*3 from US, 2 from UK
*Restricts entry of persons from high risk countries
By Hassan Zaggi
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed that Nigeria now have another 5 confirmed new cases of Covid-19.
He disclosed this at a media briefing on Wednesday,
Among the five confirmed cases is a 6 weeks old baby, the youngest COVID-19 patient so far in Nigeria.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 8. One, the contact to the index case has tested negative has since been released to reunite with his family. The index case has also stabalised.
This is even as the Federal Government has also announced a restriction of entry into Nigeria of persons from the listed high burden countries with effect from Friday March 20, for a period of 4 weeks.
Giving a breakdown of the five new confirmed cases, Ehanire said: “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 travelers. 2 of the 3 from the US are Nigerians- a mother and child, making the 6 week old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient we have, and the 3rd is an American national, who crossed the land border and becomes the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air.
“The 2 cases from the UK are Nigerians.”
The Minister further explained that 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.”
According to the Minister, the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has taken some unusual measures to curtail the spread of the virus which will has since taken effect from March 17.
The measures, according to him, included the prohibition of all travel by public servants, suspension of the visa on arrival policy till further notice and 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 stringent measures put in place, he said, included a requirement that all persons returning from overseas 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 NCDC and Port Health Services and a reminder that citizens maintain hand hygiene and standard respiratory etiquette.
Dr. Ehanire, further urged all residents of Nigeria not to panic, but should rather allow experts in public health to guide response “in a calculated, scientific manner,” stressing that “false information and rumour to cause fear and panic must be avoided at such times.”
The COVID-19 cases, he revealed, 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,” the Minister appealed.
Responding to a question on the rumoured suspected Covid-19 case in Katsina, the Minister said that it remains a suspected cases and that it is under investigation.