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COVID-19: Treatment centres to be established at border posts, over 9,000 contacts traced —Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday said the Federal Government plans to establish treatment centres close to the nation’s legal border entry points to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 disease in the country.

The minister, who on Tuesday at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, also disclosed that over 9,000 contacts of confirmed positive cases have been successfully traced.

Ehanire further disclosed that government took the decision to establish the treatment centres close to the border entry points because it was concerned about the prevalence of COVID-19 in the neighbouring counties

He said: “Prevalence of COVID-19 in neigbouring states is a new concern. There is a plan to build treatment centres near the legal entry borders. The borders are closed, but when Nigerian citizens turn up, they are allowed in.

“What we do is to take them to a facility where they can be isolated, screened and go through the protocol of 14-day observation before they are released. Those who are positive are taken to the isolation centres.”

Speaking on the success of contact tracing, the minister said that Nigeria had made significant progress in contact tracing and that till date 9,029 persons of interest had been followed with 99 per cent of them already exceeding their 14-day observation period.

Read also: Kano records one new case of COVID-19

While speaking about a woman who claimed that she was given a fake result that confined her to an isolation centre in Benue State, the minister noted that all necessary steps were taken to ascertain the status of the woman, when she returned from abroad.

He said: “This is a person who came from abroad and headed for Benue but felt unwell, taken to a hospital and tested positive and placed in isolation. People who are infected can have no symptoms, mild or severe symptoms. Even without symptoms, they can be infectious. This person soon recovered and decided to doubt the test she had undergone.

“Apparently, there was an altercation that made the people there to call me and I intervened and spoke with the person. She was disputing the result because she felt very well and showed no symptom.

“The first complaint was that she was not comfortable with the place where she was kept so we arranged for a transfer to a more comfortable facility and requested a second test which came out positive. We are planning a third test.”

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