Ministry Of Health Urges Research Committee to Find Cure for COVID-19


The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimber Mamora,  has inaugurated the National Health Research Committee (NHRC)  and charged them to collate all research work done in the country with a view to using those viable,  to solve the nation’s health challenges.


Dr Mamora said this has become necessary due to lack of cooperation between the various research institutions, academia and policymakers.


The Minister said at this time of COVID-19 pandemic, Health research should be  prioritized on the “health  needs of the country as documented in the National Health research policy.”


In a statement signed by the Director of Information, Olujimi Oyetomi of the Ministry, on Friday, Dr Mamora said health research in the country has largely been uncoordinated with lack of synergy between various research institutions.


Therefore, the Minister appointed Dr Babatunde Salako, the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and a renowned Nephrologist to Chair the National Community.


Also, the Minister appointed the Director of Health Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Mrs Adebimpe Adebiyi, as the Secretary to the Research team. This he said is to fill the “yearning gap” in the health research sector.


Dr Mamora further decried lack of implementation and endorsement of such research findings saying they” are probably gracing the libraries in the various institutions without having the desired impact on the health system due to a disconnect,” which he said happens between the institutions and policymakers.


The Health Minister further urged the NHRC members to devote their time to developing research findings collated, to be made ready to solve the nation’s health challenges.


The Minister charged the inaugurated committee to also join the global community in research development, for the most effective strategy to slow down and eventually halt the spread of COVID-19.


The Minister charged the Committee to quickly develop a COVID-19 Research Agenda for the country according to WHO guidelines for local situation.


NCDC Workforce Infected With COVID-19 has shown Bravery – DG NCDC

By Juliana Uzoka

The Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has saluted the bravery of some of the centre’s health workers, who despite being infected with COVID-19 in line of duty, still commits to work from their various treatment centres.


NCDC Boss who disclosed this during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Wednesday said the fight had to go on until the country is free of the coronavirus pandemic.


“I spoke to a number of people in my own team that have sadly become infected themselves as part of the response in the line of duty.


“I called them to encourage them but they ended up encouraging me, and encouraging this PTF to keep pushing.


“That our work was so important for the future of our country, and they wanted to keep at it,” he said.


He said they opted to use their laptops to work from the isolation centres or hospitals were they were being treated, rather than “sitting idly watching TV and thinking of their fate”.


Dr. Ihekeazu further said he understood the situation which their involvement had subjected their families who had not seen them for some weeks; and further appealed to them to “persevere and keep supporting the fight.”


The DG Centre for disease control assured their families of the centre’s unflinching support saying “we are in this together, I will do my best to protect you from harm and do the very best to get our country back on track again.”

He expressed gratitude to the entire workforce who had given their time and their life for the struggle, to restore the country and urged them not to give up.


“whether you are working clinically, whether in public health, surveillance officer, whether you a driver, whether you are an ambulance driver, or driving a pickup or any part you play in this response, not to give up, we need all of you  to keep pushing,” he urged.


NCDC recorded 196 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday with 51 deaths.


Nigeria now has 1728 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kebbi and Taraba States Have Entered the List of Confirmed COVID-19 in Nigeria



Nigeria has recorded 91 new cases of coronavirus pandemic, as Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kebbi and Taraba States made the new list of four states infected.


The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported through its Twitter account and microsite  on Sunday 26th April, that five new deaths was also recorded.


NCDC announced that 32 States out of 36, and the Federal Capital Territory are now infected with COVID-19 in the country.


Nigeria now has a total of 1273 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 239 discharged and 40 deaths.


The 91 new cases reported by the Centre for Disease Control affected fifteen States and the FCT.


The States affected are: Lagos – 43, Sokoto – 8, Taraba – 6, Kaduna – 5, Gombe – 5, Ondo – 3, FCT – 3, Edo – 3, Oyo – 3, Rivers – 3, Bauchi – 3, Osun – 2, Akwa Ibom – 1, Bayelsa – 1, Ebonyi – 1, and Kebbi – 1.


