The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed that COVID-19 starter packs had been deployed to all tertiary health institutions and Federal Medical Centers, to complement what had earlier been sent to States. The starter packs he said consist of medical consumables to ensure the protection of frontline workers.
The Honorable Minister made this known today 24th April, 2020, at the Presidential Task Force briefing where he revealed that 981 people in 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been confirmed to have had COVID-19. The 108 additional confirmations are as follows: 78 in Lagos, 14 in FCT, 5 in Ogun, 4 in Gombe, 3 in Borno, 2 in Akwa Ibom and 1 each in Kwara and Plateau. 197 persons had been treated for COVID-19 and discharged, while 31 deaths were recorded.
Dr. Ehanire said that the high number of cases was as a result of ongoing community transmission and active case search. The Minister said, “The most affected age group from statistics of test carried out are 31-40years, while the highest covid-19 fatality is among older generation above 50 years of age.
Presently, the Minister said that there are 13 laboratories that have the capacity to test 1,500 samples per day across the country. However, “we are testing an average of about 600 samples per day being the samples received at the centers”. He added that “efforts are on to increase the number of laboratories in the country, however, we need to improve surveillance, sample collection strategies and transport logistics to laboratories and also reduce the turnaround time for tests”.
The Minister informed that testing positive is followed by isolation and treatment as needed. He said those who required no treatment still need to be in isolation in the interest of the public and their household. He urged all persons who test positive to comply.
He applauded the frontline health workers in the COVID-19 pandemic and urged they protect themselves as prescribed and use their PPE judiciously while treating COVID-19 patients. He appealed to citizens to adhere to advisory on hand and respiratory hygiene as well as the social distancing directives. He also advised that they use their mask or face covering when leaving their residence and avoid mass gathering.
“As we join the rest of the global community to commemorate World Immunization Week, with the team “vaccines work for all”, the Honorable Minister reminded that, it is dedicated to promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases and death. He added that while waiting for the vaccine for COVID-19, “let us collectively adhere to all public health advisories.
Dr. Ehanire advised that if anyone had been suspected of been exposed to COVID-19 then there is need to call the toll-free NCDC number 112 or 0800 9700 0010. He reminded also that resources and real-time information on COVID-19 could be found on the social media handles of FMoH and NCDc, and FMoH website and the NCDC COVID-19 microsite covid.19ncdc.gov.ng, adding also that citizens stay home, stay safe and take precautions.
The Secretary General of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, informed that at the ECOWAS Heads of States summit, H E Muhammadu Buhari, Federal Republic of Nigeria was appointed as CHAMPION, to coordinate the COVID-19 response and eradication process. He said the implication of this assignment is that the PTF must factor the West African Sub-region into its plans and activities to support Mr President in his new role. He added that the Summit also set up Ministerial Coordination Committees on Health, Finance, and Transport to coordinate Regional efforts, under the supervision of the CHAMPION.