Health Minister says some Nigerians infected are hiding
Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, has disclosed that persons in Nigeria who have contracted coronavirus have gone into hiding.
The minister says it is important for the federal government to acts fast to tackle the spread of the virus in order not to experience what happened in China and Italy.
Ehanire notes that those who have been infected must be treated to avoid a serious burden in the health system.
Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, made the disclosure at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, March 23, The Cable reports. The minister stated that it is important for the federal government to act fast to tackle the spread of the virus in order not to experience what happened in China and Italy.
He said the country’s index case, an Italian man, had contact with 179 persons, adding that one of the persons had tested positive. He noted that both the Italian and the contact recovered from the disease.
Ehanire, however, said other cases came in that were not part of the first one, noting that those who have been infected must be treated to avoid a serious burden on the health system.
“I am sure some are hiding, they will not report for whatever reason. Nobody will be arrested or asked to pay anything,” he said. “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.
Osagie Ehanire also has threatened to publish the names of those who failed to isolate themselves as a preventive measure in the country.
He said self-isolation is to protect the loved ones and friends of those in question. The health minister while urging Nigerians to take self-isolation and social distancing very seriously, insisted that the government would not make it compulsory as some of its counterparts in the continent.
Ehanire said that the sense of responsibility of Nigerians is being counted on by the government, specifically travellers from high-risk countries, to self-isolate themselves and report so that the country’s health system will not be burdened.