" ITREALMS: March 2020


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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Lagos Exco holds first-ever virtual meeting - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Government Executive Council, Tuesday leveraged technologies for their weekly meeting, reports ITREALMS.

Sources close to Alausa Secretariat, informed 
ITREALMS that it was banters here and there, waving of hands and laughter.

“Can you see me?” Am I connected?” “Yeah, I’m here”.

"Suddenly, at about 11.05am, the Chairman enters and announces his presence by calling the house to order. All is quiet.

"It was an exciting moment this morning at the Lagos State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting – the first-ever virtual meeting in the history of governance in the State. Nigeria? Well, not clear.

"The Chairman is no other person than Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. The Deputy Chair is Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor.

"Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso said the meeting was held via Zoom, a free high-definition (HD) meeting application with video and screen sharing for up to 100 people.

"It was all in compliance with the directive against gatherings as part of the anti-Coronavirus battle-plan.

“The meeting was slated for 10.45am but almost all EXCO members had hooked up to the system by 10.00am, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Governor to kickstart deliberations for the day,” Omotoso said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu came online at about 11.05am. On top of the agenda was the review of the management of COVID-19, especially the provision of additional isolation centres; the fumigation of the State against the spread of the virus, and the package for the less-privileged and daily income earners, the indigent.

“The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal briefed members on the distribution of the relief packages to local governments and local council development areas. Members reviewed areas where teething problems occurred and proffered ideas to solve identified problems,” he added.

"There were comments by some members. As the debates and clarifications went on, the Chairman announced that those eager to speak should spend a minute each.

"While acknowledging the excitement of members for being part of the first virtual meeting of the Lagos State Executive Council, the Commissioner said the feat affirmed that governance in Lagos will proceed seamlessly despite the 14-day restriction announced by President Muhammadu Buhari.
ITREALMS recalls that Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja are on a 14-day lockdown.

“Members were in high spirits. Some of us were in our offices; others attended the online meeting from the comfort of their homes. With this historic achievement, residents are assured that governance in Lagos State will continue, irrespective of the situation around us,” Omotoso asserted.

The idea of the online meeting was mooted by Governor Sanwo-Olu, who directed the Ministry of Science and Technology to facilitate it. The Special Adviser (Innovation and Technology), Mr. Olatunbosun Alake, moderated the meeting, reading out the dos and don’ts of the session which Science and Technology Commissioner, Hakeem Fahm described as “historic”.

“We should let our people know about this,” Waterfront Infrastructure Development Commissioner, Kabiru Ahmed said excitedly after the meeting.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu listening to contributions of the during the Virtual Meeting held by Lagos Executive Members

COVID 19: FirstBank donates N1bn, commits to Nigerians safety - ITREALMS

FirstBank has donated the sum of N1bn towards the joint effort by the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to rapidly expand the health facilities; especially Testing, Isolation, treatment and the provision of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities pivotal to controlling the spread and importantly, treating individuals diagnosed with COVID- 19, reports ITREALMS.

This is in addition to the Bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner – Roducate - as recommended by the Ministry of Education, Lagos State

In line with the 14-day stay home directive for Lagos, Ogun and FCT Abuja in the speech by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Bank has also reiterated its preparedness to provide essential Banking services through its alternative channels to its customers and the public at large which is in line with its robust Business Continuity Plan.

Updating on the Bank’s efforts; the Bank’s CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said “we promise to continue to look at all areas of intervention where our business infrastructure, reach, digital platforms and other natural strengths lie and can be deployed to further support all efforts for Nigerians; young and old alike.

To that end, we will continue to communicate ways in which we can do more together.

We thank our community of friends, customers and other stakeholders who have continued to send us ideas and initiatives and are gladdened at the solidarity we see as Nigerians come together to tackle this under one umbrella.

They also urged Nigerians to stay safe and join hands to work towards flattening the curve.

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Covid-19: Facebook invests $100m to support US, Canadian news industry - ITREALMS

The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when journalism is needed more than ever, ad revenues are declining due to the economic impact of the virus. Local journalists are being hit especially hard, even as people turn to them for critical information to keep their friends, families and communities safe.

Today we’re announcing an additional $100 million investment to support the news industry— $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, and $75 million in additional marketing spend to move money over to news organizations around the world.

