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COVID-19 deaths declining in Nigeria -PTF

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says that Nigeria has continued to witness declining number of deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic.Chairman of the PTF, Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this in his address at Monday’s briefing of the task force.

According to him, “PTF has however continued to study the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and we note that it has been on a steady decline over the last few months.​ April 30: 3%, ​May 31: 2.8%, ​June 30: 2.3%, ​July 31: 2.0%​, Aug 22: 1.92%.

“We are however convinced that our sample collection is still low. We therefore encourage States to ramp up their testing and to declare correct results because early detection will ultimately translate to treatment and ultimately leveling of the curve.

“With our statistics standing at CASES: 52,227, FATALITIES: 1,002 and RECOVERIES: 38,945, however, Nigeria maintains the 4th highest cumulative cases in the continent. Sadly, the global cases have increased by another 1 million from 22.5 million on 19th to the current 23.5 million in about 4 days.

“Prior to the reopening of the airspace, the PTF had put in place Point of Entry Protocols to minimize importation. Unfortunately, the validation process for the pre-boarding PCR test have shown that 64% of recent spike in number of confirmed cases in Lagos (404) on Saturday 22nd August came from the evacuees.

“Over the weekend, 252 additional Nigerians were evacuated from the United Arab Emirates which has brought the total number of Nigerians that have returned home to 4,984. We shall intensify the validation process for the PCR tests to minimize risks.

“The WHO has provided guidance on the use of masks for children 11 years and above in the context of COVID-19 as it relates to the community. However, Children with immune compromised conditions are advised to wear mask irrespective of age. This guidance is strongly recommended for observance and the PTF shall update you as soon as it is revised by the WHO.

“This morning we received the unfortunate news of the positive status of Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Heath” Mustapha said, lamenting that “this unexpected news is a grim reminder that the virus is no respecter of persons or the positions they hold.”

In his own speech, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said that Nigeria must deploy the experiences learnt since the out outbreak of the Coronavirus in managing the pandemic in the days ahead.

He lamented that Nigeria’s deaths from the virus have crossed the 1000 mark and re-emphasized the necessity for complying with non Pharmaceutical requirements for the prevention of the spread of the disease.

Said Dr Ehanire, “As at today, 24th of August, 2020, we have sadly lost over 1,000 persons to COVID-19 with a total of 1002 deaths. Each one of those persons we lost was a family member and a loved one to several people. Personally I know x persons who passed on due to the virus.

“As we continue to learn from our experience from managing COVID-19, the need to improve quality of care, health system strengthening and seamless patient evacuation especially in emergency situation has become crucial. We shall therefore continue to review and strive for improvement in the treatment of COVID-19 symptomatic cases, older adults, and those with already existing medical conditions with the view to reducing our case fatality rate.

“In the same vein, we shall not lose sight of the fact that COVID-19 is not the only health challenge faced by our people. We shall therefore ensure that routine services are strengthened. This pandemic has further underscored the importance of immunization and vaccination to good health. Strengthening routine immunization shall continue to receive attention especially as Nigeria will receive her polio free certification this week”, Dr Ehanire added.

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