While Taraba State entered the list of confirmed new cases of coronavirus with six confirmed cases, Kano had no new confirmed case, but the magnitude of unexplained deaths in the State continued to increase.




Lagos Maintains Highest Prevalence of Coronavirus in Nigeria



The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  says 91 new cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Nigeria


Lagos State has recorded 74 new confirmed cases of  coronavirus disease, this follows the latest record of 91 new confirmed cases on Wednesday,  in Nigeria by the NCDC.


The Centre for Disease Control also recorded three more deaths within 24 hours from the disease. The deaths occurred in Borno,  Ekiti and Oyo States, an increase of three from the previous day.


Other States that recorded new confirmed cases includes: Katsina – 5, Ogun – 4, Delta – 2, while the rest are Edo, Kwara, Oyo, FCT and Adamawa State, with one confirmed case each.


Lagos, FCT and Kano maintained the highest number of confirmed cases with 503, 119 and 73 respectively.


There are 873 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria with 197 discharged and 28 deaths.

Sharp Increase in Coronavirus Cases Afflicts Nigeria



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 117 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 782, the highest so far, since the outbreak of the disease.

NCDC which made the disclosure on its official Twitter account, reported that Lagos has the highest number of cases, 59, followed by FCT with 29 confirmed cases, and the third highest is Kano with 14 confirmed cases.

Others are Borno with six confirmed cases, four in Katsina, three in Ogun and one in Rivers and Bauchi States respectively.

Nigeria has seen a sharp increase in the occurrence of confirmed cases.

So far, the Centre for Disease Control has tested about 8934 citizens mostly through contact tracing of those who might have come in contact with infected persons who had international travel history and other criteria such as unknown source.

The number of States affected is 25 with the Federal Capital Territory.

NCDC daily updates on its microsite showed that the disease had affected 544 males which accounts for 70% of the confirmed cases, while the females account for 238 confirmed cases, which is 30% of the confirmed cases.

It further showed that the most affected age group falls within the range of 31-40.

Cumulatively, the states with the highest number of coronavirus confirmed cases are: Lagos – 430 cases, FCT – 118 and Kano – 73. While States with the least numbers are Anambra and Sokoto States, recording one each, followed by Abia, Enugu and Niger States, with two confirmed cases each. The third in the group is   Jigawa and Rivers States with three confirmed cases respectively.

NCDC said 197 patients have been discharged and 25 fatalities were recorded.

Nigeria Records 30 New Cases of Coronavirus in a Single Day


By Juliana Uzoka

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 30 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in a single day, on Tuesday, with Lagos which is the epicenter, having 25 of the total number.

NCDC which had announced an initial report of 19 confirmed cases by 09:20 pm on Tuesday, also released another result at 11:00 pm same day but with the eleven new confirmed cases being  identified in Lagos State.

The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire had warned during a daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that there was a new pattern of spread of person-to-person within communities.

The number of confirmed cases in Nigeria has increased to 373, 99 discharged and 11 deaths.

The NCDC guidelines on prevention of COVID-19 involves frequent hand washing under running water for 20 seconds or use of hand sanitizer, personal and respiratory hygiene, social distancing and proper disposal of tissues/handkerchief used for cough or sneezing.

Lagos and Ogun States  are the two States in the country, with the Federal Capital Territory banned from movement by the Federal Government  for two weeks, starting from 13th April.

The citizens are expected to stay at home in order for health officials to carry out contact tracing of people who may have come in contact with infected patients and also for containment of the coronavirus.

Not All Doctors Are Qualified To Treat Coronavirus, You Need to Be Accredited, Says Dr. Ehanire

By Juliana Uzoka

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has warned that medical personnel without the specialized training in treating coronavirus patients should desist from doing so as it portends grave danger for them and the country.

Dr. Ehanire who gave this advice during the daily media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, said “the hazard is serious with regard to self infection and cross infection” adding that some Doctors who had no IPC training and accreditation and had embarked on such were already affected in parts of the country.

He said to manage isolation and treatment centres, “I enjoin all states to adhere to the standards as advised by the accreditation team, and professional colleagues, especially in the private sector, that it is very risky to be treating coronavirus patients in private homes or in their own hospital establishments without IPC and accreditation.

