The Nigerian government on Thursday said it had ordered all isolation and treatment centres, which had been closed due to decreased patient capacity, as well as the workers, to be prepared for reopening.
The government also warned that the country was on the verge of a second wave of the pandemic.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated these in Abuja during the press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19, Punch reports.
He said, “We see the increase in the number of confirmed COVID – 19 cases in the last few days. Last week, we recorded 1,843 against 1,235 we recorded two weeks before. In the past 24 hours, 474 new confirmed cases and two deaths were recorded.”
The minister said the number of deaths had reached 1,184, saying, “Everyone has a role to play in the effort to prevent the explosive spread of this infection in Nigeria. 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.”
Ehanire said the increase in infections curtailed from rising community transmission, as well from travellers entering Nigeria, among whom the government had recorded 87 positive cases against 59 in the previous week.
While he noted the first batch of candidate vaccines were ready to be rolled out in Europe and the USA, he added that a technical working group led by the National Primary Health Development Agency was working on the evaluation of prospective vaccines and Nigeria’s vaccine needs.
He said, “We are working with WHO, and GAVI led COVAX facilities and other stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria will access quality vaccines when they are deployed.
“Until vaccines are available, our best bet is still the appropriate use of face masks, physical distancing, hand sanitisers and observance of respiratory hygiene, for prevention and control.”
Speaking on the issue of investigating fake test results, also at the briefing, the PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, said a committee had been inaugurated to probe allegations of coronavirus results racketeering.
He said those found to be guilty would be dealt with according to the law.
“Committee has been set up to investigate this, and all those involved and found culpable will be dealt with according to the law,” he said.
He cautioned against unnecessary international travel during the Yuletide, saying with the fresh wave of the dreaded virus in Europe and other places, anyone on a trip there could be stranded.
Saharareporters, New York