Nigeria recorded two new deaths from Coronavirus yesterday, thus bringing the total death so far in the country to four. The number of confirmed cases also rose to 210, from 190 on Thursday. The deaths, according to a tweet from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), were recorded in Lagos and Edo states. The NCDC tweeted: “Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo State. As at 10:30 pm, 3rd April, there are 210 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Twenty new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 11 in Lagos, 3 in the FCT, 3 in Edo, 2 in Osun & 1 in Ondo.”
Currently, Lagos is the hardest-hit by the disease with 109 cases. Nigeria’s capital city Abuja has 41 cases while Osun State has 22 cases. Oyo State currently has eight cases while Edo State has seven cases and Akwa Ibom has five cases confirmed. Ogun and Kaduna State has four cases each. Bauchi has three cases. Enugu and Ekiti State both have two cases each while Rivers, Ondo and Benue have one each.
Twenty-three of the discharged patients were treated at the Infectious Centre, Yaba, Lagos State while the remaining one was treated in Ekiti State. Lagos State, Ogun State and Abuja are currently lockdown after Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari ordered restriction of movements to and from these areas. The Nigerian Presidency on Wednesday said the lockdown is one of the 50 measures Buhari has employed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country. So far, three state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari Chief of State Abba Kyari are among the people infected by the virus.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has asked Governors to provide, at least, 300-bed space facilities in their respective states “in case of upsurge in the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spreading across the country.” The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Friday in Abuja, when he featured on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum to update Nigerians on government’s efforts to contain the disease.
Mohammed, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus, said that the facilities would serve as isolation centres and Intensive Care Units for covid-19 patients.
He said that while testing for the virus is centralised, it would be difficult to move people that test positive across states.
“The governors must not wait for a deluge of patients before making the preparation. We are not asking them to build hospitals, but if they have facilities that can be converted such as hotels, conference centres, let us know and we will come and accredit them. We will tell them what equipment they would need and what type of training we are going to give as support,” he said.
The minister hailed the cooperation the task force had so far received from the states in the fight against the disease, and assured Nigerians that the federal government would continue to take the lead and set the policies. He also expressed the optimism that the government would use the covid-19 advantage and experience to further develop the health facilities in the country.
“We pray sincerely that we will not fall into the same error after we fought Ebola, and we relaxed. We intend to use the opportunity of this coronavirus to improve our health care system at the federal, states and local government levels. Nobody ever thought that what is worse than Ebola will come. The successes we have achieved so far is through technology, sharing data with WHO, US Centre for Disease Control,” he said.
On the distribution chains for the 70,000 tons of grains released as palliatives by the government, the minister said that the data bank obtained through the assistance of the World Bank being used for special intervention programs, would be applied.
“The criteria include age, health status, at times your location, and the level of poverty. We have this in place and we have been using it to transfer money every month to beneficiaries. NEMA, over the years, has also developed a plan when there is a disaster. They know how to reach the victims.” He said that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development would coordinate and supervise effective distribution of the commodities to ensure they got to the poor masses.