The Federal Ministry of Health has announced five new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to eight.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire disclosed this during a media briefing
to update Nigerians on the COVID-19 spread on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to the minister, all the five new cases had a travel history to the United Kingdom and the United States.
He said three of the new cases arrived from the United States- two of them a Nigerian mother and her six-week-old baby, adding that the other two cases arrived from the United Kingdom and they are both Nigerians.
“The four of them are Nigerians, while the fifth one is a foreign national who came in through the land border, the first case of infection via land border in Nigeria.
“Of the 5 new positive cases, three arrived from the United States, while two came in from the United Kingdom. We are still collating information on the travellers; two of the three from the US are Nigerians, a mother and child, making the 6-week old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient we have, and the third is an American national, who crossed the land border and becomes the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air. The two cases from the UK are Nigerians.
“A detailed travel history of each person is being compiled and contacts currently being traced, to identify persons who have recently been in contact with anyone. The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by partners, is supporting response in the states.
“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health is conducting a risk assessment to help guide decision making.
“We urge citizens not to panic but allow experts in public health to guide response in a calculated, scientific manner. False information and rumour to cause fear and panic must be avoided at such times. The COVID-19 cases so far appear to have mild symptoms and are in recovery.
“To protect yourselves and your families, I urge everyone to continue to take care and caution as advised. The government will do the needful to protect citizens’ health.” the minister said.
Ehanire pointed out that the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus, had earlier announced some interventions which include: prohibition of all travel by public servants; suspension of the visa on arrival policy till further notice; and “a firm travel advisory against non-essential travel to high burden countries, especially in view of the number of Nigerians who arrived from the US and Europe and diagnosed in the past 48 hours with coronavirus infection.”
The intervention also includes: a requirement that all persons returning from overseas self-isolate for observation for 14-days, even if they feel well; supervised self-isolation, including testing, of persons returning from nations with community transmission of more than 1,000 cases cumulatively, for 14 days by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Port Health Services
He added that the Federal Government will restrict entry to Nigeria of persons from the listed high burden countries with effect from Friday, March 20, for a period of 4 weeks.
He reminded citizens to maintain hand hygiene and standard respiratory etiquette.
The minister emphasised that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will continue to provide accurate and reliable updates as and when they are available and take available measures to control spread of infectious disease outbreaks in Nigeria.