The Minister further stated that the Ministry of Health had embarked on a “comprehensive review of the health sector COVID-19 response, in order to build a new robust strategic action plan and structure that will address the expected challenges of the imminent community transmission phase.”

Dr. Ehanire also disclosed that federal government will implement a welfare package aside the health insurance, for healthcare providers that have shown commitment and bravery in the fight against coronavirus pandemic in the country.

He said although government is making great efforts in the containment of the disease, a lot still needs to be done as the prevalence of COVID-19 in some affected countries is a wakeup call for intensified action that would make it difficult for an uncontrolled outbreak to occur.

The Minister restated that the virus is easily transmissible when people move from one point to another without knowing they were carriers.

“I encourage all persons to cooperate with the contact tracers, testing alone is not enough if positive persons are not in isolation for their own safety and the safety of their family and friends,” he said.

Similarly, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu stressed the need for privacy and confidentiality of those diagnosed to have coronavirus.

Dr. Aliyu said disclosure of their identity is unethical and capable of marring whatever efforts the team had made.

“Repeated breaches of confidentiality whether it is by putting the name of those that are positive in the public sphere or providing detailed description of these persons to enable them to be identified publicly does not help the pandemic at all.

“If anything, drives people underground and makes it difficult for us to be able to test persons. It creates stigma and destroys what we are trying to do which is to get on top of the pandemic,” he said.

He further maintained that if there is any need to make their names public, it will be done by a recognized authority.





Covid19:Private Sector Partners FCT Administration

By Niyi Maralysa

The Federal Capital Territory  Administration (FCTA)  and private sector will in the coming days make available 600 beds in various treatment and isolation centers across the FCT for the fight against COVID-19.

This was made known at a ministerial press briefing held by the Minister of the FCT Muhammad Musa Bello, in conjunction with the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 under the chairmanship of the former minister of the FCT, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar.

Bello revealed that based on medical expert advice, the Asokoro Hospital has been fully converted into an isolation and treatment center of coronavirus and can accommodate up to 100 patients inclusive of those that will require intensive care treatment.

The Asokoro Isolation and Treatment Center is due to be opened on Friday, 10th April.

On the Idu Isolation center, the Minister said that the facility can accommodate up to 300 beds and he expressed the appreciation of the FCTA to Polaris Bank for provision of 100 beds and Fola Adeola of the FATE Foundation for the provision of 50 beds and other items such as monitors and PPEs.

On the Palliative,  the Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu revealed that 600,000 households of 100,000 each from each Area Council will benefit .

Aliyu said a monitoring team made up of civil society organisations, religious and traditional rulers, youth and women groups are on ground to ensure an equitable distribution of the palliatives.

She said that the distribution will be carried out through a door to door mechanism to prevent overcrowding.

Covid-19: FCT Minister Inspects Health Facilities

Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello on inspection tour of 300 capacity bed Isolation Centre at Idu district


By Niyi Maralysa

The Honourable Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello has expressed appreciation to the organized private sector for the assistance rendered to the FCTA in the efforts at containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the Territory.

The Minister expressed his feelings when he toured medical centers and infrastructural facilities being put in place as part of the FCTA’s measures to curtail the spread of the disease in the FCT.

The Minister visited the IDU train facility Training Center which is being outfitted to accommodate 300 beds to be used as an isolation and treatment center, the Asokoro Hospital, the  Karu General Hospital and the road leading to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Abuja.

The Minister was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the FCDA, Engr Umar Gambo Jibrin, his Chief of Staff, Malam Bashir Mai-Borno, the FCT APC Chairman, Alh. Abdulmalik Usman and senior members of the FCTA.

FG Confirms 184 Coronavirus Cases In Nigeria, Communities In Danger Of Exploding With Spread




Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says there are indications of early signs of community transmission of coronvirus pandemic  in the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ohanire on Thursday, said he anticipates that the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, will help contain the ravaging virus, as efforts to detect and track confirm cases of COVID-19 is ”intensified”.

