COVID-19 no longer a disease for the rich, says Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said the coronavirus pandemic can no longer be referred to as a disease belonging to the rich returning from abroad alone as earlier believed in some quarters.

Nigeria presently has 782 confirmed cases of the novel disease according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the figures likely to rise in the coming days. Out of this, 197 patients have been discharged while 25 people have died.

Twenty-four states (24) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have so far recorded cases of the disease.

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Speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on Wednesday, the minister said the virus is now transmitting at a communal level.

Ehanire said: “The role of primary healthcare is very important in this exercise in the sense that now we are in the community transmission phase.

“We have passed that era when people used to think that the coronavirus infection was something for big men and women who came from abroad. And because it came from abroad, they are the ones who would suffer for it. Now that it has gone to community level, it is really down at the grassroots and the role of the primary healthcare comes into play.

“It is very important for them to be able to do the surveillance, to raise the index of suspicion, to find persons who should go for treatment and sometimes to move around the community and be able to identify people who might have symptoms but have not gone to facility.”

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