The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that 22 travellers have so far tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) among the 1,473 persons of interest tested since the reopening of the nation’s international airspace.
The minister revealed this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, “The so-called second wave of the COVID outbreaks we are seeing in several European countries and across the Atlantic, gives us reason for serious concern, coming, as they do, on the heels of what was believed to have been control gained over the disease.
“We are especially worried, about huge COVID increases in certain countries with which we have high volume of human traffic.
“The Federal Ministry of Health therefore wishes to advise Nigerians against non-essential travel to high burden countries. The risks that the movement of travelers create can only be countered with improved surveillance programs.
“I wish to specially solicit that all travellers, especially arriving passengers, cooperate with border authorities to protect our people and also our health system from stress.
“We are obliged to reduce the risk of COVID importation to Nigeria to a minimum, especially since many are still without symptoms.
“As at 26th September, 22 out of 1,473 Persons of Interest, who were tested in the FCT since opening international travel, were found positive for COVID-19.”
Ehanire also decried the low level of testing despite increase in the daily testing capacity to over 3,500/day, adding that this leaves some partners to doubt the reports of Nigeria.
In his words, “Our testing and tracing capabilities have improved a lot, such that every state of the Federation has least one laboratory. That has increased our daily testing capacity to over 3,500/day.
“We are, however, still testing well below that capacity, because laboratories are receiving fewer samples than they could handle, leaving some partners to doubt our reports.
“I therefore request State governments to improve on sample collection and capacity utilization,” he added
In the past 24 hours, Nigeria recorded 103 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total confirmed cases to 59,841 out of 545,364 persons tested so far.
About 51,551 cases have been discharged and 1,113 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The 103 new cases on Thursday were reported from 13 states – Lagos (39), Rivers (21), FCT (19), Oyo (6) Kaduna (4), Bauchi (3), Ogun (3), Imo (2), Kano (2), Benue (1), Edo (1), Nasarawa (1) and Plateau (1).