Federal Government strengthens response to stop importation of coronavirus

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Federal Government strengthens response to stop importation of coronavirus 1

Federal Government strengthens response to stop importation of coronavirus 2

The Federal Government said on
Friday it had strengthened its preparedness and action plan in collaboration
with relevant stakeholders to stop the importation of coronavirus into the
country.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire,
speaking at a Coronavirus Inter-ministerial Preparedness and Response Meeting
with relevant key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Abuja, said as
part of initial response, the ministry was actively working with port
authorities to prevent the importation of the virus at ports of entry.

His Information and Culture
counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said government would not stop Nigerians from
travelling to China or any other country where coronavirus has manifested.

He explained that rather than
impose travel ban, there would be travel advisory to help Nigerians wishing to
visit China to do so without any encumbrances to their health and wellbeing.

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Ehanire at the meeting said: “We
must assure Nigerians of our capacity to detect and respond to this emergency
and other public health threats; our surveillance at the point of entries
involve temperature detectors with scanners and visual observation of
passengers.”

He also said that the Nigeria
Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had activated the Coronavirus preparedness
group and its incidence command system once there is a suspected case in
Nigeria.

His words: “NCDC is also working
closely with WHO to establish testing capacity in NCDC reference laboratories
in Abuja or abroad if need be to handle any suspected case.

As at yesterday, more than
970,000 cases had been confirmed mostly in China, 100 cases around the world
and death toll was put at 213.

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He said: “No confirmed cases in
Africa; we heard a suspected case (a student in China) in Cote d’ Ivoire but
the student has tested negative, one in Kenya whose status is unclear.”

On his part, the Minister of
Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the world had confidence in
Nigeria to be able to handle any emergency based on the Ebola experience in
2014.

Mohammed assured Nigerians of
government effort to stop the importation of the virus and advised them to take
prevention measures seriously, especially imbibing good hygiene.

Similarly, the Permanent
Secretary of the health ministry, Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi, said the Federal
Government was willing to deploy resources to stop the importation of the virus
into the country like it was done for Ebola in 2014.

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The permanent secretary said the
aim of the meeting was to work together to prevent the importation of the virus
into Nigeria, intensify response plan and surveillance in collaboration with
the ministry’s partners.

He, however, asked stakeholders
to make sure that the importation does not occur, saying “if it does occur, we
must work together to mitigate it”.

Later at a news conference, the
minister said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved N71 million for
port authorities to support its surveillance activities

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