Through the COVID-19 Community Network grant program, direct funding is helping journalists cover important stories when we all need them most. We're building on this work and will direct a portion of these funds to publishers most in need in the hardest hit countries. The first round of these grants went to 50 local newsrooms in the US and Canada. Here are some examples of how they've used the funding to support their COVID-19 news coverage:
The Post and Courier, South Carolina

Took down its paywall for coronavirus stories. It will use the grant to cover travel costs and remote work capabilities to extend coverage to rural, news desert portions of the state.
Southeast Missourian, Missouri

Publishing email newsletters highlighting coronavirus coverage. The newspaper will use its grant to bolster remote work technology and on contingency plans for reaching elderly readers should print distribution be disrupted.
El Paso Matters, Texas

New local online news organization launched earlier this year by former El Paso Times editor Bob Moore. The team will use their grant to hire freelance reporters and translators to expand coverage of coronavirus in El Paso and across the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

“This money will not only help keep journalists reporting right now amidst the crisis, the funding will also fuel opportunities for local media to accelerate business transformation toward a more sustainable digital footing,” said Nancy Lane, CEO of Local Media Association.

"Local news organizations, especially hyper-local news organizations including those serving black and other underserved communities, have experienced challenges with the sustainability and distribution of news and information in the current media environment. COVID-19 has exacerbated an already existing crisis and our jobs have just gotten tougher. With such a sizable infusion from Facebook, local news organizations across the country will benefit as will our readers, our viewers and our listeners," said Janis Ware, publisher of The Atlanta Voice.

This commitment builds upon $300 million we’ve committed already to serving journalists around the world through diverse and inclusive news programs and partnerships, including Report for America, the Pulitzer Center, the Community News Project and the Facebook Journalism Project’s Local News Accelerator training program.

If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they're getting it now. And while almost all businesses are facing adverse financial effects from this crisis, we recognize we're in a more privileged position than most, and we want to help.

To hear more about this initiative as it evolves, please sign up for the Facebook Journalism Project newsletter. We’ll send regular updates about this investment and Facebook’s ongoing efforts to support the news industry during COVID-19.

*Contributed by Campbell Brown, VP Global News Partnerships

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Covid-19 Shutdown: 6 Tools to Aid Remote Working - ITREALMS

Remote work was viewed as a fad. While technology enthusiasts have long spoken about the potential of remote working, few individuals listened and fewer firms cared. During this period technology firms developed tons of tools and applications to aid remote working. These tools were largely ignored and or considered only useful for staff working on the field.

Today, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is changing this situation. Covid-19 has led to travel bans, school closures, and directives to curb people gathering in large groups. This is in addition to maintaining appropriate social distancing. It is now precipitating remote working in almost every corner of the globe.

Remote work has now effectively moved from the realm of a fad to must-have. It would not be out of place therefore to say, ‘welcome to the age of remote work’.

But for remote work to work, staff must have connectable devices such as laptops and tablets, access to broadband internet connection and tools to automatically sync and back up files (think Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive).

As Covid-19 rages on and employees are forced to work remotely, here are tools you can use to make the transition:

WhatsApp - WhatsApp is a mobile app most people are familiar with as a group messaging tool. It’s connected to a phone number and has no storage limits. WhatsApp offers a desktop app that you can have running on your computer and sync with your mobile device.

It can also be used as a way to send encrypted mass texts to everyone in a group (up to 250 people). The group feature can be disabled so that only notifications from the admins are allowed. WhatsApp is a simple way to send important messages to staff who want to be also alerted by text beyond email.

Slack - Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the people, information, and tools together to get work done. To optimise your storage space is to connect Slack with file storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and One Drive. That way, you simply have to share a link to the file.

To ensure seamless integration with these tools, everyone in the organisation must use the same services as much as possible. Slack has app integration with all three.

Workplace – Workplace by Facebook is a collaboration and communication tool that connects employees via an internal social network. Companies pay by the user to set up a private version of Facebook for their employees.

Organisations can sign up for the Workplace for Good to get free access to all the premium services offered by Workplace. Workplace also offers integration with 3rd party tools similar to Slack. If you’re using Workplace for group chats, you can also use the one-on-one or larger group video meeting feature.
Hangouts - Google Hangouts is a unified communications service that allows members to initiate and participate in text, voice or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group. Hangouts are built into Google+ and Gmail, and mobile Hangouts apps are available for iOS and Android devices.

