building in the background.
Dutch museums…

Moody’s cuts South Africa rating

The South African rand plunged to a record low after Moody’s downgraded the government’s debt to junk status, before recovering slightly Monday, analysts said.
The downturn in the currency came after the credit rating agency cut its rating for South Africa late Friday to Ba1, below investment grade, citing a “continuing deterioration in fiscal strength and structurally very weak growth”.
The rand traded at 18.05 against the US dollar in Asia early Monday but then recovered slightly to around 17.90 during African trading hours.
“The ZAR has been the worst-performing emerging market currency over the past week and traded at its weakest level ever at R18.05 in Asia early this morning,” said Wichard Cilliers, head of dealing at TreasuryONE, a South African private financial advisory firm.
He said the currency of Africa’s most industrialised economy had now weakened 17 percent over the past month.
Moody’s downgrade late on Friday came as South Africa began a three-week nationwide lockdown …

Crude Oil prices fall to lowest level in 18 years

Oil prices dropped to their lowest levels in 18 years on Monday as the global economy looked set to enter a coronavirus-induced
Brent crude, the key international oil price benchmark, plunged 6 per cent on Monday to $26.17 per barrel as countries around the world
shut down swathes of their economies to halt Covid-19’s spread.
At one point on Monday Brent crude touched $22.58 – its lowest level since November 2002. America’s most closely watched benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, fell 5.6 per cent to $20.30.
Demand has fallen by more than half in the past month as billions of people stay at home, companies cut back on production and airlines ground their fleets.
At the same time Saudi Arabia and Russia have entered a price war that has seen oil supplies remain buoyant.

Family of 17 reportedly gets coronavirus after attending funeral

A British family is urging people to take social distancing measures seriously after 17 of its members apparently caught the coronavirus at the funeral of a relative who died of the illness, according to a report.
Almost the entire extended family of Sheila Brooks, 86, who died Feb. 9, attended her funeral two weeks ago – and within days, her niece Susan Nelson, 65, who had no underlying health issues, also died, South West News Service reported.
Before long, 16 other relatives fell ill, including Nelson’s husband, a daughter Amanda, 34, a niece and a great-uncle, after attending the service in Yardley Wood, according to the news outlet.
“It was my [great] aunt’s funeral so a lot of the wider family were there,” said Amanda, who also suffers from Addison’s disease, an adrenal insufficiency, and is isolating at home.
“She died back in February, but we have just had so many people contract the virus that I can only think it was from then. We now have someone else in our family in hospit…

President Buhari Exempts Banks And Other Financial Institutions From Lockdown

The Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have secured approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to exempt key players in the financial services sector from COVID- 19 movement restrictions.
A statement jointly issued by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday appealed to President Buhari to enable the financial services sector particularly banks render skeletal services.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday in his nationwide broadcast, imposed a total lockdown restricting movements in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
Addressing Nigerians, the President said: “based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffi…

Shocking: NCDC Prioritises COVID-19 Test for High Profile Nigerians

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been conducting COVID-19 tests on high profiled Nigerians, who demanded for it, but asked ‘ordinary’ citizens who also requested for same to strictly follow its case-definition rule for testing; a situation that has left many unattended to, Thisday
can confirm.
NCDC’s case-definition rule for undergoing testing for the COVID-19 says for anyone to be tested for the virus, the person must have travelled into Nigeria from a high risk country, or must have had direct contact with a confirmed case, and, in addition to any of these definitions, the person must have had visible symptoms of COVID-19 before requesting for testing.
Although many of the high profiled persons who have been attended to by NCDC did not show visible symptoms of the virus, they, along with their families, staff and close allies have been tested, while many ‘ordinary’ Nigerians who may have also travelled to high risk countries or had contact with confirmed cases are been…

COVID-19: WHO clarifies rumours of Coronavirus being airborne

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that the message spreading on social media that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is airborne, is incorrect.
The WHO headquarters in Geneva explained this in its official twitter account @WHO at the weekend.
The agency said the virus that causes COVID-19 was mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
“These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
“You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within one meter of a person who has COVID-19.
“You can be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.’’
The world health body, however, advised people to protect themselves by practicing physical distancing.
“To protect yourself, keep at least one-meter distance from others and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently.
“Regularly clean your hands thoroughly and avoid touchi…

President Buhari orders three-month moratorium on NEXIM, Tradermoni loans

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that all loans received from government institutions be given a three-month moratorium.
The president announced the directive during his state broadcast on Sunday.
The moratorium is applicable to loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Export Import Bank, TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.

