COVID-19: Stay at home, FG advises senior citizens

• May consider travel ban, large gathering restrictions

There is a strong indication that the Federal Government may consider travel ban and place restrictions on large gathering; as the country confirmed a new case of COVID-19  in Lagos.

The Federal Government has, however, advised the senior citizens and those with existing underlying medical conditions to stay at home.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who gave the indication in an emergency press briefing to announce another case of COVID-19 in the country; said the issue of the senior citizen was of great concern because they are known to be more vulnerable.

The decision on the issue of travel restriction and the banning of a large congregation of people could be taken after the meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on coronavirus, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The meeting of experts is
headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

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“With regard to banning flights into Nigeria or social activities and festivals, I will provide an update after the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus, scheduled for later today, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.” Dr Ehanire said.

Announcing the new case, the minister said: “The stringent surveillance efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) have identified a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within our borders, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to three.

“The latest case is a Nigerian national in her 30s, who returned from a short visit to the United Kingdom on March 13th.

Fortunately, she decided, upon returning home, to go into a 1 4 day self-isolation, but subsequently developed symptoms of fever and cough on March 16th , at which point she voluntarily called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) tollfree call line, to report her condition.

“Officials from the Lagos State Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) were immediately dispatched to her home to collect samples, which upon testing came out positive for the coronavirus. The lady is currently at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, where she has remained clinically stable and is responding to treatment.”

He pointed out that intensive contact tracing has begun, to help identify all persons who the patient has been in contact with since her return.

He added: “We expect the number to be small, because of her sensible decision to go into self-isolation from the time of her arrival. We commend her for following the recommended guidelines to the letter. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) will continue to assess the situation and adjust the response accordingly.

“The inaugural meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on coronavirus will hold later today. Please continue to maintain hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, which has been repeatedly advised

“The Federal Government of Nigeria will make further announcements later today. The Federal Ministry of Health continues to carry out the necessary risk assessments on a daily basis. The National Emergency Operations Centre and partners will work with Lagos State Health authorities in their response.

“It is important to note that many people who are infected with coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms and recover without incident. Of great concern are those with existing underlying medical conditions and senior citizens, who are known to be more vulnerable. We strongly advise these citizens to stay more at home.

“Al Nigerians are required to continue taking necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.”

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