Foreign

Thailand to further ease restrictions, shorten curfew hours

Published

on


Thailand will next week shorten curfew hours and ease restrictions on more businesses, the government said on Friday, in response to its low numbers of locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus.


Starting from June 1, cinemas and theatres can reopen, but with no more than 200 people at a time and with strict social distancing measures, said Somsak Roongsita, Secretary-General of the National Security Council.

A curfew will be shortened by one hour to last from 11.00 p.m. to 3.00 a.m. and shopping malls, which reopened earlier this month, will also be allowed to extend their operating hours, he added.

“The reopening will help stimulate the economy and ease some financial burdens,’’ Somsak said.

Zoos, beauty clinics, spas, and traditional Thai massages will be allowed to operate, with social distancing in place, as will soccer fields and volleyball and basketball courts, but only for training purposes and with limits on spectators.

Fitness clubs can also reopen but with limited users at each time.

Thailand’s planning agency on Thursday said the impacts of the coronavirus could cause the loss of up to two million jobs this year, particularly in the tourist industry.

It predicts the economy will shrink between five and six per cent this year.

Thailand confirmed 11 new coronavirus cases on Friday and no new deaths.

All those cases were arrivals from Kuwait and were in state quarantine.

All but one of the cases reported this week were detected in quarantine.

The government has previously said it planned to reopen all businesses within June, although passenger flights remain suspended.

The Southeast Asian country has seen a slowdown in locally transmitted cases and more recent cases have been found among those in state quarantine after returning from abroad.

The coronavirus has infected 3,076 in Thailand since January and killed 57.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/thailand-to-further-ease-restrictions-shorten-curfew-hours/

COVID-19

COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms

Published

on


The Lagos State Government on Saturday permitted the reopening of cinemas and gyms, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.


Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the 18th update on the management of coronavirus in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said that in October, the state government would announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy.

”Dear Lagosians, henceforth, cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.

”This means that there must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day.

”Next month, October, we will announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy: night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and so on.

”For now, these will continue to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October 2020,” he said.

Accordings to him, places of worship are also permitted, while the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; the churches are permitted to resume their mid-week services.

”We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.

”All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was committed to continuing the maintenance of a balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.

He said that the state would continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activities must never be taken as an excuse to let down the guard against the pandemic.

According to him, some parts of the world are seeing a resurgence of infections, and rising possibilities of the kind of hard lockdowns being experienced a few months ago.

”Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable.

”The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitisers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/covid-19-lagos-govt-reopens-cinemas-gyms/
Continue Reading

Sport

Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke 8-0 in season opener

Published

on


Treble winners Bayern Munich crushed Schalke 04 8-0 with a hat-trick from Serge Gnabry and a superb debut from Leroy Sane on Friday.


It was a sensational start to the new Bundesliga season and the win sent an ominous warning to potential challengers.

Also, it was the biggest opening win in Bundesliga history.

Bayern Munich showed they had lost none of the sharpness which helped them to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy less than a month ago in dominant fashion.

Gnabry grabbed his first goal for the hosts with a fine turn and shot in the fourth minute in what turned out to be a one-sided affair.

It stretched Bayern Munich’s unbeaten run to 31 games this year, having now won the last 22 matches in a row.

Schalke 04, without a league win in 17 consecutive matches since January, were helpless against Bayern Munich’s lightning-quick game.

Leon Goretzka found plenty of space to drive a low shot past goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the 19th minute.

“You can see that the team was already strong last season,” said Sane, who joined from Manchester City. “The team is still hungry in spite of winning the treble last season and to have such a start is outstanding.”

Bayern Munich finished their season in August when they added the Champions League to their Bundesliga and German Cup titles and then had only a short preparation for the new season.

Last season’s top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski found the net with a 31st minute penalty kick to become the first player to score in 10 successive appearances against the same Bundesliga opponents.

Gnabry then scored twice from Sane’s assists in the 47th and 59th before Thomas Mueller made it half a dozen after Lewandowski set him up with an impressive rabona kick.

Sane then capped his superb Bayern Munich debut with a fine finish from a counter attack in an empty Allianz Arena.

This was after the city had banned spectators due to rising coronavirus infection numbers in the region.

A little later substitute Jamal Musiala drilled in goal number eight to become the youngest ever Bayern Munich goalscorer in the league at 17 years old.

The result piled more pressure on already-embattled Schalke 04 coach David Wagner, who has been under intense scrutiny during their winless run this year.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/whirlwind-bayern-munich-dismantle-schalke-8-0-in-season-opener/
Continue Reading

COVID-19

NIMR unveils COVID-19 molecular testing kit

Published

on


The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on Friday unveiled the first SARS-CoV-2 Isothemal Molecular Assay (SIMA) machine in the country to boost COVID-19 testing capacity.


