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CORONAVIRUS: THIS IS HUMANITY’S DARKEST HOUR – International Monetary Fund; As United Nations Secretary-General Commends Nigeria for Responsiveness.

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  • THIS IS HUMANITY’S DARKEST HOUR – International Monetary Fund.
  • “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” —   Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF
  • DON’T HURRY TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS TO AVOID RESURGENCE – World Health Organisation Appeals to Countries — World Health Organization
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Commends Nigeria
  • Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission Orders Civility & Decorum in Operations as Lockdown Continues  in Abuja, Lagos & Ogun States                     
  •  Coronavirus pandemic economic fallout ‘way worse than the global financial crisis,’ IMF chief says IMF Managing Director
  • HIGHLIGHTS
  • The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other,” the top International Monetary Fund official said.
  • “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” said  Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF.
  • “It is way worse than the global financial crisis” of 2008-09, Georgieva said during a World Health Organization news conference.
  • A big threat to the whole world and it requires from us to stand tall, be united and protect the most vulnerable of our citizens – IMF Managing Director

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund, IMF has addressed the world through the World Health Organisation.  Speaking at a virtual news briefing in Washington DC, the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, spoke about the economic impact of the pandemic and what the IMF is doing to support countries and the global economy.

In the address stated that ‘’this is humanity’s darkest hour” Kristalina said that the world is experiencing a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. She spoke to a press briefing in Geneva. The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other” — one that is “way worse” than the 2008 global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said

WORLD ECONOMY COMING TO A STANDTILL: “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said at a news conference. Speaking at the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Georgieva said that this was “humanity’s darkest hour, a big threat to the whole world and it requires from us to stand tall, be united and protect the most vulnerable of our citizens.”

She said the IMF is working with the World Bank and other international financial institutions to alleviate the economic fallout from the outbreak, which has infected more than 1 million people in almost every country across the world, and killed more than 55,000 people. Georgieva said the IMF is encouraging central banks in developed countries to support emerging markets and developing countries.

IMF STEPS UP ASSISTANCE TO NATIONS: “Our main preoccupation in this crisis is to rapidly step up financing for countries, especially emerging markets, developing countries that are faced with very significant and growing needs,” Georgieva said. The IMF has a $1 trillion war chest, she said, adding “we are determined to use as much of it as necessary.” More than 90 countries so far have applied for assistance from those funds, she said. “We have never seen ever such a growing demand for emergency financing,” Georgieva said.

She urged countries that tap that financing to use it to pay doctors, nurses and other health-care workers as well as for other health-care needs. At the same news conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that countries which lift quarantine restrictions designed to contain the coronavirus too quickly risk seeing an “even more severe and prolonged” economic downturn.

“We are all aware of the profound social and economic consequences of the pandemic,” Tedros said. “Ultimately the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus,” he said. Georgieva said that developing economies have been hardest hit by the outbreak, and often have fewer resources to protect themselves from the economic fallout. We know that in many countries health systems are weak,” she said.

NIGERIA COMMENDED: United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has Chief commended Nigeria’s for the manner of its response to Coronavirus pandemic. Speaking in New-York during a virtual news briefing, Guterres singled out Nigeria as one of the developing countries that have “shown a remarkable capacity to respond’’. The UN Secretary-General stated that: “I have to say this; some of these developing countries have shown a remarkable capacity to respond. “I was quite impressed to see, for instance, Nigeria putting in place and immediately establishing a hospital’’ Responding to questions, Guterres said: ‘’I saw difficulties in countries that are much more developed to do quickly the same’’

  • ADDRESS OF WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Over One Million Cases Reported to WHO
  • WHO, the IMF and the World Bank Go Into Cooperation First, we call on all countries to ensure core public health measures are fully funded, including case-finding, testing, contact tracing, collecting data, and communication and information campaigns.
  • Second, we also call on countries and partners to strengthen the foundations of health systems. That means health workers must be paid their salaries, and health facilities need a reliable supply of funding to purchase essential medical supplies.
  • Third, we call on all countries to remove financial barriers to care.

