COVID-19: FG set to announce maximum number of people at gathering

The Federal Government  will soon announce the maximum number of  people to be at any gathering, to stem the spread of  Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the disclosure at a media update on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday.

He noted that some states had put the maximum number of people to be at a gathering at 50 but said that a general order would soon be announced by the Federal Government.

“Directives have  been issued at state level to limit gatherings including religious, social and political gatherings.

“Markets have also been closed and alternative solutions for food supply chain have been created in some states; social distancing measures shall be considered in the coming days,” he said.

Ehanire said that inconveniences were regretted and urged all citizens to accept  the measures in good faith since they  were for common good.

He said that more measures might be instituted by the federal and state governments.

The minister said that other critical measures the country was taking included contact tracing.

He said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had deployed Rapid Response Teams to affected states to support response activities.

He called on all health facilities – public or private – to be on high alert, adding   that all health workers of all cadres should give full cooperation to contact tracers.

“ The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to review response activities and  institute measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

“The multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, coordinates it and other national response activities.

“FMOH is working with Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Ports Authority to ensure surveillance at land and sea borders.

“Ships coming in through the seaports are subjected to mandatory health screening and clearance by Port Health Services, especially ships that sailed from high-risk ports, those that  have been at sea for less than 14 days or have crew members who are ill,” he said.

The minister reminded Nigerians that curbing the outbreak was not an assignment for the government alone but for all Nigerians.

He urged them to play their parts in their little ways by taking social distancing very seriously as a mark of individual social responsibility.

“Ensure you maintain at least two metres (five feet) physical distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

“These are trying times in our nation. The fight to contain COVID-19 is a call for collective action. The government is doing everything possible to contain the pandemic,” he said.

Ehanire said that the Presidential Task Force would continue to review the strategies and take appropriate steps.

“Those who have had contact with confirmed cases or have returned from overseas travel in the last 15 days should strictly observe self-isolation, call in or register on NCDC platforms.

“Do not leave your house during the self-isolation period.

“If you are on supervised self-Isolation, make sure you call in as required and, as much as possible, stay in one room. Strictly limit contact with others, for your family’s sake.

“If during self-isolation you develop symptoms like cough, fever, shortness of breath (or difficulty in breathing) or general feeling of unwell, avoid self-medication and contact NCDC Connect Centre immediately on 0080097000010 or 112,” he advised.

NAN reports that the breakdown of COVID-19 cases shows that Lagos State still has the highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 32 cases, followed by Abuja with 10 and Ogun with three, while Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Bauchi, Osun and Rivers have one case each.

Most of the cases reported are people, who just returned to the country, while the others are people who were in contact with infected people. (NAN)