The good news is that because of the impact of COVID-19, Google is offering free access (until July 1st, 2020) to the advanced features of Hangouts Meet, such as hosting video meetings with up to 250 participants, live streaming with up to 100,000 viewers, as well as recording and saving meetings to Google Drive.

Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. There is a free and premium service.

Microsoft is currently offering free access to Microsoft Teams with up to 250 video meeting participants and live streams of up to 10,000 viewers, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zoom - Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local, desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. Zoom users can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share or annotate on one another's screens, all with one easy-to-use platform. Zoom offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings.

You can try Zoom for as long as you like - there is no trial period. The Basic plan has a 40 minutes time limit on meetings with three or more total participants.

Bonus: Of course, if you need to scan something and send as a PDF, you can do it using apps such as Adobe Scan, CamScanner and Scanbot among others.

The truth is that Covid-19 will end and workers will return to work. But employers and employees alike will then begin to question the wisdom of the daily commute to work. Interesting times are ahead.

For now, since you know the tools and applications you can use. Get to work – Remote Working.

Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos. 

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Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19: PMB signs Quarantine Act into law - ITREALMS

In fulfillment of the powers in Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004) and all other powers, the Nigerian President, General Muhammadu Buhari, retired, on Monday signed the ChineseVirus-19 also known as COVID-19 Regulations 2020, declaring COVID-19 a dangerous infectious disease, reports ITREALMS.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed this to 
ITREALMS in a press statement on Monday.

He said the Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, equally gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020 such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos State, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

To ensure that Nigerians could still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, Adesina said that exemption has been granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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ChineseVirus-19: Oyeyemi shuts license centres nationwide, advises on use of online by-pass - ITREALMS

Following the lockdown directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Chinese Virus-19 also known as COVID-19 pandemic on Sun 29 March, 2020, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has ordered the shutdown of Driver's License database in Abuja with immediate effect, reports ITREALMS.

This, he said was in line with the President’s directives to lockdown, stressing that expectedly, the Drivers License Centres will not be able to process licenses for applicants nationwide.

"However, applicants can go via the by-pass mode to process for the license to be delivered after the lockdown period," says the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, in a press statement available to ITREALMS.

He also revealed that the shutdown is aimed at sustaining existing endeavours already in place by the Federal Government to curtail further spread of the menace.

Kazeem quoted the Corps Marshal as saying that in the wake of the pandemic all DLCs should maintain maximum hygiene through provision of adequate water, soap and alcohol-based sanitizers at the Centres. ITREALMS recalls that the Corps Marshal had earlier advised applicants to avoid physical capture at this critical moment when the world is battling a common enemy (COVID-19), and explore the BY-PASS option which is the online processing of the National Drivers License without physical presence of the applicant at the DLCs.

It is therefore to be noted that the By-Pass option is applicable only to applicants who intend to renew their licenses not fresh applicants. This is hereby reiterated as part of the Corps’ concerted efforts to curb the spread of the global health challenge.

Accordingly, Kazeem added that the closure of the DLCs will not affect the Operational formations of the Corps as Operatives have been deployed to render required essential services in collaboration with other security and intelligence agencies at all levels to enforce both the Presidential and State Government's directives on restriction of movement and sit at home among others.

To this end, the Corps Marshal has notified the Chairman and Secretary of the Joint Tax Board about the effect of the temporary shutdown of the DLCs nationwide.

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COVID-19: Konga pledges support for Nigerians - ITREALMS

Konga, Nigeria’s foremost composite e-commerce giant, has once again assured Nigerians of its utmost commitment to ensuring that essential deliveries reach them, irrespective of their locations, especially as the country gradually approaches a shut-down in order to slow down the dreaded coronavirus.

‘‘We are structured for times like this and will not disappoint with critical supplies and that is why our strategic logistics/retail stores will remain open in many states across five7t economic zones,’’ disclosed Konga Co- CEO, Prince Nnamdi.

Indeed, the Federal Government is set to enforce a total shut-down of the country as a means of curbing the spread of COVID-19. Earlier, bans had been imposed on mass gatherings, with airports, markets, schools and religious gatherings, all as part of preventive measures. In addition, Nigerians had been strongly advised to observe social distancing and to spend more time at home.

However, Konga had been arguably the first Nigerian corporate organization to anticipate the potential critical nature of the coronavirus pandemic, for which it displayed a high-level emergency readiness. Weeks before the pandemic started spreading rapidly across Nigeria, Konga had internally activated a comprehensive preventive compliance system which drew widespread commendation. Equally important, Konga had also set up a N10m intervention fund, amongst other incentives which it has started disbursing via shopping vouchers, to ease the impact of the COVID-19 scourge on Nigerians.

