Nigeria’s Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has warned that Nigeria may be on the verge of a second wave of coronavirus, as cases have been rising recently.
The Health Minister disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja on Thursday. He said:
- “This rightly suggests that we may just be on the verge of a second wave of this pandemic.”
He warned that the number of new cases might increase as Nigerians return from the diaspora for holidays.
- “But, to a less extent, from travelers entering Nigeria, among whom we have recorded 87 positive cases arriving the country, as against 59 in the previous week.
- “This number can increase as the volume of travelers rises, especially as people return home for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
- “To ensure that we further contain imported cases, Port health officers at points of entry have been directed to be vigilant and diligent in screening travelers arriving Nigeria, especially from high burden countries.”
He added that Nigeria had crossed the 70,000 infections mark as the country recorded 1,843 cases last week, as against 1,235 two weeks before that.
- “In the past 24 hours, 474 new confirmed cases and two deaths were recorded, with an indication that this week’s figure will beat last week’s.
- “As at today, we have crossed the 70,000 mark with a total of 70,669 confirmed cases, out of which 65,242 have been treated and discharged. Sadly, the number of deaths has now reached 1,184 as against 1,167 two weeks before.”
He also said that all isolation and treatment centres, which were closed, had been directed to reopen to deal with the rising new cases.
- “While we strive for the best, we must prepare for a possible second wave, which we must ensure does not get to be worse than what we have seen so far. Judging from what we observe in other countries, the U.S., UK and other countries are going through very difficult times, and we do sympathise with them.
- “To prepare ourselves, I have directed that all Isolation and Treatment centres, which were closed due to reduced patient load, be prepared for reopening and the staff complement put on alert.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) announced plans to reduce case fatalities of the Covid-19 pandemic by focusing on improving the capability to manage the virus.
The Health Minister said:
- “We hope to reduce case fatalities by strengthening our capacity to manage cases, but it is only possible if persons test themselves early. All cases, whether home-based or institutional are to be supervised by medical personnel. This is particularly important, given the threat posed by the spiralling rate of infection in countries with which Nigeria has strong political, business, social, and family relation.”