The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has appealed to youth protesters amongst whose ranks are looters to stop crashing medical stores “because most of the medicines and medical consumables in these stores are stored under controlled environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and disruption of these, would render them ineffective and in some cases, poisonous.
Dr. Mamora stated this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing on Monday, 26th October, 2020.
He pointed out that the NCDC Warehouse in Idu at the outskirt of Abuja is used for the storage of medical and laboratory consumables and equipment. He said a destruction of these items will impact negatively on the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also called on those who are in possession of vaccines, medicine and other equipment and consumables to please return them, so that those that can still be salvaged will be used and those that cannot, will be disposed-off properly.
The Minister of State disclosed that Nigeria’s COVID-19 impact has a total of 61,992 confirmed cases from 607,435 persons tested for COVID while 57,465 cases have been discharged. “We have sadly lost 1,130 persons to the disease.”
Continuing, he said, “We now have 3,397 active cases as more persons are treated and discharged with case fatality rate of 1.8%. This, he said is less than the case fatality rate of 2.4% in Africa and the global rate of 2.8%.”
Mamora further said that Nigeria is not relenting in its efforts to ensure that the case fatality rate continues to decline as emphasises are focused on improvement in case management capacity and ensure availability of equipment and medical consumables for our health workers.
The Honourable Minister of State also disclosed that with the decline in the number of active cases and the number of cases on admission drops, some Isolation Centres in the country are already making arrangements to rationalize the number of frontline health personnel into the reserve pool or redeployed, adding that it would be done in a manner to ease re-mobilization where necessary, he stated.
However, the Minister said that states and relevant stakeholders have been advised not to completely close all isolation centres due to consistent lack of patients but some centres should rather be maintained. This, he said is to ensure promptness and readiness against any surge as part of preparation against possible second wave.
He said, ‘’we are taking advantage of this low active cases to carry out appraisal and reappraisal of activities at the isolation centres. This is necessary to assess and understand areas of strengths, weaknesses, available opportunities as well as dangers’’. According to him, such activities will consolidate gains while taking measures to prevent re-occurrence of errors as well as deployment of appropriate resources.
Mamora further disclosed that arrangements have been made for stock taking and repurposing of equipment earlier deployed to temporary isolation centres with a view to using the opportunity provided by the resource mobilisation for the COVID-19 response for strengthening of health systems.
The Minister advised the general public to continue to practise the non-pharmaceutical interventions prescribed by infectious diseases experts, including hand washing, use of face masks, hand sanitizers and social distancing in order to control community spread of the disease.
By Nwokike Brendan
OlujimiOyetomi, Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.