ADVISORY

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 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This is an updated advisory on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which will be updated frequently to reflect new information and research emerging on the disease and its impact on populations.

The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated a national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the highest level. The EOC is leading the national public health response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria with state EOC’s leading efforts at the state level. The NCDC is also working closely with the state governments of all affected states through the deployment of national Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to support response activities including contact tracing.

Several measures have been instituted by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, together with the Federal Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of the disease and protect the health of Nigerians. The Federal Government of Nigeria issued a ban on all international flights effective from the 23rd of March 2020, except for emergency and essential flights. On the 30th of March, the Federal Government also imposed a lockdown of non-essential activities in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States.

On the 27th of April, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that there will be a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in these locations. However, the following additional preventive measures will be enforced;

  • Mandatory use of non-medical face mask/covering for all persons while in public spaces. Use of latex hand gloves are prohibited
  • Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitizers and extensive temperature checks in all public spaces
  • Prohibition of interstate travel except for essential travels and services
  • Prohibition of gatherings of more than twenty (20) persons outside of a workplace
  • Prohibition of gatherings of more than twenty (20) persons at a funeral; all infection prevention and control measures and physical distancing of 2 metres must be adhered to
  • Controlled access to markets and locations of economic activities
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres between people in workplaces and other public spaces


As the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 continues to review national response activities, more preventive measures may be instituted or eased as the situation demands.

The NCDC continues to expand laboratories for the testing of COVID-19. Currently, there are twenty-nine (29) laboratories in NCDC’s molecular laboratory network with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in Nigeria. These laboratories are sufficiently equipped with reagents and supplies for testing.

Through the #TakeResponsibility campaign by the NCDC, Nigerians and residents in the country are urged to join forces and to be proactive by taking 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 international travel is banned (except for essential flights) and interstate travel is restricted apart for essential services, the NCDC is working in collaboration with the Port Health Services, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure enhanced surveillance at land borders and seaports.
  • All return travellers to Nigeria will be placed in institutional quarantine at a facility identified by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is mandatory for all travelers to Nigeria
  • 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
  • Travellers without symptoms on departure who become unwell in transit should self-report immediately to the Port Health Services on arrival
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. For sample transportation and advice on a case that fits the national case definition, health officials are advised to call their state hotline or 07032864444.
In line with the directives from the Federal Government of Nigeria, businesses are required to do the following;
  • Mandate the use of non-medical face mask/covering for all members of staff and visitors
  • Provide handwashing facilities/alcohol based sanitisers, emphasising the importance of hand hygiene
  • Ensure extensive temperature checks at the entrance
  • Re-structure office space to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres between members of staff
  • Adapt the #TakeResponsibility campaign and disseminate information to all employees, clients, and visitors
  • Mandate sick employees to stay at home
  • Ensure routine cleaning of high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones etc.
To reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following measures:

1. Wash your hands frequently with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if water is not available.
2. Maintain at least 2 metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing repeatedly
3. Wear a non-medical face mask/covering when leaving the house
4. Cover your mouth and nose properly with a tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. Dispose of the tissue properly immediately after use. You may also cough into your elbow if a tissue is not available
5. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness
6. Do not mingle with people or congregate if you feel unwell
7. Obey national and state directives requesting the cancellation and avoidance of large gatherings, including places of worship, social and sporting events
COVID-19 appears to cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty breathing. From current evidence, about 80 persons out of 100 persons with the disease will recover. In about 10- 15% of cases, it will cause a severe illness. It appears that death is not a common outcome and occurs mostly in elderly patients with underlying health issues.

There is no specific treatment yet for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition, but supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

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