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Nigeria in critical situation with rising COVID-19 cases – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday expressed concern at the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, saying the country was in a critical situation.

Osinbajo, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, spoke when he toured the facilities of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja.

He was accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; and the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu.

Osinbajo, however, insisted that Nigeria has recorded significant progress in its health infrastructure since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country in February last year.

He said: “We have activated nearly 120 laboratories nationwide – 70 of them public laboratories – and have significantly ramped up our testing and case management capacity.

“We have expanded the footprint of our sovereign public health response capabilities especially at the subnational level and in areas where previously such capabilities did not exist.

“Not so long ago, test samples had to be flown out of the country for examination. This is no longer the case as we now have the capacity to process samples internally.”

“While we are not yet where we want to be as a nation, we are most certainly not where we were at the onset of the pandemic.”

READ ALSO: Osinbajo optimistic Nigeria will come out stronger from COVID-19 pandemic

He commended workers in public and private hospitals for ensuring the safety, cure and prevention of Nigerians from COVID-19 sometimes under extremely challenging circumstances.

Osinbajo added: “Thousands of health professionals have been working tirelessly on Nigeria’s COVID-19 public health response.

“From the people across sample collection sites and laboratories ensuring testing, and our dedicated physicians, nurses, and other health workers in treatment centres providing care to the sick, to our medical scientists that are conducting research on various aspects of this plague.

“We also have state public health teams working hard to ensure data reporting and analysis, contact tracing, risk communications and so much more.

“Within this period, you have all worked extremely hard to activate testing in all states of our country, you have increased our knowledge of this disease, grown our capacity to swiftly identify those infected by the plague and render aid to them.”

Nigeria currently has 116, 655 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,485 fatalities, according to NCDC.

However, the country has recorded 93, 646 recoveries from the pandemic.

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