President Buhari orders total restriction of movement in Lagos, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday ordered a total restriction of movements in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for an initial period of 14 days following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country,
The President, who disclosed this in a nationwide broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic, said the directive takes effect from Monday.
He said the restriction would also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two states.
According to him, the decision was taken based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), two agencies of government that had been leading the country’s quest to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic among Nigerians.
He, however, said journalists and other professionals on essential services are exempted from the restriction.
He said this during a nationwide broadcast on Sunday.
“Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am di…

IPMAN takes over as fuel tanker drivers vacate depots over COVID-19

Fuel tanker drivers under the auspices of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have suspended their services effective from Friday, March 27.
Yusuf Othman, the association president, said the suspension was in line with federal government’s efforts to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
“In compliance with this directive, we have similarly directed all our employees (tanker drivers) to keep away from the depots and stay at home with effect from Friday, March 27, pending when the situation is brought under control,” Othman said.
“This action is necessitated by the fact that our loading depots across the country are places of beehive of activities containing more than 500 persons at any one time.”
However, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has assured that there is no need for fear of fuel scarcity.
Chinedu Okoronkwo, IPMAN president, told NAN on Friday that members had trucks and filling stations across the country that woul…

NPA suspends demurrage fees for 21 days

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has directed terminal operators to suspend all applicable terminal storage fees, known as demurrage, on consignments.
The directive was announced in a statement released on Friday by Jatto Adams, NPA’s general manager of corporate and strategic communications.
According to the statement, the suspension of the charges will be for an initial period of 21 days, effective from March 23.
The NPA said the gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the coronavirus outbreak has imposed on businesses and its own responsibility to relieve customers of the burden.
The gesture, it said, is also in line with the federal government’s ease of doing business policy at this trying period.
“This gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on businesses, the responsibility imposed on the authority to relieve this burden on its customers as well as attaining the objective of the federal government’s ease of doing business policy at t…

COVID-19: Counties without coronavirus are mostly rural, poor

As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows.
Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that 1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 3,142 counties nationwide. Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas — from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to majority Hispanic and Native American stretches of the American Southwest — that generally have less everyday contact between people that can help transmit the virus.
At the same time, counties with zero positive tests for COVID-19 have a higher median age and higher proportion of people older than 60 — the most vulnerable to severe effects of the virus — and far fewer intensive care beds should they fall sick. Median household income is lower too, potentially limiting health care opt…

Update: College of Medicine Provost, Deputy tests positive for COVID-19

The provost and deputy provost, University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Prof. Ezekiel Olapade-Olaopa and Prof. Obafunke Denloye, have tested positive for coronavirus.
Olapade-Olaopa, who made this known in a Whatsapp group message Sunday morning said “Dear colleagues, I wish to inform you that the deputy provost and I tested positive for the COVID-19 following the tests done on Friday.
“Although we are both asymptomatic, we have gone into self-isolation for the 14 days while our contacts are being observed closely to determine if they should also be tested.”
Similarly, the chief medical doctor, UCH, Prof Jesse A. Otegbayo, has also tested positive for coronavirus. This was disclosed in a statement personally signed by the CMD.

Home Security Systems Beefed Up ... Bracing for Worst of Pandemic

Americans fear there's about to be a violent side effect of the pandemic -- looters -- so they're preparing their homes for the you-know-what to hit the fan.
Here's the deal ... folks have been researching and buying new home security systems from 2 of the biggest providers. Honchos at SimpliSafe tell TMZ ... their sales are up 86% in just the last few weeks, and they've seen a 27% spike in Google searches for their products.
We're told new customers aren't only looking to protect their own homes, but also those where their aging relatives are living under quarantine.
This all adds up ... we've seen the panic-buying and, in some cases, hoarding of supplies -- and now those people are looking to defend and protect their stockpiles. Likewise, there have been long lines to purchase guns.
ADT bigwigs are aware of the concerns, and tell us they've been reminding homeowners how important their security systems are in these times. The company's also adjust…

Zoom gains popularity; but how safe is it?

A lot of students are using video conferencing apps as classes in schools and universities in many countries have shifted online.
Zoom is one of them and has seen a huge rise in the number of users.
Zoom is being widely used by people seeking to work, study or socialise from home.
It has been downloaded more than 50 million times on the Google app store alone in recent weeks.
Not just individuals, but even governments have started using the app.
But as the US-produced software is gaining popularity, its creator is now facing questions over the alleged breach of privacy after being accused of passing users' information to Facebook.
The company has also faced criticism over privacy invasions and alleged phishing attacks.
Zoom has had security flaws in the past. Last year, researchers revealed hackers were able to spy via webcams of users because of a bug in its code.

Netflix has stopped working, leaving users unable to get on the site

The streaming service simply refused to load when users navigated to its website. Problems were also reported by those using the app, though some who were unable to access the website claimed they had done so through other platforms such as the version of Netflix on phones or smart TVs.
The outage comes as workers around the world are in their houses as part of physical distancing in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Tracking website Down Detector showed problems across the world, though they were largely focused in Europe. The outage came at around 6pm on the continent, likely meaning that many people had just finished work and were attempting to access the website.
Netflix's status page, which usually indicates whether the company is aware of its site being down, does not include a message indicating whether it is online or not. Instead, it has a message indicating that the coronavirus outbreak means that it could be slow to respond.
"Due to the COVID-19 crisis thousand…