The Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19 said Tuesday that essential service providers are exempted from inter-state travel restrictions imposed by the federal government.
National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force Dr Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this at the daily briefing of the team in Abuja, called governors to align their decisions on the gradual easing of lockdown with the guidelines released by the federal government.
He said COVID-19 pandemic is not going to end in the next few days or few weeks, hence the need for all to adhere strictly to the released guidelines.
He said agriculture activities were highlighted as essential, particularly farming and movement of products across the country.
Also speaking, Minister of Health Dr Ehanire Osagie urged Nigerians to be wary of hand sanitisers, saying that not all are of good quality and standards.
He said Nigerians should always look out for NAFDEC number in hand sanitisers, and ensure that the alcohol content is up to 60 percent and above.
The minister also told journalists that the audit and assessment of isolation centres have commenced across the country to strengthen response in states.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) are doing the assessment and were recently in Yenagoa in Bayelsa state and Oshogbo in Osun state.
He said though the cases and fatalities seem low compared to other countries, a disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with preexisting diseases, many are educated and well-to-do people, who chose home-based care.
“Experience is showing that breathing complications in COVID-19 patients can arise with little or no notice. This is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they test positive,” he said.
He said government would continue to provide diagnostic commodities and facilities in collaboration with partners.
He said the two weeks extension of measures in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ogun and Kano states authorised by President Muhammadu Buhari was to address remaining challenges to contain spread of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“It is of great importance that we, members of the health sector and citizens, endeavor to use this period to dedicate their effort 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,” he said.
He said that of at Monday, 216 new COVID-19 cases had been recorded with Lagos (74), Katsina (33), Oyo (19), Kano (17), Edo (13), Zamfara (10), Ogun (eight), Gombe (eight), Borno (eight), Bauchi (seven), Kwara (seven), FCT (four), Kaduna (three), Enugu (three) and Rivers (two), giving an aggregate number of confirmed cases of 6,175 in 34 states and the FCT.
“1644 patients have been treated and discharged from care, but we have sadly recorded 191 deaths in 26 states and the FCT,” he said.
He said a Ministerial Task Team led by a Director in the Federal Ministry of Health arrived Calabar on Monday to interact with officials of Cross River State Ministry of Health on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The team is made up of experts of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the NCDC, the Dept of Hospital Services, Dept of Public Health and Dept of Family Health, each with terms of refetence to work with relevant State officials to review and evaluate present status and needs of Cross River State. They will have audience to debrief H.E Cross River State Governor before they depart Calabar.
“The Ministerial Task Team to Kano reported improvements in the processes and indices of Kano, and also of strategies to control increasing cases of covid-19 infection in the entire region, by ramping up testing, isolation and case management capabilities,” he said.
He said the team also paid a fact finding visit to Bornu state and made some recommendations on supporting the strategies in the state.