Unvaccinated Tennis Champ Novak Djokovic Won’t Play U.S. Open Due To Travel Restrictions

Tennis champ Novak Djokovic won’t play at the upcoming U.S. Open after refusing to comply with United States restrictions requiring Covid vaccinations for foreign travelers.

Djokovic, who has steadfastly refused to get vaccinated, announced the news on Twitter today. “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” he wrote. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”

The Open begins on Monday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, NY. and runs through Sept. 11. This year’s draw for the tournament is happening today.

According to reports, Djokovic has had Covid at least twice, but maintains that vaccination should not be mandated.

In a statement to press, U.S. Open tournament director Stacey Allaster said, “Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S. citizens. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.…

COVID-19: PSC lifts midnight curfew, movement restriction

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has reviewed the country’s response to the pandemic in view of declining number of cases.

Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the committee and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said on Wednesday in a statement in Abuja that the decision followed reduced risk of importation of new variants.

He said the decision was also due to availability of vaccines and increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally.

Mustapha said the social restriction recommendations were revised in line with the three established thematic areas – movement, industry and labor, as well as community activities.

The SGF stated that the safety protocols provide a baseline from which state governments could further build on to strengthen their responses based on their local circumstances.

“States should continue to consider them as the minimum guidelines required to ensure acceptable level of epidemic control nationwide,” he stated.

He said there were no more formal restrictions on movement within the country as the nationwide curfew imposed from midnight to 4 a.m. had been lifted.

He added that the advisory limiting Nigerians to essential travels had been lifted, although citizens need to refrain from non-essential movements and comply with non-pharmaceutical guidelines such as the mandatory use of facemask/facial coverings in public, given the risks involved.

“Use of face mask to be mandatory for indoor activities but at individual’s discretion during outdoor activities.

“Those aged 60 and above or with co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are advised to uphold the use of universal precaution which includes the use of face mask, avoid crowd and frequent use of hand sanitizers,” he added.

According to him, no limitation on air travels – both domestic and international flights; but both international and domestic travelers must abide by existing protocols, including the use of face mask while onboard and taking personal precaution measures.

He stated that all arriving international passengers must register with the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) and abide by the travel guidelines.

“No limitations on

We gave Lagos N10b, Kano N5b, others N1b each to fight COVID-19 ― PSC

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has disclosed that Lagos and Kano States got N10 billion and N5 billion respectively from the Federal Government to combat the pandemic as part of resources made available to the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.

The Chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made this known on Monday.

Mustapha spoke in a presentation entitled: “National Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria-The Journey so Far,” at the summit on COVID-19 in Abuja.

According to him, while Lagos and Kano got N10 billion and N5 billion each, other states and the FCT got N1 billion each. The national response commenced under the then Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in March 2020.

It later transformed to the PSC with effect from March 2021.

The SGF said the PTF/PSC has till date submitted two major reports to the government, in December 2020 and March 2021, adding that the response remains a work in progress because COVID-19 has not abated.

He said: “Countries of the world including Nigeria, have experienced the third wave and currently a fourth wave is unfolding with the Omicron variant.

“We have steadily been implementing the COVID-19 protocols, joining the world to ease up restrictions The evolution of the pandemic showed us that remaining vigilant and consistent on our science-based approach is crucial until such time that we are all safe.

“The emergence of the omicron variant of concern highlights how fragile and vulnerable we are global.

“It is therefore important that we maintain pressure on the COVID-19 virus until we deny it the opportunity to continue to circulate and mutate.

“Our overall focus will be to scale up vaccination of our population to reach targets set by the WHO. Nigeria needs to continue to implement public health and social measures in place combined with effective vaccination now that we are getting the vaccines.

“With the emergence of Omicron, Nigeria, like some other countries have become targets of restrictive measures.

“This has to be only on …

Chris Rock tests positive for Covid-19

American comedian Chris Rock has tested positive for COVID-19 and is urging his followers to get vaccinated.

The comedian took to his Twitter page on Sunday, September 19, 2021, where he revealed his symptoms.

“Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get vaccinated,” he tweeted.

Rock, 56, has been vocal in the fight against COVID throughout the pandemic—and even surprised New Yorkers by appearing at one of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences to urge mask-wearing.

Rock joins the list of celebrities who have been infected with the virus globally.

From Tom Hanks and his wife to comedian, Kevin Hart, the list of high-profile people who have been infected with the dreaded virus appears to be rising.

Wendy Williams reportedly taken to hospital for mental health check

American TV show host Wendy Williams has been taken to a hospital for mental health check-up.

This is according to an exclusive report by PageSix.

A spokesperson for the NYPD told Page Six on Thursday, September 16, 2021, that they received a call at 8:43 a.m. on Tuesday requiring an ambulance to transport a 57-year-old woman residing at Williams’ Manhattan address for a psychiatric evaluation. The patient was taken to Beth Israel Hospital, the spokesperson revealed.

The source also said that Williams is lonely and continues to struggle with her health.

It would be recalled that the TV show host had to put a halt to the return of her show.

Williams was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier in the week and reported to be undergoing quarantine and full recovery.

School resumption: NCDC calls for vigilance, adherence to COVID-19 protocols

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has called for vigilance and adherence to safety regulations in the face of coronavirus as students return to school.

The Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the call at the Presidential Steering Committee briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that schools resumed on Monday, while those in model colleges and upgraded schools will resume in batches due to the ongoing West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.

Ihekweazu said: “This brings me to a very important topic today, that I am sure affects everyone.

“This week, children will be going back to school because schools are resuming, principals and others are having to deal with this situation of taking responsibility from  students who might get infected and might spread the virus.

“It’s important to be aware that children are not immune to this disease.

“They can get it as easily as anyone else, and can also spread it as easy as anyone else, even themselves don’t get generally severely ill.

“But they are very good spreaders of the virus.”

The NCDC boss noted that the second challenge was that children do not present the same symptoms as adult, who, very commonly, present shortness of breath or they do not carry the most common symptoms of smell or taste.

Ihekweazu added: “They present very unusual normal symptoms.

“It can be very difficult to distinguish from what we call common cold or malarial fever.

“And if caregivers, teachers and parents do not take such symptoms seriously they’ll go ahead and spread.

“And we’ve seen instances of large outbreaks of going completely unnoticed.”

He said even if they may not be severely ill, they were unlikely to prevent parents or guardians, all of whom may be a little bit more vulnerable.

Ihekweazu said: “In addition to the vaccines, we also now have rapid tests that we can test the whole school community.”

Ihekweazu added that the agency was ready to work with school owners and that any school needing more information …

World Cup qualifier: Brazil, Argentina clash halted

Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina has been suspended after the Brazilian health authorities and police entered the field of play to detain four Argentinian players who failed to quarantine after entering the country.

In utterly surreal scenes, the game was halted on Sunday after 10 minutes following the incident.

Prior to kick off, Premier League quartet: Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Emiliano Buendia, were investigated by the Brazilian authorities for a breach of coronavirus regulations.

It was alleged that they failed to declare that they had been in England prior to arriving in Brazil.

Following an investigation it seemed that the foursome were in the clear with Lo Celso and Romero both starting the game, while Martinez and Buendia were named on the bench.

However, in the opening exchanges, Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch in an attempt to detain the players.

Following close to an hour of stalemate, CONMEBOL finally released a statement on the matter, which read: “By decision of the match referee, the match organized by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup Qualifiers is suspended.

“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to be followed. These procedures strictly adhere to current regulations.

“The World Cup Qualifiers is a FIFA competition. All decisions concerning its organization and development are the exclusive power of that institution.”

Soon after this press release was penned, Claudio Tapia, the president of the Argentine Football Association, issued his own statement.

“You cannot talk about any lie here because there is health legislation under which all South American tournaments are played. The health authorities of each country approved a protocol that we have been fully complying with,” it read.

