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10% of COVID-19 cases are under-19 – Health minister

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said on Monday 10 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country are below the age of 19 years.

Ehanire stated this at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

The minister said: “With regard to COVID-19 and growing complacency, it is important to stress that, even though adults, especially those 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups.

“Records show that 10 percent of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years.

“They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease.

“Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, to prevent COVID-19 surge.”

Ehanire urged Nigerians to generate national and international confidence in the nation’s data by conducting more targeted testing before conclusions were drawn.

READ ALSO: Health Minister, Ehanire, worries over low Covid-19 testing

“It means that all states and local government areas must cooperate with NCDC by raising sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to a desired rate and to report promptly; as we are still far from the target of two million tests.

“In this regard, we can support states with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation.

“While stepping up surveillance and case finding, states can also ensure that suspected symptomatic COVID cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities.

“The recommended criteria for testing are: persons who have been in contact with a COVID positive patient or are associated with a cluster of persons of interest, those who have any of the four classical symptoms of fever, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell and breathlessness; anyone facing surgery, as well as for any other compelling reason. Testing for travel is assigned to private laboratories.”

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