By Joy Odor
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed that eighteen laboratories have been activated nationwide to facilitate increase in testing capacity to boost case management of patients infected with COVID-19.
At the Presidential Task Force Press Briefing on COVID-19 held today, 1st of May, Dr. Ehanire said that 204 new cases of infected persons were recorded in the last 24 hours in the country.
The Honourable Minister further stated that against the background of this finding, “It is gratifying to note that two states in Nigeria have not recorded any case so far”, the Minister said.
Today 1st of May, which is International Workers Day, the Minister seized the opportunity of the Workers Day to pay earnest tribute to workers of the healthcare system.
He charged them to abide by laid down standards of infection prevention and control measures, urging them to treat all patients with care.
He reminded Nigerians to demonstrate collective responsibility in the fight against COVID-19.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunibe Mamora, while responding to questions from media representatives at the briefing, declared that if there is any truth in the claims that some health care facilities are demanding that patients should bring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before they can be treated as “callous, illegal, unacceptable and condemnable.”
Dr. Mamora said if the claim is found to be true, “We will pursue remedial measures for the patient.”
The Honourable Minister of State appealed to Nigerians to assist to furnish the Presidential Task Force and Federal Ministry of Health with exact culprits, “to enable us deal with them.”
“If it is taking place in our Federal Government Hospitals or in our Tertiary Hospitals or States Hospitals, wherever, we will take appropriate action”, Dr. Mamora emphatically declared.
On the Medical Fact Finding Team despatched to Kano State at height of the unexplained deaths in the State, Dr. Olorunibe Mamora declared that Federal Ministry of Health has an interim report.
“We have an interim report. It was to enable us know the level of engagement with Kano State Government and the State’s COVID-19 Response Team.”
The Honourable Minister of State for Health also said the interim report got on Kano, will help the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to determine the level of engagement that should be in place with non-State actors – Faith based organizations, Civil Society Organizations, etc, even beyond COVID-19″.
On what is being done with the interim report on Kano, Dr. Mamora disclosed that “We have assembled enough resources – human health resources and others to help Kano.
Laboratories which were hitherto shut down have been reopened, even what you called verbal autopsy has been carried out, we have begun to strengthen all facilities on ground – testing, isolation centres, PPE, ambulances, have been despatched to Kano.”
The Honourable Minister of State for Health further disclosed that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 would have been to Kano save for the demise of the father of the National Coordinator of the Interventionist body.