The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed that all States of the Federation, including the FCT will receive support to the tune of NGN100 Million each through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project to boost their response activities in the fight against the global pandemic, adding that the soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.
Dr. Ehanire made this known at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing of Thursday, 22nd July, 2020, in Abuja.
In his words “I am pleased to mention that all States of the Federation, including the FCT are receiving support from the COVID-19 response through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project. With this support, all States of the Federation will receive NGN100 Million to enhance high impact priority response activities. The soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.”
The Minister also revealed that the COVID-19 cases recorded daily over the past weeks now fluctuate within the 500 to 700 bracket, with 543 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed in Nigeria so far to 38,344, of which 15,815 were successfully treated and discharged. “We have regrettably recorded 813 fatalities, mostly with co-morbidities and tested a total of 247,825 persons in all”, he said.
Dr. Ehanaire expressed concern over the spike in community transmission, as according to him, “We can rightly assume from the exponentially increasing numbers, that the pool of potentially infectious persons in the community, is rising and with that, the risk of infection for citizens at all levels of society, since a very significant number of persons testing positive is not in observation or treatment.”
The Honourable Minister however commended persons of influence in society, who tested positive for COVID-19 and came out publicly to declare it and entrust themselves to prescribed treatment saying “They do us a world of good by showing that there is no shame and nothing to hide about COVID-19, and they also contribute immensely to building confidence in the Health System.”
While commending health care providers for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19, the Minister emphasized on the need to focus on prevention, saying, it is “better and cheaper than cure.”
Commenting on some of the symptoms that present or confuse COVID-19 for malaria, the Minister stated that although COVID-19 could present with symptoms like fever, similar to malaria, COVID-19 is not malaria. “Symptoms like cough, sore throat, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell, especially when several symptoms occur together, are suggestive of COVID-19. “A test is required”, he advised.
Further, Dr. Ehanire informed that Tuesday, 21st July was the reporting day of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on Covid-19, when the leadership of the Ministry of Health’s Agencies and Departments received the second report from the Chairman, Prof. Tomori. He reported that their findings were highly instructive and will be shared with the Agencies, the PTF and stakeholders.
The Minister also informed that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigerian Center for Disease Control now has a total of 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID-19 test activated and with a little improvement in logistics, adding that lack of availability of testing capacity should no longer be an excuse.
For: Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.