Earlier, NCDC announced that the number of coronavirus in Nigeria has increased to 184, with ten new cases confirmed at 08:00pm  on Thursday.

The new ten cases it said through its Twitter account were from Lagos – 7 and FCT – 3.

“NCDC and state health authorities are leading the testing efforts for #COVID19Nigeria across the country and are pushing to ensure that those who need it get tested,” it said.

It further said, two new laboratories have been established in Ibadan and Ebonyi States, to test for the virus, “the national testing capacity is now at 1,500 a day”. This brings the number of laboratories in the country to eight.

In a statement credited to the Director General NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on its Twitter account, NCDC said the centre had deployed 15 rapid response teams to 15 states. This it claims “is the largest deployment  of resources ever for an outbreak in Nigeria”.

The Centre for Disease Control also commended @foundation_ma for the test kits the founder donated to Nigeria to fight the coronavirus scourge, adding that states got their supplies according to the severity of cases recorded as at the time of distribution.


Coronavirus Hits 89 in Nigeria, Spreads to 11 states



There are 89confirmed cases of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, as Lagos and Benue States record eight new cases.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced on Saturday that Lagos recorded seven new cases while FCT had one, a leap from previous records, which now sees a gradual surge of the disease in the country.

NCDC said the fatality rate remains one.

Here is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Nigeria:

Lagos 59

FCT 14

Ogun 3

Enugu 2

Ekiti 1

Oyo 3

Edo 2

Bauchi 2

Osun 1

Rivers 1

Benue 1





Millions of People at Risk of Dying Globally Unless Strict Measures Adopted Are Maintained To Avert the Spread of Coronavirus –  Study Shows



Countries around the world are to brace up for a possible surge in coronavirus pandemic which could kill 1.8 million people in 2020, unless strict containment measures are in place to control it.


A study published by the Britain’s Imperial College on Thursday estimates that tens of millions of lives could be saved if government adopts faster and tougher health measures, which includes testing, quarantining and expansive social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


The most recent report from the research conducted by the Imperial College London, which prompted the British government increase its efforts to contain the virus, emerged as an AFP and World Health Organization data showed that the global infection rate could surge to 500,000, including over  22,000 deaths.


The research body projects that the seriousness of the virus, its infectiousness and estimated mortality rate will be based on demography and societal factors.


The study further revealed that if deliberate firm action was not taken and without interventions, COVID-19 could have infected everyone in the world this year and killed up to 40 million people.


The study examined different levels of responses ranging from conscious social distancing to harsh lockdown measures currently forced on some worst affected countries, and further estimates the potential health impacts across 202 countries.


The tough containment measures imposed early have played a critical role in subduing the massive deaths which could have resulted from the outbreak of the infection to 0.2% per 100,000 each week. The modeling reveals death toll of 1.8 million people, with almost 470 million infected this year.


The research body further said if there was a delay in implementing those measures, the death toll would have risen to 1.6% weekly  of 100,000 population, these would have resulted in a sharp rise in death toll of up to 10.45 million people and 2.4 billion infected with the disease.


“Our analysis highlights the challenging decisions faced by all governments in the coming weeks and months, but demonstrations the extent to which rapid, decisive and collective actions now could save millions of lives,” the researchers said.


Nigeria Records 14 More Cases of Coronavirus, FG on Contact Tracing of 4,370 People


Nigeria’s government has confirmed 14 new cases of coronavirus in the country, increasing the total number to 65.

This is a sharp rise from previous records which was usually less than ten in a day. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed on Thursday that the 14 cases were spread across: Lagos 12, FCT 1, Bauchi 1.

The centre for disease control said of the 14, six were discovered on a vessel, three were returning travelers into Nigeria, while two are associated with confirmed cases.

COVID-19 has spread to 9 states in Nigeria. Here are the affected states and the figures.

Lagos 44, FCT 11, Ogun 3, Ekiti 1, Oyo 1, Edo 1, Bauchi 2, Osun 1 and Rivers 1.

So far, three people have fully recovered and discharged, only one death was recorded.

Earlier on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Communication, Lai Mohammed had appealed to Nigerians who had contact with COVID-19 patients to come forward in order to curb the spread of the disease.

