The federal government has released N386m to forestall unforeseen outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdullahi Mashi, disclosed these on Friday during a media parley in Abuja.
According to him: “Intervention requests were made to the Presidency and because of the level of emergency, the Ministry of Finance consented to the request. I can confirm to you that N71m was released to the port health services division of the ministry. Also, NCDC have been given N315m. Another request is still in the pipeline”.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, submitted a memo to the Presidency about two weeks ago requesting for N620m to strengthen preparedness and interventions for proactive measures to prevent the importation of the coronavirus virus to the country.
Concerning the confirmed case of coronavirus in Egypt, the Minister said: “We know that a case was discovered in Egypt, which was the first in Africa and the patient is a foreigner.
“It raised an alarm and we know that coronavirus is known for high index of suspicion, based on travel history when you don’t have case definition apparent in the patient.
“I’m not saying the case in Egypt was false positive or false negative but we will need authorities to give us relevant and information. All we know is that we were told that one case was discovered and was asymptomatic as at the time the test was carried out just based on the travel history. It came out positive then, and then, along the line, it was tested and was negative. I am sure the NCDC will be working to get the accurate information.
“As at now, there hasn’t been any other report or confirmed case in the whole of Africa, and Nigeria in particular, don’t have any case. Clinicians are being trained in the management of cases.
“Nigeria is developing a stockpile of medical supplies to be used in the event of any outbreak. Our capacity for testing in Nigeria has been enhanced as we have three laboratories currently – National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state”.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) received a sum of N315m while N71m was released to the port health services division of the ministry for improved surveillance at the ports of entry.