The Federal Government has warned that the increase number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria should be a warning that the fatality rates will increase too; but gave the good news that there are measures to be taken to limit cases of fatality:
In a press release, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said “It is advisable to wear a face mask or a covering at any time, once outside the house, or when inside the house with persons who may have been exposed by the COVID-19.”
“Going to crowded places like market, or places of worship carries risk of increased exposure.” “I also stressed that being in a closed room increases the risk of exposure to infection in proportion to the number of people and the length of time spent with them because the likelihood of presence of positive person increases with the number and infection with time of exposure.”
Ehanire further stated that since majority of fatalities cases are seen among people that are over 50 years of age, or those that have pre-existing ailments like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, HIV etc, these group of citizens has to be specially protected.
He disclosed these at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing on Thursday, 18th of June, 2020.He also stated that the Nigerian Center for Disease Control yesterday announced 587 new confirmed COVID-19 cases bringing the total number to 17,735 which 5,967 were treated and discharged but lost 469 persons to the disease.
He advised that any person who tested positive and opted to stay home or elsewhere should move to a treatment center at the first sign of fever or shortness of breath. “A delay can be fatal because the disease progression can be unpredictable and faster than imagined.”
Dr. Ehanire also informed that he had the honour of joining Mr. President at the China-Africa Extraordinary Summit on Solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the week, where the desirability of sharing knowledge from research and experience was emphasized.
The Honourable Minister also disclosed that he signed a bilateral agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on cooperation in the area of public health and medical sciences. “The agreement is to start cooperation between both countries in these areas which are as follows:
(a) By exchanging experience in public health and health sciences
(b) The facilitation of visits by the scientists and exchanging information in research.
The Honourable Minister informed his audience that he inaugurated the Governing Council of the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) on Monday, 15th June, 2020 where the Council was charged to refocus aspects of the profession to meet up with the realities of today as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought medical security to the fore front.
Speaking further, Dr. Ehanire disclosed that “We have updated the case management guidelines which reviewed changes like discharge criteria and medication used for the treatment of COVID-19 cases.” By this medication for treatment protocol, the Honourable Minister said that treatment centers will be getting an advisory to test applicability of a drug recently repurposed and found effective for treatment of COVID-19.”
He hinted of the engagement of States and support for them in management of COVID-19 will continue to increase with increased capacity building, adding that the Ministry of Health will also be prioritizing the procurement of oxygen generators alongside ventilators as “our experience so far shows that oxygen supplementation is in high demand in treatment.”