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Sixty coronavirus testing Labs active nationwide – FG

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THERE are 60 active or functional public health laboratories in Nigeria to address testing capacity challenges and to ramp up utilisation of logistics.

  Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire stated this in Abuja at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing held yesterday.

  According to Dr. Ehanire, COVID-19 cases in Nigeria crossed the 40.000 mark to 40,532 over the weekend and kept increasing to bring the total number of confirmed in Nigeria 262,579 of which 17,374 were successfully treated and discharged.

  “We regrettably lost 858 people, most of them with co-morbidities, he said.

  The Minister informed that the 70 to 30 male to female gender ratio and the case fatality rate of 2.1 perecnt have not changed significantly but two thirds of all fatalities remain within the age bracket of 50 years, while co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension and asthma among others are common among fatalities.

  He added that there is need to protect the elderly and the vulnerable from the infection, by giving special attention to risk communication and priority for admission for observation and treatment.

  “We continue to strive to improve the quality of services in our hospitals as more persons are admitted to treatment, not only for COVID-19 infection, but also for routine and essential care,” he stressed.

  The minister also stated that it is government’s desire to reduce the fatality rates, and expand our treatment capacity such that our health system is not overwhelmed.

  “In this regards, the FMoH expects to take delivery of the newly completed Isolation Centres at The University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada (UATH), AS other centres are under construction nationwide. We remain appreciative of the UN System for this gesture and their consistent support, which greatly increases our reserves and recognises our need, especially of oxygen concentrators and PPEs, but also reassures our frontline health workers that we are well stocked and can ensure availability of essential items and consumables at point of use,” Ehanire said.

  The Minister seized the opportunity of his briefing to officially introduce the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulamo, who he said assumed duty in Abuja some days ago, and wish him a successful tenure.

  The Minister again, expressed appreciation to all the frontline health workers, whose services have helped to reduce the fatality rate and urge them to continue their work in line with the global best practices in case management and to remain safe and take no risks.

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