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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned that “geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century”.

Reuters quoted him as calling on world leaders to stop escalating tensions, exercise maximum restraint and re-start dialogue.

Guterres said: “This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.”

His warning came after the U.S. killed Iran’s most prominent general Qassem Soleimani on Friday, deepening a crisis that has heightened fears of a major Middle East conflagration.

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Similarly, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Monday told the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, Matthew Tueller, that both countries should together on implementing an Iraqi parliamentary resolution on the withdrawal of foreign troops.

“The prime minister stressed the importance of mutual cooperation on implementing the withdrawal of foreign troops, in line with the Iraqi parliament’s resolution, and to set relations with the U.S. on a proper foundation,” his said in a statement.

“He stressed how dangerous the situation is right now and its potential consequences, adding that Iraq is doing everything it can to prevent the descent into open war.”

READ ALSO  I won’t return to Abuja until Boko Haram is defeated – Buratai

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Ogun: Gov Abiodun makes u-turn, stops payment of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun appears to have bowed to pressure as he stopped the payment of N25,000 by students of private boarding schools for COVID-19 and malaria tests.

Abiodun came under heavy criticisms parents of SS3 students in private boarding schools were made to realize on Sunday that they must pay a sum of N25,000 to get their children tested.

Making a u-turn on Monday evening, the governor said, “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the government laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost.

“I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.”

A statement personally signed by Gov Abiodun reads:

“In line with the Federal Ministry of Education recommendation and WASSCE timetable, we decided to open our schools on the 4th August 2020 for SS3 students only. We put in place guidelines that would ensure that our students resume in a safe environment.

“In our pre-opening engagements with stakeholders, opening of boarding houses was discussed. Our State has one of the largest population of boarding students in the country, coming from all over the Country. After consultations with health professionals, we concluded that testing the children for COVID-19 before admittance will reduce the risk of community transmission. This is to reassure parents and even teachers of the safety of everybody concerned.

“The State planned and provided testing, free of charge, for boarding students in our public schools and allowed for the management and parents of private schools to make their arrangements to get COVID-19 tests. The two Ogun State-run laboratories have a capacity for about 500 tests a day and conduct free tests for traced contacts or symptomatic patients. To meet the additional demand for the expected number of boarding students, the statement from the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology listed some private test centers which set up sampling points in some of our Health facilities.

“These private laboratories have been accredited by NCDC and Lagos State Government for walk-in tests and charge N50,400 per test but I understand that the Ministries of Health and Education negotiated this to N25,000 for boarding students in private schools that may wish to use them. There is no financial benefit to the State Government.

READ ALSO  I won’t return to Abuja until Boko Haram is defeated – Buratai

“After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost. I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.

“The health of our children remains our utmost priority, however in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340 private and 500 public), and bearing in mind the limitation of our installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day, it may not be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to resumption or even exams which commence on 17th August 2020.

“Consequently the State Government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes. We, therefore, enjoin Private School owners to exercise their duty of care to their pupils. The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of such private schools.

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“Ogun State Government recommends that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.

“I have also directed the provision of face masks to all students in both private and public schools.

“The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday is highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.

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“The quality and standard of education and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart.

“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in Ogun State. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”

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COVID-19 will also spread more to rural areas, be ready – Health Minister tells Nigerians

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The Federal Government has warned that COVID-19 will spread more to rural areas across the country.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who said this on Monday at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, urged Nigerians to be ready for the pandemic.

He also said that the FG’s objective was to reduce Nigeria’s COVID-19 fatality case to one per cent.

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“Our objective is to reduce the case fatality to 1 per cent,” Ehanire said.

“COVID-19 will also spread more to rural areas, and we should be ready for that.

“It is too early to read meanings to the COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“The testing for COVID-19 increased by 40, 000 between June and July.

“Our health workers should not be apprehensive over PPE as the country has a reasonable stock.”

READ ALSO  Ex-Oyo Gov Ajimobi’s burial postponed

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria as at today is 43,841, according to NCDC.

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