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Nigeria to contain COVID-19 spread in high risk areas

The Federal Ministry of Environment says it will deploy massive Environmental Health Officers (EHO) to high risk areas in Nigeria to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar
Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, made this known while briefing newsmen on the  Environmental Health Response to COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in Abuja.

According to Abubakar, the ministry is taking this measure to support the Ministry of Health containment strategy against the disease.

He said that large pool of Environmental Health Volunteers would be mobilised for this purpose.

The minister said the EHO would be deployed to public places, including markets, schools, motor parks, train stations and similar places would be put under surveillance.

Abubakar said that based on the foregoing, the Nigerian response needs to be comprehensive, multistakeholder and multisectoral in nature learning from countries presently at war with the novel COVID-19.

“International best practices of instituting cordon sanitaire and social distancing in our communities where needed will be utilised to limit contact of people with those that may be infected with the viral disease.

“In the same vein, environmental decontamination and disinfection shall be undertaken in high exposure areas with a view of killing the enveloped viruses,” he said.

He however urged the ministry of environment at the states level to be proactive and key into the preparedness in their respective states.

“I hereby charge EHO in states and local ports to engage butchers to ensure they do not handle, slaughter, dress and prepare meats originating from wild animals or sick livestock which have died from unknown causes.”

He also advised Nigerians to regularly wash their hands, cover their mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.

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