Speaking at the unveiling, Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director General of NIMR, said the equipment was developed to ease the challenges posed by the current method which required heavy laboratory and expensive equipment to function.

Salako said that SIMA is a fast and sensitive point of carebtest for COVID-19 infection using molecular technique that is reliable.

“As a foremost research institute in Nigeria with a mandate to conduct research into diseases of public health importance like COVID-19 pandemic which at present a difficult management challenge for scientists.

“While no effective vaccine has been develop till date, case detection remains the surest way of controlling the pandemic.

“Seeing that molecular laboratories remain limited in number and remote areas are at disadvantaged in getting tested and limited testing centres.

“Our researchers once again swung into action to develop a point of care molecular test for COVID-19 to ease the challenges of getting a molecular laboratory which requires huge fund.

“The Isothemal used for our point of care testing cost 9500 dollars which is cheaper than the regular real time PCR equipment which cost about 100,000 dollars.

“This test reagent can be produced in country with 80 per cent to 90 per cent locally sourced material,” he said.

According to him, a NIMR research team, led by Dr Chika Onwuamah, a Senior Research Scientist, developed a molecular test for coronavirus that gives test result in less than 40 minutes.

He thanked Fate Foundation, for supporting the research with N20million through its Fate Philanthropy Coalition for COVID-19 Support.

“We are very grateful for the support given to the institute to develop the assay which is not only first of its kind in the country but also in Africa.

“The objective of the grant was to develop a fast multiplex isothermal assay for SARS-CoV-2 while we also designed and evaluated primers and probes for multiplex.

“Work is currently ongoing on a simple release reagent to simplify the RNA extraction step and the assay development procedure involve both bioinformatic analysis designing the primers and probes.

“To date we have a working assay guaranted to test 100 copies/ml of SARs-CoV-2 RNA, as we continue to improve on the detection limit,” he said.

Dr Onwuamah, who led the research work, said SIMA was far cheaper and faster compared to PCR which required a lot of power and goes through different temperature.

“The difference between the PCR used in Molecular lab and this is that PCR goes through different circle of temperature which requires more a lot of power for heating and cooling.

SIMA works at one temperature and that is why it is called isothermal which makes it far cheaper and faster,” he said.

On the duration of the research, the Senior Researcher said the project started around May, noting that there was a bit delay due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.

Onwuamah, however, called for more support to aid scientists in the country to carryout research work on public health emergency such as COVID-19.

“Support for scientists in Nigeria need to be strong because we have a lot to give but the enabling environment is not visible.

” This research work cost close to N10million before we arrive here and it is a continuous thing because we have to keep improving on what we have developed,” he said.

Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, Executive Director of Fate Foundation, said the foundation established the support fund to assist the ongoing national and local efforts to strengthen public health infrastructure.

Adeyemi said the focus was to key into government effort to properly equip and support public health facilities and frontline health workers.

“This foundation was founded 20 years ago by Fola Ade with a goal to enable aspiring and emerging Nigerians to excel in their prospective fields.

“The foundation have supported in the fight against the ravishing pandemic through our various programmes and with the support of 61 individual donors and institute.

“We are happy to be part of this huge research development that will go a long way to ease some of the present challenges in the fight against the virus,” she said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/nimr-unveils-covid-19-molecular-testing-kit/
Continue Reading

Health

Pharmaceutical Products: Nigeria plans 60% local production

Published

on


Prof. Moji Adeyeye, Director-General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says the country is working toward producing 60 per cent of its pharmaceutical products locally to reduce the over-dependence on international companies.


Adeyeye said this at a virtual conference with the theme “Seizing the Moment: Providing Faster Access to Quality Medical Products during COVID-19 and Beyond”, organised by the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in partnership with Deloitte, a multinational professional services network.

The conference which had participants from some African countries was specifically on novel approaches emerging from COVID-19 response that can be effectively leveraged to respond to the pandemic, especially in Africa.

Adeyeye said the coronavirus pandemic was an eye opener to the world and as such efforts should be made to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage.

“Right now, we manufacture only 30 per cent of our products locally, and import 70 per cent; the goal is to change it to around 60 per cent locally and 40 per cent import.

“That is going to really contribute positively to reducing falsified substandard medicines and improve the health of the population,” she said.

According to Adeyeye, pharmaceutical manufacturing industries cannot survive without good regulatory system and as such stringent measures are to be adopted for a healthy system.

