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Covid-19:PTF raises alarm over escalation of community transmission

.Cautions health workers against secret management of COVID-19 patients

. Active Covid-19 cases in Nigeria now 277 as total number hits 442

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has raised the alarm over the escalation of community transmission of the disease by those moving across state borders.

The PTF National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, raised the alarm during Thursday’s edition of the daily media briefing by the task force in Abuja, lamenting that there was mass smuggling of people out of Lagos State in trucks.

“We have noticed that community spread is now being traced to people traveling across state borders. We need to try and restrict our movements in order to stop the spread of this Coronavirus infection; this is particularly pertinent with regards to the news of people being smuggled in trucks out of Lagos.

Maryam Sanda still in custody, Nigeria Correctional Service insists

“I’ll like to highlight the need for donors to safeguard life and basic health protocols during the distribution of palliatives within local communities.

“It is important that they maintain health and safety, the rise of aggressive behaviour and non-conformity to physical distancing is unacceptable and a major risk to our communities. It is serious public safety concern.

“I enjoin donors to work closely with local authorities and to ensure that the mass gathering restrictions and the physical distancing guidance that we have given is abided by”, he said.

Dr. Aliyu, however, appealed to Nigerians to take Federal Government and some states’ lockdown order seriously, adding that the fight to beat back to pandemic in the country depended largely on how much attention and respect the public give to the guidelines issued by the PTF.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic also cautioned health workers against private management of people who have COVID-19 outside of accredited health facilities.

The warning came hours after a medical professional lost his life to the dreaded virus in Lagos on Wednesday.

Speaking during the Thursday’s edition of the daily media briefing by the task force in Abuja, Minister for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that people with mild symptoms are still very highly infectious.

“We cannot afford avoidable morbidity and mortality.

“Private facilities must obtain accreditation to treat this highly infectious disease. Practitioners engaging in unauthorised treatment of COVID-19 run the risk of being shut down for decontamination,” Ehanire warned.

He said that the next phase of its strategy, due to the available evidence of community transmission in Nigeria, now focuses on the community.

On his part, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, urged Nigerian tailors to start mass producing face mask, using the country’s local fabrics.

“It is critical to repeat, however, that compliance with the advisories for personal hygiene, social distancing, restriction of movement, early reporting of symptoms and wearing of masks regularly, especially in public, remain the best measures for the prevention of infections and to slow down the spread”, the SGF said.

Meanwhile, Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) active cases in Nigeria are now 277, with the majority in stable conditions, as the total number of cases rises to 442.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) gave the figure on Thursday night through its verified Twitter account.

It said that by 10:20pm on April 16, there were 35 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in four states – 19 in Lagos, nine in FCT, five in Kano State and two in Oyo State.

The agency said that 152 patients had been discharged and 13 deaths recorded.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that 20 states of the federation have recorded COVID-19 infection.

“As at 10:20pm on April 16, Lagos had a total of 251 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while FCT and Kano have 67 and 21 cases, respectively,” it said.

According to the NCDC,  Osun has 20 confimed cases, Ogun – 9, Edo – 15, Oyo – 13, Bauchi – six, Kaduna – six, Akwa Ibom – six, Katsina – seven and Kwara – four.

It added that Ondo had three, Delta – four, Kano – 16, Enugu – two, Ekiti – two, Rivers – two, Benue – one, Niger – two and Anambra – one.

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