The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that it is noteworthy that testing increased by over 40,000 in one month, the number of positive cases dropped by more than 2,000, while Nigerians must not rest on their oars as it is just suggestive of the fact that the strategy is not failing, and “we must continue to sustain efforts”.
The Minister made this known at the Press Conference on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, he assure citizens that his ministry will continue to increase and optimize laboratory diagnostic capacity, most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa States.
He analysised that the total number of positive covid-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154, 454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3%, as against the June 2020 figures of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2%.
He urged Nigerians not to slacken in their adherence to these measures. We in the Health sector are key actors in the health related parts of the initiative. “Our objective is to reduce case fatalities to less than 1% from present 2%, and we are working on innovative interventions with prospects of improving survival chances, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
“We will work with State governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at General hospitals or PHCs, to be trained for setting up at least one sample collection site at every LGA in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“For patients with significant clinical symptoms, we also plan the designation of Holding rooms at General hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or from oxygen cylinders. Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit, in lives saved, will be significant”, he said.
He wished to encourage all mothers to continue to breastfeed their babies. “Nigeria joins the rest of the world this week to celebrate world breastfeeding week, marked annually from 1st to 7th of August to create awareness to the importance of breastfeeding. The theme of this year’s celebration is Support Breastfeeding for a healthier planet.