The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says that the Federal Government will work closely with the State Governments to prepare spaces and human resources at General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) to set up one Covid-19 sample collection site at every local government area.
He disclosed this at a Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 media briefing in Abuja, Monday.
According to Ehanire: “We will work with State governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at General hospitals or PHCs, to be trained for setting up at least one sample collection site at every LGA in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“For patients with significant clinical symptoms, we also plan the designation of Holding rooms at General hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or from oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit, in lives saved, will be significant.”
He, therefore, called on Nigerians not to slack in their adherence to the measures put in place to halt the spread of the disease.
The Minister revealed that “our objective is to reduce case fatalities to less than 1% from present 2%, and we are working on innovative interventions with prospects of improving survival chances, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities”.
He noted that with regard to the COVID-19 scene, Monday, August 3, 2020, recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of a total of 286,091 samples tested so far, while 20,308 persons have been treated and discharged. 888 persons have sadly been lost as a result of the Covid-19.
“No meaning can be read into this as yet. In comparison, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154, 454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3%, as against the June 2020 figures of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2%.
“Although it is far too early to draw conclusions, it is noteworthy that testing increased by over 40,000 in one month and the number of positive cases dropped by more than 2,000.
“But we must not rest on our oars: it is just suggestive of the fact that our strategy is not failing, and we must continue to sustain efforts,” the Minister said.