The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is an updated advisory on COVID-19 which will be updated frequently to reflect new information and research emerging on the disease and its impact on populations.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) through the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has continued to lead the national public health response in Nigeria with oversight of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19). The NCDC is also working closely with all states of the Federation to support their response activities to the pandemic.
Several measures have been instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the PTF-COVID-19 together with the Federal Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of the disease and protect the health of Nigerians. This includes an initial lockdown of non-essential activities; closure of schools; a ban on international flights etc. Nigeria is one of many countries that have commenced the gradual easing of lockdown measures initially instituted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is to ensure a balance between preserving lives and livelihoods while addressing the socio-economic disruptions caused by the outbreak.
Further to reviewing the response nationwide, and with the conclusion that Nigeria is not yet ready for a full reopening of the economy, the PTF-COVID-19 announced the extension of Phase 3 of the Eased Lockdown for a period of four weeks, effective from 19th of October 2020. This is in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations, and are as follows;
The NCDC continues to expand laboratories for the testing of COVID-19 and has commenced the use of GeneXpert across the country to scale-up testing. The current list of laboratories for the testing of COVID-19 in Nigeria can be here. Through the #TakeResponsibility campaign by the NCDC, Nigerians and residents in the country are urged to take greater individual and collective responsibility in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. All resources, guidelines and real-time updates on COVID-19 in Nigeria can be found on https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/.
While the ban on domestic and international flights have been lifted, operations have commenced with safety advisories in place. The NCDC continues to work with the Port Health Services, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure enhanced surveillance at all points of entry.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has released a provisional quarantine protocol for all return travelers to Nigeria, effective from the 5th of September, as detailed below;
All health workers are strongly advised to maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19 when attending to patients and take detailed information. The NCDC has published several guidelines including infection prevention control and case management of COVID-19. These can be accessed via https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/guideline/
The NCDC has published a guideline for employers and businesses in Nigeria. Businesses are advised to amplify the #TakeResponsibility campaign and ensure compliance to NPIs within the business environment.
If you are showing known COVID-19 symptoms such as such as cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing etc., you must immediately call your state helpline. They have the most up to date and state-specific information on COVID-I9 including sample collection sites.
Vulnerable groups i.e. people over the age of 60 and/or people with pre-existing medical conditions should avoid non-essential outings and visitors. Where possible, have a friend or family member bring you supplies. This is critical as if infected with the virus, vulnerable persons may have severe complications that could be fatal. See NCDC advisory for vulnerable groups here.
To reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following measures:
COVID-19 appears to cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. There is no specific cure yet for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials to test various potential antivirals. Current management of cases aims to relieve the symptoms while the body’s immune system fights the illness.