…Surges cases to 40***
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has confirmed Nigeria’s first Coronavirus (COVID-19) death.
Ehanire also said that confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 36 in the country. But while he speaks, four new cases were unfolded.
Indicated the Minister at a news conference on Monday in Abuja: “We have recorded 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, of this confirmed cases, 25 are in Lagos, six are in FCT, two in Ogun state, one in Edo and one in Ekiti and one in Oyo.
“Of the 36 cases, 26 had travel history to affected countries in the last two weeks, six are contacts of confirmed cases and four no recent travel history or known contact.
“Sadly, we have recorded first death from COVID-19 in the country.
“This was a Nigerian who had underlying illnesses and died due to complications on the 22nd of March, 2020, in Abuja, he had recently returned from UK,’’ he said.
The minister said in summary that as at 23rd of March, 2020; 36 cases had been confirmed in Nigeria; two had been discharged, one death recorded.
“Of 33 active cases, 32 are critically stable with mild symptoms and one patient is oxygen-dependent,” he said.
He, however, said that Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was working closely with the affected states in the country to carry out intensive contact tracing.
“I urge health facilities to be on high alert from the state, local government and law enforcement authority, community leaders and private hospitals.
“They should work with NCDC on any close contact with someone who has been out of the country,’’ he urged.
The minister said following the declaration of COVID-19 as pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the increased spread of COVID-19, the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force-19 had placed restriction on international flights.
“Restriction has been placed on all international flights from today, 23rd of March, 2020, with the exception of emergency and essential flights.
“More measures may be instituted by the Federal and State governments as the situation may arise.
“This is a call to Nigerians to take responsibility in preventing and spreading COVID-19.
“I urge all citizens, all businesses and media houses and all committed Nigerians to take ownership of this campaign by developing communication messages around the criteria,’’ he said.
In a related development, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed four new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total of confirmed cases to 40.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC,confirmed this in Abuja, while giving an update on the COVID-19 cases in the country.
Ihekweazu said that three new cases of COVID19 were reported in Lagos and one in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).
He said that two from the four new cases were returning travelers.
“As at 11 p.m. on March, 23, there are 40 confirmed cases of COVID19 in Nigeria. The active cases is 37, two have been discharged with one death recorded in the country.
“Of the 40 confirmed cases, are in six states, 28 are in Lagos, seven in the FCT, two in Ogun, one in Edo, one in Ekiti and one in Oyo,” he said.
Ihekweazu said that as the COVID-19 situation in Nigeria evolves, NCDC and government agencies would continue to take the necessary measures to protect the health of Nigerians.
He called on Nigerians to make use of the NCDC communication campaign “TakeResponsibility“ to prevent COVID19 spread in the country.
The NCDC boss stressed that Preventing COVID-19 spread requires a whole-of-society approach and its call was for all Nigerians to “TakeResponsibility” for their health.
“It will take collective efforts to share credible information widely across various channels,” it said.
Also on Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned “the pandemic is accelerating” with it taking 67 days for cases to reach the 100,000 mark globally, 11 days for cases to reach 200,000 and just four days for cases to reach 300,000.