By Abujah Racheal
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the Ministry had developed a Health Sector Response Plan aimed at stemming COVID-19 within the next three years.
Ehanire, who made the disclosure in Abuja at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), briefing on COVID-19 in Nigeria, said that the plan would be executed in near, medium and long term phases within the period.
“COVID-19 will be with us for a long time. We shall keep learning as we go along. Hence the plan will require modification and updating as we learn more about the disease.
“Despite the rising figures, the case fatality rate remains at about three per cent which is lower than many countries, but not a cause for relief.”
Ehanire said that because of the increasing cases, it was important for people to be proactive so as to reduce the fatalities.
According to him, people who tested positive are still strongly advised to present themselves at the treatment centre closest to them.
”This is most especially so for those with underlying ailments like diabetes, hypertension or are above 60 years of age,” he said.
The Minister said that response in tracing, testing and case management was being driven by data and evidence, adding that protocol was being adjusted for quarantine and treatment accordingly.
Ehanire said that the Lagos State authorities had reported that people who treated themselves first at home were often more of the patients that hardly made it to the hospitals during emergencies.
“We are collaborating with states to strengthen their response according to needs.
“An arrangement has been reached to send collaborative team to Cross River State in the coming days to complement the work of the state government,” he said.
Ehanire also disclosed that the ministry was planning to increase the number of laboratories, with priority given to states that had no laboratory with PCR capability, including Cross River and Kogi States.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria recorded 403 new COVID-19 cases, and that has brought the total number to 16,085.
The country has so far treated and discharged 5,220 persons, and lost 420 persons to the pandemic.