Isolation centres across the country come under assessment in efforts to strengthen how states are responding to Covid-19, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 announced on Tuesday.
The federal health ministry and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control are doing the assessment and were recently in Bayelsa and Osun.
Health minister Osagie Ehanire said though the cases and fatalities figure seem low compared to other countries, a disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with preexisting diseases, many are educated, well-to-do people, who chose home-based care, where they develop sudden complication and have to be rushed to hospital.
“Experience is showing that breathing complications in COVID-19 patients can arise with little or no notice. This is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they test positive,” he said at the PTF briefing on Tuesday.
The minister said the government would continue providing diagnostic commodities and facilities in collaboration with partners.
He said the two weeks extension of the eased lockdown authorized by President Muhammadu Buhari in Lagos, Ogun and FCT and also extended in Kano State was to address remaining challenges to containing the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“It is of great importance that we, members of the health sector and citizens, endeavor to use this period to dedicate their effort to strive for the best, but also prepare for the worst. As we learn more about coronavirus every day, we must be ready to adjust our strategy, based on knowledge and evidence,” Ehanire said.
A total 216 new cases were recorded on Monday, raising the country’s total .to beyond 6,000.
He added, “1644 patients have been treated and discharged from care, but we have sadly recorded 191 deaths in 26 states and the FCT.
The minister said that a Ministerial Task Team led by a Director of the Federal Ministry of Health arrived Calabar on Monday 18th May to interact with Cross River State Ministry of Health.
“The team is made up of experts of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the NCDC, the Dept of Hospital Services, Dept of Public Health and Dept of Family Health, each with terms of reference to work with relevant State officials to review and evaluate present status and needs of Cross River State. They will have audience to debrief H.E Cross River State Governor before they depart Calabar.
“The Ministerial Task Team to Kano reported improvements in the processes and indices of Kano, and also of strategies to control increasing cases of covid-19 infection in the entire region, by ramping up testing, isolation and case management capabilities,” Ehanire said.
He said the team also paid a fact finding visit to Bornu State same Monday and make recommendations on supporting the strategy there and that viral infectious disease experts from Federal Teaching Hospital Irrua are supporting the state initiatives with hands-on training and confidence building of health care workers.
He said the session of the World Health Assembly held normally in Geneva, Switzerland, was first time ever held by teleconference.
Ehanire said one of the important outcomes of the Assembly is emphasis on the need for cooperation among citizens and with their state authorities in the fight against COVID-19.
He said the anti COVID-19 war concern citizens no less than the state, and requiring that citizens support and comply with advisories that are for everyone survival, thus no policing should be needed to do the right thing.