The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has confirmed 5 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria within the last 36 hours, bringing total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 8.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who made this known in a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja said that: “Of the 5 new positive cases, 3 arrived from the United States, while 2 came in from the United Kingdom.
“We are still collating information on the travellers; 2 of the 3 from the US are Nigerians, a mother and child, making the 6 weeks old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient we have, and the 3rd is an American national, who crosses the land border and became the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air.
“The 2 cases from the UK are Nigerians. A detailed travel history of each person is being compiled and contacts currently being traced, to identify persons who have recently been in contact with anyone.
“The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by partners, is supporting response in the states. The Federal Government through Federal Ministry of Health is conducting risk assessment to help guide decision making”.
He therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic, but allow experts in public health to guide response in a calculated, scientific manner.
“False information and rumour to cause fear and panic must be avoided at such times. The COVID-19 cases so far appear to have mild symptoms and are in recovery.
“To protect yourselves and your families, I urge everyone to continue to take care and caution as advised. Government will do the needful to protect citizens’ health,” he said.
He explained that the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19), yesterday announced the prohibition of all travel by public servants and the suspension of the visa on arrival policy till further notice.
He also added that, the Presidential taskforce has issued a firm travel advisory against non-essential travel to high burden countries, especially in view of the number of Nigerians who arrived from US and Europe and diagnosed in the past 48 hours with coronavirus infection
Other announcement by the taskforce are: “A requirement that all persons returning from overseas should self-isolate for observation for 14-days, even if they feel well. NCDC will disseminate information on the practice;
“Supervised self-isolation, including testing, of persons returning from nations with community transmission of more than 1,000 cases cumulatively, for 14 days by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Port Health Services;
“And the Federal Government will restrict entry to Nigeria of persons from the listed high burden countries with effect from Friday March 20, for a period of 4 weeks”.
Recall that earlier this week, the FG added three more countries – Spain, Germany and France, as high-risk and passengers to undergo thorough screening at our points of entry. The five other countries are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan. Enahire reminded Nigerians to maintain hand hygiene and standard respiratory etiquette.