Nigeria has recorded its second death from coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire announced this on Monday at a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“As of today, we have recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“Majority of them are persons who came from overseas and the others have been traced as close contacts of such returnees,” he said.
“The high number of imported cases in Lagos and Abuja is directly due to their function as the country gateway for air travels.
“Till date, 3 persons have been discharged after successful treatment.
“But sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend,” he said.
The minister said the patient had severe underlying illnesses believed to have weighed heavily on his death from the infection.
His announcement came before the Lagos state government announced the discharge of five recovered patients.
The country’s first death patient was Suleiman Achimugu, a former managing director of the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), who also had underlying health conditions.
The minister also said the ministry has intensified contact-tracing and plans were in place to increase its testing capacity.
“We have intensified contact-tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat in order to reduce the spread of the infection,” he said.
“The federal ministry of health 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 well being of Nigerians while the NCDC-led multisectoral emergency operation centres continue to coordinate national response activities.
“The NCDC has expanded its capacity by engaging hundreds of ad hoc staff to support various areas of responses including the call centres.
“On the order of the President, all retired but essential and able-bodied staff are to be recalled to service at this crucial period.”
He added that training are being conducted for medical personnel to support the ongoing activities to prevent the virus from spreading to other states.
“Members of the public are to note that testing is free of charge and anyone demanding to be paid should be reported to the appropriate authorities,” he said.
Ehanire said social distancing remains one of the major containment strategies and urged citizens to practice all preventive measures in good faith and join collective efforts against the disease.
He noted that the elderly ones are the most vulnerable and should be protected from needless contacts with children and persons who could be positive from the coronavirus and other diseases.
As at Sunday night, Nigeria has recorded a total of 111 cases in 12 states: Lagos (68), FCT (21), Ogun (3), Enugu (2), Ekiti (1), Oyo (7), Edo (2), Bauchi (2), Osun (2), Rivers (1), Benue (1), and Kaduna (1).