TEXT OF THE ADDRESS OF WHO DG: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. As Tarik said, we’re delighted to be joined today by Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing-Director of the International Monetary Fund.  Welcome, my sister. Kristalina will say more in a few minutes about the economic impact of the pandemic and what the IMF is doing to support countries and the global economy.

More than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to WHO, including more than 50,000 deaths. But we know that this is much more than a health crisis. We are all aware of the profound social and economic consequences of the pandemic. The restrictions many countries have put in place to protect health are taking a heavy toll on the income of individuals and families, and the economies of communities and nations.

We are in a shared struggle to protect both lives and livelihoods. In the short term, countries can ease the burden on their populations through social welfare programs to ensure people have food and other life essentials.  For some countries, debt relief is essential to enable them to take care of their people and avoid economic collapse. This is an area of cooperation between WHO, the IMF and the World Bank.  But ultimately, the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we have spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case, and trace every contact.

 If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly, the virus could resurge and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged. Financing the health response is,  therefore,  an essential investment not just in saving lives, but in the longer-term social and economic recovery. There are three main areas for countries to focus on.

  • First, we call on all countries to ensure core public health measures are fully funded, including case-finding, testing, contact tracing, collecting data, and communication and information campaigns.
  • Second, we also call on countries and partners to strengthen the foundations of health systems. That means health workers must be paid their salaries, and health facilities need a reliable supply of funding to purchase essential medical supplies.
  • Third, we call on all countries to remove financial barriers to care.  If people delay or forego care because they can’t afford it, they not only harm themselves, they make the pandemic harder to control and put society at risk. Several countries are suspending user fees and providing free testing and care for COVID-19, regardless of a person’s insurance, citizenship, or residence status.  We encourage these measures. This is in an unprecedented crisis, which demands an unprecedented response.

Suspending user fees should be supported with measures to compensate providers for the loss of revenues.  Governments should also consider using cash transfers to the most vulnerable households to overcome barriers to access.  This may be particularly important for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and the homeless. The pandemic is also having an effect on the fight against other diseases, like polio.

As you know, in recent years we have driven polio to the brink of eradication. This has been a massive global effort, started by Rotary, supported by many other partners, and led by thousands of health workers, vaccinating children in some very difficult and dangerous areas.  Many of those health workers are now supporting the COVID-19 response. They are tracing contacts, finding cases and providing public health information to communities.  To reduce the risk of increasing transmission of COVID-19, the polio oversight board has made the hard decision to suspend house-to-house vaccination campaigns, knowing that this may lead to an increase in polio cases.

SUPPORT FOR COUNTRIES ON IMMUNIZATION: To reduce this risk, we will support countries to maintain essential immunization for all vaccine preventable diseases. WHO has published guidance for countries on how to maintain essential health services even while responding to this crisis. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is working to ensure that once it is safe to do so, countries can be supported to rapidly restart polio vaccination campaigns.  While all our energy may be focused on COVID-19 now, our commitment to eradicating polio is unshakeable. Sadly, there are reports from some countries of an increase in domestic violence since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

WOMEN IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS: As people are asked to stay at home, the risk of intimate partner violence is likely to increase.  Women in abusive relationships are more likely to be exposed to violence, as are their children, as family members spend more time in close contact, and families cope with additional stress and potential economic or job losses. Women may have less contact with family and friends who may provide support and protection from violence. We call on countries to include services for addressing domestic violence as an essential service that must continue during the COVID-19 response.

If you are experiencing or at risk of domestic violence, speak to supportive family and friends, seek support from a hotline, or seek out local services for survivors.  Make a plan to protect yourself and your children any way you can. This could include having a neighbour, friend, relative, or shelter identified to go to should you need to leave the house immediately. There is never any excuse for violence. We abhor all violence of all forms, at all times.

 

Finally, the global response to COVID-19 would not be possible without the generosity of countries and partners. Two months ago, WHO issued its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, with an initial ask of US$675 million to support the response.

