Presidential Task Force On The Control of COVID-19 Press Briefing By Dr. Osagie Ehaniere Hon. Minister of Health

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire


As of today, 29th April, 2020, 1,532 people have been confirmed to have COVID-19. A record 825 tests were done with 195 new cases identified, a high number that is distributed as follows: 80 in Lagos, 38 in Kano, 15 each in Bauchi and Ogun, 11 in Borno, 10 in Gombe, 9 in Sokoto, 5 each in Edo and Jigawa, 2 in Zamfara and 1 each in Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers and FCT. 255 persons have been successfully treated for COVID-19 and discharged, and sadly, 44 deaths have been recorded.

2. The increasing figure of confirmed cases underscores the ongoing community transmission, which is a major challenge and again necessitates a call on all citizens not to take this COVID-19 lightly; but to take ownership of the initiatives for non pharmaceutical interventions with strict adherence to public health advisories: maintain social distance, practise hand and respiratory hygiene, avoid crowded places and wear your mask or a face covering when you leave your house. These and other related measures are critical, and an integral part of the strategy to ease restrictions as from 4th of May. Failure to comply can have undesirable effects.

3. Another pressing urgency is the need to provide and prepare Isolation centers and more bed spaces in all States of the Federation. I wish to appeal each State authority and the FCT to give first line attention to this requirement, in order to meet expectations and obligations. As testing ramps up, the need will become more and more obvious. It should therefore be prioritized, so that we are not taken by surprise. I should take the opportunity to request Distinguished Senators, Hon. members of Houses of Representatives and Assemblies to also get involved in the disease surveillance and notification efforts in their constituencies and to actively support the drive to rapidly increase bed spaces for Isolation and treatment in their States. I shall also strongly urge those who test positive for COVID-19 to cooperate with the directives of authorities, on Isolation, so as not to constitute a risk and a cause for public concern.

4. We have completed plans to start training and capacity building of much needed Intensive Care workforce for various parts of the country.

5. I am pleased to report a very fruitful interaction of the FMoH delegation to Kano yesterday. They were well received by His Excellency the Governor and have been able to conduct an appraisal of the situation and start working on outlines of providing technical support to the State COVID-19 task force in several aspects, as well as planning capacity building for the frontline health workers. They also met with many influential community leaders, who all expressed willingness to support the effort of the government. A full report will follow.

6. I shall as usual, use this opportunity to call on our health care workers to continue to render services to our people while adhering to the laid down standard infection prevention and control measures. An advisory on case management has been developed and is accessible online. The NCDC has also released guidelines on the management of corpses who fall victim to COVID-19.

7. I shall close by as usual reminding you all that: arresting the spread of this dangerous virus requires our individual and collective effort and reiterating our public health advisories:
▪ Stay at home, avoid crowds and large gatherings;
▪ Practice physical distancing by strictly maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between people always;
▪ Use non-contact greetings, such as waving or nodding;
▪ The elderly and anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (hypertension, tuberculosis, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes cardiovascular disease) should not attend gatherings and should avoid receiving non-essential guests at this time; and
▪ Use masks or face coverings over your nose and mouth, if you must leave your home.

8. Resources and real time information on COVID-19 can be found on the social media handles of FMoH and NCDC, the FMoH website and the NCDC COVID-19 microsite

Thank you.