COVID-19: FG takes measures to reduce fatality rate, signs pact with Republic of Korea

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF), on Thursday, announced measures to limit and reduce the COVID-19 fatality rate, which it said has hit 469 deaths as at Thursday morning.

Speaking at the PTF daily briefing, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the increasing number of cases should be a warning that fatalities will also increase.

He pointed out that the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) had, on Wednesday, announced 587 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, increasing the total tally to 17,735 adding that 5,967 persons had been treated and discharged 5,967, while 469 persons have sadly been lost to the disease.

The minister, therefore, stated that there were measures to be taken, to limit case fatality rate.

Ehanire explained that since the majority of the fatalities are over 50 years of age or have pre-existing ailments like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, HIV, etc, this group of citizens has to be specially protected.

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This protection, according to the minister, begins with limiting their exposure to risks of COVID-19 infection by urging them to stay at home, except there is urgent and dire need to go out.

He said this group of people should wear a face mask or a covering at any time, once outside the house, or when inside the house with persons who may have been exposed.

They should also observe all other non-pharmaceutical advisories, like frequent hand washing, social distancing, respiratory hygiene, sanitiser use, etc.

“I must emphasise that going to places where there can be a crowd, like market or also places of worship carries risk of increased exposure. l also stress 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,” he said.

The minister also advised that all persons in the vulnerable group who test positive should go to a treatment centre immediately, in their own best interest.

He added, “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.

“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 or breath. A delay can be fatal because the disease progression can be unpredictable and faster than imagined.

“With these important measures, we could mitigate the fatality rate. The novel coronavirus is still among us and is infecting people daily, including prominent members of the society. Friends and family have an increasingly important role to play in helping to guide compliance with this advisory.

“Till it goes away, whenever that is, we must take extreme precaution when going to public places.”

The minister also stated that, on behalf of the Federal Government, he signed a bilateral agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on cooperation in the area of public health and medical sciences.

According to him, the agreement is to start cooperation between both countries in the areas of exchanging experience in public health and health sciences; and facilitation of visits by scientists and Exchanging information in research.


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