COVID-19: Number Of New Infections On Sliding Scale-FG

Ikenna Atanah

The Federal Government has disclosed that new COVID-19 cases in Nigeria are gradually easing.

This was disclosed by Dr Sani Aliyu, the Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, at the daily briefing of the PTF on Monday in Abuja.

He said that positive cases of COVID-19 are gradually coming down; noting that daily results now revolve around 400.

However, he sounded a note of warning that the reduction was not in a way a win.

Dr. Aliyu insisted that all the non-pharmaceutical guidelines must be followed by Nigerians. This, he disclosed, is in order to achieve full success in the fight against COVID-19.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, reeled out some vital statistics on the pandemic.

“We have recorded 46,577 cases from 317,496 samples tested so far; while 33,186 persons have been treated and discharged. Sadly, we lost 945 persons to the COVID-19 infection; which has now been identified in 549 of our 774 local government areas…Half of all cases in Nigeria so far are concentrated in 20 local government areas.

“ The figures show that Nigeria is also sadly approaching the symbolic 1,000 number of fatalities; a grim reality that should be a wake-up call for us.

According to Dr. Sani Aliyu, “Many more Nigerians today personally knew a person who succumbed to COVID-19…So, I ask that we remind ourselves that COVID-19 is still with us and will be for a long time.”

Further, he warned that “until there is vaccine; the only options we have to protect ourselves are the non-pharmaceutical measures; proven to be cheap and effective such as the appropriate use of face mask; physical distancing and avoiding crowds.”

On the way forward, the minister stated a few key interventions.

“Our focus is still to reduce fatality to less than one per cent, not only with preventive measures; but also with a strategy that encourages citizens to report early for treatment and for hospitals to attend to all patients in distress; most importantly, to be able to provide oxygen treatment.

“The main COVID-19 symptoms include breathlessness, which responds well to oxygen supplementation as first measure. We are turning our preferences therefore to gadgets that provide oxygen; like oxygen generators to be in many facilities, including general hospitals and larger Primary Healthcare Centres; while solar powered aggregates, where available, will be prioritised.”

He advised federal health institutions with oxygen plants to activate them as a matter of priority. Also, he urged them to ensure they could deliver to their Accident and Emergency Department.

“The other measure is the activation of ambulance service to move patients to treatment centres. This strategy worked well in Kano and all states should prepare to set up the system; as Federal Ministry of Health will provide guidance, support and training,” he added.

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