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 under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and 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 outbreak.
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.
On the 29th of July 2020, the PTF-COVID-19 announced further extension of phase two of the lockdown and the following remain in place;
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. 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 international flights remains, the Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that there will be a gradual opening of domestic flights with safety advisories in place as soon as practicable. 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 revised the quarantine protocol for all return travelers to Nigeria, effective from the 8th of June, as detailed below;
(a) They have had their samples collected and are NEGATIVE for COVID-19; and
(b) They have provided public health officials with their full and correct address and phone number where they can be reached
At the seaports, ships arriving are subjected to mandatory health screening and clearance by the Port Health Services. This particularly applies to ships that have been at sea for less than 14 days and/or that have crew members who are ill.
All health workers are strongly advised to maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19; always observe standard infection prevention and control measures 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 however, the agency is working with various industries to develop sector specific guidelines as the financial sector and manufacturing industry is fully open while the informal sector will have a phased opening.
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 will 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 50 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.