The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has confirmed 151 recorded cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. He stated this at a press briefing on the 1st of April 2020, saying also that 82 are in Lagos , 28 in FCT, 8 in Oyo , 14 in Osun, 4 each in Ogun and Edo, 3 in Kaduna, 2 each in Bauchi, Ekiti and Enugu and one each in Benue and Rivers States. He further affirmed that, 9 persons had been discharged and two deaths had been recorded so far. He noted also, that the age range is between 30 and 60 years as both men and women of all ages could be affected.
The Minister informed that the incubation period, that is, the time it takes for an infected person to show symptoms is 2-14 days, therefore the window of opportunity presented by the lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun states is to promptly detect, isolate and effectively treat cases. This he said is important as Lagos is currently the epicenter of the outbreak in Nigeria, followed by FCT. “Our ability to achieve these three strategies in these places, will largely determine our success in slowing the spread of infection across the country”.
Dr. Ehanire disclosed that the Federal Government had continued to expand the number of isolation centers and ICUs across the country with nearly 1000 bed spaces identified in the FCT for those who may have severe complications of the disease due to being immune compromised. These he said includes, elderly people above the age of 70 or those with underlying health conditions such as cancer, tuberculosis and HIV. He added that the national case definition had been expanded to include persons with acute respiratory illness in an area of medium or high prevalence of COVID-19. He also made known that Lagos state and Ogun state had each expanded their isolation centers and urged them to prioritize identification of these within their states particularly tertiary hospitals.
The Minister further stated that two new laboratories had been added to the NCDC network of molecular laboratories for COVID-19. These are Virology Laboratory of University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State and Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State.
The Honourable Minister said that ad-hoc staff as well as Port Health Authority staff had been redeployed to key roads that serve as key entry and export points.
Health Minister, Dr. Osagie urged Nigerians to continue to obey all directives and measures instituted by government. He further encouraged them to continue to do the following:
· Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol based sanitizer
· Maintain social distance at least 5 feet between yourself and others
· Self isolate if you feel ill.
· Clean all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectants at least once a day
· Cough or sneeze into a tissue with your nose and mouth covered. Dispose in a covered bin and wash your hands. Alternatively sneeze into your elbow.
· Call the NCDC on 080097000010, or call the emergency number 112 or your State Ministry of Health. The emergency contacts for all States are available on www.covid19.ncdc.gov.ng
Head Media and Public Relations