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Nigeria Plans to Launch COVID-19 Response Action Plan, Says Health Minister

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says efforts are ongoing to launch the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health sector response action plan.

The minister, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), briefing on COVID-19 in the country.

According to Ehanire, the plan will mark a new medium and long term health sector response strategy to the challenges across all areas of health over the next three years.

He said that the plan would be presented at the National Council of Health and applied for the development of states specific action plans to address peculiarity.

“Some of the fatalities recorded may have been saved if they had arrived the isolation centers early.

”We should also note that the clinical condition of COVID-19 patient, especially the elderly and those with underlying illnesses can change from mild to critical within a short time.

“The National Association of Resident Doctors, who embarked on strike a week ago has suspended the industrial action following continual dialogue.

”This is based on constructive engagement and response to grievances that is tabled such as payment of hazards and inducement allowances and provision of personal protective equipment,” he said.

The Mnister said that the Nigerian government had treceived medical supplies, which was the first of the series of deliveries from the UN group and the European Union.

He said: ”The donation is very reassuring to us as we can now make up our stock pile and it is made up of various categories of testing and protective equipment.

”547 oxygen concentrators, courtesy of the World Health Organisation and experienced in Nigeria shows they are more in use than ventilators.

“The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria has surpassed the 20,000 mark over the weekend reaching 20,244 between yesterday and today, the highest number of daily diagnosed new cases at 745, over the past 24 hours.

“While symptomatic treatment can be vital in preventing complications, close clinical observation in centres early enough can be decisive,” he explained.

The minister, therefore, advised all hospitals to have the right index substation and promptly refer suspected cases to designated treatment centre.

He also said that attempting to treat COVID-19 patients when not accredited was a waste of time, endangered victims and also put others involved at risk.

He said that his visit to the 063 Nigeria Air Force hospital to inspect the COVID-19 observation and treatment centre, showed 25-bed centre with facilities for managing mild and severe cases and additional 200 bed hostel as backup isolation centre in case of over spill.

Ehanire noted that the centre would complement the treatment centres in the FCT, which were able to handle isolation type 2 and 3 cases.

He added that the WHO African regional certification commission for polio virus eradication, announced the certification of Nigeria as a polio free state.

”It said that Nigeria up till 2012 had accounted for about 50 per cent of the polio cases worldwide.

“The credit for this is due to all tiers of government, community leaders, international partners and above all the national primary healthcare development agencies, frontline health workers. The certificate will be delivered in August.

“It does not mean that we are resting on our guard, the energy will be directed to supporting COVID-19 fight, especially with the community transmission phase and support programme of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agencies through its centre network,’” he said.

“The experienced human resources for health to drive surveillance and community case management, community engagement at grassroots levels”.

“Let’s be mindful that other health services such as antenatal care, malaria and other ailments shall be maintained to ensure that indices do not drop while we still stay polio free,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), reports that the confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend reached 20,244.

The country also saw the highest number of daily diagnosed new cases of 745 on June 18 but with 436 over the past 24 hours.

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