Coronavirus: Number of Confirmed Cases in Nigeria reaches 81
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 11 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. 8 of those cases are in Lagos, 2 in Enugu and 1 in Edo State.
It’s the first time coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Nigeria’s landlocked southeast region. The announcement brings the number of confirmed cases in the country to 81. Of the 81 confirmed cases, Lagos has 52, the federal capital territory (FCT) 14, Ogun three and Oyo three. Edo, Bauchi and Enugu states have two cases each. And Ekiti, Osun, and Rivers states have one case each.
Suleiman Achimugu, former managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), is Nigeria’s only casualty from the disease so far.
State Governors urged to grant amnesty to deserving inmates
Plans have gone underway by the federal government, to request that state governors grant amnesty to deserving inmates, as a measure to ensure that the coronavirus disease does not find its way into any of the centres.
The stakeholders made the call during an emergency meeting convoked by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the Chief Justice of the FCT and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the congestion in Nigerian prisons, especially during coronavirus pandemic.
According to Punch, those that will benefit also include those that were convicted with an option of fine and those that have been in the centers on holding charges in respect of offenses that the magistrates that sent them to correctional service formations do not have the jurisdiction to try the cases, among others.
The Committee is of the view that the Federal Executive Council and the State Governments be encouraged to consider payment of fines in respect of minor offenses for those categories of inmates that could not afford to pay off the same in respect of offenses that attract fines arising from the convictions.
The Onikan Stadium isolation center in Lagos is almost ready for use
Due to the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Lagos, the Lagos State government has set up a makeshift isolation center at the Onikan Stadium.
Various tents have been mounted on the pitch, bed spaces and mattresses have also been installed in the center.
According to The Nation, the Onikan isolation center is likely to be ready for use in a few days, while more will be put in areas like Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe, and Ikeja.
The United States of America is set to evacuate its citizens from Nigeria
The United States government is preparing emergency flights to evacuate its citizens from Nigeria despite airport closures in the country, Punch reports.
The US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria made this known in a notice on Friday evening entitled ‘Health Alert: US Mission in Nigeria’ advised American citizens to be in Abuja and Lagos “as soon as possible” to join the arranged flights back to the US.
The consulate advised nationals not in Abuja and Lagos to work with local airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. It stated:
At present, there are no scheduled flights to the United States. However, we are actively exploring options and attempting to secure flights despite global airport closures and travel restrictions. We will email US citizens immediately once we have flight details, routes, and costs.
US citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to travel to Abuja or Lagos as soon as possible. The Embassy and Consulate are unable to assist with lodging, food, or transportation costs, and some hotels have closed or are closing.
To disseminate important information and alerts for US Citizens including possible evacuation flights, the State Department uses the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program as its primary messaging system. US Citizens in Nigeria who want to be informed about emergency flights and receive other alerts should enroll in STEP immediately.