PRESS BRIEFING BY HON. MINISTER OF HEALTH, DR. OSAGIE EHANIRE AT THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 PRESS BRIEFING ON MONDAY 18TH MAY, 2020

PRESS BRIEFING BY HON. MINISTER OF HEALTH, DR. OSAGIE EHANIRE AT THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 PRESS BRIEFING ON MONDAY 18TH MAY, 2020

PROTOCOL

Since the last briefing on Friday, 15th May, 2020, we have recorded a total of 797 new cases with 288 on Friday and 176 on Saturday 16th May, 2020. In the last day, we recorded a total of 338 new covid-19 cases in 17 states.

2.This is the highest daily record yet with the following breakdown- Lagos(177), Kano(64), FCT(21), Rivers (16), Plateau(14), Oyo(11), Katsina(9), Jigawa(4) Kaduna(4), Abia(3), Bauchi(3), Borno(3), Gombe (2), Akwa Ibom (2), Delta(2), and 1 each in Ondo, Kebbi and Sokoto bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 5,959 in 34 States and the FCT.

3.Till date, 1594 patients have been treated and discharged from hospital care. Sadly, we have recorded 182 deaths in 26 states and the FCT with Lagos, kano and Borno accounting for 52% of the deaths. About 60% of all the confirmed cases are between the ages of 21 and 50 years. The increased daily record is largely due to our increased tracing and testing capacity which is mainly as a result of increased community mobilization and awareness creation.

4.The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Center for Disease Control has developed sub-national risk based decision making matrix for risk level assessments at states and LGAs. NCDC has trained first aid workers for all religious groups in Gombe State and supported screening of Almajiris coming into Jigawa State.

  1. Yesterday, we joined the rest of the global community to commemorate World Hypertension Day, to educate the public and increase awareness of hypertension which is also known as high blood pressure.(Silent killer).**The theme for this year is Know your numbers and we encourage everyone to check his/her blood pressure regularly.

6.The NCDC is collaborating with development partners to engage influential religious leaders in Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara states to complement the community mobilization activities of our community health workers. They will also facilitate awareness creation on COVID-19 in the rural communities as well as support our efforts to ramp up community testing. In addition, we have Commenced Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training specifically for the Almajirai in Kano

7.A high level technical meeting on the output of the National COVID-19 Response Mid-Action Review has been conducted. Output from this meeting will provide guidance in strengthening our response and develop strategies for reaching more communities.

8.A Ministerial team of expert has been dispatched to Calabar on a scoping mission to engage with State authorities and determine material and technical needs. The mission to Sokoto was successful and the team is presently in Maiduguri to support the state. A curious finding in Sokoto is the cluster of COVID-19 cases in only one local government area. The number of deaths has dropped and we are beginning to see a decline in positive cases in the state. I wish to thank His Excellency Governor Aminu Tambuwal for his support and commitment to the response in the state.

9.In Kano, the response has been restructured to be more responsive and positioned to effectively tackle the pandemic. Mortality has significantly reduced. Our community engagement is paying off as more people are submitting themselves for testing. Testing capacity has thus increased to about 660 daily from 250 last week. The Ministry has directed that more test kits and laboratory consumables be sent to Kano to ensure the sustenance of the testing capacity.

  1. The annual World Health Assembly, held every year in Geneva, begins today 18th and is presently ongoing. The WHA holds this year for the first time by teleconference and is being attended virtually by the HMH. The focus of the meeting expectedly is the global spread and response to COVID-19.

11.Finally, I shall reiterate again the importance of adhering to public health advisories (wearing our face masks, observing social distancing, practising hand washing or sanitizing, standard respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowds and all non-essential travels). The importance of these and similar measures is such that compliance should be taken as a civic duty and obligation for every citizen, where each should be responsible for the other. As such, enforcement or policing should not be necessary, for what is meant to preserve life and health. Therefore I call for considerate attitude and social adjustment to the challenges we face at this moment.

12.Thank you for listening.