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About 100 COVID-19 deaths occurred at home, Ehanire

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire PHOTO: Twitter

The Federal government yesterday said that finding from the analysis of the 200 Covid-19 deaths recorded so far in the country shows that nearly half of them died at home.

Meanwhile, the fact finding team to Calabar, Cross River State has concluded its assignment back and its report confirmed that no case of coronavirus disease has been recorded in the state even as the Federal government has promised to upgrade laboratories in the state to ensure ease of testing when suspected cases are identified.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who disclosed this at the daily briefing by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 noted that of those who died at home, about 50 percent did not show any symptom, underscoring the need for those who test positive to report for treatment.

He urged those who have taken the test and are awaiting result to heed the advisory to self-isolate from friends, wear face masks and observe hand and respiratory hygiene until your result is releases stressing that by so doing, they will be protecting their family, friends and communities .

Ehanire observed that government is careful about our numbers to ensure that the figures being announced are accurate, adding that sometimes, “there are errors, but we correct them as soon as they are noticed.

The minister commended Governor Ben Ayade for his proactive approach to Covid-19, stressing that the Federal government will work with the state teams to ensure that we scale up surveillance and contact tracing in the state.

According to him, “We now have 26 laboratories spread in 17 states. This has increased our testing capacity. However, while our daily testing capacity is presently at 2,500, unfortunately, we are presently able to test less than 1,500. This is due largely to inadequate surveillance and contact tracing in the states. As more laboratories come on board, I would like to use this opportunity to call on state governments to increase the number of surveillance teams so that more testing can be done in the laboratories. We have developed new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track surveillance strategic directions and programmes”

He said, ‘We have scaled up training of health workers on infection prevention and control, infection among our health workers has reduced significantly. We have trained the 4th batch of Health Care Workers and Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors in Kano State. Training and retraining is a continuous process and we shall sustain the initiative. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Health through Nigeria Center for Disease Control had high level engagement with Hospital Services and Secondary health facilities to improve patients’ management and data qualities. State level Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) trainings working with partners to step down trainings at community level is currently ongoing’.

The minister observed that the development in Lagos where doctors are restricting their services to between the hours of 8am and 6pm because of the enforcement of the dusk to dawn curfew by security operatives has been resolved.

” I have been in touch with the NMA chairman in Lagos State and the State Commissioner of Health. I wish to thank our doctors and other health workers for their understanding. Our health workers are our foot soldiers and we would ensure that they are able to discharge their duties unhindered”.

Ehanire stressed that the stay-at-home advisory needs to be more strictly adhered to and citizens need not undercut the ban on interstate travel by hiding in goods trucks.

“There is need to adhere to the advisories which I would like to reemphasize again. Masks must be worn and washed daily, ironed, where possible and should cover mouth and nose and should not be left under the chin during close quarter conversation. Tissues must be used when coughing, sneezing and then disposed of”.

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