By Ismail Auwal
The Federal Government has instructed COVID-19 treatment centres across the country to prepare for reopening due to surge in number of cases. It further warned the public that the country might be hit by a second wave of the pandemic.
This warning is coming at the time when the country is reporting more cases compared to what was obtained recently. In past few months, some of the COVID-19 isolation centres were shut after the country recorded a decline in confirmed cases.
Speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Thursday, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, told the newsmen that he had directed health workers to be on red alert.
“We are seeing the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last few days, which we have frequently alluded to in recent times. This rightly suggests that we may just be on the verge of a second wave of this pandemic. Last week, we recorded 1843 against 1,235 two weeks before that and 1,126 the week before that,” he said.
“In the past 24 hours, 474 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded, with an indication that this week’s figure will beat last week’s. As at today, we have crossed 70,000 mark with a total of 70,669 confirmed cases of which 65,242 have been treated and discharged. Sadly the number of deaths has now reached 1184 as against 1,167 two weeks before.
“Everyone of us has a role to play in the effort to prevent explosive spread of this infection in Nigeria. While we strive for the best, we must prepare for a possible second wave which we must ensure, does not get to be worse than what we have seen so far, judging from what we observe in other countries.
“The US, UK and other countries are going through very difficult times, and we do sympathize with them. To prepare ourselves, I have directed that all Isolation and Treatment Centres, which were hitherto closed due to reduced patient load, to be prepared for reopening and the staff complement put on alert.”