The Federal Government on Monday said it did not know how long COVID-19 would last in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, said this at a press conference he jointly addressed with the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja where the government revealed that the country had recorded its second COVID-19 death.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, on Sunday, ordered lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, and Ogun states.
However, on Monday, the Ogun State Government said it had got the presidential permission to shift the lockdown to Friday.
Buhari, had during a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, said the 14-day lockdown would enable the government to trace and treat those who must have contracted the virus.
On Monday, the SGF, Mustapha, said, “We don’t know how long this thing will last. That’s the truth about it. I believe with sheer determination of all Nigerians, we will overcome these challenges.
“We are doing everything to ensure conformity of policies with state governments. We will do everything within our power to stop the case.”
He added, “Let me use this medium to appeal to all Nigerians, through you, for full understanding, unity of purpose and in the interest of humanity, to observe all measures put in place, remain vigilant and cooperate with security and other agencies who are toiling day and night to keep us safe and alive.”
Ehanire said no country could boast of having enough ventilators, which he said were not required for all cases.
He said, “The question of ventilators; yes we are addressing it. There is no country in this world that has enough ventilators. Of all the cases we have had so far only one requires a ventilator. Some require just Oxygen. Probably less than four per cent of the cases we are dealing with require ventilators.
“Government is also taking inventory of what each state requires. The number of ventilators you have in the country does not decide your rate of survival.”
Ehanire said the President had approved that all retired but essential and able staff be recalled to service.
He said the President had also issued directives for all Federal Government stadia, pilgrims camps and other facilities to be converted to isolation centres and makeshift hospitals.
To increase access to testing, the minister said the Federal Government was working hard to open up as many testing sites as possible.
He said, “We project that in three weeks, seven more laboratories in Abakiliki, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Sokoto will be added to this network to further expand testing capacity nationwide.”
We will only test people with symptoms —Minister
Ehanire said only those with symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath in an area of medium or high prevalence of COVID-19, could test for the disease.
He added that only results of test from one of the six molecular laboratories for COVID-19 in Nigeria were reliable because the rapid diagnostic tests gave unreliable results.
Also on Monday, the Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said government was tracing 6,000 people who came in contact with 111 COVID-19 patients.
Ihekweazu, who disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television, said 2,000 people that had been tested for the virus.
The NCDC director-general said the best way to prevent further spread of COVID-19 was for people to limit movements and contacts.
He stated, “We are following over 6,000 contacts of these 111 confirmed cases across these two cities. Every time we have a new case, we add about 50 to 60 contacts that we then have to follow every single day for 14 days.
“We hope that we can really use this time to buy some time to get ahead of the cases and ultimately see that curve start going down but in the next few days, we still do expect an increase in cases.
“We have currently tested well over 2000 people, we will update those figures today or tomorrow. We have increased the number of labs in our network to six. We are activating Abakaliki today. There will be seventh lab in our network.
Ihekweazu said it would take between 24 to 48 hours to conduct a test, adding that the centre was working to reduce it to 12 hours.
He further explained that some tests are delayed because it is carried out twice to ensure that the results are accurate.
The Oyo State incident manager, Dr Olabode Ladiipo, in the interview on Monday, said although the state had been able to trace 50 people, who had contact with persons infected with COVID-19, it had been able to take samples of 28 of them for test.
A former Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, at the Oyo State Infectious Disease Isolation Centre, Olodo disclosed that he had the mandate of the state government to set up an infectious disease isolation centre.
Makinde tests positive for COVID-19
The state Governor, Seyi Makinde, tested positive to coronavirus on Monday.
Makinde, who disclosed this via his Twitter handle on Monday, said, “I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result. It is positive.
“I am asymptomatic and will continue self-isolation. I have designated Prof. Temitope Alonge, former Chief Medical Director of the University College, Ibadan, as the head of COVID-19 Task Force while I recover fully.
Military deploys soldiers in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun
On its part, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said it would deploy personnel to work with the police in ensuring compliance with the President’s announcement of lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.
The DHQ added that there would be penalties for people who flouted the Federal Government’s directive, saying the police were in charge of setting out what the punishments for the law breakers would be.
The Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Maj Gen John Enenche, said this during a briefing in Abuja. He added that a case of coronavirus was also confirmed in the armed forces and the victim was already in isolation.
The coordinator said the defence headquarters had set up 17 isolation and treatment centres across the six geopolitical zones of the country as follows:
Ekiti hopeful patient will soon be discharged
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, expressed hope that the patient that tested positive for coronavirus in the state on March 18 would soon be discharged from the state isolation centre.
He also said the 37 contacts in isolation in the state were in stable condition without showing any symptom.
Fayemi said, “Ekiti State has not recorded any additional case of confirmed coronavirus patient while our single patient is doing very well in our isolation centre, still without showing any symptom. We are hopeful that his repeat test will come back negative so he can be discharged soon.”
Obiano in self-quarantine over contact with Bauchi Governor
The Anambra State Government said the state Governor, Willie Obiano, had gone into self-quarantine.
It said the governor’s decision was informed following his contact with the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, in a meeting in Abuja. Mohammed tested positive for the disease last week.
The Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu disclosed this at press briefing on Monday.
He said the governor had been in self-isolation for 11 days and he had not exhibited any symptoms of the disease.
Enugu COVID-19 patients receive treatment at home
The Enugu State Government said it was using officers of the Department of State Services to monitor all those who had contact with the two index cases in the state to ensure that they maintained self-isolation.
It stated that the index cases in the state were in their homes as they were fairly asymptomatic and very stable.
The state Commissioner for Information, Chief Chidi Aroh, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, explained that the state isolation centre was equipped with ventilators.
Lagos discharges five coronavirus patients
The Lagos State Government on Monday discharged five coronavirus patients who were treated at the Infectious Disease Centre, Yaba.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Akosile, the patients were four males and one female, bringing the total number of survivors from the centre to eight.
One of the patients (names withheld) said testing positive for COVID-19 was not a death sentence, advising people not to panic as the virus could be defeated.
COVID-19: NCDC confirms 20 new cases, Nigeria has 131
The NCDC has confirmed 20 new infections bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 131.
The NCDC via its twitter handle, @NCDCgov, said, “Twenty new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 13 in Lagos, four in FCT, two in Kaduna and one in Oyo State.
“As of 09:00pm of March 30, there are 131 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria with two deaths.
With the latest cases, Lagos now has 81 cases; the FCT, 25; Kaduna, three; Oyo, eight and Ogun State; three.
Enugu, Edo, Bauchi, and Osun states have two cases each, while Ekiti, Rivers Benue and have one case each.
Olufemi Atoyebi, Kamarudeen Ogundele, Dayo Ojerinde, Wale Oyewale, Tony Okafor, Olaleye Aluko, Abiodun Nejo, Godwin Isenyo and Raphael Ede