Dr Osagie Ehanire
Dr Osagie Ehanire

COVID-19: We Must Fish Out Infected Persons - Health Minister

David Ugbabe

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has lamented that Nigeria could head the way of China and Italy if those who contracted the pandemic Coronavirus are not being fished out and treated.

He further decried that although new cases are being recorded Nigerians who were returning from countries with high burden of the virus are refusing to come out.

Ehanire said, “In less than 48 hours, the Italian who came to Nigeria (index case) was identified. The contacts we found for him were 179. They were all traced and monitored. Out of the 179, one was positive and put in isolation with the Italian. Both were cured and discharged.

“If other cases had not come to Nigeria, that would have been the end of COVID-19 in Nigeria, but other cases came that were not part of the first one. That is why we are saying that you do not compare what we have now with what they have in China or Italy. If we do not act fast, we could be heading in something dangerous like that (in China and Italy). They now transmit, among themselves.”

He noted that those infected with the virus must be fished out else it may be a serious burden in the system.

"I am sure some are hiding, they will not report for whatever reason. Nobody will be arrested or asked to pay anything. Those who are returning now are Nigerians. With the closure of our airports, we will reduce inflow of new cases and deal with the ones we already have,” he said.

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