And with the impending shut-down sparking fears among Nigerians, Konga has assured that it would continue to ensure that deliveries of essential materials such as medicine, groceries, food items, health equipment and other important homes needs are delivered to the last mile, through Kxpress, its internally owned logistics company, irrespective of customers’ locations nationwide.

‘‘We are available online 24 hours,’’ Prince Ekeh declared.

Also speaking, Head of Kxpress, Emmanuel Ekuma, affirmed that, with the lock-down, Nigerian definitely have essential requirements which must be met; even as he held that Konga will strive to keep meeting these needs promptly.

‘‘We are in uncertain times, a time when many have been asked to spend more time at home in order to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. However, it is an open secret that the millions of Nigerians who have to stay at home have essential needs which must be met.

‘‘Consequently, we realize that these Nigerians require the services provided by Konga even more critically n0w. Therefore, we wish to assure all Nigerians that we will continue to do our utmost best to ensure that we deliver all essential materials required to the last mile, wherever they may be. It is part of our commitment to stand with Nigerians at this difficult period.

‘‘Fighting the coronavirus to a standstill requires the collective effort of all of us. So, we also wish to seize this opportunity to implore all Nigerians to observe better personal hygiene, practice social distancing and stay at home. On our own part, we will continue to work with the Federal, State and Local Governments to ensure that we have access to always deliver essential products to you throughout this period,’’ he submitted.

Nigeria has been battling to contain the coronavirus scourge since an undisclosed Italian, who returned to the country on February 24 became the first confirmed case. Although the Italian has made a full recovery and has now been discharged, Nigeria has however racked up more confirmed cases of the coronavirus thus far, further sparking fears of a major crisis. As a result, the government has come up with more stringent measures to ensure the containment of the coronavirus pandemic.


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ChineseVirus-19: I am positive says Gov. Makinde - ITREALMS

The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde has tested positive to the Chinese Virus-19 also known as Covid-19, reports ITREALMS.

Disclosing this on his Twitter handle, Gov. Makinde said, he tested positive for coronavirus.

“I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result. It is POSITIVE. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate,” Makinde tweeted this evening,” the governor declared.

In addition, Gov. Makinde named the former Chief Medical Director of the University College, Ibadan, Prof Temitope Alonge, as the Head of COVID-19 Task Force in the state.

“I have designated Prof Temitope Alonge, former Chief Medical Director of the University College, Ibadan, as the Head of COVID-19 Task Force while I recover fully. Please continue to comply with all the directives from the COVID-19 Task Force. Stay home, stay safe,” he said.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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ChineseVirus-19: Ooni prescribes 7 alternative African medicine as coronavirus cure - ITREALMS

The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Monday prescribed some African medicines as cure for ravaging Chinese Virus-19 also known as revealed that cure to the pandemic Coronavirus lies in the ability to explore the potentials of the alternative/natural medicine, reports ITREALMS.

Ooni Ogunwusi doubles as the Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile Ife, emphasising that the Nigeria as a country and the world at large must look inward for alternative solution.

"A divine proclamation came out to the world last year June 6th 2019, during the World Ifa Festival - OTURA MEJI which foretold about the impending rage of this invisible pandemic war, but few heard us.

"Look at Cuba, a country that has a strong traditional ties with Nigeria, the kingdom of Ife in particular, they have not only defeated the Covid-19, but now rendering huge medical assistance to several countries across the world because they value their traditional heritage inherited from us here.

"As the spiritual head of Youruba race, I have a lot gathered for the use of mankind. I am also currently working with Yem Kem International (Alternative Medicine Expert) pharmaceutical company for the packaging and distribution of these alternative medications globally. I also challenge researchers both in Nigeria and abroad to make these natural herbs into clinical medicine and extract the vaccines from it.

"Necessity is the mother of innovation, we must create results from our current ways of life which is strange to us as people. For example, the stay at home policy of the government should be improved upon to enable people work from home irrespective of their geographical locations." Ooni Ogunwusi added.

While advocating that there are several positive sides to the pandemic, the Ooni noted that leaders especially those in the political class must rework the country's system with a view to enable Nigerians especially the youths to maximize their potentials.

