Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has urged Nigerians to strive for the best and prepare for the worst, even as the Federal Government battles the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the nation.
The minister made the appeal on Tuesday while speaking during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in Abuja.
The Minister said: “Yesterday, the President authorised extending easing of restrictions in Lagos, Ogun and FCT by another two weeks. The lockdown in Kano was also extended by two weeks, to address remaining challenges to containing the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.It is of great importance that we – members of the health sector and citizens — endeavour to use this period to dedicate efforts to strive for the best, but also prepare for the worst.”
“As we learn more about coronavirus every day, we must be ready to adjust our strategy, based on knowledge and evidence. To continue strengthening response in States, the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are assessing isolation centres all over the country, recently in Yenagoa and Osogbo. We also continue providing diagnostic commodities and facilities in collaboration with partners.”
Also, the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who spoke during the briefing revealed that the Federal Government is working at intensifying community testing for the virus at states that have been hardest hit.
He revealed that at the moment the government cannot embark at community testing in all the 36 states.
Dr. Ihekweazu said: “We are not doing community testing everywhere. In certain states like Lagos, Kano, and even in the FCT, we are taking the test a lot closer to the community because of the intensity of transmission in those states.
“In those states, the states are identifying hotspot areas and based on these identifications, intensifying testing in those communities. We haven’t gotten to the stage of drawing community testing across the country. We are doing targeted hotspot areas identified by states.”
He urged everyone to do their best to learn more about the virus as and advised those who have symptoms of the virus to seek for help at the appropriate quarters.
“For those who are struggling with the disease, help is available. Do not go underground. It’s important to talk about it and to seek help. Every effort spares humanity the agony of the spread of the virus,” he said.