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One in five people tested positive for COVID-19 in last seven days – Health Minister

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Osagie Ehanire,

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has revealed that one out of every five persons tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the last one week turned out positive

The minister made the disclosure at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja.

Ehanire stated that the number of new COVID-19 cases had continued to rise in the country, such that 10,300 confirmed cases were reported from just 50,750 samples tested in one week, translating into 20 per cent positivity rate.

It means one out of every five persons tested in the last one week turned out positive, compared with the previous week which recorded a positivity rate of 14 per cent.

“Nigeria’s total number of confirmed cases is 110,387 out of a total of 1,172,234 samples tested, with a cumulative positivity rate of 9.4 per cent. 1,444 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, with sadly 77 deaths in the past week and total fatality of 1,435.

“It is instructive of the second wave that all cases recorded so far this January is more than 20 per cent of all confirmed cases in Nigeria, more than the whole of December, barely halfway through the month.

“There is no doubting the fact that we are deeply into the second wave of the pandemic which requires that PTF and FMoH review our strategies to respond to the challenge.

“The federal ministry of health has outlined three approaches to confront the pandemic. These are infection mitigation, therapeutics and vaccines,” he said.

Ehanire reiterated that reducing infection rate for COVID-19 remained the easiest and cheapest objective of the government.

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According to him, government’s main effort is to ensure social mobilisation for testing, strengthening surveillance activities for early detection, active contact tracing, isolation and treatment.

He, however, added that the implementation of critical non-pharmaceutical measures required the cooperation of the public.

“This includes much more adherence to wearing masks, social distancing, use of sanitiser, etc. than we are seeing today. Of special concern are the so-called “super spreader activities” that involve congregational settings, which must be reduced, restricted or prohibited in the interest of the common good.

“With regards to therapeutics, we must strive to reduce mortality from this disease by ensuring adequate stock of supplies and strengthening our case management capacity.

“In this regard, the ministry of health is working to expand oxygen availability across the country to address shortages, which have been a challenge globally, and also to review the value of various pharmaceuticals and protocols proposed for COVID-19 treatment.

“Clinicians are also urged to work out guidelines for participating in clinical studies,” the minister said.

(NAN)

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