.Tasks healthcare workers to look out for the alert
.Warns that COVID-19 is extremely dangerous
.Cautions Nigerians against giving false information to healthcare workers
The Federal Government has said that it had recorded more cases of community transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country and fewer imported cases.
This is even as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Wednesday, said twenty-two new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria with 15 in Lagos, 4 in the FCT, 2 in Bauchi, and 1 in Edo State.
The NCDC on its verified Twitter handle, said “as at 09:00pm 8th April, there are 276 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Fourty-four have been discharged with six deaths.”
Speaking on Wednesday at the resumption of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the National Coordinator for the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said that all public and private health care institutions should look out for patients presenting unusual respiratory tract infections, especially those that “cannot be explained.”
He said that such symptoms have become an important indicator for testing for coronavirus infection.
He explained that from a public health perspective, one of the most effective ways of cutting transmission is to keep away from one another.
“We are only as strong as our weakest link.
“More of our cases are now community-linked. We are having fewer cases that are linked to travel abroad or contact with people who have been abroad. Our health care services need to look out for this alert.
“At the same time, I would like to encourage the public, those that have suspicion that they have symptoms related to coronavirus, not to be afraid but to seek testing and treatment.
“In the vast majority of cases, more than at least 80 per cent of cases of coronavirus infection most people will have mild or moderate symptoms and will be well”.
Aliyu also said that the PTF was working to ensure adequate health insurance were provided to all health workers on the frontline fighting against COVID-19.
On his part, Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of Foreign Affairs, disclosed that only few Nigerians staying abroad have so far indicated interest to be evacuated because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He, however, said that the government is still awaiting final responses from the various embassies on those willing to be brought back to Nigeria.
According to him, the government had through the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) asked citizens overseas who are willing to be evacuated to inform the foreign missions.
He added that the embassies have been asked to forward the number of those who have indicated interest.
Earlier, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, advised citizens against giving false information of symptoms or travel history to healthcare workers, when seeking care, at this critical time.
According to him, doing so puts the health of health professionals at risk of infection and also deprives them of comprehensive information to properly diagnose and manage illnesses.
He said: “Those who tested positive for COVID-19 must report to designated treatment centre for safe isolation and care, even if they feel well, because the danger of this disease is that those who do not have any symptoms are still as infectious as those with symptoms and need to be isolated, for the sake of their families, friends and the public”.
He urged all health workers to apply infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols always and maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, private hospitals in the country have been advised to seek certification from the Federal Ministry of Health for standardization and safety of workers and patients before management of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for the control of COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the PTF daily briefing on COVID-19 in the country.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), said that all emergency isolation and treatment centres established by the PTF have also undergone this process in view of the danger posed by this infectious disease.
He however, said that the expansions of infrastructure for treatment was important.
Mustapha said that the PTF, working in collaboration with the Accountant General of the Federation, had published details of accounts into which donations by well-meaning members of the society and corporate organisations could be channeled.
He emphasised that transparency and accountability should remain the hallmark of all transactions under the PTF watch.
The SGF disclosed that within the coming days, Nigeria would be receiving equipment and other technical support through the United Nations system as well as other donors.
He pledged that Nigerians would be adequately briefed when such deliveries were made.
Mustapha stressed on the protocol on social distancing and personal hygiene, saying that the war against COVID-19 was a war against a potent and invisible enemy.
He also urged all State authorities to not make pronouncements or take decisions that would undermine public safety in such regard.
The SGF disclosed that he had met with the leadership of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for support and cooperation.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Conference has placed at the disposal of the PTF the entire 435 Hospitals and Clinics nationwide for use as part of the national response infrastructure.
“Similarly, the Conference has released its Public Health Specialist to support the PTF in coordinating access and utilisation of these facilities,” he said.
The PTF chairperson noted that the creation of awareness and mobilisation of religious adherents remain critical to the success of the PTF strategy.