The minister expressed worries that failure to do so would lead to wide spread of COVID-19 in the country. He said, there are about 4,370 people being tracked down in connection with having contact with confirmed cases.


Nigeria Records First Coronavirus Death, Disease Increases To 36, Spreads Across Six States



Nigeria has recorded first COVID-19 death since the first case was reported in February 27, 2020.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Monday said the victim was a 67 year old male with an underlying medical history, who had returned from the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

The NCDC on its twitter handle said he had “multiple myeloma & diabetes & was undergoing chemotherapy.”

The deceased, Suleiman Achimugu, was a former Managing Director with of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).

Late Achimugu died of coronavirus on Sunday, 22nd March, 2020, some days after he returned from the UK, the family said in a statement made available to

The family spokesman, Abubakar Achimugu in the statement said: “He was in self isolation upon his return from the UK and personally called NCDC after experiencing some discomfort that are related to COVID 19 symptoms.

“He tested positive and was promptly evacuated to the specialist hospital. He died while receiving treatment.”

The NCDC commiserated with his family.

Meanwhile, there has been a gradual increase on the number of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.  Lagos is leading by 25, while FCT is the second highest with six cases so far.

Here is a breakdown:

Lagos 25

FCT     ­ 6

Ogun   2

Ekiti     1

Oyo     1

Edo     1

While the cases rose from 27 to 30 on Sunday, six more cases were recorded today. The new cases are: 3 from Lagos, 2 FCT and 1 Edo.

The new cases of COVID-19 are from high risk countries.

Nigeria Records 10 New Cases of Coronavirus, totaling 22 in the Country, As Airports Suspend Flights



The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has announced the discovery of 10 new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, most of which came from the high risk countries recently banned by the federal government.

Three of the new cases were discovered in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), while seven were from Lagos State, barely 24 hours after four cases were confirmed in the state.

All new cases are Nigerians who had arrived from Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom in the past one week, whereas one was from a contact of an earlier confirmed case.

Dr. Ehanire said the patients who presented with mild to moderate symptoms are now quarantined and receiving treatment.

The Health Minister assures that the Nigerian government is committed to render proper treatment to COVID-19 patients with the collaboration of state governments, adding that two of the patients earlier treated, the Italian and one other, are now negative and were discharged.

Contact tracing of people they came in contact with is ongoing, he said.

“The Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health has heightened screening at all air, land and sea points of entry into Nigeria and adapted the protocols to reflect the travel guidance issued by the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Earlier, the Federal Government announced on Saturday, that all international flights will be suspended in order to curb further spread of COVID0-19. The ban on all airports will take effect from 23 March, 2020.

FG stops 13 countries into Nigeria for fear of spreading coronavirus

Nigeria has placed travel ban on 13 endemic countries with coronavirus, in line with its safety guidelines in containing the spread of COVID-19.

The affected countries are: United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France,    Norway, Netherlands, China, South Korea, Japan and Iran.

The AFP reports that:”Coronavirus deaths in Europe now exceed toll in Asia, according to an AFP tally. By 1100 GMT, Europe counted at least 3, 421 deaths, compared with 3,384 for Asia. Virus has infected more than 194,000 people globally and killed 7, 873.”

Nigerian Tests Positive to Coronavirus, Third Confirmed Case in The Country



Nigerian government has confirmed third case of corona virus (COVID-19) in Lagos. The patient arrived from the United Kingdom on 13th March and self-isolated.

The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this on Tuesday said the patient who is in her 30s, called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), when she developed symptoms of fever and cough on the March 16th.

Dr. Ehanire said the samples collected by the officials of the Lagos State Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) tested positive to COVID-19 and the lady has been quarantined at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, where she will remain until she recovers fully.

However, the Health Minister said the patient with the new case of COVID-19 is clinically stable and responding to treatment.

He said in line with the guidelines on preventive measures to curb the spread of the disease, “intensive contact tracing has begun, to help identify all persons who the patient has been in contact with.

Though he said he does not expect the number to be high because the patient was sensible enough in self-isolating upon her return to the country, this he said is commendable.

