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COVID-19: Nigeria’s 555 new cases jump total infections to 40,000, deaths 858

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COVID-19: NCDC reports 104 new Infections, 7 deaths

…As North Korea declares emergency in border town, over first suspected COVID-19 case reported***

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday announced 555 new COVID-19 cases in the country as total infections from the virus exceeded 40,000 in five months.

The NCDC, which made this known on its official twitter handle, also recorded two deaths in the country in the last 24 hours.

NCDC said 40,537 cases had been confirmed, 17,374 cases discharged and 858 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory till date.

It  said that the new cases were reported in the 18 states of Lagos (156), Kano (65), Ogun (57), Plateau (54), Oyo(53), Benue (43), FCT (30), Ondo(18), Kaduna (16), Akwa Ibom (13), Gombe (13), Rivers (12), Ekiti (9), Osun (8), Cross River (3), Borno (2), Edo (2) and Bayelsa (1).

The health agency said a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 would continue to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

It also advised Nigerians to limit or avoid sharing personal items as well as avoid touching high-contact surfaces like door handles and stair rails.

According to the agency, the virus that causes COVID-19 can live on surfaces for several hours.

The NCDC further urged Nigerians to clean all surfaces with soap and water or disinfectants.

Also read:  COVID-19: Oyo beats Lagos, records 191 daily new cases

In another development, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, declared an emergency and a lockdown in a border town after a person suspected of being infected with the coronavirus returned from South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un holds an emergency enlarged meeting of Political Bureau of WPK Central Committee in this undated photo released on July 25, 2020 by North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. (KCNA photo via Reuters)

The person had illegally crossed the border, state media said on Sunday.

If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean authorities.

Kim convened an emergency politburo meeting in response to what he called a “critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country’’, the North’s KCNA state news reported.

A person, who defected to South Korea three years ago, returned across the fortified border that divides the two Koreas to the town of Kaesong this month with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, KCNA reported.

“An emergency event happened in Kaesong City, where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus.

“The person returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line,’’ KCNA said.

KCNA did not say if the person had been tested, but said an “uncertain result was made from several medical check-ups of the secretion of that person’s upper respiratory organ and blood’’, prompting officials to quarantine the person and investigate anyone he may have been in contact with.

One analyst said the announcement was important, not only because North Korea was for the first time reporting a suspected coronavirus case but also because it suggested it was appealing for help.

“It’s an ice-breaking moment for North Korea to admit a case,’’ said Choo Jae-woo, a professor at Kyung Hee University.

“It could be reaching out to the world for help; perhaps for humanitarian assistance.’’

North Korea is under huge economic pressure because of international sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Cho Han-bum, a senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said it was significant that North Korea was reporting its first suspected coronavirus case was imported.

“North Korea is in such a dire situation, where they can’t even finish building the Pyongyang General Hospital on time.

“Pointing the blame at an ‘imported case’ from South Korea, the North can use this as a way to openly accept aid from the South,’’ Cho said.

KCNA did not elaborate on how the “runaway” had crossed one of the world’s most heavily guarded borders but said the incident was being investigated and the military unit responsible would face “severe punishment”.

South Korean officials were checking to see if a defector had indeed crossed back into the North this month, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.

North Korea has received thousands of coronavirus testing kits from Russia and other countries and imposed strict border closures.

Thousands of people in North Korea were also quarantined as it took precautions to prevent a coronavirus outbreak but restrictions had recently been eased.

 

 

 

Additional reports from Reuters

 

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Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates

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President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

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…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels

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The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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