As Lagos, FCT confirm 10 new cases

COVID-19: Infection toll in Nigeria jumps to 22

By Sola Ogundipe

The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed 10 new cases of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22.

Disclosing this in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said three of the cases are in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, while seven are in Lagos State.

Ehanire said: “All 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals; nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They returned to the country in the past week; the 10th case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

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“The three cases in the FCT are being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, UATH, Gwagwalada, while the seven new cases in Lagos are being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Yaba. All 10 new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving treatment.”

Giving more details, the Minister explained: “As of the 21st of March 2020, 22 cases have been confirmed, two cases have been discharged and there has been no death from COVID-19 in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria remains committed to working with states to provide optimal care for all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Contact tracing is ongoing to identify all persons who have been in contact with the new confirmed cases. The Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health has heightened screening at all air, land and sea points of entry into Nigeria and adapted the protocols to reflect the travel guidance issued by the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Ehanire said the National Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, led by Nigeria

Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, supported by partners continues to coordinate response activities and strengthen preparedness capacity across states nationwide.

“ An intensive national risk communications campaign is ongoing to inform Nigerians about COVID-19. The Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to review response activities and institute measures to protect the health of Nigerians. “

Nigerians have been urged to strictly adhere to social distancing and other necessary precautions in addition to adopting protection measures to be taken washing hands regularly with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based sanitiser if no water and soap are available.

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The Minister said social distancing is crucial to reducing the spread of COVID-19 through use of no-touch greetings, maintaining at least two metres (5 feet) distance between self and anyone who is coughing or sneezing; staying home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. Immediately call NCDC’s 24/7 toll-free number 0800 9700 0010. Do not self-medicate.

Also advised is avoiding or postponing events with large gatherings of people including schools, workplaces, places of worship, crowded supermarkets and pharmacies, social and sporting events.

Persons with a persistent cough or sneezing should stay at home until they recover while persons should observe hand and respiratory hygiene by covering their nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and immediately disposing of the tissue in a covered bin and washing your hands with soap and water.

Use of an alcohol-based sanitiser is recommended  if no water and soap is available, and coughing or sneezing into the sleeve of your bent elbow is advised if no tissue is available

All non-essential travel to all countries is to be avoided.



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