Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has warned that fatalities will increase with The increasing number of positive cases.
This is even as it warned Health workers make rational use of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), saying countries would over battling with COVID-19 were running short on supplies.
The Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, gave the warning at the Presidential Task Force briefing on Thursday.
According to him, “As the number of cases increases, COVID-19 kills more people.”
The minister that the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Wednesday announced 587 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, increasing the total tally to 17,735. He added that 5,967 persons have been treated and discharged and 469 persons have sadly been lost to the disease.
“We have said that the increasing number of cases should be a warning that fatalities will increase too; but there are measures we can take, to limit case fatality rate.
“Since majority of fatalities are over 50 years of age, or have preexisting ailments like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, HIV, among others, this group of citizens has to be specially protected.
“This protection begins with limiting their exposure to risks of COVID-19 infection by urging stay at home, except there is urgent and dire need to go out; to wear a face mask or a covering at any time, once outside the house, or when inside the house with persons who may have been exposed,” Ehanire said.
He added that going to places where there can be a crowd, like market or also places of worship carries risk of increased exposure and also that being in a closed room increases the risk of exposure to infection in proportion to the number of people and the length of time spent with them, because the likelihood of presence of a positive person increases with the number and infection with time of exposure.
He also urged persons in the vulnerable group who test positive to go to a treatment center immediately, in their own best interest.
He said that a vulnerabke person is not among those who should risk staying at home, because complications can arise easily and suddenly or at an odd hour of the day or night when there will be no immediate help available.
Ehanire said, “Any person who tested positive and opted to stay home or elsewhere should move to a treatment center at the first sign of fever or shortness or breath. A delay can be fatal because the disease progression can be unpredictable and faster than imagined.
“Witherspoon these important measures, we could mitigate the fatality rate. The novel coronavirus is still among us and is infecting people daily, including prominent members of the society.
“Friends and family have an increasingly important role to play in helping to guide compliance with this advisory. Till it goes away, whenever that is, we must take extreme precaution when going to public places.”
Ehanire also said that the government have updated the case management guidelines with reviewed changes like discharge criteria and medication used for the treatment of cases.
He said, “Our treatment centers will be getting an advisory to test applicability of a drug recently repurposed and found effective for treatment of COVID-19. The engagement of states and support for them in management of COVID-19 will continue to increase with increased capacity building.”
The minister also said Nigerian Government has
signed a bilateral agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (also known as North Korea) on cooperation in the area of public health and medical sciences.
According to him, the agreement is to start cooperation between both countries in the areas of exchanging experience in public health and health sciences; and facilitation of visits by scientists and exchanging information in research.