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Nigerian government bans movement of COVID-19 patients

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned the inter-state movement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in the country.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), briefing on COVID-19.

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Ehanire said that all persons diagnosed with the virus would henceforth be treated in the state where their diagnosis was made to avoid further spread of infection.

He stated that Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and Pharmacists should refrain from attempting to treat COVID-19 patients, otherwise their operating licences would be revoked.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Health has deployed the Chief Consultant Epidemiologist, Public Health Department of Kano state, and 16 staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kano state to carry out investigations on the recent number of deaths in the state as well identify the peculiarities.

The minister stated that private hospitals desiring to manage COVID-19 patients should apply to their State Ministries of Health for a permit, meet the Infection Prevention and Control standards, and get accredited by the state accreditation team in line with FMOH guidelines.

Ehanire stressed that those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, TB, HIV, cancer; should take special care and also obey the instructions on taking special care.

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“Government is interested in remedies that are being proposed. The Ministry of Health has a department for ‘Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine’, so anything that is thought to have efficacy should be brought forward.

“Now we are in the community transmission phase and we have passed that era when people think that COVID-19 was something for big men and women who came from abroad.

“Now that it is in the grassroots, the role of the Primary Healthcare now comes to play and they must do the surveillance to raise the index of suspicion,” he said.

Nigeria, as of April 22, has 782 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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