Health Minister says steady decline in Covid-19 cases may be deceptive.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehinare has announced a steady decline in the number of Covid-19 cases on the country saying although the number looks reassuring,it might be deceptive as all hands must be in deck to bring the disease to zero level.
Ehinare who stated this during the Presidential Taskforce briefing on Covid-19 in Abuja said”, in the past 24 hours, we recorded just 138 Covid-19 positive cases in Nigeria, one of the lowest numbers in many months given us a total of 53,865 positive cases out of 403,347 tests that have been conducted as of August 31,2020..”
“In the same 24 hour period, 199 persons were discharged from hospital giving us a total successful treatment of 41,513 patients.”
“We are beginning to see a situation where the number of those treated and discharged exceeds the number of positive cases detected.”
” And while this figures may seem reassuring,it may be deceptive.And we cannot assume that the curve is flattening.since we are yet to perfect due diligence on our side,”
“Testing has for example dropped quite significantly due to reduced sample collection across many states for reasons that are not clear in all cases. one state for example tested over 35,,000samples in July and less than 20.000 in August while another dropped from 23,000 in July to about 4000 in August.These are just examples that show that there may be more work to do and many more challenges ahead.”
According to him, for all the challenges the reason that calls for worry were the elections ahead as campaign activities have led to frenzy and movements that create risk for Infection while testing in those areas may decrease due to distraction.
He said” he would commission a study group for the mnisterial expert advisory committee to begin processes to examine all those developments, and to bring up new knowledge that can guide response or may have an implication on government decision making and spending.
According to him,
“With a total of 1013 fatalities recorded so far, the case fatality rate also slightly dropped to 1.88% and the gradual fall is possibly an indication of improvement in response and treatment strategies to contain Covid-19.but it is also a common global trend. As long as we still record fatalities from this case,there is no room for complacency until we meet our goal to reduce fatality rate to less than 1%.”
“Part of the strategy is to focus on setting up community support centres, particularly in remote areas of the country. Those who test positive may be kept away if they live in high density areas or those who are known to be vulnerable are protected from those who are positive adding
“Our target is to test 2million nigerians for Covid-19 of which we have achieved barely a quarter”.