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FG charges Nigerians on safety measures as COVID-19 deaths near 1,000

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Monday warned Nigerians that the current COVID-19 death toll in the country was a wake- up call for citizens to take appropriate measures to avoid contracting the virus.

The country has recorded 945 COVID-19 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Ehanire, who disclosed this during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, said as at Monday, Nigeria had recorded 46,577 cases from 317,496 samples tested so far while 33,186 persons had been treated and discharged from various isolation facilities across the country.

He added that 945 persons had died from the pandemic which had now been identified in 549 of the 774 local government areas in the country.

The minister said: “Half of all cases in Nigeria so far are concentrated in 20 local government areas, which could offer the attractive option of targeted attention, to focus on case finding, isolation, and treatment.

“The figures show that Nigeria is also sadly approaching the symbolic 1,000 number of fatalities, a grim reality that should be a wake- up call for us.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19 yet to reach peak in Nigeria —PTF

Ehanire said that many more Nigerians today personally knew a person who succumbed to COVID-19, warning that COVID-19 was still around and would be for a long time.

He added: “Until there is vaccine, the only options we have to protect ourselves, are still the non-pharmaceutical measures that are proven to be cheap and effective, such as the appropriate use of face masks, physical distancing, and avoiding crowds.

“If we do not adhere, there could be regrets.

“The urgency is accentuated by the need to prepare for societal changes that will arise as the economy reopens with increased transportation, trade and human interaction, including the possible reopening of air travel.”

Ehanire, however, said that there must be effort to balance the benefits of a reactivated economy with the need to keep the citizens safe, with no loss in gains so far made.

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