Furthermore, Dr. Ehanire said the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) will keep track of her progress and make the necessary adjustments, after assessing the situation.

He announced that further decisions on banning flights into Nigeria, social activities and festivities would be taken and new developments made public after the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus meet later today.

The Minister further advised the public not to panic but rather continue to maintain hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Coronavirus is a viral disease that presents with mild symptoms and patients are expected to recover without incident but is graver on the elderly and patients with underlying medical conditions.

The Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has advised that everyone follows World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines in protecting themselves. These measures are as follows:

  1. Wash hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if no water and soap is available.
  2. Maintain at least 2 metres distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Persons with a persistent cough or sneezing, should stay at home and maintain a distance in gatherings.
  1. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, which means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing. If none is available, you can cough into your elbow or the sleeve of your dress. Dispose of the used tissue properly, into a dustbin.
  2. Stay more at home and avoid congregation, especially if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
  3. Call the NCDC toll free number 0800 9700 0010, which is available 24 hours a day, Monday to Sunday for guidance. Do not self-medicate.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through the official Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Lagos State Ministry of Health and other state health department official channels on TV, radio and social media platforms.

Coronavirus: Nigerian Infected With COVID-19 Now Negative, Free To Go Home


Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has given clean bill of health to the Nigerian who tested positive to coronavirus.

Dr. Ehanire disclosed to journalists on Friday that the patient who was a contact of the index case has tested negative to COVID-19 and will be discharged from care.

He further said that the index case is still undergoing medical observation although his condition remains clinically stable, adding that if the Italian patient’s progresses next week, this will guide the medical team in discharging him.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that all 42 contacts of index case have been allowed to go home, after having tested negative and completed the mandatory 14 days under observation.


WHO Declares Coronavirus A Pandemic, Condemns Inaction by Some Countries

(From L) World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme Director Michael Ryan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove attend a daily press briefing on COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO heardquaters in Geneva on March 11, 2020. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on March 11, 2020, that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterised as a pandemic. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

By Marymagdalyn Francis

The World Health Organization has declared that coronavirus (COVID-19) be categorized as a pandemic, calling for firm containment strategy.

Coronavirus which has infected over 118, 000 people globally, and claimed 4,291lives in three months, has spread to 114 countries and still increasing at an alarming rate.

The WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said it is startling that the cases of COVID-19 outside of China had increased 13-fold in the past two weeks.

Ghebreyesus expressed concern at the “alarming levels of inaction”, in containing the spread of the disease. This he said should be the responsibility of every sector and individual as the coronavirus is a public health crisis that penetrates all aspects of the society.

“Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.”

He further explained that:”If countries detect, test, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.”

Dr. Ghebreyesus noted that 57 countries had reported 10 cases or less while 81 countries had not made any reports.

He said:” We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. Just looking at the number of cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story. Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea – have significantly declining epidemics. Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this virus. Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same- it’s whether they will. Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.”

The WHO Director General said WHO had been monitoring the outbreak of the viral disease round the clock and was deeply concerned at the rate of the spread and severity, and also alarming levels of inaction.

“We have, therefore, made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death. Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do. We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus.

“WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases. And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear. All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimising economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights,” he added.


Nigerians Not Immune To Coronavirus, New Case Detected

By Marymagdalyn Francis

A new case of coronavirus has been discovered in a Nigerian from Ogun State, who had contact with the index case.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, confirmed yesterday, that Nigeria now has two cases of COVID-19.

The NCDC boss who did not disclose the identity of the patient citing confidentiality said:”The source of infection of this case is known and we are working to manage the risk spread. The case does not have any symptoms currently but has been placed under care at the Infectious Disease Hospital at Lagos.’

He further disclosed that all efforts are in place to ensure that the disease is contained in the country.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has initiated stronger public health interventions. Since the beginning of the outbreak in China and subsequent spread to other countries, one of the important response strategies, at the containment stage, has been to identify all contacts, ensure their strict isolation and follow up daily with checks for any symptoms of the disease. The NCDC has been supporting both the Lagos and Ogun State Ministries of Health in implementing these response strategies.

