Coronavirus: Infected Nigerians Must Come Out From Hiding To Avoid Dangerous Situation – Minister

March 24, 2020
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’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has called on all who are suspected to be infected with , to come out from their hiding places in order to avoid dangerous situation.

While addressing the newsmen in Abuja on Monday, Ehanire said Nigeria could be heading the unsavoury situations seen in China and Italy, which had recorded high number of coronavirus cases and deaths, because some people who had been infected were hiding.

The minister said although the country had not enforced isolation, it would take any step to ensure that those who were returning to Nigeria from high risk nations did not infect others.

“We have to get those who have been infected now. If we don’t, it may be a serious burden in the system. I am sure some are hiding, they will not report for whatever reason. Nobody will be arrested or asked to pay anything.

“We have not come to forced isolation, but we have had occasion to go after those who came from abroad and have not registered their presence and have not gone into self-isolation. We will publish their names until they volunteer themselves and be put under investigation.”

Citing the Italian index case, he said Nigeria would have easily curtailed the disease at its wake if there were no entrants tested positive for the virus.

“In less than 48 hours, the Italian who came to Nigeria (index case) was identified. The contacts we found from him were 179. They were all traced and monitored. Out of the 179, one was positive and put in isolation with the Italian. Both were cured and discharged,” he said.

“If other cases had not come to Nigeria, that would have been the end of COVID-19 in Nigeria. But other cases came in that were not part of the first one. That is why we are saying that you do not compare what we have now with what we have in China or Italy.”

Ehanire made a call to the federal government to be proactive in the fight against the viral disease.

“If we do not act fast, we could be heading in something dangerous like that (in China and Italy). They now transmit among themselves.

“We have to get those who have been infected now. If we don’t, it may be a serious burden in the system. I am sure some are hiding, they will not report for whatever reason. Nobody will be arrested or asked to pay anything.

“Those who are returning now are Nigerians. With the closure of our airports, we will reduce inflow of new cases and deal with the ones we already have.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday reported the first confirmed death from coronavirus in the country, with 40 total cases spread across five states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

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