Nigeria has recorded the second death from the novel coronavirus. This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire in a live broadcast of the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 on Channels TV on Monday afternoon.
He said, “Till date, three persons have been discharged after successful treatment. But sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had severe underlying illnesses.”
The minister explained that the deceased, whose identity was not disclosed, had serious underlying health issues.
“We have intensified contact tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them, and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat, in order to reduce the spread of the infection.”
“As of today, the 30th of March, 2020, we have recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria of which 68 are in Lagos, 21 in the FCT, seven in Oyo, three in Ogun, two in Bauchi, two in Edo, two in Osun, two in Enugu, and one each in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna and Rivers States,” Ehanire added.
He observed that a large number of Nigeria’s 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were returning travellers from outside the country, and this explained why Lagos and Abuja have been the worst hit so far as they serve as the major gateways to the country.
He also informed the gathering that all retired but able-bodied staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health were being recalled, and called on Nigerians to protect the elderly among them, and those as those with underlying health issues.
He added that contact tracing had been intensified and the strategy remains to identify, isolate them and follow up their contacts who will also be isolated and treated, in order to reduce the spread of the infection.
Speaking earlier in his opening remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, informed the audience that the joint presidential task force briefing would henceforth be a daily event to give an update and minimise the incidence of fake news in the country.
Mustapha stressed that the briefing would be the only “official briefing of the task force”, although other forms of briefing by relevant members would be allowed to provide answers to the questions asked by members of the public. “In view of the fact that this is the first joint presidential task briefing, let me reiterate that the briefing would focus on testing, contact tracing, and slowing down the spread and management of coronavirus” he said.
Mustapha announced that in response to the imminent hardships caused by the pandemic, the President had set up an economic sustainability committee to be chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The committee would examine and recommend solutions to the economic challenges that the situation may bring for the time being. The SGF also allayed the fear of Nigerians, saying workers in the financial institutions were not included in the stay-at-home order declared by the President, to allow some financial activities to continue.