By Rasheed Sobowale
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Wednesday stated that the twelve new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) reported earlier in the day by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were imported.
Ehanire revealed this while trying to clarify why he stated during his speech that the total confirmed cases in Nigeria was 139 contrary to the NCDC report that the nation now has 151 total cases of the COVID-19.
The minister said his speech was prepared earlier before the NCDC update and that the twelve new cases where detected in a vehicle intercepted at Nigeria-Benin border conveying some Nigerian citizens trying to gain entry into the country (Nigeria).
The said vehicle was reported to have many Nigerians on board “over hundred” and they were “heading for Osun State”.
“It is said they were coming from Ivory Coast or Ghana,” the minister stated while clarifying he is not quite sure of their country of departure.
“It is among those group that we have twelve immediate new entrances. Those are imported cases now. Which added to the 139 which I have and read, to give you 151.”
This according to the minister “shows the importance of importation and of border closure” in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
“in this case, they are our citizens and they are knocking on the door at the border and they have to be let in. But if they are not our citizens, definitely you will have to handle infected persons of other nationalities.”