Coronavirus: “We tracing and have to date, followed up 9,029 persons of interest" - Dr. Osagie Ehanire

Till date, a total of 9,029 persons of interest have been traced by the Federal Government, as it intensifies contact tracing and testing capacities across the country, said the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday.

Speaking during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Ehanire said that 99 per cent of those traced have exceeded their 14-day observation period, which has significantly helped the entire strategy to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

According to him, “We have made significant progress in contact tracing and have to date, followed up 9,029 persons of interest, 99 percent of whom have exceeded their 14-day observation period.

“The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) is doing a good job of supporting response activities in States with new outbreaks, with Rapid Response Teams, and working with the Department of Hospital Services to oversee the establishment of more isolation and treatment centres in line with national guidelines and global best practices.

“I must, at this point also commend persons, organizations and groups in Nigeria who have put public and even their private facilities at the disposal of the Federal Ministry of Health to use as Isolation and Treatment centers, and in some cases, gone out of their way to renovate and equip such centers.

“The treatment center accreditation team has set up guidelines for maintenance of operational standards that are to be used in all our isolation and treatment centres in public and eligible private health facilities. I remind practitioners to take utmost precautions as COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease with national security implications.

“The Accreditation committee shall conduct random spot checks to ascertain the state of readiness of Isolation and critical care centers. However, improving testing capacity will not yield full value if it is not followed up with stricter follow up with Isolation”.

He further added: “The Federal Ministry of Health has mapped out areas of need in ICU capacity and will work with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the Associations of Anaesthetists and Critical care physicians and nurses, with the aim of deploying specialists to areas of need in Nigeria, for limited periods, to enhance readiness and build capacity, while crash courses for locals are conducted.

“Similarly the Ministry is creating a structured Patient Transport Plan within the new FMoH Action Plan, to be shared with all States. This is important in the event of the need to transfer patients from one Center to another.

“The Federal Ministry of Health and its Agencies are developing the new National Action Plan as a strategy to respond to the imminent phase of COVID-19 community transmission.”

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Source: The Nation 

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