The Minister of Health, Osagie Ohanire, revealed that considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country he called treating the virus with caution because the fatalities will increase. The Minister made this statement in Abuja on Thursday during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily briefing. Ohanire, however, stated that there were measures that when followed strictly, could limit the spread of the deadly virus.
According to him, “Since the majority of fatalities are people who fall within the age bracket of 50 years and above and those with pre-existing ailments like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, HIV and others; this categories of people should be specially protected.
The Minister added, “This protection begins with limiting their exposure to risks of COVID-19 infection by urging stay at home, except there’s urgent and dire need to go out; to 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.
“Going to places where there can be a crowd like market or also places of worship carries the risk of increased exposure and 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 the presence of a positive person increases with the number and infection with the time of exposure.
Ohanire continued, “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’ll 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 of 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, we must take extreme precaution when going to public places.”
The Minister revealed that treatment centres would be getting and advisory to test the applicability of a drug recently repurposed and found effective for the treatment of the coronavirus. He disclosed the Federal Government have already signed a bilateral agreement with North Korea in the area of public health and medical science.
Meanwhile, the PTF coordinator, Sani Aliyu, revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. He warned: “Now more than ever before if you go out, you are more likely to get coronavirus than before.
“Your risk of acquiring COVID because of the numbers we’ve now is more than three, four weeks or five weeks ago when we had a lockdown, so there really is not any room or relaxation at this point.”
He noted that the government relaxed the lockdown to sustain the livelihood of Nigerians, particularly depending on a daily income for survival, as well as to sustain our economy “not because COVID has gone and it wasn’t because we should be more relaxed in terms of our prevention measures.”
Aliyu lament that many Nigerians no longer wear mast in public places as the rules on COVID-19 demands, physical observing distancing is another thing that has been relegated he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed task Nigerians to “pray not to get to the Hospital. Pray not to get infected. And the only way to avoid all these is through adhering to the NCDC lay down rules.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the PTF who is also the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that stigmatization, human resistance to change, mental health, scepticism, culture, religious beliefs are part of what has been militating towards the fight of the pandemic. He reminded Nigerians that the coronavirus is real and strict adherence to safety rule is the best way to overcome it.
Mustapha enjoined Nigerians to take personal responsibility as the rainy season is here and ordinarily, it comes with common cold and catarrh which are the coronavirus mimicking disease. Saying his team is planning a midterm report with lager stakeholders on July 2 and 3.