The minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that Nigeria might be facing an explosion of the conronavirus, COVID -19.
Lai, stated this on Thursday while updating the press on the measures taken by the Federal Government to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said “We have taken very bold measures in stopping international flights into the country, and we hail the state governments that have taken equally bold measures in their states, which include the closure of markets and the prohibition of large congregations.”
Measures on ground
He added that social distancing, contact tracing, testing, isolation of suspected cases and ensuring that messages get down to the grassroots are the aggressive measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
Lai said “I don’t intend to sound apocalyptic. But the truth is that time is running out. If we don’t urgently and more aggressively enforce the measures I have just listed, we have a short window within which to stop this pandemic or face an explosion in terms of the cases. We cannot afford to be complacent.”
Possible tougher measures
In order to avoid an explosion he said the government is considering tougher measures to minimize spread by possibly “stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services, closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations. Already, all train movements nationwide have been stopped and using firefighting and other adaptable vehicles and personnel to fumigate cities and towns.”
The minister stated that Nigeria have received safety and test kits from the Jack Ma Foundation in China which are 100,000 Face Masks, 1,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 20,000 test kits.
He said the face masks and the PPE will be distributed to the front-line health workers while the test kits will be shared among the five test laboratories.
Coronavirus infection update
Lai said as at Thursday 26th of March there are 51 cases covering 8 states which are :Lagos – 32, FCT – 10, Ogun – 3, Ekiti – 1, Edo – 1, Bauchi – 1, Osun – 1, Oyo – 1, Rivers – 1.
Challenges tracing suspected cases
He said “We have 4,370 people of interest whom we are tracing.”
He stressed that “We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread. We must stop this immediately or we will record exponential cases in the days ahead.”
He added that they are not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians, as “many are busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe”.
He also noted that some Nigerians who flew into the country from overseas filled wrong addresses and phone numbers in their forms, making it difficult to trace them when the need arises.