“What happened today is unfortunate for football, it is a very bad image. Four people entered to interrupt the game to make a notification and CONMEBOL asked the players to go to the locker room.”

Head coach Lionel Scaloni added: “It should have been a …

FG set to sanction Nigerians refusing COVID-19 vaccination

Amid reactions to the declaration by Edo and Ondo states regarding restricted access to public places for unvaccinated residents, the Federal Government may sanction eligible Nigerians who refuse COVID-19 vaccination.

The hint was dropped yesterday by the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, at a briefing in Abuja.

Shuaib said the government may “apply the basic rule of law” against such people because they will be endangering the lives of other people.

He said: “The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health is exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians including federal civil servants and corporate entities. Once these vaccines are made equitably available to all Nigerians, we would need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy.

“If some individuals refuse to take the vaccine, hence endangering those who have or those who could not due to medical exemptions, then we have to apply the basic rule of law, which stipulates that your human right stops where mine begins. So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.”

This is coming as a federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, granted an order restraining Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the state government from restricting unvaccinated persons from attending mass gatherings as from mid September.

Governor Obaseki had last week mandated people of the state to take the vaccine, warning that, as from September 15, anyone who has not been vaccinated will not be allowed into public places such as banks and worship centers. ”

From the second week of September, people may not be allowed to worship in churches and mosques without showing proof of their vaccination cards at the gates. Similarly, people will not be allowed to event centers, receptions or parties without showing proof of their vaccination cards,” the government had warned.

However, one Charles Osaretin filed a suit marked FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 to counter the governor …

COVID-19: Nigeria registers 8,197 infections in 15 days

Nigeria has registered 8,179 COVID-19 infections in 15 days, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on its website on Tuesday.

It said the country confirmed 584 additional infections on Monday, from the 541 recorded on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 183,087.

The public health agency added that the number of known active cases stood at 13,554, an increase from 13,152 reported on Sunday.

Again the agency did not state the percentage of variants of concern made up of the known active cases across the country.

The NCDC reported four COVID-19 related fatality within the last 24 hours.

It noted that the country, in 15 days, had also reported 72 fatalities, noting that the figure was more than double the 31 deaths its registered in July.

The agency added that about 2,648,684 samples had been tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria, a country with an estimated 200 million population.

The NCDC stated that the 584 confirmed cases were from 14 states and the FCT.

Lagos (201), Rivers (149), FCT (82), Ondo (73), Ekiti (17), Cross River (13), Oyo (11), Ogun (9), Delta (8), Osun (8), Bayelsa (4), Kaduna (4), Kano (2), Kwara (2) and Sokoto (1).

It said a multi-sectoral national emergency operations center, activated at Level 2, continued to coordinate the national response activities.

The NCDC said a total of 178 people had recovered and were discharged from various isolation centers in the country on Monday, with total recoveries nationwide since the onset of the pandemic clocking 167,310.…

Nigeria logs 610 additional COVID-19 infections – NCDC

Nigeria on Tuesday logged 610 additional COVID-19 infections, the second highest in nearly six months.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed this on its website on Wednesday in the pandemic update.

It said the new infections took the country’s total of confirmed cases to 179,118, from the 422 cases registered a day earlier.

The NCDC added that the country’s active cases also soared to 10,324, noting that the 610 additional infections were reported in 12 states and the FCT. The public health institute said Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States drove the country’s COVID-19 surge in new infections on Tuesday.

The agency said Lagos State, the country’s center for the virus, had continued to rank highest in daily reports with 281 infections.

The NCDC said Lagos was followed by Rivers with 152 infections, noting that Akwa Ibom, the second hardest-hit with the Delta variant in the country, recorded 85 cases.

Other states recorded new infections as follows: Ogun-21, Oyo-21, Ekiti-14, FCT-13, Delta-7, Edo-6, Ondo-4, Bayelsa, Kano and Plateau two each.

The NCDC noted that its Tuesday reports included Kaduna and Sokoto States recorded zero cases, while two new deaths were recorded.

