Covid-19: Health Minister decries steady rise in positive cases


By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau 

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has expressed disappointment over the steady increase in the number of Coronavirus (Covid-19) positive cases in Nigeria even as he said that the Federal Government is on top of the efforts to mitigate the scourge.   Speaking at the  Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF) press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, Ehanire lamented that Nigeria has crossed the threshold of 11, 000 in Covid-19 positive cases, adding that the high number means “It is really  showing a consistently rise in the positive cases. The Minister disclosed that the  Team of medical experts from Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) Abuja sent to Lagos and Ogun states on tour of duty are back in Abuja and will make their findings public in due course.   According to him “the Team that went to Lagos and Ogun states have  returned with optimism and having insight in what is happening. Their findings will be be made public soon. “They met with the Governors and had good interactions with other health workers especially from the Primary Health Centers in the states too”.   Dr. Ehanire also revealed that the  Health Ministers from Economic Community of  West African States (ECOWAS) has been brainstorming especially the ECOWAS Committee on Covid-19 Pandemic  He stated that they have discussed about movements of goods and services when borders are opened again after Covid-19 lockdown, pointing out that the he has attended a GAVE  virtual meeting yesterday  (Thursday) hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Covid-19 Pandemic. The Minister however said the Federal Government through the PTF and other relevant agencies are taking every step to ensure that Covid-19 war is won by Nigeria.  Said he, “the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) 30 laboratories located across the country are still the most reliable testing centers for Covid-19. I want also confirm that  another PCR have arrive Nigeria”.   Meanwhile, the NCDC Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has explained that the infectious diseases agency has published in its website new findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Covid-19 Pandemic.  Amongst the new findings are in the area of management of Covid-19 cases which include tracing, testing, treatment adding that in practical terms the discharged criteria have changed.   Dr. Ihekweazu also disclosed that the discharge criteria has further been divided into two groups and this means persons that are Symptomatic will henceforth be discharged in 10 days while Asymptomatic to be discharged in 14 days    In addition he hinted of the removal of anti-viral drugs from the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

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