"This is the first time in Nigeria that we will have so much money and other resources being expended on our health sector either as donations or budgetary. This in itself is a devine lesson that we must revive our health sector to satisfy everyone especially the poor and other vulnerable members of our society.

"Look at us now, nobody can leave his or her country across the world which implies that all parts of the world must be made habitable. We must all come together to make this country work, there is no perfect system anywhere in the world.

"Imagine how the world giant economies like that of the US and UK bowed and still bowing to coronavirus. The disease is not a respecter of anybody or any nation, it is a common enemy of the world that we must collectively combat and defeat," the Ooni noted.

The African foremost monarch equally thanked stakeholders across the country's private sector for their kind donations, urging then to do more as it will remain an undisputed legacy that they stood for the country and her people in this moment of global health and economic challenges.

In the same vain, the monarch urged Nigerians to adhere to the strict precautionary measures laid down by the state and Federal governments as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control as the country struggle to end the pandemic.

Ooni of Ife suggestions of Potent Yoruba herbs to help:

1.Yoruba (ewe akoko), English ( boundary tree),
Botanical name (Newbouldia laevis)

2.Yoruba( dogoyaro) English ( nim tree or Indian lilac),
Botanical (Azadirachta indica)

3. Yoruba (Alubosa), English (Onion), Botanical ( Allium cepa)

4.Yoruba (Ogirisako) English (Forest anchomanes) (Blume),
Botanical (Anchomanes difformis)

5. Yoruba (Aridan), Englush (Aridan fruit), Botanical (Tetrapleura tetraptera)

6. Yoruba (Eeru or Erinje), English (African pepper, Guinia pepper), Botanical (Xylopia aethiopica)

7.Yoruba (Ewuro), English (Bitter leaf), Botanical (Vernonia amygdalina)

8.Yoruba (Iyin ojo), English (Sulfur). Let’s all keep safe.

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ChineseVirus-19: Story of SURVIVAYO - ITREALMS


Nigerian Lady Oluwaseun Ayodeji  Osowobi who tested positive to Corona Virus but now negative shares her  amazing recovery story. 

Let’s read her:

Life finds ways of throwing LEMON at me. I’ve struggled w/ coming forward, but I want to inspire hope.

I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) & fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated.

Days after, I Tested positive for Covid-19.

Before returning, I had planned several interviews, I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job & was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions.

I lost them all!!! 

I had to self-isolate and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested. #COVID19

My friend & I kept calling @NCDCgov to get tested? What if we didn’t persist?

No info on my test result. At 12am, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep & was crying. I got to isolation center, but no one was there to receive me. I waited in the ambulance for TWO HOURS.

The nurses eventually came out & treated me like a plague. I sat in the ambulance feeling rejected.

No questions about how I felt. So many questions about my travel history. Same information I had provided to NCDC & Lagos State Government during profiling.

Lack of data sharing!

After two hours, I was taken to my space.

I felt lonely, bored & disconnected from the outside world.

Few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in.

“Are people observing self-isolation & social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria.πŸ™πŸ½

The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit & stooling was unbearable. I’m a blood type A & #COVID19 dealt w/ me.

I’ll share daily symptoms & recovery process in a video tomorrow.✌🏽

I thought I was going to die & contemplated a succession plan for @StandtoEndRape.

I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I‘d take 8 tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out!

Water, food, soap & all disgusted me. But I’d look at the wall & force myself to stay hydrated — drank ORS. I FOUGHT TO LIVE! I FOUGHT!!

Days after, the Doctors shared a goodnews that I tested negative. I shared this news w/ family & friends! My blood sample was taken & I also tried to donate my plasmapheresis to help others. I hoped to be discharged.

I waited to be discharged, but for two days, nothing happened.

I was unsure of what was going on. Why haven’t I been discharged? Should I be in the same ward? Could I get reinfected? I was worried but remained calm.

On the 3rd day, Doctors said, “well, we worked w/ the info we had of you testing negative, but one result came back positive.”

“...You’ll stay a few more days. You know we take nose, mouth & sputum samples.” 

“Am I still positive 😳?” I asked.

“No, you’re negative,” the Doctor replied.

The Doctor apologised for the delay. I was anxious to go home but remained calm.

I wanted to be free from this pain.

I continued the medication and asked to be in a separate ward. Sadly, I remained in the same ward as all others rooms were full.

My ward had people who were positive. What if I get re-infected?

