Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has said that Nigeria has so far tested 113,575 Nigerians out of which 12,847 were active cases, with a 2.55 per cent fatality rate.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country surpassed the 20,000 mark over the weekend, reaching 20,244 between Sunday and Monday.
‘We also saw the highest number of daily diagnosed new cases last Thursday of 745, but with 436 over the past 24 hours. While the overall trajectory was predicted as the course of events, explained both by increased community transmission and rising testing capacity, it is a reminder that we must not only, not let down our guards, but begin to restrategize on additional measures of keeping control of the situation,’ the minister said.
‘This will not be the sole responsibility of government, but of all citizens, individually and collectively. It is also the prime feature of the National COVID-19 Response Action Plan of the Federal Ministry of Health, which tries to map a near, medium and long term health sector response strategy to the challenge, across all areas of health, over the next three-year period,’ Ehanire said.
He said that the plan is to be presented at the National Council of Health and applied by states for the development of state-specific action plans, to address the state peculiarities.
The minister noted that emerging findings revealed that the clinical condition of COVID-19 patients, especially the elderly and those with underlying illnesses, can change from mild to critical within a short time that patients hardly have time to seek hospital care.
The minister advised all hospitals to have the right index of suspicion, recognise and promptly refer suspected cases to designated hospitals.
He warned that attempting to treat COVID-19 positive patients when not so accredited puts all involved at risk, including the innocent.
The minister also advised persons with symptoms and those with underlying diseases or over 60 years of age to check into an isolation or treatment centre for observation, saying this could save their lives.
‘Though up to 80 per cent of cases can be asymptomatic, it helps to also bear the known common symptoms in mind, these being fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and difficulty in breathing.
‘Additional signs can be headache, diarrhoea, nausea and fatigue. While symptomatic treatment can be vital in preventing complications, close clinical observation, early enough, can be decisive,’ the minister said.