It added the country’s fatality count since the start of the pandemic had risen to 2,194.

The NCDC stated that 149 people had recovered and were discharged from various isolation centers in the country on Tuesday.

It noted that till date, 166,131 recoveries had been recorded nationwide in 36 states and the FCT.

The NCDC, however, said the country had tested more than 2.5 million samples for the virus, out of the country’s roughly 200 million population, noting that the country’s COVID-19 average test positivity rate was six per cent.

Meanwhile, the agency stressed the need for the public to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines, following increasing reports of people flouting the rules.

It urged Nigerians to help stop the spread of the virus and save lives.…

Smokers face 50% higher risk of developing COVID-19, other diseases – WHO

World Health Organisation Director-General, Dr. Tedos Ghebreyesus, says smokers have up to a 50 per cent higher risk of developing severe diseases and death from COVID-19.

Ghebreyesus said this in a message to commemorate World No Tobacco Day, globally marked on May 31 annually, to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

According to him, quitting is best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from coronavirus as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses.

“We urge all countries to play their part by joining the WHO campaign and creating tobacco-free environments that give people the information, support and tools they need to quit, and quit for good,” he said.

“The Quit Challenge gives daily notifications of tips and encouragement for up to six months to help people remain tobacco-free. It is available for free on WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and WeChat,” he said.

According to Ghebreyesus, the agency also released a “quitting toolkit” which includes these innovations, but also existing services such as brief advice from health professionals and national toll-free quit lines.

Globally, he stated roughly 39 per cent of men and nine per cent of women use tobacco; the highest tobacco use rates among men are currently found in the Western Pacific region at 49 per cent and among women in Europe at 19 per cent.

He said: “As part of the ‘Commit to Quit’ initiative, WHO calls for the adoption of bold policies that promote tobacco cessation; increasing access to smoking cessation services; raising awareness of the tobacco industry’s tactics; and support for consumers trying to stay away from tobacco.

“Currently, 29 countries are working with the agency to support tobacco cessation through national awareness campaigns and new digital tools.”

Ghebreyesus added that the efforts included policy review, training of health workers, opening of specialised clinics, support for nicotine replacement therapies, and courses to quit smoking.

According to the UN health agency, the report that smokers are more likely to develop …

Nigeria records huge spike in deaths, new cases of the Corona Virus

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed additional 203 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 166,518.

The NCDC made this known on Monday night via its official Twitter handle, where it disclosed that the additions were recorded in five states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

The public health agency stated that Benue State led the chart with the highest number of infections, with 178 new cases, followed by Lagos State with 10 and Ondo with six infections.

The FCT and Kaduna State also reported four cases each, while Plateau State confirmed one case.

It noted that its report for May 31 included a backlog of data from Benue and Nasarawa States, recorded from February to May 2021.

The agency added that zero cases were registered from Ekiti, Enugu, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers and Sokoto States.

The public health institution said that with 39,818 tests processed across the nation in one week, the country had now conducted a total of 2,133,061 tests since the first case relating to the disease was announced in 2020.

The agency also disclosed 28 additional COVID-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours.

It, however, said that 2,223 people who have been successfully treated have recovered from the virus and have also been discharged from isolation centres across the nation.

According to it, till date, a total of 166,518 cases have been confirmed, 158,781 cases have been discharged and 2,099 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

Meanwhile, the agency noted that the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country remains below 10,000.

It added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre, activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities.…

Buhari receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the State House, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that president’s personal physician, Dr Suhayb Rafidadi, administered the vaccine on the president at his official residence, State House, Abuja on Saturday.

Buhari had received the first jab of the vaccination on March 6 where he was presented with his COVID-19 vaccination card by officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, who supervised the exercise.
The President is the ECOWAS Champion on the Fight against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) had disclosed that 1,945, 273 eligible Nigerians had so far taken the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

It also said that 22,162 of Nigerians vaccinated with the first dose had also taken the second dose.

NAN reports that Nigeria has so far received over 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines delivered under the international Covax scheme.