Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first reported to WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

Scientists and public health officials are working hard to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The initial transmission appeared to be from an animal source, but there has been person-to-person transmission in countries.

When a person with coronavirus coughs or exhales, droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Coronavirus can be transmitted when people breathe in these droplets. Therefore, it is important to stay at least 2 metres away from a person who is coughing or sneezing.

From the evidence so far, the virus causing COVID-19 can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.
    1. Cough
    2. Shivering /shaking (chills)
    3. Body pain
    4. Headache
    5. Sore throat
    6. Recent loss of taste or smell
    7. Difficulty in breathing/shortness of breath
    8. Diarrhoea/abdominal pain
    9. Runny nose/catarrh
    10. Fatigue (tiredness)

Yes. Nigeria has recorded confirmed cases of COVID-19. Measures have been put in place to ensure that confirmed cases are managed to recovery.

Yes. There have been fatalities recorded in Nigeria

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.

This means strictly staying at home or identified accommodation, away from situations where you mix with family members or the general public, for the period of 14 days. The NCDC guidelines on this can be found HERE .
It is expected that every Nigerian resident takes responsibility for controlling the spread of COVID-19. State Governments are also adopting various mechanisms to ensure compliance with instituted measures by the Federal Government including self-isolation. If you know anyone who is not complying with these measures, call your state hotline to enable further investigation.

This is an effective strategy to reduce physical interaction between people towards limiting the spread of COVID-19. This means maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres i.e. 6 feet from others. The NCDC guidelines on this can be found HERE

This measure involves strict adherence to;

· Non-contact greetings (avoiding shaking of hands and hugs)

· Maintaining at least 2 metres (5 feet) physical distance between yourself and individuals

· Avoiding gatherings of more than 20 persons and any gathering where physical distancing is not observed

The Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to provide high-level strategic national response to the disease in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Health has activated an NCDC-led national COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate the national public health response. At state-level, preparedness and response activities are being coordinated through Public Health EOCs in each State.

The NCDC has also launched a campaign themed #TakeResponsibility. This is a call to all Nigerians and residents in the country to join forces and be proactive in taking greater individual and collective responsibility in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Yes. 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 for an initial period of time. However, the government has also announced that there will be a gradual opening of domestic flights with safety advisories in place and strict protocols for operations.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has reviewed the protocol for all return travelers to Nigeria. Passengers who have arrived in Nigeria must self-isolate for 14 days and remain in the city/state where the point of entry is located (i.e. Lagos or Abuja) throughout the duration of self-isolation. Passengers not resident in Lagos or Abuja, must arrange for accommodation at their own cost

All returning travelers to Nigeria must have tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 through Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in country of departure. This MUST be within 2 weeks before departure and preferably not less than 5 days pre-boarding.

Yes. The Federal Government has prohibited all interstate travel except for essential travels and services, with reduced occupancy of 50% for buses and only three (3) passengers and driver for taxis. There are Mobile courts for immediate prosecution of persons who violate these directives.

Yes. The Federal Government has prohibited movement from 10pm to 4am to limit social interactions and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Persons that are on essential duty are exempted from the curfew. In addition, movement between LGAs is strongly discouraged unless for vital reasons such as healthcare and work.

Yes. Mass gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace is prohibited. However, the PTF on COVID-19 has announced restricted opening of places of worship based on protocols of the state government and with strict guidelines on physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions. See guidelines for places of worship here.

Whether a COVID-19 patient died in the health facility or in the community, the body must be granted a safe and dignified burial guided by the Interim Guidelines for the Safe Management of a Dead Body in the Context of COVID-19 and Guidelines for Safe Transportation of Remains of Persons Suspected or Confirmed to have Died of COVID-19. This is supported by the State Ministry of Health and should not involve a gathering of more than 20 people.

The criteria for testing for COVID-19 is according to the national case definition. This is anyone with cough and/or fever (or history of fever in the last two weeks) with one or more of known COVID-19 symptoms. Do not self-medicate. The community case definition can also be accessed here.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and call your state helpline. The State Ministry of Health supported by NCDC will arrange for sample collection and communicate your result.

