The Nigerian minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has expressed concern over the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak, which is ongoing in several European countries and across the Atlantic.
He said this during the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 held on Thursday in Abuja.
He opined that, “As schools and economies reopen and international flights increase, we are concerned that there may be a surge in the number of positive cases if we do not step up our response strategies of trace, test, isolate and treat.”
Speaking further, he said some countries had been compelled to introduce stricter measures like closure of restaurants, bars, prohibition of gatherings of more than six persons, compulsory wearing of masks outdoors and targeted lockdowns, just to curtail the spread of the virus.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire said, “We are especially worried about huge COVID-19 increases in certain countries with which we have high volume of human traffic. The Federal Ministry of Health therefore wishes to advise Nigerians against non-essential travel to high burden countries.
“The risks that the movement of travellers create can only be countered with improved surveillance programs. I wish to specially solicit that all travellers cooperate with border authorities to protect our people and also our health system from stress.
We are obliged to reduce the risk of COVID-19 importation to a minimum. As at 26th September, out of a total of 1,473 Persons of Interest (POI) tested across three laboratories in the FCT since the opening of the international travel air space, 22 tested positive.
“Our testing and tracing capabilities have improved a lot, such that virtually every state has least one laboratory that has increased our daily testing capacity to about 3,500.”
In the past 24 hours, Nigeria recorded 155 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total confirmed cases to 59,738 out of 545,364 persons tested so far.
51,403 cases have been discharged and 1,113 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The recorded recovery rate is 86 per cent, while case fatality rate dipped marginally to about 1.85 per cent.