Osagie Ehanire

COVID-19: 12 New Cases Imported From Cote d’Ivoire – Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed that the new 12 cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) announced on Wednesday were imported into the country from Nigerians that returned from a West African country.

He made this disclosure on Tuesday during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Pandemic in Abuja.

According to him, the newly discovered 12 cases were responsible for the spike in the number of the COVID-19 cases in the country to 151, adding that the percentage of distribution between males and females stands at 70% to 30%, respectively.

Ehanire said the new cases were discovered among some Nigerians believed to be returning into the country from either Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana, in a convoy of buses, heading for Osun State, adding that the discovery had underscored the importance of border closure as well as the need for government to order the necessary movement restrictions.

“I know that there were 12 new cases, in fact, this is interesting for you to know that one of the vehicles intercepted, trying to enter Nigeria from Benin Republic, with many Nigerians on board; I think it was over 100, heading for Osun State.

“I think they said they were coming from Ivory Coast or Ghana, I’m not quite sure, and it is said that it was among those groups that we had 12 immediate new entrants; so they are imported cases, which added to the 139, which I read, to give you 151.

“This shows the importance of importation and of border closure. In this case, they are our citizens and were knocking at the door at the border and they had to be let in, but if they were not our citizens, definitely there would have been a problem having to handle infected persons of other nationalities.

“In this case, the closure of the border is important and we are asking and requesting Nigerians to stay where they are, except you absolutely have to travel because the risk of travelling itself exposes you to crowds,” he said.

Ehanire said the places where a large number of ad hoc health workers are currently needed are Lagos, Abuja, Oyo and now Ogun, where the confirmed cases are higher, appealing to health workers in the areas where the impact is higher to volunteer to enlist their services.

The minister also encouraged state governments to start investing into establishing isolation centres in their states.

He said the purpose for the lockdown ordered by the president was to help health workers be able to zero in on the high-burdened areas, revealing that about 70% of the recorded contacts had already been covered and efforts still on to cover the remaining 30% as those within 30% had tendencies of multiplying.

The minister noted, however, that if the situation changed and figures in other relatively low-burdened spiked, President Buhari might have to take more stringent decisions for such states or the parts where the increase had been observed, especially when such place start becoming a source of threat to other regions.

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