11 December 2020 | Abuja – Public Health Advisory Following Increase in Number of COVID-19 Cases in Nigeria
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded an increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases across the country. This public health advisory provides an update on the current situation, response activities and recommends measures to reduce the risk of spread in our country.
As of the 10th of December 2020, just over 71,000 confirmed cases and 1,190 deaths have been reported across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Since the beginning of September to the end of November 2020, Nigeria has recorded a gradual increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. However, in the last week (30th of November to the 6th of December) our surveillance system has recorded a sharp increase in cases. The average number of daily cases recorded in the last week was higher than was recorded between September – November.
SITUATION ACROSS STATES
The COVID-19 situation continues to differ across states. While there has been an increase in the number of cases across 23 states in the country, majority (73%) of the cases detected were from Lagos, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory. Eight of the 23 states with an increase in the number of cases, reported a record high number of weekly cases last week.
TESTING ACROSS STATES
There has been an increase in the number of tests carried out nationwide in the last five weeks. It is important to note that in the last week, the proportion of people who have tested positive among those tested, increased from 3.9% to 6.0% when compared to the previous week.
However, in the last week, there has been a decline in the rate of testing across 12 states. These are Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue and Anambra.
The NCDC will continue to work with all states to scale up both demand for and access to COVID-19 testing. Given the epidemiology of the virus, the increase in cross country travel, and poor testing rates, none of these states can report to have full control over the pandemic yet.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 which includes NCDC, as well as state governments have continued to scale up response activities.
NCDC has supported all states in Nigeria to activate at least one public health laboratory for COVID-19 diagnosis. Testing for public health purposes remains free of charge. A list of sample collection centres across states can be found on www.covid19.ncdc.gov.ng
The NCDC through the World Bank REDISSE Fund has also supported each state with 100 million naira, for the implementation of the state COVID-19 Incident Action Plan. Through support from the Africa Centers for Disease Control (ACDC), NCDC deployed epidemiologists to support response activities in states, and community volunteers in Local Government Areas (LGAs). Across the country, NCDC has continued to provide laboratory and medical supplies for continuity of testing and case management. In addition, NCDC is working with other government stakeholders to scale up risk communications in all states.
As part of the measures to reduce the risk of an increase in cases associated with international travel, the PTF-COVID-19 instituted measures that are enforced through a travel protocol. Through these measures, we have mitigated to some extent the impact of travel on the epidemic in Nigeria. However, the advice for now is to avoid non-essential travel altogether.
ADVICE TO NIGERIANS
The number of new COVID-19 cases is increasing across the country, now is not the time to let our guard down. We remind all Nigerians to adhere to the following important public health measures:
1. Limit all non-essential domestic and international travel. This is especially important for intending travellers from countries recording a high number of COVID-19 cases. If you must travel to Nigeria, please adhere to the seven-day isolation period and post-arrival test
2. Always wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public settings, such as marketplace, office, schools, religious settings etc
3. Maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres from others in public settings
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available
5. Avoid direct contact with people such as hugging and handshaking
6. Cover your mouth and nose properly with a tissue paper, or your elbow when sneezing and/or coughing. Dispose of the tissue properly immediately after use and wash your hands.
7. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness
8. Stay at home if you feel unwell and call your state helpline. Do not mingle with others if you have symptoms such as fever, cough or sudden loss of sense of taste or smell
9. Public settings including religious settings, businesses, markets should ensure adherence to public health and safety measures
10. Vulnerable groups i.e. people 60 and above and/or people with pre-existing medical conditions should avoid non-essential outings and visitors. Where possible, have a friend or family member bring you supplies. See NCDC advisory for more information- https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/AdvisoryforVulnerableGroupsV2June2020.pdf
Further information on where to get tested for COVID-19 can be found via www.covid19.ncdc.gov.ng. We urge all Nigerians to take responsibility to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and control the acute phase of this pandemic.
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