Coronavirus cases hit 65.The Federal Government FG on Thursday said it was tracing 4,370 persons, who came into contact with people that were suffering from COVID-19.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, said the country was on the verge of community transmission of the disease.
Lai Mohammed said this just as coronavirus cases in the country increased to 65 on Thursday.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said as of 7:35pm on Thursday, 12 additional cases had been recorded in Lagos State, one in Bauchi State and one in the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC via its Twitter handle, said, “14 new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria; one in Bauchi State, one in the FCT and 12 in Lagos. Of the 14, six were detected on a vessel, three are returning travellers into Nigeria and two are close contacts of confirmed cases. As of 7:35pm 26th March, there are 65 confirmed cases, three discharged and one death.”
“We are seeing more cases of #COVID19 in #Nigeria as a result of a combination of factors.— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 27, 2020
We’re working very hard to scale up our testing capacity to bring in more people for clinical management”
~ @Chikwe_I on @ARISEtv pic.twitter.com/OmHYHj4psp
The NCDC had on Thursday said cases of the virus in the country increased to 51 from 46 on Wednesday.
Currently, the majority of cases were imported to the country from high-risk nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries.
Among those who have tested positive are the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, both of whom a few weeks ago, returned from Germany, where they were believed to have contracted the disease.
The disease has spread to eight states and the Federal Capital Territory. There are 44 cases in Lagos; 12 in the Federal Capital Territory; Ogun State, three; Ekiti State, one; Bauchi State, two; Oyo State, one; Edo State, one; Osun State, one and Rivers State, one.
The minister of information, at the press conference on Thursday, said unless those who had contact with confirmed cases came forward, in few days ahead, Nigeria would record a rapid increase in the number of cases.
He stated, “We have 4,370 people of interest whom we are tracing. We urge those who have had contact with suspected cases to immediately report to the authorities. We urge Nigerians to support the authorities in this regard.
“We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread. We must stop this immediately or we will record exponential cases in the days ahead. There is no better way to say this.”
The minister said the Federal Government was considering a ban on non-essential inter-state travels, closure of motor parks as well as fumigation of some designated areas, as part of additional measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
He also expressed delight that measures so far taken by the federal and some state governments to contain the virus were yielding the desired results.
Mohammed said, “We are considering tougher measures to enforce compliance, stop the exportation of the disease to states that do not have it and minimize spread. Possible measures include stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services; closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations. Already, all train movements nationwide have been stopped.
“Our strategy at containing this pandemic is working, but we still have a long way to go. We know our priorities and we know our challenges.”
According to him, government has taken very bold measures by stopping international flights into the country.
He also commended state governments that had closed markets and prohibited large congregations.
The minister maintained that, “We are determined to be more aggressive in enforcing the measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, contact tracing, testing, isolation of suspected cases and ensuring that our messaging gets down to the grassroots.