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Covid-19: Nigeria to seek $750 million from World Bank- Finance Minister

Loan is to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.



The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that Nigeria is seeking a $750 million loan from the World Bank to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.

This was reported by Channels TV after the Minister attended the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) program in Abuja on Friday.

What you should know 

It was reported in August that the World Bank approved the sum of $114 million to assist Nigeria in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a statement, the funds came in the form of a $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

The World Bank, in its report for October 2020, titled “Charting the road to recovery,” warned Nigeria and other Africans not to relax despite recording lower cases and mortality rates compared to other regions of the world.

The Minister warned on Friday that Nigeria must develop plans to lift herself from the economic effects of the pandemic or face consequences.

“As part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of 750 million dollars on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption,” she said.

“The consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must, therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post-Covid-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.”

She added that members of the newly inaugurated committee were selected because the MDAs have an important role in lifting the economy back to prosperity, as Nigeria’s population is too large to remain under poverty.

“Members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.

“The inauguration of the committees is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention; Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession; the survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace,” she said.

The World Bank announced plans in September for a $12 billion coronavirus financing initiative that will help poor and developing countries purchase enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as they become available in the coming months.

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Covid-19: Coronavirus in Italy since September 2019 – Researchers

A new study suggests that the Coronavirus may have spread from China to other parts of the world earlier than previously thought.



A team of researchers at Italy’s National Cancer Institute (INT) revealed that the coronavirus may have been in Italy long before the World Health Organization announced the virus in December 2019.

This was disclosed in a Reuters report on Sunday evening. Italy officially reported its first case in the Lombardy region on the 21st of February.

Italian researchers disclosed that 11.6% in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019- March 2020 already had covid-19 antibodies before February.

The Institute said Italy’s Lombardy region had reported higher than normal cases of flu and pneumonia in the 4th quarter of 2019, which are symptoms of the virus and a sign that the virus may have been in Europe before the WHO announced the news of the disease to the world.

“A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research titled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy. 

“It showed that four cases dated back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had got infected in September,” Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study told Reuters.

Researchers disclosed that trialists had developed no symptoms and also had antibodies able to kill the virus,

“It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for long and with a low rate of lethality not because it is disappearing but only to surge again,” Apolone added.

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Liverpool Star, Mohamed Salah tests positive for Coronavirus

Liverpool forward, Mohamed Salah has tested positive for the novel Covid-19.



Liverpool and Egypt star player, Mohammed Salah has tested positive for COVID-19.

This was announced today by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) confirmed today after all the players tested for the virus as is required, but only Salah’s results came back positive.

The EFA said: “The medical swab conducted on the mission of our first national football team showed that our international player, Mohamed Salah, the star of Liverpool, was infected with the Coronavirus after his test came positive.”

However, the EFA said there were no symptoms of the virus on the Liverpool star, “although he does not suffer from any symptom”. It might be a false positive, who knows? But the EFA also said more checks would be carried out on the Egyptian Star in the coming hours to confirm his status.

He’s now in isolation until further checks are carried out to confirm his virus status, the EFA said.

This is bad news for Liverpool because it adds to their long lists of injured players with the likes of Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Arnold on the sidelines.

During the last international break, Cristiano Ronaldo also contacted the virus and was unavailable for selection for more than 14 days.

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Covid-19: Lagos faces another lockdown and imposition of other measures

Lagos government has warned that it may have to resort to another round of lockdown if COVID-19 protocols continue to be flouted.



The Lagos State Government has warned that it may impose a new lockdown and return other measures if there is a recurrence of high cases of coronavirus in the state due to the flagrant disregard for the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic protocols.

It, therefore, stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against Covid-19 pandemic transmission to prevent the second wave of infections.

This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Lagos calls for precautions against the second wave of Covid-19’ and signed by the Director, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, on Tuesday.

The statement quoted the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as saying that many countries around the world have found it necessary to impose a second lockdown and restriction of movements, which have significant socio-economic and security consequences.

The statement partly reads, “The Lagos State Government has once again stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against COVID-19 infection transmission to prevent a recurrence of the situation that led to the lockdown of the economy.’’

“A resurgence of cases in Lagos may lead to the reversal of the strategically calculated measures put in place by the Government to open up the economy.

“The first wave of coronavirus started in December 2019 and swept through an unprepared world. The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded in Lagos on the 27th of February 2020. Lagos has since become the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria with a record of 21,107 confirmed cases and 212 deaths from the virus till date.’

The containment measures put in place at the time included COVID-19 testing, isolation and treatment, surveillance, total shutdown of the State for about 12 weeks and a partial shutdown of social, economic and academic activities for over four months.”

Abayomi advised citizens against unnecessary movement and social gatherings unless it is absolutely necessary stressing that travelling into and outside the country should be discouraged except when absolutely necessary.

He said, “The erroneous belief that COVID-19 has been conquered and is no more in Nigeria should be discarded. Based on our data, this assumption is invalid. It creates a false sense of security amongst the citizens causing many to abandon the use of face masks and other safety measures and protocols put in place by the Government.

“Though we have reached our peak as predicted and are now experiencing a decline in the number of positive cases, this is not a reason to conclude that all is over. COVID-19 is still very much with us as evidenced in the number of cases being recorded in the community daily and occasional deaths from severe complications.

“The reason for the decline in COVID-19 cases in Lagos is attributable to a number of factors, including public adherence to safety regulations of physical and social distancing, hand hygiene, use of face mask in public places, expanded testing strategy and contact tracing, among others, and this is the more reason why citizens should not relent in this regard if we don’t want to experience a second wave of the disease.”

This warning is coming at a time when the state’s economy is still trying to recover from the negative impacts of lockdown and restrictions due to the outbreak of the first wave of the pandemic and the #EndSARS protests which had the state’s economy at a standstill. The protests witnessed non-adherence to the safety protocols against the coronavirus pandemic.

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