Nigeria: 684 Evacuees Test Positive for Coronavirus - Govt

covid-19 coronavirus test pandemic outbreak
14 August 2020

The Federal Government on Thursday said about 80 percent of the 14,906 evacuees received from abroad during this COVID-19 pandemic are youths.

Of the 13,844 who were tested so far, 684 tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.

He said that in the coming days, government hoped to receive more evacuees from different parts of the world.

He said the Federal Government was studying the coronavirus vaccine approved by Russia on Tuesday

Mustapha who noted that the United Kingdom would be going into a recession this week after its economy suffered a slump in growth by a record 20 percent in the second quarter, reminded Nigerians that the Federal Government had put in place the N2.6trn economic sustainability plan backed by a stimulus package to boost local economies, production and for all sizes of businesses including small family businesses.

"I therefore urge our businesses to take advantage of the stimulus package to revive and/or boost their businesses. We cannot afford to let our economy slide," he said.

Mustapha said the fewer numbers of confirmed cases recorded in the last two weeks should never be misconstrued as victory over the virus.

He therefore urged all Nigerians to exercise caution and restraint at all times.

The SGF expressed happiness that from the reports for August 12, no death was recorded of the virus in the country.

Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the low number of the COVID-19 cases in the country was due to lesser number of samples collected across the states.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, said despite his three layers of protection, he contracted coronavirus.

He had announced Wednesday that he recovered from the virus after three weeks of isolation.

Speaking at the briefing of the PTF in Abuja, Onyeama said: "I've to say that one of the things I was thinking about was that the PTF is like a military high command. It occurred to me that none had been tested positive. Maybe it was a good thing that a member of the team can now speak from experience and not just from hearing. COVID-19 is real. I used to have a three-layer of protection, but it did not stop that.

"I will like to say that the issue of stigmatisation is nothing to be ashamed of. Anybody can get this virus and it is nothing to fear. It is not a death sentence. In my case, the moment I felt something different on a Friday, I was tested the following day, but we don't have the capacity.

"I was discussing with the Minister of Health that if people cannot be tested sooner enough, they can recommend some medication. Don't feel it is anything shameful. Just treat it like any other sickness.

"I will like to use the opportunity to thank the medical crew in the isolation I was staying and very proud that they are Nigerians. We can be negative on ourselves but for the three weeks in isolation, I cannot speak more highly of our medical crew. The most agreeable. I could even go back there for weekends. I really congratulate them for the work they did."

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, represented by the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, expressed concerned over the resurgence of infection in healthcare workers.

He said: "In a bid to sustain the gains, we've made in reducing the rate of infection among our health workers, we've made training and retraining of health workers on infection prevention and control.

"Lessons learnt from this will be used to improve service delivery. I encourage our health workers not to drop their guards as the pandemic is still with us. Use your PPEs appropriately and judiciously. We have ensured that PPEs are available in all our health facilities."

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had had a major impact on Nigerian youths and that as of Wednesday, 46 percent of positive cases in the country were young people between ages 21 and 40.

According to him, "as of 13th August, 2020, Nigeria has recorded 47,743 cases from 338,084 samples tested so far, while 33,943 persons have been treated and discharged.

"Sadly, 956 persons have been lost to the COVID-19 infection," Mamora said.

He said that the government target remains to test one percent of the nation's total population across the country."

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