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Nigerian govt says number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise



Nigerian govt says number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise

The federal government has said that it expects the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to rise dramatically while it scales up contact tracing and testing capacity.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Wednesday at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja.

According to him: “As contact tracing and testing capacity are being ramped up, more and more cases will be found and the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases is expected to rise initially.

“We also worry about persons, especially Nigerians, returning to the country through land borders, who run a higher risk of infection while in a confined space for a long time, like transit in a crowded bus or car.
“With the expanded national case definition and the addition of two laboratories to the NCDC network of COVID-19 molecular laboratories, the national testing capacity has increased. Moreover, the lockdown in high burden States presents the advantage of reduced population mobility and leaves more people at home to be found during contact tracing.

“All of this means that more people and samples can be collected and tested more quickly, giving a shorter turnaround time, but it also means that more cases will be discovered initially than before.

“With 71 percent of the over presumed 6,000 or more contacts now traced, the number of confirmed cases will be rising dramatically. Contact tracing will still be intensified to reduce the number of outstanding cases.

“We shall continue to expand the number of isolation centres and prepare ICU units across the country for those who may have complications”.
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