•As senators donate 50% salaries to tackle virus
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam , Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria has confirmed second death from coronavirus.
This is just as the Senate has announced the decision by Senators to contribute 50 percent of their salaries to the efforts to respond to the spread and treatment of Corona virus in Nigeria.
Speaking on Monday , during a press briefing, the Minister said that the fatality was recorded during the weekend.
He said, “As of today, the 30th of March, 2020, we have recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Of which 68 are in Lagos, 21 in the FCT, seven in Oyo, three in Ogun, two in Bauchi, two in Edo, two in Osun, two in Enugu, and one each in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna and Rivers States.
The majority of them are persons who came from overseas and the others have been traced as close contacts of such returnees.
“Till date, three persons have been discharged after successful treatment. But sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had severe underlying illnesses.
“We have intensified contact tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them, and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat, in order to reduce the spread of the infection.”
He said the Federal Ministry of Health is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to review response activities and to institute measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians while the NCDC-led multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate national response activities.
“The NCDC has expanded its capacity by engaging hundreds of ad-hoc staff to support various areas of response including the call centers, contact tracing and follow-up of persons of interest. On the order of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, all retired but essential and able staff are to be recalled to service at this crucial period.
“In addition, training is being conducted for medical personnel to support overall preparedness and response activities to prevent the virus from spreading to other states. These trainings will also benefit medical personnel from the armed forces, paramilitary, security and intelligence agencies.”
The acting spokesman of the Senate, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, announced the decision through a statement yesterday.
He said: “After due consultations following a keen review of the national efforts to contain the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the Senate wishes to announce that from March, 2020, Distinguished Senators will be donating 50 per cent of their salaries to these efforts to stop the spread of the disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, in our country.
“This monthly contribution from the Upper Legislative Chamber will be sustained until Nigeria is declared safe from the ravages of this deadly disease.
“The Senate commends the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the administration towards the goal of securing our nation against this plague. The Senate is willing and ready to do whatever is required of the Legislature for the effectiveness of all the measures in place now or that may be required in the future to win the fight against this menace.
“The Senate commends all agencies of the Federal and state levels for working in collaboration to protect public health across the country.
“It also acknowledges the patriotic response of public-spirited individuals and organisations who have contributed in one way or the other in support of this fight.
“The Senate further appeals to the citizens to comply with the directives on social distancing and observance of basic rules of hygiene as explained by public health officials as the most effective way to protect ourselves, families and country against COVID-19.
“This is a global adversity that is testing the wit and resilience of mankind all over the world. By staying resolute and each of us responsibly playing their role, COVID-19 like all epidemics before it will soon be pushed into history.”