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FG bans inter-state movement of COVID-19 patients

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.As PTF begins door to door testing in Abuja, Lagos communities

.Expresses concern over increase COVID-19 cases in Kano

The Federal Government has banned inter-state movement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in the country.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), briefing on COVID-19.

Ehanire said that all persons diagnosed with the virus would henceforth be treated in the state where their diagnosis was made to avoid further spread of infection.

He stated that Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and Pharmacists should refrain from attempting to treat COVID-19 patients, otherwise their operating licences would be revoked.

He noted that Federal Ministry of Health has deployed the Chief Consultant Epidemiologist, Public Health Department of Kano State and 16 staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kano State to carry out investigations on recent number of deaths in the state as well identify the peculiarities.

The minister stated that private hospitals desiring to manage COVID-19 patients should apply to their state Ministries of Health for permit, meet the Infection Prevention and Control standards and get accredited by the state accreditation team in line with FMOH guidelines.

Ehanire stressed that those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, TB, HIV, and cancer should take special care and also obey the instructions on taking special care.

“Government is interested in remedies that are being proposed. The Ministry of Health has a department for ‘Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine’, so anything that is thought to have efficacy should be brought forward.

“Now we are in the community transmission phase and we have passed that era when people think that COVID-19 was something for big men and women who came from abroad.

“Now that it is in the grassroots, the role of the Primary Healthcare now comes to play and it is very important for them to do the surveillance to raise the index of suspicion,” he said.

Furthermore, Ehanire disclosed that coronavirus has about 90% cure rate if reported on time.

“Citizens are reminded that COVID-19 has a cure rate of over 90%, if those with the typical symptoms report early for testing and treatment or quarantine.

“It can save you from the severe complications of the infection, or also help to reduce spread and save your loved ones from getting infected by you,” the minister said.

He advised those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, TB, HIV, and cancer to take special care by obeying the injunctions for preventing infection.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has disclosed that its strategy for testing has been modified to door-to-door testing. 

Speaking during daily update on COVID-19 in Abuja on Wednesday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, said that testing is now taking place in Abuja and Lagos communities.

While expressing concern over the continuous spread of the virus in Kano, the SGF assured that PTF is in close contact with the State Government to arrest the situation.

“The situation in Kano continues to be of concern, and the PTF is working in close contact with the State Government to arrest the situation.

“The PTF will update you as soon as there are new developments.

“Let me remind us all that this pandemic is real and its spreading like wide fire.

“We must all arise to fight this potent and invisible common enemy by adhering to the guidelines and protocols for COVID-19,”the SGF stated.

He called on the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to ensure that all religious activities are suspended during the Ramadan period.

He said: “It is anticipated that by Friday 24th, the Ramadan shall commence. I want to use this medium to thank His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for endorsing the recommendations of the Emergency Fatwah Committee by issuing a statement guiding the conduct of the Ummah during the Ramadan.

“The statement has directed the Ummah on the suspension of obligatory religious activities such as Jumaat, congregational and other sessions during the month of Ramadan to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

“It similarly encouraged scholars and organisations to use all other means of communication and broadcast to disseminate information and conduct programmes”.

He added that president Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate payment of the withheld February and March 2020 salaries of lecturers not registered on the IPPIS platform.

“I am pleased to inform you that as a show of magnanimity and concern for all categories of employees, Mr. President has approved the immediate payment of the withheld February and March 2020 salaries of lecturers not registered on the IPPIS platform.

“This payment is to cushion the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 period on the lecturers and members of their families.

“However, all Vice chancellors are to revalidate the BVN of the affected lecturers before the Accountant General of the Federation can carry out the payments”. 

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Augustine Aminu

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