Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has threatened to publish the names of those who failed to comply with the directive to isolate themselves to help the quest to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Ehanire issued the threat on Monday in Abuja while updating newsmen on COVID19 pandemic in the country.
“We are asking some people to self-isolate for 14 days to help prevent the spread of COVID19. “Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you, your family and friends from contracting COVID19; it means taking simple common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to take self-isolation and social distancing very seriously. He insisted that the government would not make self-isolation compulsory as some African countries had done.
The minister said that the government would depend on the sense of responsibility of Nigerians, especially travellers from high-risk countries, to self-isolate.
“We will continue to plead with those who have travelled out of Nigeria in the last 14 days to report so that we won’t get to the point where our health system will be burdened,” he said. Meanwhile, the minister has announced that the country had received more donations and support from development partners.
He said that the government would work with private hospitals to strengthen diagnostic capacity. Ehanire said that the health ministry, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), is working closely with concerned state governments to carry out contact tracing.
“Through the contact tracing carried out by NCDC, we have been able to promptly detect cases. “I strongly urge all health facilities to be on high alert; we also want state and local governments, as well as law enforcement authorities and community leaders, to give full cooperation to investigators,” he called.
He added that the government was putting in more respirators across health facilities while one additional laboratory would be set up soon so that the country would have six laboratories to carry out COVID19 tests.
The minister said that human resources would be available, adding that retired doctors and nurses would be called to service if it became necessary. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), quotes the minister as saying that as at Monday, March 23, 36 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed, with 25 in Lagos, six in FCT, two in Ogun, and one each in Edo, Ekiti and Oyo.
“Of the 36 cases, 26 had travel history to affected countries in the last two weeks, six were contacts of confirmed cases and four have no travel history or known contact.
“Sadly, we recorded our first death from COVID-19 in the country. This was a Nigerian who, unfortunately, had underlying illnesses and died due to complications on the 22nd of March in Abuja. He had travelled to the United Kingdom.
“Again, of the 36 cases, two cases have been discharged and one death recorded from COVID-19 in Nigeria. Of the 34 active cases, 33 are clinically stable with mild symptoms. One patient is oxygen-dependent,” he said. (NAN)