BY DAYO ADESULU
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has deployed Rapid Response Teams to affected states to support response activities, as Nigeria have recorded 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19. The breakdown showed that 32 are in Lagos, 10 in FCT, 3 in Ogun and 1 each in Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Bauchi, Osun and Rivers States.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire disclosed this at the Ministerial Press Briefing on COVID-19 held at the Ministry’s headquarters, Abuja, today March 26, 2020. He further said that, out of the 51 cases, 37 had immediate travel history, 8 were confirmed close contacts of confirmed cases and 6 had neither a recent travel history nor a known contact.
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Dr Ehanire informed that two persons have been cured and discharged, one fatality had been recorded and all the 48 present active cases are clinically stable with only mild or moderate symptoms. He stated that Contact tracing to identify persons who have been in close contact with confirmed cases is on-going, while the Ministry is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to review response activities and to institute measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.
The Minister further disclosed that one major item in Nigeria’s disease containment strategy is social distancing, which has been repeatedly announced. As a result, directives have been issued at the national and state level, to limit all large gatherings including religious, social and political gatherings, schools, events etc. Some states have put the maximum number of gatherings at 50, but a general order will be announced.
He disclosed that The NCDC communication campaign titled ‘#TakeResponsibility has kicked off. It is a call to all residents in the country to join hands and be proactive in taking greater individual and collective responsibility for the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. You can join this collective effort via your social media platforms” The Minister urged individuals, businesses, professional bodies, media houses and all committed Nigerians to take ownership of this campaign by developing and communicating prevention messages around the following critical thematic areas;
● Frequent handwashing with soap under running water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer
● Coughing/sneezing into tissue and disposing properly or coughing/sneezing into your sleeve, if no tissue available.
● Avoiding crowds, large gatherings and needless physical contact
● Cleaning all surfaces frequently with disinfectants
● Getting information only from official sources and;
Self-isolating for 15 days on return from any international travel or close contact with a recently returned person. Call NCDC’s toll-free number: 080097000010 or the emergency no. 112, which we are working to link together and expand for improved speed and efficiency.