Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has described as worrisome the resurgence of COVID-19 infection amongst health workers.
He said this at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, yesterday.
“We are concerned by the resurgence of infection in healthcare workers.
“In a bid to sustain the gains we have made in reducing the rate of infection among our health workers, we have made training and retraining of health workers on infection prevention and control.
“In Abia State, we have concluded the training of 594 Healthcare Workers from private and public health facilities on infection prevention and control.
“We are currently investigating healthcare associated infection in a health facility in Kaduna State. Lessons learnt from this will be used to improve service delivery.”
He charged the health workers to be more careful, saying: “I encourage our health workers not to drop their guards as the pandemic is still with us. Use your PPEs appropriately and judiciously. We have ensured that PPEs are available in all our health facilities.”
Ehanire also charged the youths to be more careful and take adequate precautions against COVID-19, stating that “this pandemic has had its impact on our young people.
“As at yesterday, 46 percent of positive cases in the country are young people between ages 21-40.
“I will, therefore, appeal to our youths to take responsibility. Let us ensure that we adhere to the advisories to wear face masks appropriately, regularly wash your hands and ensure respiratory hygiene.”
The minister also emphasised that “our target remains to test one percent of our population across the country.
“As of today, more than 70 percent of all the tests conducted have been in nine states including Lagos, Kano, FCT, Plateau, Oyo, Kaduna, Edo Ogun Rivers with 25 percent of the tests in Lagos alone.
“We shall continue to work with state governments to ramp up case findings and sample collection activities.”
Prioritise testing in 85 LGAs, NCDC appeals to govs
Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has appealed to governors to prioritise COVID-19 testing in the 85 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 20 states with no testing done and no case reported.
He was represented by Mrs. Elsie Ilori, Head of Department, Surveillance and Epidemiology Department, at the centre.
The PTF had at Monday’s briefing said 85 LGAs in 20 states still remained with no testing done and no case reported.
“In line with our national strategy we have rapidly called up our laboratory testing capacity nationwide. As at today, we have 63 laboratories that are testing for COVID in the country.
“We have leveraged on the existing laboratories in the country including other programs, other diseases laboratories and private laboratories to set of this Laboratories.
“In addition to accessibility and improving the turnaround time of our result, our aim is to expand our national testing capacity which we have achieved.”