The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has stated that though we continue to record declining positive rates of COVID-19 infections every day, we are reluctant to conclude that we are halting the spread of the disease.
Dr. Ehanire made this statement during the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19, held on Monday the 14th of September 2020, where he made it known that in the past 24 hours, 73 new cases of infection were recorded in 13 States, bring the total number of known cases to 56, 256, out of a total number of 442,075 test conducted. 44,152 persons have been treated while 1,082 persons have sadly lost their lives.
The Minister of Health, said the decline in positive infections could be attributed to some States not sustaining enough testing rates that would give for more assurance, with only 13 States reporting figures in the past 24 hours. “Until all parts of the country can sustain a certain testing rate, it would seem presumptuous to conclude that we are flattening the curve, the Minister stated.” He appealed to State Governments to ramp up testing, to enable Nigeria control the spread of the disease.
While updating further, Dr. Ehanire informed of his participation at the mid-year programme review of a Memorandum of Understanding on Health Systems Strengthening, Routine Immunization and Primary Health Care entered into by Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Kano and Sokoto States with Aliko Dangote and Bill and Melina Gates Foundations. The Minister said he was impressed with the States for their achievement in implementing the terms to strengthen routine immunization at sub-national levels as well as progress made to improve primary health care services which is a boost in the fight against COVID-19.
The Minister of Health also reported on his working visit to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to review process of passengers arriving on international flights and to observe health related compliance and challenges of staff of the Port Health Services. He advised intending travelers to and out of the country to acquaint themselves with regulations and Provisional Quarantine Protocols, to limit the risk of importation of COVID-19 virus especially with increasing flights to Nigeria, noting that all observations and suggestions for remediation have been made to the PTF and Minister of Aviation.
Dr. Ehanire appealed to the striking Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to suspend their industrial action, so as not to erode gains made in the health care delivery. “Striking by healthcare workers jeopardize the lives of citizens especially at such times of global health emergencies, Nigeria needs the services of all her health workers to control the spread of the virus,” he assured them that the FMoH is doing all within its powers to expedite processes in addressing their bones of contention.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.