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.

There have been reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in some closed settings, such as restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship or places of work where people may be shouting, talking, or singing.

This means that aerosol transmission, especially in indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out.

WHO has called for more studies to investigate such instances and assess their significance for transmission of COVID-19.

From the evidence so far, the virus causing COVID-19 can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shivering /shaking (chills)
  • Body pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Recent loss of taste or smell
  • Difficulty in breathing/shortness of breath
  • Diarrhoea/abdominal pain
  • Runny nose/catarrh
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

The number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 in Nigeria can be found here

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.

Currently, the national case management guidelines stipulate that hydroxychloroquine should only be used in clinical trial settings, until there is scientific evidence on its efficacy and safety. 

This means strictly staying at home or identified accommodation, away from situations where you mix with family members or the general public, for a 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 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 physical distance between yourself and individuals
  • Avoiding gatherings of more than 50 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.

The Federal Government of Nigeria declared the resumption of international flights on 5th September, 2020. International flights into and out of Nigeria are operating with appropriate safety protocols in place.

 

Passengers traveling to & departing from Nigeria are required to log on to https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng to complete a pre-registration form. The Provisional Quarantine Protocol for Travelers can be found here

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has reviewed the protocol for all return travelers to Nigeria.

Passengers who are travelling to Nigeria from any country must carry out a COVID-19 PCR test and test NEGATIVE within 72 hours to the day of travel. Travelers must register on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) for a repeat PCR test to be carried out 7 days after arrival. Upon arrival in Nigeria, travelers must self-isolate for 7 days and avoid contact with family and friends. Passengers who do not adhere to the travel protocol will face the penalty as stipulated by the PTF on COVID-19.

The travel advisory for passengers arriving from Brazil, India and Turkey can be found here

No. The Federal Government has approved the resumption of inter-state travel, with appropriate safety protocols in place. However, the restriction in movement from 12am to 4am remains in place to limit social interactions and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Persons that are on essential duty are exempted from the curfew.

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on intrastate travel (only outside curfew hours) and mandated a reduction in the sitting capacity for the public transport sector by 50%.

Yes. Mass gatherings of more than 50 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.

The NCDC does not provide #COVID19 or any other test results to individuals. These results are provided by the labs to the State Ministry of Health, who have the primary responsibility to communicate with individuals. Please contact your state hotline for information on your test results. The link to the state helplines can be found here

Yes, The current list of laboratories within the NCDC network for the testing of COVID-19 in Nigeria can be found here.
Also, some private laboratories have been accredited to test for COVID-19. The list to the private testing laboratories can be found here

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 a 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 physical distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid crowded spaces such as open markets, crowded supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Adhere to other national and state directives

Based on current knowledge of the disease, the following category of people are considered vulnerable and at high-risk of complications from COVID-19:

  • Persons aged 60 years and older (with or without underlying illnesses)
  • Persons with critical underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, lung disease, liver disease, moderate to severe asthma etc.
  • Other persons who have been assessed as vulnerable, based on clinical assessment

See NCDC advisory for vulnerable groups here.

To get tested, visit a sample collection centre closest to you. List of sample collection sites in states can be found here.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, immediately contact your state helpline or the NCDC on 6232 (toll-free) for further guidance.

It is important you 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.

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.

It is normal for viruses to mutate, and the new variant of Coronavirus that has been discovered in several countries across the world, is as a result of such a mutation.

The variants that are causing concern have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan and Brazil.

So far, some cases have been identified in Nigeria, with the B.1.1.7 variant which was first identified in the United Kingdom.

There is currently no evidence showing that the variant is more severe than previous viruses. There is also no evidence yet that the variants have any impact on current vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. This is being monitored by ongoing surveillance and research, and the information may change.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is coordinating efforts to increase genomic surveillance of the virus, to identify circulating variants.

This includes genetic sequencing of viruses in positive cases among travelers from countries with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you will be contacted by the State Ministry of Health. You will be advised on if you can self-isolate at home. This will depend on your symptoms, age, pre-existing illness and capacity to self-isolate safely without infecting others in your household.

A patient’s handbook for home-based care can be found on https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/COVID19PatientsBookforHomebasedCare.pdf

The Government of Nigeria through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is leading Nigeria’s efforts to access safe, effective and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines. Only vaccines approved by the Government of Nigeria and provided through accredited means should be accessed. Please avoid accepting vaccines from unknown sources. Further information on vaccines will be provided by NPHCDA.

Following WHO’s emergency use authorisation of two Antigen (Ag)-based Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) by SD Biosensor and Abbott, NCDC carried out a national validation. These two Ag-based RDTs have now been approved for use in congregate settings. These Ag-RDTs have limitations such as producing a false negative result. It is therefore important that Ag-RDTs are only used as recommended. Please see further guidance on https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/Guidance_for_the_use_of_approved_COVID-19_Ag_RDTs_in_Nigeria.pdf

Yes. To stop community transmission, you are advised to continue practicing all COVID-19 preventive measures – wear your face masks, frequently wash your hands with soap and running water or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser, observe physical distancing, avoid large gatherings and unnecessary travels.

Our sister agency, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) is leading the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria.

To register for COVID-19 vaccination, visit the NPHCDA e-registration portal. All information on the vaccination process will be provided by NPHCDA.

A phased COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan is being implemented by our sister agency, NPHCDA. For more FAQs visit, https://nphcda.gov.ng/faqs/.

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