Health minister, NCDC chief meet Buhari over lockdown, Kano

President Muhammadu Buhari meeting with Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, and Chikwe Ihekweazu,
President Muhammadu Buhari meeting with Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, and Chikwe Ihekweazu

The health minister, Osagie Ehanire, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control chief, Chikwe Ihekweazu, met President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors on Sunday, to brief the president on the latest development on coronavirus and the reported deaths in Kano State.

With the 14-day extension to the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja set to expire Monday, Mr Ehanire told State House correspondents the meeting was convened to advise the president, based on the findings of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

In the span of a month, Nigeria’s coronavirus cases rose from 42 to 1,273.

The minister said the cooperation among relevant health institutions in the country shows it is winning the fight against the pandemic, Punch Newspaper reported.

“We have developed a strong strategy as we are working with other expert groups like the NCDC and relevant health organisations. So, we are also working with the states and the governors,” Mr Ehanire said.

Last week, Kano recorded a series of mysterious deaths, which the state government said were unrelated to COVID-19 but from “hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria.”

While speaking on this, Mr Ehanire said the health ministry was liaising with the relevant agencies and the Kano State government to investigate the situation.

“We will continue to build up our testing strategies. At the moment, 14 testing centres have been activated across the country,” the health minister said.

“We want to bring the test closer to every state. Everybody is working very hard to solve this problem. I can see that some people are already procuring Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits.

“They don’t work as far as we know. So, I will really recommend that we all stick to the national strategy, build on it, support its expansion and together we will get on top of the pandemic.’’

Nigeria’s COVID-19 tally as of Sunday stands at 1,273, of which 239 have been discharged and 40 have died, according to the nation’s disease control agency.


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