Population

South Africa extends tight coronavirus restrictions for another 14 days

South Africa extended tight COVID-19 rules on Sunday for another 14 days, maintaining restrictions that include a ban on gatherings, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a prohibition on the sale of alcohol. The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant. “Our health system countrywide remains under pressure,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation. Early this month South Africa recorded a new record of over 26,000 daily cases, stretching hospitals to breaking point. Ramaphosa moved the country to the fourth level of a five-tier restriction scale in late June as infections climbed, promising to review the restrictions af...

President Buhari orders military to crush bandits in ‘language they understand’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday ordered the military to crush bandits operating in Zamfara and Kaduna in the language they understand. The president condemned repeated bandit killings in Zamfara and Kaduna States, urging the nation’s military to respond to the worrying situation in a language that the bandits understood. Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu noted that the military and other security agencies were now working on new methods and policies that are yielding good results in many of the troubled parts of the country. He called for a crushing response to the killing of innocent citizens in the rural communities. Buhari also averred that the nation, its military and the entire population needed to summon the courage required to defeat the bandits and ...

Nigeria records 186 new coronavirus cases

The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) has registered 186 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from three states. The NCDC said this on its official website on Saturday morning. Newsmen report that the figure represents an increase from the 146 cases recorded on Thursday and 110 cases posted on Wednesday. It said 186 additional cases were reported from three states as of July 9. The agency noted that Lagos had the highest number of cases, which was 175, while Rivers recorded eight and Gombe had three cases. According to NCDC, compilation of the newly infected cases showed that the country now has a total of 168,442 confirmed cases. The NCDC highlighted that the total of discharged cases stood at 164,323. The agency said it also discharged eight more people from isolation ...

UNICEF to supply AU states 220 million coronavirus vaccines

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply up to 220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine to all 55 member-states of the African Union (AU) by the end of 2022. Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of this year, UNICEF stated in a statement issued on Thursday in New York. The agreement, between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen last March. That agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022. The AU established AVAT in November 2020 to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continen...

Haiti police say they have president’s suspected killers, still hunting masterminds

Haiti’s police has killed or apprehended the suspected killers of President Jovenel Moise, officials said on Thursday, and are hunting for the masterminds behind the assassination that stunned the impoverished Caribbean nation. Moise, 53, was shot dead early on Wednesday at his home by what officials said was a commando of apparently foreign, trained killers, pitching the poorest country in the Americas deeper into turmoil amidst political divisions, hunger, and widespread gang violence. Police Chief Leon Charles said in a televised briefing on Thursday that authorities had tracked down the suspected assassins to a house near the scene of the crime in Petionville, a northern suburb of the capital Port-au-Prince. A fierce firefight lasted late into the night and six suspects were taken in c...

Nigerian government says no immediate plan to ban cylinder imports

The Federal Government says it had no immediate plan to ban the importation of gas cylinders as part of its LPG expansion and implementation plan. Mr Dayo Adesina, Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Gas in the office of the Vice-President, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja. He said that the government was working on first building local capacities before contemplating a ban. According to Adesina, who is also the Programme Manager of the National LPG Expansion and Implementation, Nigeria still has a lot of cylinder deficits to fill in meeting the LPG expansion plan. He explained that the plan was to get LPG to the remotest of villages and discourage use of firewood and other fuels that are inimical to the environment. Adesina said that of the nation’s ove...

IGP charges police officers to keep up with modern policing techniques

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has charged officers of the Nigeria Police Force to keep themselves abreast of techniques and strategies of modern policing. Baba gave the advice Wednesday while addressing officers and men of the Nigeria Police at the Bompai Police headquarters in Kano. The Inspector General, who was on his first official visit to the Command since he assumed office, charged the officers to improve their knowledge on issues of democratic policing, human rights and other aspects of modern policing. Baba enjoined them never to be overwhelmed by challenges. Challenges are welcome and challenges are surmountable, he stated in respect to the plea for additional manpower to be deployed to Kano. He noted that even an additional 7,000 policemen were added ...

Malawi runs out of coronavirus vaccines as second jabs due

Delays in coronavirus vaccine shipments to Malawi have caused health facilities to run out of doses as hundreds are due to receive a second shot, the health minister said Saturday. The southern African country has so far received 300 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Nations, 102 000 from the African Union and 50 000 donated by India. Inoculations started in April and the country was expecting a second UN shipment of 900 000 by the end of May, four weeks before the first vaccinated Malawians would be due a second dose. But Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo said that batch had been delayed by a recent surge in coronavirus cases in India, the world’s main AstraZeneca supplier, which forced the country to temporarily halt major vaccine exports to meet local demand. “The situ...

FAO reiterates support to Nigerian government’s efforts to tackle food insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reiterated its commitment to support the Federal Government‘s efforts to ensure food sufficiency. FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, said this at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in Abuja on Thursday. He said that the theme of the meeting, which is “Nigeria’s Agriculture and Food Security in the face of COVID-19, Floods and Insecurity, ” was timely. Kafeero, however, said that the theme was a call for action to cushion the knock-on effects of these shocks and threats on the livelihoods of a large section of the population, especially vulnerable groups. He urged the government to provide enabling environment for private participation, creating synergy, engaging other sectors, interven...

Africa on cusp of the third wave of coronavirus facing a vaccine shortage

Africa is heading into a third wave of coronavirus infections as the least-inoculated continent faces a shortage of vaccines. African nations reported 94,000 new cases in the week through June 6, a 26% increase. South Africa announced the most new cases, followed by Tunisia, Africa Centres for Disease Control & Prevention Director John Nkengasong said in an online briefing Thursday. “Fourteen or so of our member states are now heading toward the third wave, and aggressively so,” he said. “It really highlights the need for us to roll out vaccines at speed and at scale.” Only 2.8% of Africa’s population is inoculated, compared with a global average of 14.5%, according to Africa CDC and Bloomberg Economics data. The program has slowed because of interruptions to supply from India, where m...

NPC: Census will not consider religion, ethnicity

The National Population Commission says the population census will not take into consideration the number of adherents of any religion or the number of members of ethnic groups. It, therefore, denied including a religious category in the questionnaires being distributed in the first pre-test exercise for the next population and housing census in the country. The Director, Public Affairs of the NPC, Udi Joseph, said this in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to viral Whatsapp messages claiming the NPC had made two separate categories for Muslims and one category for Christians in its questionnaire. In a statement titled, ‘NPC Refutes Fake News on Religion in Census Questionnaires’, the organisation said even in previous population census exercises, religion and ethnicity were not consi...

Twitter pushes back on ban by Nigerian government

Micro blogging social platform, Twitter, has pushed back on ban by the Federal Government. It described it as brazen affront on citizens fundamental human rights and advised its users and other social media platforms in the country to download virtual private networks (VPNs) to enable them continue to use the platforms for their economic survival and social and political engagements while the “push back on this draconian order by the Nigerian government.” In a statement, Twitter said: “Today, the 4th of June 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced its suspension of Twitter operations, that the application can be used as a platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence. “Many Nigerians read the announcement of the ban on Twitter as a reflection of the...