The World Health Organisation on Tuesday said “Covid-19” would be the new official name for the deadly coronavirus that was first identified in China on December 31.
“We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, explaining that “co” stood for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”.
Tedros said the name had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location, animal species or group of people in line with international recommendations for naming in order to avoid stigmatisation.
The WHO had earlier given the virus the temporary name of “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease” and China’s National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it “novel coronavirus pneumonia” or NCP.
Speaking on the first day of an international scientific conference in Geneva that will look at possible vaccine options to combat the virus, Tedros also said he saw a “realistic chance” of stopping the outbreak.
“We are not defenceless,” he said.
“We have to use the current window of opportunity to hit hard and stand in unison to fight this virus in every corner. If we don’t we could have far more cases and far higher costs on our hands,” he said.
BREAKING: Maria Sharapova Retires From Tennis
Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 32.
The Russian star burst on to the scene in 2004 when she stunned the sporting world by winning Wimbledon at 17.
She went on to win a total of five Grand Slam titles but her career never recovered after serving a two-year drugs ban for testing positive for meldonium.
Injuries to her shoulder and arm over the past 18 months led her to decide to hang up her racket after returning to Los Angeles from the Australian Open this year, where she lost to Donna Vekic in the first round.
But it was as much off the court as on it that Sharapova had the biggest impact.
According to Forbes, she was the highest-earning female athlete for 11 years on the bounce thanks to her sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Evian.
BREAKING: Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application, Upholds Diri As Bayelsa Gov
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
According to Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment on Wednesday, the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.
She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.
The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.
“There must be an end to litigation even if we review this judgment, every disaffected litigant will bring similar applications and the finality of Supreme Court judgments will be lost.”
She added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.
Justice Augie added that the counsels of the APC and Mr Lyon are to each pay Governor Douye Diri, his deputy Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP the same N10 million.
‘It Is Not The Job Of The Military To Fight Boko Haram’ — Buratai
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has stated that the war against Boko Haram could not be won by military might due to series of indoctrination that have been carried out in the north for more than two decades. Buratai said that only 25 per cent of the war falls within the ambit of the military.
The rest, according to him, is for the civil populace to handle. He made these declarations yesterday in Lagos during the 2020 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Security Meets Business Dialogue.
Buratai stated that: “We are fighting the mind. So, can the military fight the mind of the people? That is not the job of the military.
Psychological operation is government- driven. Facility to reach the minds of the people is within the precinct of the governments. Does military have control over religious leaders that preach hate? There is lot of mundane issues that culminated to this problem. And unfortunately, we do not look at these little things that really matter. You see religious leaders addressing congregation violently on social media to instigate violence against other people.”
He urged Nigerians to own the military and other security agencies and support them with information to enable them win the fight against Boko Haram.
He also debunked the insinuation that there was no synergy between the security agencies in the fight against mounting insecurity facing the country. “It is easy to sit in our rooms and make conjectures even though we are not on the ground. In 2013 the international community issued a warning that foreigners should not go beyond Lagos. But starting in October 2015 they started coming. Can this be achieved without synergy?” he asked.
Buratai also regretted that the country failed to develop the “Ogbunigwe” that was invented by Biafra during the Nigerian civil war and lamented that Nigeria’s allies were denying the country strategic military supplies needed to combat insurgency.
He said: “We all know how the armed forces have been deprived of what it is supposed to have in terms of equipment. There was civil war in this country between 1967 and 1970. Did all our allies support Nigeria as a country? Those Nigeria relied upon for the supply of equipment disappointed her. We are experiencing the same thing with Boko Haram. Some of the arms the government has paid for since 2017 and 2018 have not been supplied. As I speak, no pin has arrived Nigeria. Will Boko Haram sleep and wait till our arm arrives? These are the issues.”
He said that during the civil war, the ingenuity of the Biafrans produced the “Ogbunigwe” but Nigeria paid no attention in developing it. He therefore, called for a detailed research and development to enable Nigeria to produce some of these equipment domestically. “Honestly, this is the crux of the mater. As Nigerians we must develop our own solutions. In doing this we need help and assistance,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was represented by Air Vice Marshall Ado Inuwa, regretted that Nigeria’s security challenges which would have been treated when it was a small ailment has now become cancerous.
Olanisakin noted that “Nigeria is at war whether we like it or not,” and called for all hands to be on deck rather than the current attitude where Nigerians viewed the country’s security challenges as personal problem of the security agencies. “The Boko Haram issue has lingered for too long. We cannot see a group that is a rag-tag militia holding up a nation for almost 10 years now if it is not having adequate supplies and logistics. It is not possible. Something is really wrong somewhere,” he said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of SGF, Dr. Amina Shamaki, said that the country needed to strengthen its moral fabrics in order to win the war against insecurity. “If we all account for every member of our families and uphold the tenets of moral, religious, cultural, societal and traditional values, there will be no terrorists, bandits, robbers, arms smugglers, child traffickers, cattle rustlers, militants, etc. And, the work that our government, military and security agencies are doing, will become positively, evident,” he said.
The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, noted that community policing is the way to go in finding lasting solution to the insecurity challenges facing the country. Similarly, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral O B Daji, said the navy is fishing out foreigners that carry out 90 per cent of crimes in Tarkwa Bay Beach in Lagos to protect maritime business. In her opening remark, the President of LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said that “insecurity erodes business and investors’ confidence, resulting in disruption of domestic supply chains and weakening of capital formation required to drive significant economic growth as Nigeria finds it more challenging for us as a country to attract new investment and grow the economy.”