Even young people can die from COVID-19 complications- Health Minister Ehanire

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Complications from coronavirus can lead to fatality in all age groups.

This was revealed by Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the daily briefing of the Presidential TaskForce (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

There has growing complacency towards observing the COVID-19 protocols especially among the young people on the assumption that COVID-19 in young people cannot result in fatality.

But Ehanire made it clear that even though adults, especially those from 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups with fatalities.

“Records show that 10 percent of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years. They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease without knowing it. Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, to prevent COVID-19 surge,” he said.

The Health Minister said it is important that Nigeria generates national and international confidence in its data by conducting more targeted testing, before drawing conclusions.

According to him, what this implies is that all States and local government areas must cooperate with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) by increasing their sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to the desired rate and also to report promptly; as the country is still far from the target of two million tests.

Said he; “In this regard, we can support States with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation. While stepping up surveillance and case finding, states can also ensure that suspected symptomatic COVID cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities.

“The recommended criteria for testing are: persons who have been in contact with a COVID positive patient or are associated with a cluster of persons of interest, those who have any of the four classical symptoms of fever, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell and breathlessness; anyone facing surgery, as well as for any other compelling reason. Testing for travel is assigned to private laboratories.”

Enahire revealed that the distribution of oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions commenced with training of about 176 intensive care specialists, and biomedical engineers, who would use or maintain them in the hospitals.

 

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