Yes. Currently, there are thirty-nine (39) laboratories in Nigeria that can test for COVID-19 and they are all in the NCDC molecular laboratory network. These are;

  1. NCDC National Reference Laboratory, FCT
  2. Defence Reference Laboratory, FCT
  3. Virology Laboratory of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos State
  4. Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory, Lagos State
  5. Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo state
  6. Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos State
  7. Virology Laboratory of University College Hospital, Oyo State
  8. Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State
  9. African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Osun State
  10. National Veterinary Research Institute,Vom, Plateau State
  11. Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State
  12. DNA Laboratory, Kaduna State
  13. University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State
  14. Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training (CARMET), Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto
  15. Africa Centre of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, ABU Zaria, Kaduna State
  16. Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Bayero University Kano, Kano State
  17. 54gene Mobile Laboratory, Ogun State
  18. 54gene Mobile Laboratory, Lagos State
  19. 54gene Mobile Laboratory, Kano State
  20. Mobile Laboratory, Delta State
  21. University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State
  22. Rivers State University Teaching Hospital Satelite Molecular Laboratory, Rivers State
  23. University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State
  24. Everight Diagnostic and Laboratory Services Ltd., Imo State
  25. Federal Medical Center, Yola State
  26. Accunalysis Diagnostic Centre, Anambra State
  27. Afriglobalmedicare Laboratory for Ogun State
  28. Sahel Centre for Molecular Diagnostics and Research, Katsina State
  29. Bauchi State Reference Laboratory, Bauchi State
  30. National Intelligence Agency Clinic, FCT
  31. Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Akwa Ibom State
  32. Molecular Laboratory, Dutse, Jigawa State
  33. Biorepository and Clinical Virology Laboratory, UCH, Oyo State
  34. 54Gene, Ekiti State
  35. 54Gene, FCT
  36. eHealth Africa Laboratory, Kano State
  37. International Foundation Against Infectious Diseases (IFAIN) Laboratory, Kano State
  38. Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos State
  39. Kaduna GeneXpert Mobile Lab, Kaduna State

To reduce the risk of infection or spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following hand and respiratory hygiene measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if no water and soap is available
  • Use non-medical face mask/covering for all persons while in public spaces. The NCDC has published an advisory on the use of face cloth masks
  • Practice no-touch greetings
  • Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) physical distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid crowded spaces such as open markets, crowded supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Adhere to national and state directives

The Federal Ministry of Health has conducted assessments of treatment centres. This assessment focused on identifying gaps and developing plans to rapidly ensure that states are able to effectively manage cases of COVID-19. The NCDC is continuously training healthcare workers across the country on case management and infection prevention and control.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, immediately contact your state helpline or the NCDC on 080097000010 (toll-free) for further guidance.

It is important you stay indoors and avoid contact with others to limit the spread of the disease. The State Ministry of Health supported by NCDC will arrange for sample collection and transportation to the laboratory.

Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 through imported goods or packages from countries with confirmed cases. Till date, there is no known case of COVID-19 in Nigeria associated with imported goods.

Currently, there is no evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk of infection or complications from COVID-19. However, due to changes that may occur during pregnancy, pregnant women are always advised to stay at home and adhere strictly to physical distancing measures and hygiene practices. The Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC and partners have published Guidelines for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers.

Yes. All schools to remain closed till further evaluation and schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and visual teaching for students. States Governments are monitoring and enforcing compliance.

The NCDC has published Guidance for Employers and Businesses in Nigeria.  In line with the directives from the Federal Government of Nigeria, markets and locations of economic activities will have controlled access; the financial sector shall be fully opened with banks operating normal working hours as well as the manufacturing industry and gradual opening of the informal sector

Businesses are advised to display signages in office or business premises reminding staff and visitors to maintain good and respiratory hygiene. Encourage sick employees to stay at home if they are unwell. Ensure physical distancing and routine cleaning of high contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones.

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