The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the Presidential Task Force(PTF) on Covid-19 briefing yesterday in Abuja , revealed that 22 persons among passengers who recently returned from overseas have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), among the 1,473 persons of interest tested since the reopening of the nation’s international airspace.
Dr Ehanire said “we are especially worried, about the huge COVID increases in certain countries with which we have high volume of human traffic.The Federal Ministry of Health therefore wishes to advise Nigerians against non-essential travel to high burden countries. The risks that the movement of travellers creates can only be countered with improved surveillance programmes.”
“I wish to specially solicit that all travellers cooperate with border authorities to protect our people and also our health system from stress. We are obliged to reduce the risk of COVID importation to a minimum. As at 26th September, of a total of 1,473 Persons of Interest (POI) tested across three laboratories in the FCT since he opening of the international travel air space, 22 tested positive. Our testing and tracing capabilities have improved a lot, such that virtually every state has at least one laboratory that has increased our daily testing capacity to about 3,500.
“We are, however, testing well below that capacity, because laboratories are receiving fewer samples than they could handle, leaving some partners to doubt our reports.
The Minister appealed to state governments to improve on sample collection and capacity utilisation.
“All persons with COVID evocative symptoms, or who may have come in contact with a confirmed COVID case should please submit themselves for testing,” the minister said.