“The testing of all contacts of the confirmed case is a new strategy to ensure that new cases are detected early. In addition, we will begin to test for cases through the routine national influenza sentinel surveillance network,” he said.

See the twitter feed of the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on the new case.

Dr. Ihekweazu also made known to journalists of the feat achieved recently by researchers and scientists in Nigeria in discovering the genome sequencing of the coronavirus  strain which matched the strain of the index and same as that of Italy and Wuhan in China where the virus broke out.

The NCDC DG further said this success achieved is the first of its kind in Africa and has gained the approval of World Health Organization (WHO).

He said:”The result has been shared with international authorities and the Director General of WHO has extended congratulations to Nigerian scientists for this achievement.”

The federal government maintains it is important to utilize all prevent measures against COVID-19 and advised that citizens maintain both personal and respiratory hygiene.

So far, there are 217 contacts were linked to the index case, out of which 45 travelled out of Nigeria, and 172 are in the country. It was recorded that 69 were in Lagos while Ogun has 40 and 52 in other states.




Plateau State Government Commences Distribution of 2.5 Million Treated Mosquito Nets





By Juliana Uzoka



The Plateau State government says it has recorded a decline of 13% in the prevalence of malaria scourge in the state due to the usage of insecticide treated nets.

Executive Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong said this in Jos during the flag off of the distribution of 2.5 million Long Lasting Insecticidal nets in the state on Monday.

Lalong said statistics in the health sector shows that the incidence of malaria dropped from 39% to 26% from 2015, when the implementation of the Net Campaign and Utilization was launched till date.

The governor represented by his deputy Prof. Sonny Tyoden said the nets which will be distributed in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state is targeted to ensure total decline in the disease which had claimed lives of mostly children, maternal and newborn.

He warned that anyone caught selling the free insecticidal nets would be prosecuted and urged beneficiaries to ensure its proper usage.

He said: “We have established the Plateau State Health Insurance Scheme to improve access to the healthcare and reduce health financing burden on the populace.

“We are at the verge of establishing the Plateau State Mega Drug Distribution Agency to ensure the provision of quality health commodities and reduce out-of- stock syndrome in our health facilities.

“While we continue to make huge financial investments in the health sector, we shall always appeal for more collaboration as we deal with other issues such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis as well as maternal and child health.”

The Commissioner of Health in the state Dr. Nimkong Lar- Ndam, said the nets have two effects namely: “the barrier effect and the insecticide effect, preventing contact and also killing the mosquitoes.”

The Dr. Lar-Ndam decried the poor utilization of the net saying although it has been proven that the use of malaria treated nets reduce the burden of the disease by 65%, its utilization stands below 45%, against the 80% target.

He further said while the clinical trial for malaria vaccine is ongoing, the state will continue to administer free treatment to pregnant women and children under the age of 5.

He said: “Despite this achievement we still have some challenges that are facing our capacity to achieve our target. Some of our challenges include inadequate human resource for healthcare delivery as well as the re-emergence of diseases such as yellow fever, lassa fever and cholera.

“We are convinced that in order to provide health security for state, the high political position of the Lalong rescue administration will close the gap in the human, material and financial resources.”

The USAID/Nigeria Regional Legal Officer,  Jonathan Cone, said through the PMI, USAID has administered PMI support to provide Plateau State with life-saving malaria commodities like rapid diagnostic test kits, therapies for treatment of various degree of the disease, and drugs for preventing malaria in pregnant women.

“There is no question that sleeping under an insecticide -treated bed net every night is one of the best ways to prevent malaria. The nets provide a vital barrier between people and malaria carrying mosquitoes, most importantly from dusk to dawn when malarial mosquitoes are active,” he said.

Mr Cone advised that the family members should set a good example for children to emulate by adopting a positive behavioural change of sleeping under the treated mosquito net every night.

He added that it is good practise to test for malaria when there are symptoms to confirm and before administering treatment.

The wife of the governor, Mrs Regina Lalong was made the Net Ambassador and the distribution of the nets will last for two weeks.



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