Coronavirus: What you need to know today

China's Doctors, Fighting the Coronavirus [PHOTO CREDIT: The New York Times]
File photo: Doctors, Fighting the Coronavirus [PHOTO CREDIT: The New York Times]

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world are making efforts to check the spread of the disease. Among the measures taken is the lockdown of many cities in the world.

Here, PREMIUM TIMES brings you a round-up on the coronavirus situation across the globe as at Thursday.

Nigeria decongests prisons nationwide

As part of efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian government on Thursday decongested prisons across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari granted presidential pardon to 2,600 inmates nationwide.

On behalf of the president, the minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the announcement at a press conference on Abuja, saying a committee set up would determine those deemed fit for the benefit.

U.S repatriates 997 Americans From Nigeria

The U.S. Mission in Nigeria says it has helped 997 Americans return home to reunite with family and friends during this time of unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From April 6-8, three U.S. Consulate-organised chartered flights operated by Delta Air Lines and Ethiopian Airlines repatriated 850 American citizens from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos to the United States.

This is in addition to the 147 U.S. citizens who departed Abuja on April 4.

British PM Boris Johnson out of ICU

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Thursday evening moved out of the intensive care unit (ICU) four days after being admitted to hospital for treatment on COVID-19, his spokesperson said.

“He is now stable,” his spokesperson said.

Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough and was rushed to intensive care on Monday where he has since spent three nights receiving treatment.

Italy reports new cases, deaths

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Formerly the world’s epicentre of the pandemic, Italy, on Thursday, recorded new cases and the total number of confirmed cases rose to 143,626, while the death toll rose by 610 to a total of 18,279.

Turkey to track patients via smartphone app

Turkey will introduce a smartphone application to track coronavirus patients and those they have been in contact with to ensure they remain at home in self-isolation, the presidency said.

The app, named the “Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project,” is being developed by the health ministry to stem the spread of the virus.

The move is to monitor the mobile phones of those diagnosed with the new coronavirus to ensure they do not break quarantine, marking the latest measure to stem an outbreak that has surged over the last month.

China tackles new coronavirus cases ‘imported from Russia’

The Chinese city of Suifenhe in northeastern Heilongjiang province has seen an influx of imported coronavirus cases from Russia in recent days.

The Chinese government says it is now building a temporary hospital to treat those who have been infected.

The hospital will have more than 600 beds and is expected to be completed by April 11.

The city, on the Russian border, has already placed residents under lockdown and closed the land border.

India seals coronavirus hotspots

The Indian government says it has identified and sealed dozens of hotspots in the country’s capital—New Delhi and the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state comprising residential districts to check the rising trajectory of new coronavirus infections.

In a statement seen on Thursday, the Indian government said people would be supplied food, medicines and other supplies at their doorsteps, as palliative measures to enforce the lockdown order, barring them from leaving their homes.

Taiwan tackles WHO’s accusations

Taiwanese government has strongly protested accusations from the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it condoned racist personal attacks on him. He alleged the attacks were coming from the self-governing island democracy.

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, had accused Taiwan’s foreign ministry of being linked to a month-long campaign against him during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a press briefing, he said he had been ‘personally’ attacked, including receiving death threats and racist abuse.”

But the Taiwanese government described the accusations as baseless.

Coronavirus reaches Brazil’s isolated Yanomami tribe

As the coronavirus pandemic keeps escalating to the corners of the world, it has now reached the Yanomami tribe of Brazil, in the Amazon rainforest,

Brazil announced, on Thursday, the first coronavirus case among the Yanomami people, an Amazon indigenous group known for its remoteness and vulnerability to foreign diseases.

The patient, a 15-year-old boy, was being treated in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Boa Vista, the capital of the northern state of Roraima, officials said.

UN delivers COVID-19 aid to Venezuela

As part of global efforts to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, the United Nations has extended its hands of support to Venezuela.

A plane carrying 90 tons of UN health, water and sanitation aid arrived in Venezuela to help the cash-strapped country fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The shipment includes 28,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits for health workers, oxygen concentrators, pediatric beds, water quality control products and hygiene kits, the UN said.

Vietnam approves $7.6bn tax holiday

Vietnam has approved a plan to delay the collection of 180 trillion dong ($7.6 billion) in taxes and land rent to help businesses hit by the new coronavirus, which has infected 251 people in the country, the government said.

The government will delay the collection of value-added tax, corporate income tax, personal income tax and land rent for five months for various businesses and households, it said in a statement.


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