COVID-19: Don’t lift, relax restrictions, FG cautions states

By AdvocateNews on 11/04/2020

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The National Coordinator for the PTF on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, cautioned state governments against relaxing the lockdown order.

Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Ondo are among states that took the decision to relax their restrictions for Christians to commemorate the Easter celebrations.

Aliyu said, “We noted that some states had started lifting their bans or relaxing their containment protocols. This is really not the right time to do so, partly because we still have an ongoing pandemic, which is global.

“It is also not the right time to do so, because we could end up having reoccurrence of infections.

“At this point, I am appealing to our local community leaders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the state authorities, to continue to support and encourage the public to maintain those protective measures.”

Aliyu explained that there was also a “very strong need” for state governments to work in harmony and align with the Federal Government to deal with the pandemic.

He further said, “I would like to ask state governments, working through the state task force teams or the state ministries of health, to consider setting up accreditation teams that would accredit, particularly private facilities, and public facilities.

“This is for the simple reason that it is really important that our front-line health care staff know how to use personal protective equipment and how to protect themselves from this infection.

“We are very keen to expand the availability of intensive care facilities beyond just the public sector.”

More testing, isolation centres

Meanwhile,  the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said with the testing capacity increased by the Federal Government to 10 centres, more people were being tested across Nigeria.

He added that the COVID-19 Accreditation Committee had begun the inspection of private treatment centres in order to increase bed spaces for infected persons.

He said although there was limited supply of protective equipment globally, Nigeria had enough in stock to protect majorly the health workers.

The minister reiterated the need for infected persons to give accurate information about their travel history and symptoms to protect their family members and health workers.

Physical distancing replaces social distancing

On his part, the Director-General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the team had adopted physical distancing to replace social distancing that was earlier prescribed for Nigerians.

He said this was so because of the huge population of the country and its high density, which was rated fifth in the world. He said the closeness of people living in a geographical space made it easy to spread the coronavirus.

Ihekweazu said record had shown that mobility in Nigeria had reduced by 27 per cent.

According to him, the figure has to be lower to ensure that the virus is completely eradicated from Nigeria.

He noted that the obstacle would be bigger if economic and other activities were restarted before getting over the burden.

91 per cent contacts identified

The NCDC DG said 91 per cent contacts of all confirmed cases had been identified as of Thursday.

He said, “In the 30 per cent of the cases we have, we have not figured out how they got the infection. That is an early indicator of community spread. We can confirm that we know 91 per cent of all the contacts of all the confirmed cases.”


Posted 11/04/2020 08:03:34 AM


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