I’m delighted to say that almost US$690 million has now been pledged or received. Of this amount, US$300 million has been given to support WHO’s work, and the rest has been given on a bilateral basis, or to other organizations involved in the response.  I’d like to thank the State of Kuwait, which today is becoming one of the largest donors, with a total of US$60 million. WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund has now raised more than US$127 million from more than 219,000 individuals and organizations. I’d like to thank Tencent for its contribution of US$10 million.  I’m also pleased to announce that I have invited Unicef to join the Solidarity Response Fund. Unicef has extensive experience both in fundraising and in implementing programmes, and our partnership will help us to work together closely to save lives. Thank you so much, my sister Henrietta,  for accepting my invitation.

We still have a long way to go in this fight. WHO is working every day with all countries and partners to save lives, and to mitigate the social and economic impact of the pandemic. The IMF is a key partner, and I’d now like to hand the floor to my sister Kristalina to make a few remarks. Thank you so much for joining us Kristalina.

Thank you.

The World Health Organisation has released the figures of casualties arising from the outbreak of the pandemic. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak situation

976,249 — Confirmed cases — Updated : 3 April 2020, 11:53 GMT-7

50,489—- Confirmed deaths Updated : 3 April 2020, 11:53 GMT-7

207 Countries, areas or territories with cases Updated : 3 April 2020, 11:53 GMT-7

One new country/territory/area reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours: Malawi. • Supporting and protecting older people is everyone’s business: although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness. Read the statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe here. • As cases start to climb in the South-East Asia Region, the Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh held a virtual meeting with Health Ministers of the Region calling for a stronger whole-of-society approach. More information can be found here. • The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched an appeal yesterday for funds towards priority public health measures to help Latin American and Caribbean countries. The funds will be used to implement PAHO’s COVID-19 Response Strategy. Further information is available here. • Ports, airports and ground crossings require careful monitoring. WHO has produced two online interactive courses to provide guidance for the management of ill travellers and for managing COVID-19 cases or outbreaks onboard ships.

Further details can be found on World Health Oragnisation’s websites  in the ‘Subject in Focus’

 

EXHIBIT HIGH LEVEL OF TOLERANCE, CIVILITY AND PROFESSIONALISM, REFRAIN FROM HARASING LOCKDOWN VIOLATORS- OYEYEMI CAUTIONS PERSONNEL – FRSC CORPS MARHSAL

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has cautioned FRSC personnel detailed on enforcement of the Presidential directive on lockdown and other states restrictions to treat Nigerians with tolerance, civility, courteousness, empathy and resist just anything that could lead to the torture or harassment of lockdown violators apprehended during the enforcement patrol.

 

According to Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Public Education Officer, the Corps Marshal while cautioning the personnel endeared them to be highly professional at this critical time bearing in mind that torturing violators of established laws, even in the face of the present state of emergency is not part of the professional ethics of the Corps. As such, all personnel detailed on this assignment must be tolerant, polite and humane enough while relating with the public because the Corps respects the fundamental human rights of every citizen.

 

Oyeyemi, also commended the personnel of the Corps for their professional conduct so far, noting that since the beginning of the special operations, the Corps has not received any complaint of torture against its personnel.

 

In his words,  “So far so good,I think we are highly impressed with the conduct of our men on the road, and we are optimistic that going forward, they shall continue to sustain the present momentum as they sacrifice a lot for the service of their fatherland. However, it is instructive to state that we opted to warn them against torture and incivility because it is completely against our operational ethics and any Staff seen exhibiting such behaviour will be tried in accordance with the provisions of relevant provisions in the maintenance of discipline of the Corps”.

 

While expressing satisfaction with the level of compliance nationwide, the Corps Marshal called on the public to report any torture by FRSC personnel to the Corps through the Toll Free emergency numbers 122 or the Public Education Officer through the National traffic radio live lines GLO 08052998090, MTN 09067000015, and SMS on GLO 08052998012.