For them, I was a beacon of hope & they needed me gone to register the progress.

My family & friends were becoming anxious.

People in my ward who earlier celebrated the news of my result suddenly lost hope.
“Why are you still here?”
“You shouldn’t be here with us. You should be separated from us now...”

People in my ward muttered.

I tried to calm them.

Today, I am PROUD to inform you that I MURDERED COVID-19 & have tested NEGATIVE TWICE! I HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED!🀸🏾‍♂️

I bless God for His mercies.πŸ™πŸ½

The nurses at IDH Yaba were fab. They deserve accolades for their hardwork.

Thank you Governor Sanwo Olu for coming to see me.πŸ™πŸ½

Thanks to @ProfAkinAbayomi, the health team at IDH + Lagos State. The food was good!😍

Thanks to @dondekojo for helping me get help. Thanks to my chat buddy, @akintonmide.

Thank you @KelechiAFC & @lailajohnsonsal for the mental & material support.

They protected my identity!😍

Thanks to everyone who called, sent messages and tried to contact me. I am grateful and well. πŸ™πŸ½

This experience reminded me of the value of friendship. Some people I refer to as friends speculated about this, but never reached out to check. Thank you still. Back to the grind!πŸ˜†

Huge thanks to my family, @Triciabiz & Sola Odetola who were my backbone. πŸ₯°

Some stigmatised me based on a PUNCH article with subtle messages like “why did she come back to Nigeria?”πŸ˜‚

Nigeria is my home. 🀷🏽‍♀️

Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE!

We should encourage people to get tested & stop the stigma.

Practise social distancing and stop the spread.

@NCDCgov & State Governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too.

Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat #COVID19. πŸ’ͺ🏽

To every young person out there, please give your lungs a chance to beat this. Can I encourage you to stop smoking & live a healthy life at this time? A healthy lungs is KEY!

This another phase of my life & I HAVE won! I celebrate my resilience and strength.

Call me SURVIVAYOπŸ₯° she concluded.

She was discharged today from Yaba isolation center and this for me is good news.

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NGE condemns attack on Newspapers personnel, insists media renders essential services - ITREALMS

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has strongly condemned the harassment on Sunday of drivers of newspaper distribution vans by overzealous security agents in some states, reports ITREALMS

NGE in reaction, noted that the media is a strategic partner in national affairs, with the Constitutional mandate of providing information to the populace.

Also, the body of Editors, in a press statement endorsed by the President, Mustapha Isah and General-Secretary, Mary Atolagbe, restated that media personnel are rendering essential services and Journalists should be commended for carrying out their Constitutional mandate of sourcing stories and monitoring compliance with government directives in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, instead of being harassed.

The Guild therefore, implores state governments that have declared one form of lockdown or the other, being measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, to appropriately educate the security agents drafted to enforce the restrictions, on the essential nature of media duties.

NGE recalls that President Muhammad Buhari's statement in a nationwide broadcast, permits ‘’workers of telecommunications companies, broadcasting, print and electronic media, who can prove they are unable to work from home’’ as being exempted from the total lockdown in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Guild is worried that some security agents, who may not be sufficiently knowledgeable about the operations of media houses, may find it difficult to determine the categories of print and electronic staff who cannot work from home.

In the light of this potential friction, the Guild is calling on the Nigerian Government to exempt all categories of media staff from the COVID-19 Stay-at-home restrictions and hereby enjoins journalists to carry their means of identification as they undertake their duties, to eliminate the chances of being harassed by security operatives.

The Guild commends the Federal and State governments for the measures put in place to contain the deadly Corona Virus and also applauds government’s pledge of palliative measures for the most vulnerable in the society during this period of lockdown, especially those who survive on daily income.

The body of Editors also salutes the tireless efforts of our medical personnel, who have continued to put their lives on the line, as the world battles the monstrous COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guild also notes however, that Nigeria cannot afford a total lockdown at this time. People should be allowed to move within their neighbourhoods to access Pharmacies, fuel stations and other basic needs.

We urge all journalists and other personnel on essential services to adhere strictly to the prescribed precautionary measures against COVID-19 and continue to stay safe in the course of their duties.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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ChineseVirus-19 Lockdown movement: Minister advises journalists to use their ID cards - ITREALMS

All working journalists and other media staff in Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been advised to use their valid Identity Cards to access their places of work and assignment venues during the 14-day lockdown directed by the President in the two states and the FCT, reports ITREALMS.The Special Assistant to the President at the office of the  Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, confirmed to ITREALMS in Abuja on Monday, quoted the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as saying that the clarification becomes necessary in view of the inadequate time to properly accredit working journalists in the affected states and the FCT during the period.

