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Govt says Nigeria approaching difficult coronavirus response era

With increasing figures of people who tested positive to coronavirus, the Federal Government says Nigeria is approaching a difficult era in response to the outbreak of the disease.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, gave the explanation at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) daily briefing on COVID-19 on Friday, May 8, 2020 in Abuja.

No fewer than 381 persons tested positive to the virus as at 11.20 p.m. on May 7.

Ehanire, however, said that this could still be influenced by strict adherence to safety, prevention and non-pharmaceutical injunctions that have been repeatedly given at the daily briefing of the PTF on COVID-19.

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The minister said that as the COVID-19 pandemic increases and progresses to community transmission level in Nigeria, health ministry and other relevant government agencies are continuously seeking measures to check or break the transmission of the pandemic.

He noted that the target was to identify all positive cases and isolate both the symptomatic and asymptomatic to safeguard the health of the rest of the population as well as provide care to the symptomatic.

Ehanire said that the ministry “is continuously monitoring and reviewing the situation and responding with the dispatch of teams of experts to provide technical support to high burden areas or states grappling with epidemic control issues”.

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He said that the ministerial response action plan of the Federal Ministry of Health would be ready next week.

“The ministry holds daily situational analysis via teleconference with directors of the ministry of health, medical directors of federal hospitals and members of the ministerial expert advisory committee and other relevant stakeholders, such as NPHCDA, NCDC and NAFDAC in attendance.

“This enables real-time reporting on incidents in the field and immediate solution or mitigating steps,’’ the minister said.

According to him, calm has returned to Gombe State Isolation Centres while the health ministry has deployed a multi-sectoral technical team on a fact-finding mission to Jigawa at the request of the state governor.

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The Jigawa State Government has had to tackle the challenge of the repatriated Almajiri (pupils of Islamic education) some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ehanire also said that a team sent by the ministry to Kogi had returned to Abuja, without mission accomplishment.

He noted that new efforts would be made to engage the state authorities to resolve the differences.

“A team will visit Borno for the same purpose in due course,’’ he added.

By Abujah Racheal

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