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#ENDSARS protest: Nigeria should prepare for increase in COVID-19 cases — FG

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Lagos, FCT test 1% of its population

As 17,000 health works train on infection

By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale

The Federal government on Monday warned that with the ongoing #ENDSARS protest across the country, cases of COVID-19 will definitely increase in the coming weeks.

Issuing the warning in Abuja, the Chairman, Presidential Taskforce, PTF, on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

“I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection are likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

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Corroborating his views, National Coordinator of PTF on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, said that FCT and Lagos’s state have successfully tested 1 per cent of its population while states like Rivers, Plateau, Gombe are halfway0 of achieving the 1 per cent target.

“We urge other states to work hard in achieving this target of 1 percent testing because the testing rate is still low in the country.  Through our various member MDAs, We have trained at least 17,000 health works in infection prevention and control, laboratory operation and case management.

“In partnership with Federal Ministry of Health we have added over 7,000 beds in more than 130 treatment centres, 250 intensive care unit beds through support from donors and the private sector.”

On his part, the Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Mamora said that the ministry had distributed ventilator and oxygen to all federal and state hospitals.

He disclosed that one of the challenges federal hospitals are facing was irregular power supply which often leads to the breakdown of equipment and disruption of services,

“We receive the management of power holding to discuss ways of having regular power supply to our teaching hospital and medical centres, this partnership will reduce the overhead cost of the hospital.

He said their experience with the management of the pandemic revealed that many of the victims died could have been saved if they had access to services on time, adding that, during their intervention in Kano, ambulances were deployed to evacuate people in critical condition to the hospital.

Vanguard

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