FG Reactivates Treatment Centres As Virus Cases Rise - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

FG Reactivates Treatment Centres As Virus Cases Rise


ABUJA - The Federal Government is reactivating all treatment centres across the country as the cases of covid-19 rises, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed Thursday.


He also noted that due to the rising cases of patients needing admission, especially those severely afflicted with the virus, there will be an urgent need for more hospital beds.


Speaking during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on covid-19 in Abuja, Ehanire said, “Our epidemiological trend has already started to show that the covid-19 course curve is rising with a total number of active cases now 7,087. There is also a corresponding increase in the number and seriousness of cases requiring hospital admission in high dependency units for oxygen treatment or in intensive care units (ICU) for mechanical ventilation.


“If we include those who are in the hospital with severe symptoms from being observed, the need for more hospital beds will become more acute. All of us therefore have a role to play.


“Following this new surge, the Ministry of Health is working with Federal Tertiary hospitals on the reactivation of all treatment centres. We are assessing resources available and resources needed, and we are alerting frontline health workers to be on standby.


“We are strengthening the covid-19 homecare protocol for asymptomatic and mild cases, and community-based care which is usually organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).


“We have also commenced the inventory taking, and we plan to distribute a wide range of resources available in our warehouses according to need. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), various commodities, equipment and consumables for deployment to treatment centres.”


He added: “As the time of the festive season and holiday approaches, the risks are going to increase. Many people will want to celebrate; many will want to crowd into shops, markets, places of worship; many will want to travel with mass transit transport; or many will be flying into the country from abroad, including from high burden countries. All these are circumstances that are proven worldwide to accelerate covid-19 transmission and they have caused explosive increases in covid-19 cases in other countries.


“I urge all Nigerians to do all they can to stay in their homes, except they have a very urgent case or a very good reason to want to travel, because you increase your risk, especially inside crowded transport – buses, taxies.”


He therefore urged all citizens to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical measures such as appropriate wearing of face masks, use of alcohol-based sanitizers, and practicing physical distancing.


Concerning the efforts of the Federal Government to secure Nigeria’s spot in the vaccine procurement facility of the World Health Organization (WHO) through COVAX, the Minister stated: “On the back end, our Technical Working Group is around the NPHCDA of the ministry of health, and is examining modalities to obtain access to vaccines for Nigeria. We are in conversation with WHO GAVI on the COVAX AMC facility to support about 170 lower and lower income countries to which Nigeria belongs, to access anti-covid vaccines.


“At a presentation to the Ministers of Health of the ECOWAS region today, under the West African Health Organization, the Africa Regional Director announced that COVAX had been assured vaccines for just about 20 percent of the quantity of vaccines that is required for lower, middle and low income countries.


“Many wealthy and high resource countries have secured first rights to vaccines, and already paid down for their citizens. In some cases, we hear that some have paid for double their number of citizens.


“We continue to closely follow issues related to vaccines development, and we are holding talks with representatives of vaccine developers to work out additional or if need be, to work out alternate sources to meet national security needs. Nigeria will be working on a mix of public-private and external funding to meet the payment.


“We understand that the World Bank has made a facility available on which countries can draw. The African Union has also set up an African Vaccine Acquisition Team aiming to acquire vaccines for up to 60 percent of the population.”

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