He said members of the media are expected to continue to provide essential services during the lockdown, in order to keep Nigerians well updated on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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VMU, TAYA JSC partner to provide qualitative education in Nigeria - ITREALMS


Worried by the dearth of quality education in the Country, Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and TAYA J.S.C Nigeria Ltd have partnered to provide Nigerian students with qualitative education at an affordable cost, reports 

Speaking after the partnership agreement, Engr Raymon Udeji, CEO TAYA J.S.C Nigeria Ltd, VMU’s official student recruitment Agent in Nigeria, said that the aim of the partnership was to provide Nigerian students with the opportunity of studying in one of the notable Universities in Europe (Republic of Lithuania) comparable with Harvard University in Massachusetts USA at a very affordable cost without breaking their bank account.

He explained that VMU is one of the leading universities in Europe that offers prospective applicants opportunity for exchange programs with 19 other universities across Europe/America/Asia.

On the benefits of studying abroad, especially with VMU, Engr Udeji revealed that Nigerian students would be exposed to qualitative education in any field of specialization,( Science, Arts, Engineering, Technology, Agriculture etc) in under graduate /Master's degree Courses with the availability of modern teaching techniques that would make them globally competitive/marketable .

According to him, “With this partnership Nigerian students will have opportunity of securing certificate that would prepare and make them ready for the future work, either as employees or employer of labour.

“They will be exposed to IT based teaching techniques that would make them globally marketable/ competitive unlike being trained by the age long old style system that is overrun with obsolete and outdated equipments we have in our system in Nigeria. Hence we keep churning out mass produced Graduates, Master degree holders and even PHD holders who cannot defend their Certificates in the job markets both locally and internationally.

“Also successful applicants will have the opportunity to work and settle with attractive pay offer in any of the 28 schengen countries in Europe after their graduation”.

Speaking further, Udeji said that prospective applicants are guaranteed of finishing one´s chosen course of study at a stipulated years unlike Nigeria where incessant strike actions from University workers Unions often take place, thereby shattering the already programmed academic calendar of these Institutions.

He also highlighted that heightening insecurity problems in the country, like cultism on school campuses, terrorism, Rape, and kidnapping as some of the main reasons Parents should take advantage of this partnership for their children to study aboard.

Vytautas Magnus University formerly known as University of Lithuania, was founded in 1918 and is currently located in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania.

Their International Summer Schools provide everyone with an excellent opportunity to take part in various international summer schools.

The university devotes special attention to international activities and they are currently collaborating with many universities and scientists around the world, carrying out projects, student and worker exchange, constantly improving the system of studying and research.

Interested applicants are advised to contact our Chief Coordinator in Nigeria Mr. Francis via email at ugo.organogold@gmail.com, mobile no: 0815225-0352 for more details.

Students who wish to enroll for study at VMU through TAYA JSC NIG LTD for the next academic session, should start to apply now via the above mentioned Company to secure a slot before the limited slots for Nigerian prospective Students are exhausted.

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Lagos NUJ mourns journalism icon, Pa Odebiyi - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), regrets to announce the death of a former Chairman of the Council, late Pa 'Dele Odebiyi, a quintessential gentleman whose commitment to media professionalism and vibrancy was unquestionable, reports ITREALMS.

The sad event took place yesterday, March 28,2020 at the Ikorodu General Hospital,Ikorodu, Lagos State.

In a statement released and signed by the Chairman, Dr. Qasim Akinreti and the Secretary, Comrade Alfred Odifa, described the death of the legendary journalism icon as a colossal loss to Lagos NUJ and the journalism profession at large.

Addressing a handful of press men yesterday, Dr.Qasim Akinreti described death as "a necessary end that will come when it will come"

The Chairman eulogised the fallen icon as a mentor, teacher,hardworking, committed,passionate Union leader and an encyclopedia of NUJ.

A thorough bred professional, Baba Odebiyi as he is fondly called by members, started his journalism journey from Radio Lagos in the 80s as an NYSC member and later joined the Daily Times Newspaper, where he retired as Editor.

Baba Odebiyi later became a lecturer at the defunct Times Journalism Institute, TJI, where he taught many Journalists of repute.