She explained that in spite the challenges, NAFDAC as a regulatory body in Nigeria had constantly used the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNIDO indices to monitor the manufacturing industries.

“We have also faced challenge of herbal medicine unspecified claims (unproved claim) for cure of COVID-19, so we have to also contend with that.”

Dr John Nkengaso, Head of Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in his view noted that Africa was able to overcome the over 2 million COVID-19 death projection due to partnership and collaboration of its leaders.

Nkengaso said that accurate diagnosis and power of partnership where public and private sector came together to solve a common problem, were other factors that assisted Africa in navigating the pandemic.

“We were told by the Taskforce in Geneva that after a period of two months the continent will witness over 2million deaths, so we decided as a continent to regroup and figure out ways to diagnose ourselves,” Nkengaso said.

Mr Kofi Nyame, one of the MSH supply chain experts, said the role of pharmaceutical system in this pandemic era should be to get the people ready for other pandemics.

COVID-19 has served as a magnifying lens for us; it has exposed the inherent weaknesses.

“We know that substandard products are all over in Africa and a greater percentage of our medicines are substandard but the only way out is to strengthen the pharmaceutical systems to ensure that the service delivery is properly monitored.

“We need to ensure that there is a system to regulate, select and distribute medicine. This is how to ensure quality and efficacy,” Nyame said.

He advocated for good supply chain management, strong regulator and use of modern tools to mitigate crisis as solutions to providing faster access to quality medical products during and post COVID-19 era.

(
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/pharmaceutical-products-nigeria-plans-60-local-production/
Continue Reading

Gov Bagudu, stakeholders meet over flood, insecurity, vow to surmount challenges El-Rufai to participate in maiden Kaduna Marathon on Nov. 21 Ondo election: Agboola Ajayi best candidate for good governance — Mimiko Edo 2020: Group commends INEC on equal access for PWDs Banditry: Lawmaker urges FG to deploy more security to Sokoto Ebonyi police confirm alleged murder of motorcyclist by suspected lunatic COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms Edo Poll: PDP alleges move to replace election results in Edo North Akaeze-Ukwu tragedy: Buhari condoles with govt, people of Ebonyi VAR drama as Zaha double earns Crystal Palace shock 3-1 win at Manchester United Sultan turbans 15 District Heads in Sokoto Nigerians gifted with exceptional confidence, resilience,  mental acuity – Osinbajo Cash Transfer: Zamfara to dismiss 10 Facilitators for extortion Youth hold key to sustainable democracy – Ekiti APC chieftain  Fiorentina snatch late win in Serie A opener Dortmund young guns sparkle in opening win over Gladbach Environmental advocates call for total ban of plastics Edo electorate hail INEC, security agencies Edo poll: Gov. Wike commends INEC, security agencies for peaceful conduct Edo election: Police commission lauds security presence at voting centres Bye-elections: 12 candidates jostle for Lagos East, 8 for Kosofe Constituency II Liverpool sign Portugal winger Jota from Wolves Police in Anambra arrest 3 suspects for alleged abduction, rape of job seeker Spurs sign Bale on loan, Reguilon on permanent deal Vulture Day: NCF advocates Vulture Conservation World Clean Up Day: NGO tasks Lagos residents on cleaner, greener environment Ondo Gov’s wife registers market women for democratic dividends Ebonyi Bus Plunge: FRSC confirms 14 corpses retrieved from river Crawford University appoints new V-C, other principal officers Edo 2020: Gov. Tambuwal lauds Buhari on statesmanly call, directive LASG seals 3 illegal container terminals, 19 additional contravening buildings Pirlo says Suarez unlikely to join Juventus after all NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Sunday to Tuesday FG disburses N24m loan to 2,400 entrepreneurs in Sokoto 2023: NYC urges Gov. Umahi to consider running for Presidency Anambra FA Caretaker Committee enrolls club owners in health insurance scheme “Its your portion to die,’’ Clergyman tells Christians La Liga: Villarreal record 2-1 win over Eibar Hertha Berlin crush Werder Bremen 4-1, as Cologne, Stuttgart lose Leeds United hang on to win 7-goal thriller with Fulham Lagos to transform  judiciary infrastructure Polaris Bank appoints Segun Opeke as Executive Director Edo poll: APC chieftain commends electoral process Wrap-up: An overview of Edo governorship election  Edo 2020: Sorting, counting of votes start Edo election: No offender will go unpunished, police warn Ekiti Police slam N5m on wanted man over alleged robberies, kidnappings World Bank Projects: Zamfara Gov’t tasks communities on maintenance  Military arrest 11 suspected members of a cult group in Jos FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses