Health ministry reissues COVID-19 guidance for foreign arrivals as cases surge

The Federal Ministry of Health has reissued COVID-19 guidance for foreign arrivals into the country.

The ministry issued the guidance on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle @Fmohnigeria.

It urged all returning travellers to ensure that they observe seven days of self isolation upon arrival.

The arrivals are also told to visit a COVID-19 sample collection centre on the seventh day of the self isolation to have their samples collected for testing.

It did not state if there are sanctions for those who ignore the directive.

See the tweet:

Reacting to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State branch, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, says COVID-19 isolation wards are getting filled again, lamenting that people have forgotten the impact of the virus.

Adenekan expressed concern over a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, blaming it on total disregard for non-pharmaceutical preventive protocols.

The physician disclosed this to PUNCH HealthWise, warning that if the trend continues, isolation centres that had been shut down might be reopened.

“We are beginning to see increasing COVID-19 cases in our wards, compared to what we had a month ago.

“Before, we had about one or two cases but now, the wards are getting filled. That is to say, there are more cases and it means that we are going to have a spillover to isolation centres that were closed initially. Very soon, we are going to reopen them.

“For me, people should live and live right. People should not forget that COVID-19 guidelines are still in force and should observe them. Otherwise, we will get to a level of lockdown. So, to mitigate the effect of COVID-19, we must take individual precaution,” Adenekan said.

He urged communities, state and the Federal Government to take precautions.

“Washing of hands and wearing of face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not difficult things to do,” he said.

To avert the second wave of COVID-19, Dr. Adenekan noted, “We need to follow the protocol of COVID-19 guidelines.

“Government should enforce the guidelines. The enforcement is not there. People have let down their guard. We really have to emphasise that COVID-19 is still very much around with us and the dreaded second wave, it looks like we are beginning to get there.

“I hope that we don’t get there fully. A lot of people have forgotten how it was when we went on lockdown.”

Adenekan also urged the Federal Government to begin awareness campaign on the COVID-19 vaccine in order to address myths and fears that people might have about it before it arrives in Nigeria.

The NMA chairman also wants the government to start with health workers first when the vaccine is procured next year, stressing that they are three times more at risk of COVID-19 than other populations.

As of Tuesday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has recorded 758 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nation’s total of confirmed infections to 74,132.

The public health agency also recorded three additional deaths in the last 24 hours in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the the new infections were from 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says Africa and the Western-Pacific have both seen renewed rises of COVID-19 cases and deaths in November and December.

“This week, Africa reported a rise in new cases and deaths of over 40 percent, compared with the previous week,” WHO states in its weekly epidemiological update on Tuesday night.

The global agency also noted that the Americas and Europe continue to shoulder the burden of COVID-19, accounting for 85 percent of new cases and 86 percent of new deaths.

“As new cases and deaths continue to rise in the Americas, cases stabilised in Europe.

In South-East Asia, the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to decline following a peak in September.

“The Eastern Mediterranean also reported a decline in new cases and deaths,” WHO added.

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