COVID-19: Increasing number of positive cases worries FG


By Anayo Ezugwu

THE federal government has raised concern over the increasing number of confirmed Coronavirus in the country. Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, said the high cases could seriously exceed the capacity of the health system to cope.

Speaking at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, May 27, Mamora said the increasing number might affect routine cases as a result. According to him, as of this morning, the country has recorded a total of 8,344 confirmed cases in 34 states and FCT, out of which 2,385 had been successfully treated and discharged. He noted that the nation has also unfortunately recorded 249 deaths, while most of those who died are associated with co-morbidities. The minister stated that three out of four of those, who had been discharged were without co-morbidities.

“This is consistent with the fact that risks are higher for those with other illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic non-communicable diseases. There is a general reduction in mortality trends and continuous improvement in recoveries as shown in discharges compared to the increase in the number of confirmed cases.

“Therefore, the non-pharmaceutical preventive approach is still our best strategy. At present, we have a total of 112 treatment and isolation centres in all the 36 states and FCT with 5,324 beds. While only five states, including the FCT have at least 300 beds as prescribed for isolation and treatment, 21 states have less than 100-bed spaces.

“As the number of confirmed cases increases, there is an urgent need to expand our treatment centres across the country. I, therefore, call on the State governors and philanthropists to take active and deliberate steps to scale up the number of beds for isolation and treatment of confirmed cases in their states. As we prepare to move into the next phase of the response. Including the easing of the lockdown, we have conducted a high-level technical session on strategic outputs of Mid-Action Review (MAR) and identified priority activities for the next phase of the response.

“In addition, we have commenced the development of sector-specific advisories on re-opening. Training of health workers on case management is ongoing in more states. There are global efforts to find a cure for the disease and Nigeria is part of that effort. We have received a few proposals for local remedies for the disease and these have been forwarded to the relevant agencies for evaluation. For preparation to be approved for use in Nigeria, it must be subjected to safety, toxicological and efficacy tests as well as clinical trials.

“Last week, I led the Federal Ministry of Health team to a virtual meeting with Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Practitioners to discuss and explore opportunities for local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting provided an opportunity for the practitioners to understand the procedures for validating medicines for use in the country. We were also able to find common grounds for collaboration. The government will support every genuine effort aimed at finding local solutions to the pandemic.

“While we are anxious to find a cure for the disease, the Federal Government will not compromise the health of any Nigerian. We are not prepared to do trial and error with the health of our people. Whatever is approved for use in Nigeria must meet the required standard as determined by the relevant agencies. Let me at this point again advise us against crowding up as this increases the risk of transmission. There are global efforts to find a cure for the disease. Until a cure or vaccine is found, prevention is still the best approach to containing the virus,” he said.

– May 27, 2020 @ 17:05 GMT |

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