The Honorable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, has confirmed 254 recorded cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. He affirmed this at the Presidential Task Force Briefing on 8th April, 2020, stating that Lagos remained the epicenter with 130, 50 cases in FCT, 20 in Osun, 11 in Edo, 11 in Oyo, 6 in Bauchi, 5 each in Akwa Ibom and Kaduna, 4 in Ogun, 2 each in Enugu, Ekiti, Kwara and Rivers and 1 each in Benue, Delta, Katsina and Ondo. The increase in Osun he said was due to the arrival of Nigerians to that state from ECOWAS countries. He also said that several group of Nigerians had made similar intentions known to return.
The State Minister, Health, revealed that 44 had been discharged from treatment of which 7 are from the UATH center and 6 corona related fatalities, adding that there are presently 204 cases of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
Dr. Mamora informed that, there are nine laboratories for testing COVID-19 that will be augmented over time by other laboratories in the public and private sector.
The Hon Minister of State, Health commended the efforts of the Lagos State government during their visit by the Presidential Task Force in their preparedness and response in the state, with infection control compliant isolation centers and aggressive community surveillance; he encouraged other governors to prepare in the same way. Having received the COVID-19 starter packs and health trained worker, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) had commenced operation of a 60 bed isolation center, he also hinted.
As the global community commemorates the World Health Day, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, thanked health workers for their commitment, hard work and sacrifice in the response to this pandemic. He said, “Through training, provision of guidelines and personal protective equipment, we continue to enhance the understanding and capacity of our frontline workers for this novel disease.”
Further speaking , he urged all health workers to apply infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols always and maintain a high suspicion for COVID-19, while taking into cognizance resources on NCDC COVID-19 website, covid19.ncdc.gov,ng, including national case definition guidelines which are constantly been updated. “Your well- being is a priority to us, and we cannot thank you enough for the work that you do in protecting the health of Nigerians,” he said.
The Hon. Min. of State, Health advised citizens against giving false information of symptoms or travel history to health workers, when seeking care, at this critical time. Doing so he said, puts the health professionals at risk of infection and deprives them of comprehensive information to properly diagnose and manage illness. The Minister insisted that those who tested positive must report to designated treatment center for self isolation and care, even if they feel well, because the danger of this disease is that those who do not have any symptoms are still as infectious as those with symptoms and need to be isolated, for the sake of their families, friends and the public. He reminded that, both public and private health facilities had been called upon not to reject patients without giving them advisory on what to do. Adding also that, all health facilities are reminded that coronavirus is an extremely dangerous pathogen, which spreads very easily. He advised also that persons suspected of such infection for treatment should not be accepted if the facility is not accredited but offer them a referral to test centers or accredited treatment centers.
Dr. Mamora made known that the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and the Guild of Medical Directors should engage their members accordingly, stating that, unauthorized management of this disease and compromise of medical ethics could aggravate public health emergency at community level and place national security in jeopardy.
He reiterated that there are enough bed spaces in accredited hospitals to handle the present number of positive cases in Nigeria and that the Federal Ministry of Health is upgrading its capacity to transfer diagnosed COVID-19 for treatment at accredited centers.
Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora thanked individual groups, corporate organizations, public and private, the health sector associations like the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria, JOHESU, civil society organizations, foreign government amongst others who had made donations and offered support in various ways to the national response.
Head Press and Public Relations Unit