Nigeria Heading The Way Of Italy, China, Says Nigerian Health Minister
The Nigerian government has warned that the country might be heading the way of China and Italy if care is not taken.
The warning was expressed by the country Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday after confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country hits 40.
Nigeria has also announced one death in the person of a Former PPMC MD.
In less than 24 hours, the country have had 4 confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC said on Monday that, “Four new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria. Three are in Lagos State and one in the FCT (Federal Capital Territory). Two of these cases are returning travellers
“As of 11:00pm on March 23, there are 40 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria. Two have been discharged with one death recorded.”
The government had taken measures to curtail the spread of the virus. The government had closed the borders, ban gathering more than 50, postponed the Federal Executive Councils, and the Council of State meeting indefinitely closed primary, secondary and tertiary schools.
The federal government also asked Lagos and Abuja residents to work from home to prevent the disease from spreading.
Speaking on the recent cases of the virus, Dr Ehanire said the Federal Government would publish names of people who refused to go into self-isolation after returning to Nigeria from countries with a high burden of Coronavirus.
He warned that the country could be heading the way of China and Italy if care is not taken, adding that some people who have the virus were hiding.
Nigeria recorded its first Coronavirus case on February 24 when an Italian man from Milan tested positive to the Covid-19.
The federal government earlier rejected advise to ban flights from countries with high-risk until the virus started spreading.
The Nigerian government on Thursday, therefore, announced the banning of flights from 13 high-risk countries when the case increased to 18.
On Sunday, the cases rose to 31 with the disease identified in Lagos, Ekiti State, Oyo and Abuja.
Dr Ehanire also said some of the returnees had been hiding while also pleading with them to take the right approach.
He said, “We have not come to forced isolation, but we have had occasion to go after those who came from abroad and have not registered their presence and have not gone into self-isolation. We will publish their names until they volunteer themselves and be put under investigation.
He said, “In less than 48 hours, the Italian who came to Nigeria (index case) was identified. The contacts we found for him were 179. They were all tracked and monitored. Out of the 179, one was positive and put in isolation with the Italian. Both were cured and discharged.
“If other cases had not come to Nigeria, that would have been the end of COVID-19 in Nigeria, but other cases came that was not part of the first one. That is why we are saying that you do not compare what we have now with what they have in China or Italy. If we do not act fast, we could be heading in something dangerous like that (in China and Italy). They now transmit, among themselves
“We have to get those who have been infected now. If we don’t, it may be a serious burden in the system. I am sure some are hiding, they will not report for whatever reason. Nobody will be arrested or asked to pay anything. Those who are returning now are Nigerians. With the closure of our airports, we will reduce the inflow of new cases and deal with the ones we already have.”