Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria has experienced another record-breaking daily increase in COVID-19 cases and related deaths, making it the country’s deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state recorded 725 new virus cases and 15 COVID-19-related deaths, including a man, aged 30 years, Australia’s youngest coronavirus victim, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said on Wednesday.
Both figures mark the worst day of the pandemic for the state, as well as nationally, since the pandemic started.
The death toll from the virus in Victoria is now 162, while it is 247 nationally.
Most of the new cases and deaths overnight were in Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne.
For more than a month, Victoria has consistently recorded triple-digit daily case numbers amid a second wave that broke out in Melbourne in late June.
The state’s previous record was 723 new cases on July 30.
Earlier this week, Andrews declared a state of disaster and imposed tough new restrictions on Melbourne, including a night-time curfew and closing down businesses, retail shops and manufacturing.
Andrews said, on Wednesday, that essential workers will be required to show they have a permit to leave their homes if asked by the Police from Thursday onwards.
While healthcare workers and police officers can use their official identification, all others have to apply for the permit online.
Restrictions, which are in place until Sept. 13, also prohibit residents from travelling more than five kilometres from their home to go grocery shopping or exercise.
All recreational activities and weddings have been banned and face masks are mandatory.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/australia-records-deadliest-day-of-pandemic-as-melbourne-cases-surge/
3-storey school building collapses in Lagos
A three-storey building of the Excell College, a private school in Ejigbo, Lagos, collapsed on Saturday, two days to reopening of secondary and private schools in the state.
The building is located at No. 15, Ansarudeen St., by Ile Epo Bus stop, Iyana Ejigbo.
Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions re-opened on Sept. 14.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, told newsmen that no person was trapped in the collapsed building.
He noted that the school had been under lock and key since March due to the COVID-19-induced restrictions.
According to the LASEMA director-general, the building, which collapsed at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, is part of a conjoined (twin) three-storey building.
He said that the collapse was attributable to “visible distress”, adding that the collapsed portion affected the second wing, as shown by visible cracks on the walls, pillars and decking of the second portion.
“Distress calls received established that the building collapsed at about 8:15a.m.
“Information gathered from some officials of the school revealed that the building had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate and refortify the structure.
“The three-storey building has two wings; the wing that collapsed seriously affected the second wing, as visible cracks can be seen on the walls, pillars and decking.
“Fortunately, nobody was trapped.
“Responders to the incident are LASEMA, Lagos State Building Collapse Agency and the police,” he said.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ijeoma Popoola
Electorate, observer commend conduct of election in Edo
Electorate and observer at Ugboko Ward 5, Unit 26, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, agree that the conduct of the state governorship election is peaceful.
Some of the electorate who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Saturday, said that the conduct was well organised.
Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.
Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.
“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.
An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.
“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.
She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.
Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.
“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process”.
Edited By: Constance Athekame/Kayode Olaitan
Edo Election: European Centre decries non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols
Mr Wilson Manji, the deputy project coordinator, told the News Agency of Nigeria , that although the voters were all wearing face masks but they did not maintain social distancing.
“So far the election is going smoothly and calm. We are at Ologbosere primary in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state.
“So far everything is peaceful and calm here. Just that the INEC staff just arrived at about 10a.m. and accreditation and voting started at about 10.30a.m. instead of 8.30a.m,” he said.
According to him, the polling officers came with hand sanitisers and thermometers to check the temperature of every voter.
“But we are aware that there are some few isolated cases that started 9.a.m. or after 9.a.m. because of some issues they needed to sort out.
“From the reports we are getting, almost all the polling units have started voting,” he said.
Wariowei, however, said he observed that the voters were all wearing face masks but did not maintain social distancing.
According to Wariowei, before I left the polling units I visited, I educated the people on the need to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 regulations by maintaining social distancing for the safety of all.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Edo 2020: Card Readers fail to authenticate fingerprints in Esan West, Central
The Card Readers provided for the Edo Governorship election to authenticate fingerprints of voters in Esan West and Esan Central Local Government Areas of Edo on Saturday failed to recognise some voters.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria , who monitored the election in the areas, report that while the Card Readers easily identified the voter cards, they failed to authenticate their fingerprints.
This abnormally was noticeable at the polling units in Ward 5 (Uhunmudumu Primary School), and units 14, 15 and 16 (Emado Primary School) in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area.
The same was applicable in units 5 and 6, Ward 6 (Idumebo Primary School), in Esan Central Local Government Area.
Meanwhile, Mr Victor Edoro, a politician in the area and an ex-commissioner in Edo, Mr Gideon Obhakhan, have described the exercise as impressive.
They described the voting process as peaceful and orderly, with compliance to COVID-19 Pandemic containment protocols.
Edoro, who voted at his voting centre in Idumebo Primary School, Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area, described the voting process as “peaceful and hitch free.”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu