COVID-19: FG Confirms One Death, 42 Cases 

  • 32 Clinically Stable With Mild Symptoms, 1 Patient On Oxygen
  • All Health Facilities To Be On High Alert
  • Bans All International Flights
  • More Measures May Be Introduced As Situation Demands

Nigerian Government on Monday confirmed that a Nigerian has died from the dreaded coronavirus ravaging the country.

“Sadly, we recorded our first death from COVID-19 in the country. This was a Nigerian who unfortunately, had underlying illnesses and died due to complications on March 22nd in Abuja. He had recently returned from the United Kingdom,” Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire confirmed.

Speaking at a press conference alongside his Information counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Dr. Ehanire said, “as of the 23rd of March 2020, 36 cases have been confirmed, two cases have been discharged and one death recorded from COVID-19 in Nigeria. Of the 33 active cases, 32 are clinically stable with mild symptoms. One patient is oxygen-dependent.

“We have recorded 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. Of these 36 confirmed cases, 25 are in Lagos, 6 in FCT, 2 in Ogun, 1 in Edo, 1 in Ekiti and 1 in Oyo.

“Of the 36 cases, 26 had travel history to affected countries in the last two weeks, 6 are contacts of confirmed cases and 4 have no recent travel history or known contact”, the Minister explained.

Ehanire however noted that, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is working closely with the state governments of all affected states to carry out contact tracing.

“Through intensified contact tracing, we have been able to promptly detect cases. I strongly urge all health facilities to be on high alert and for state, local government, law enforcement authorities and community leaders to give full cooperation to investigators.

Following the declaration of a pandemic by WHO and increasing spread of COVID-19, the federal government through the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19, employed diverse strategies to interrupt and halt the spread of disease.

The Minister further stated that a ban has been placed on all international flights effective from Monday, the 23rd of March 2020 with the exception of emergency and essential flights.

“These were not easy decisions to make, but have become necessary in view of the changing developments in the country as we witness more confirmed cases of COVID-19. The federal and state governments may institute more measures in the coming days as the situation demands,” he stressed.

He said that contact tracing is on-going to identify all persons who have been in contact with confirmed cases, while the Federal Ministry of Health is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19, to review response activities and to institute measures to protect the health of Nigerians.

The multi-sectorial Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by NCDC continues to coordinate national response activities.

He also hinted that, NCDC has launched a communication campaign themed #Take Responsibility. This is a call to all Nigerians and residents in the country to join forces and to be proactive in taking greater individual and collective responsibility in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

While urging individuals, businesses, professional bodies, media houses and all committed Nigerians to take ownership of this campaign by developing and communicating prevention messages around the following critical thematic areas.

He urged all Nigerian residents to take self-isolation and social distancing very seriously, to prevent the spread of the disease in Nigeria. Ensure you maintain at least two metres (5 feet) physical distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, while Nigerians are encouraged to stay at home if they feel unwell.

The minister reiterated the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure the control of the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria, just as he asked for the full cooperation and support of Nigerians in the fight to contain COVID-19.


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