Ahead of a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian government has ordered the reopening of all isolation and treatment centres in the country.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made this known at a Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.
He said the move was to prepare the country for a possible second wave of the pandemic which some European countries are already battling with.
He said everyone had a role to play in the effort to prevent explosive spread of the infection in the country.
“We are seeing the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last few days, which we have frequently alluded to in recent times. This rightly suggests that we may just be on the verge of a second wave of this pandemic.
“To prepare ourselves, I have directed that all Isolation and Treatment Centres, which were hiterto closed due to reduced patient load, to be prepared for reopening and the staff complement put on alert,” he said.
Countries across Europe are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after successfully slowing outbreaks early in the year, declaring more cases each day now than they were during the first wave earlier in the pandemic.
England, Portugal and Hungary are among nations in a second lockdown as the new wave of infections sweeps through, shattering efforts and responses to keep the contagion at bay.
Cases in the U.S. are also smashing new records with over 15 million infections thus far.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how COVID-19 isolation centres located inside Karu and Asokoro general hospitals were closed following reduction in the number of patients.
Mr. Ehanire urged the public to continue to adhere to all non-pharmaceutical measures to limit the spread of the virus.
“Until vaccines are available, our best bet is still the appropriate use of face masks, physical distancing, hand sanitizers and observance of respiratory hygiene, for prevention and control,” he said.
He advised strongly against throwing caution to the wind during the upcoming Yuletide
“We must not forget that Covid will not take a holiday. Please endeavour to protect yourselves and others and still obey the measures at Christmas,” he said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, said the team was fully aware of the global race and discussions around the vaccine.
He said technical machinery had been set up to ascertain the most effective, safe and prudent vaccine for Nigerians.
“One assurance we wish to give is that any vaccine that will be approved for Nigeria will be endorsed by the WHO and must be certified safe for Nigerians to use by our research and scientific bodies,” he said