Federal Government Maps Out N71m To Prevent Infection, Reads Riot Act To Border AuthoritiesFebruary 1, 2020
The Federal government, on Friday, formulated inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral preparedness and rapid response strategy against the Coronavirus epidemic.
It also approved N71 million as preventive cost against possible outbreak of the virus and subsequently directed that operators of all ports of entry into the country be on alert and screen all passengers at the seaports, International Airports and land borders.
Symptoms of the dreaded virus can range from a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever, but can also escalate to pneumonia.
DAILY POST learnt that the strategy was to enable all relevant ministries, agencies, institutions, organisations and development partners to move for quick intervention against any Coronavirus symptoms traced to any individual or group coming into the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this to newsmen after meeting with heads of various government institutions for a collaborative engagement against the dreaded virus in Abuja.
Osagie advised Nigerians and residents to be cautious and calm about the novel coronavirus.
He advised people to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouths and noses properly when sneezing and coughing in crowded areas or in a bus.
He averred that standard infection and control measures have been put in place through the adequate deployment of medical workers at strategic locations around the country.
The Health Minister added, “Travellers from China should be isolated, at least two weeks as the symptoms delay before manifestation.
“We have to review national strategies and plans and assign roles especially testing capacities in Abuja and abroad.
“Where a case is suspected, the affected traveler should be made to step aside and, the travel history be checked.
“Surveillance should be enhanced in PortHarcourt, Enugu, Lagos and Kano airports”.
Institutions involved in the strategy meeting include; the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Commissioners of States and representatives of the United States Agency for International Development, USAID and World Health Organisation, WHO, among others.
It would be recalled that Coronavirus is causing concern across the world with countries restricting travel to China where the virus originated.
Coronavirus has spread to more than 9,800 people globally. The new virus has killed 213 people, all people from China.
There are 129 confirmed cases in 22 countries and regions outside mainland China, including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and the United States.
Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning “the whole world needs to be on alert”.
Now, WHO has even declared a global health emergency, as more than 200 people have died, and there are around 9,800 cases of coronavirus worldwide.
Though, there was a case of a suspected female student from Cote d’Ivoire quarantined in China who was later found to be unaffected.
Yet, there is a suspect from Kenya whose status was reportedly uncertain as at the time of filing this report.
At the moment, however, there is no case of Coronavirus in Africa but the greatest concern is the potential for this virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems that are ill-prepared to deal with it.