The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 443 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 45,687.
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday. The health agency noted that six more persons have died from the disease. According to it, till date, 45,687 cases have been confirmed, 32,637 cases have been discharged, and 936 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC said that the 443 new cases were reported from 19 states, with Plateau recording 103, Lagos 70, and the FCT 60. Others are, Ondo (35), Edo (27), Rivers (27), Kaduna (20), Osun (19), Borno (18), Oyo (18), Kwara (11), Adamawa (9), Nasarawa (7), Gombe (6), Bayelsa (4), Imo (4), Bauchi (2), Ogun (2), and Kano (1).
Coordinating National Response
The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations center (EOC), activated at Level 3, “has continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCDC has joined the global movement to commemorate the World Mask Week, by sensitising all citizens to the need to wear face mask.
The week aims to reinforce the importance of wearing a face mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In the absence of a vaccine that can prevent infection, and as COVID-19 cases increase globally, citizens are expected to depend on non-pharmaceutical measures, which include the use of face masks, washing of the hands with soap, physical distancing, and supportive management of confirmed cases to mitigate the impact of the disease.
World Mask Week
The World Mask Week is an initiative of a coalition of organisations including the Pandemic Action Network (PAN), World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa CDC, and private companies working to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 globally.
The week is expected to run from Aug. 7 to Aug. 14.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC, and partner organisations will run activities in the course of the week. To that end, they will hold awareness campaigns in communities and media features nationwide to sensitise Nigerians to the importance of wearing face masks in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Their campaign on social media will also feature the hashtags #MaskOnNaija, #MaskingForAFriend and #TakeResponsibility. Earlier, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the NCDC had told NAN that only strong partnerships could fight the pandemic.
”World Mask Week is a timely campaign that shows what can be achieved when government, the private sector, and individuals come together to push a simple, yet important action.
“By reinforcing the need to wear a face mask, we are prioritising IPC on the global agenda and demonstrating the role that everyone has to play, protecting each other, saving lives and slowing the spread of COVID-19 globally, ” the NCDC boss said.
In his response, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, expressed happiness over the Organisation of the awareness campaign. “We are glad to join this global campaign to educate Nigerians on the importance of wearing a face mask” said Ehanire.
“The appropriate use of a face mask is one of the comprehensive non-pharmaceutical preventive and control measures adopted to limit the spread of COVID-19 by preventing respiratory droplet transmission.
”Masks can also be used by healthy persons to reduce exposure,” he added.
Ihekweazu said that as part of efforts to strengthen Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) in health facilities, NCDC had continued to prioritise the training of health workers as well as the timely supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, to state facilities.
“As Nigeria’s public health institute, we will continue to provide periodic advisories on face mask usage, including the making and caring of reusable cloth masks,” he stated.
Studies have indicated that the correct use of face masks is critical to reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Such studies have shown that strict adherence to the use of face masks in public spaces particularly, where physical distancing may not be practical, can go a long way toward slowing the spread of the virus.