Baba Odebiyi was a good blend of professionalism and unionism.

His calming disposition in moments of tension will be greatly missed!

Sun re o,Baba !

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Times Journalism Alumni Association Mourns Pa Dele Odebiyi - ITREALMS

The Times Journalism Alumni Association (TJAA), today, joins the journalism fraternity to mourn the passing into eternal glory, on Saturday of consummate journalist, administrator and unionist, Pa Dele Odebiyi, aged 80, reports ITREALMS.

Pa Odebiyi passed on at a Lagos hospital, after a brief illness. Odebiyi was the editor of the widely circulated but defunct title Lagos Weekend as well as a lecturer at the prestigious Times Journalism Institute(TJI), where he taught so many students, who themselves, rose through the ranks to become editors, Newsman’s English.

TJAA chairman, Mr. Clifford Agugoesi, described Odebiyi’s demise, as a tragedy at this time, which “came to us at TJAA, as a rude shock, as he was one of the resource persons penciled down to help us in our efforts at strengthening our association and revive our alma mater. “

A press statement from TJAA Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emma Udodinma, made available to 
ITREALMSquoted Agugoesi also saying that as an editor to many editors, Pa Odebiyi did not only pass through the Daily Times nay Times Journalism Institute but allowed both institutions to pass through him.

“Our hearts and thoughts go to his immediate and extended families, who have been suddenly thrown into a mourning when they had looked forward to being with him for many more years to come.

“We pray God to grant him eternal rest and his friends and well-wishers, the fortitude to mourn his loss,” he said.

Assuring that TJAA, will continue to keep in constant touch with the immediate family of Pa Odebiyi as a mark of respect and appreciation to him as one who genuinely and sincerely worked tirelessly for everything that typifies what both Daily Times of old and our alma mater -the Times Journalism Institute, stand for.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Abule Ado fire explosion victims need food, materials says LACMON president, applauds Sanwo-Olu - ITREALMS

The President, Lagos Archdiocese Catholic Men Organization of Nigeria (LACMON) Barrister Vincent Otiono has applauded the efforts of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the efforts of his administration over the relief package for Abule Ado victims, reports ITREALMS.

Otiono gave this applause to the governor, saying he has exhibited a high sense of character and qualitative leadership whose job rating is well appreciated by Lagosians. 

He equally expressed thanks to the Governor on the handling of the Abule Ado fire explosions and asked him not to forget the suffering masses who lost their homes in the aftermath of the disaster.

In addition, Otiono pleaded with the Governor to as a matter of priority establish the food bank and other palliative measures in the Abule Ado area of Lagos where the recent explosion incident occurred which is now a semblance of the Syrian town Aleppo. 

Pointing out that the Abule Ado people are battling with twin disaster namely Explosions and Coronavirus Pandemic.

He prayed that "Christ Our leader" will continue to guide Mr Governor and grant him good health of mind and body to be able to tackle the enormous task confronting the state at this period of our existence. 

Barrister Otiono went in to say that about 40 of his members lost their properties and means of livelihood as a result of the explosions.

The Abule Ado victims need food and humanitarian materials urgently so that they would not suffer server lockdown in Lagos.

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What Buhari told Nigerians on #Covid-19 pandemic - ITREALMS

Being text of an address by General Muhammadu Buhari, President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on #Covid-19 pandemic, Sunday 29th March, 2020.Excerpts: 
1. Fellow Nigerians,

2. From the first signs that Coronavirus or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.

4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.

5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.

6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatments.

7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.

8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.

9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.

11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.

12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.

14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.

15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two-step approach.

16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.

17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.

18. Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.

19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.

20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.

21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.

22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.

24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.

25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.

26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of ad-hoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

28. This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.

31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.

32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.

33. We are therefore working to ensure such interstate and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Minister of the FCT, have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

37. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

38. This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in healthcare-related manufacturing and distribution.

39. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;

a. food processing, distribution and retail companies;

b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,

c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and

d. private security companies are also exempted.

40. Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

41. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

42. All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

43. Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.

44. Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.

45. Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

46. We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

47. However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

48. As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.

49. For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

50. Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.

51. Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

52. I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

53. For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.

54. For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.

55. We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

56. As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.

57. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.

58. My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

59. We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

61. I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

62. Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

63. I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.

64. I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.

65. I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

*President Muhammadu Buhari
29th March 2020.

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