COVID-19: We’re considering homegrown vaccines, concerned about fleeing cases — FG - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Friday, 24 April 2020

COVID-19: We’re considering homegrown vaccines, concerned about fleeing cases — FG

COVID-19: We’re considering homegrown vaccines, concerned about fleeing cases — FG

The Minster of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this while fielding questions from newsmen at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily press briefing against the backdrop of some countries coming up with locally manufactured vaccines for COVID-19

Speaking on who was eligible to go a COVID-19 test, the minister said: “Nigerians living in an area that has clusters of people who have the disease are eligible to be tested for the virus.

“The structure of the response is: TEST, TREAT, TRACE AND ISOLATE for COVID19.

“The idea is to test people based on set criteria.”

These, Ehanire said, are travel history, contacts or symptoms or clusters for the best prospects of high yield, then place those with positive test in treatment and isolation, trace all their contacts and quarantine them for 14 days.

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“He added: Today NCDC laboratories have capacity to test 1,500 samples per day in 13 laboratories across the country.

“However, we are testing on average of about 600 samples per day because that is all the samples collected and sent for testing.

“Factors considered in the process may include surveillance, sample collection and mode of transportation, which can be improved to increase operational efficiency.

“This is where a little investment can help.”

According to Ehanire, the results of such intensification of efforts can be seen especially in Lagos where improved logistic management increased sample collection and significantly reduced turn-around time.

Ehanire said that efforts were ongoing to further increase the testing capacity and accredit more laboratories.

He said: “A robust sample transportation infrastructure in place to promptly convey samples to any of the 13 laboratories activated so far.

“This mitigates the need for urgent establishment of a PCR laboratory, as well as the valuable time and personnel needed to prioritise case findings.

“The recommended global best practice is to admit all persons who test positive for COVID-19 into designated accredited treatment facilities to contain the spread of the virus and ensure prompt management of cases to avoid complications.”

The minister said some persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria were not in any of the designated accredited isolation and treatment centres.

Ehanire said: “This is a significant threat to public health and national security as the ministry cannot account for such persons and ascertain the containment of their infection.

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