NIGERIA’S Health Minister,Ehanire Osagie has stated, that  “ being in a closed room increases the risk of exposure to infection in proportion to the number of people and the length of time spent with them, because the likelihood of presence of a positive person increases with the number and infection with time of exposure.

“All persons in the vulnerable group who test positive should go to a treatment centre immediately, in their own best interest. A vulnerable person is not among those who should risk staying at home, because complications can arise easily and suddenly or at an odd hour of the day or night when there will be no immediate help available.”

He added that any person who tested positive and opted to stay home or elsewhere  should move to a treatment centre at the first sign of fever or shortness of breath.

“A delay can be fatal because the disease progression can be unpredictable and faster than imagined,”  he warned.

He said coronavirus was infecting more Nigerians,  “including prominent members of the society. Friends and family have an increasingly important role to play in helping to guide compliance with this advisory.”

Also, the minister said the Federal Government would review the two variants of the reports about COVID – 19 fatalities in Kano.

He said that although the two reports were not totally far from each other, a certain percentage of the unexplained fatalities were due to COVID – 19.

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had on Wednesday faulted the Federal Government, which a few weeks ago said the majority of strange deaths in Kano were caused by COVID-19.

The Minister said, “The Kano State Task Force  submitted a report and there is a slight variant with what the Kano State Government announced yesterday (Wednesday). We are going to call our experts to review the two. They may have sent different methodologies to look at this case. But we are going to look at the two findings.

“They are not totally far from each other because they do admit that a certain percentage of the unexplained fatalities were due to COVID – 19. There is a slight variation in the percentage that is attributed by either side. So, we are going to look at it but other factors that were brought in will be looked at and examined.”

He also faulted the claim by the National Association of Resident Doctors that there was inadequate personal protective equipment in hospitals, describing it as incorrect.

Ehanire maintained that he had made it a point of duty to ensure that PPE  was widely distributed to all public hospitals nationwide.

According to him, any hospital found to have a shortage of PPE was immediately attended to in order to remedy the situation.

Also in his short response, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said the Federal Government did not regulate payment of fees by private universities.

He was responding to a question that some academic institutions, especially private universities in Nigeria were charging high fees.

You’re more exposed after lockdown, PTF warns Nigerians

Also, the PTF Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, warned Nigerians against shunning safety measures put in place to prevent coronavirus disease.

Aliyu explained that the lockdown was relaxed to sustain the livelihood of Nigerians particularly those who depended  on daily incomes.

He stated, “There are concerns about the issue of compliance. As you are aware, we are here to push for the containment of COVID-19 in the country from data-driven medical advisers. The fact that we are receiving many reports on the flouting of the guidelines by individuals and organisations is simply unacceptable.”

The PTF coordinator also made a veiled reference to a concert that featured controversial Nigerian musical artiste, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, who flew from Lagos to Abuja to perform at the event, held in the Jabi Lake Mall, in violation of the COVID-19 guidelines.

Aliyu said, “There are also concerns about physical distancing and the issue of mass gatherings. We particularly note the issue of social gathering and organisation of concerts, against the lockdown protocols by the Federal Government. We are working with the security agencies to put in place enforcement when it comes to organisations that flout these guidelines. We will not sit back and allow public safety to be endangered by a few.”

“While we are very much aware of the challenges that people continue to have because of the guidelines that we have issued, these guidelines are there for a specific reason – they are there to protect us and public safety. We know that some agencies have been fined or even closed due to non-compliance. There have also been various levels of enforcement, using the police, mobile court and in some cases, charges being brought against the parties.”

Nigeria records 745 cases

Nigeria recorded 745 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday bringing the total number of cases in the country to 18,480.

The figure was the highest recorded by Nigeria in a single day since the outbreak of the virus in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on its website said  6,307 COVID-19 patients had been discharged, while 475 deaths had been recorded..

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