Coronavirus: NCDC alerts Nigerians on how to reduce risk of virus

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has released the fourth public health advisory and advised Nigerians on the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that following confirmation of the first case in Nigeria, the FMoH through NCDC had activated a national Emergency Operations Centre(EOC) at the highest level and was leading the national response.
“Presently, World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.
“An intensive communications campaign has begun to provide regular updates and accurate information to Nigerians on protecting themselves,” he said.

Ihekweazu also stated that Nigerians could reduced the risk of COVID-19 by adhering to the following measures:

• Wash your hands frequently with soap under running water or use alcohol-based sanitizer if water is not available.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with a tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. Dispose of the tissue properly immediately after use. You may also cough into your elbow if a tissue is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history.

He added that travelers exiting and entering screening had been intensified across several countries, particularly countries with ongoing local transmission.

“This includes temperature checks and provision of accurate information on preventive measures at airports.

“In Nigeria, the Port Health Services of the FMoH has heightened screening measures at points of entry. In addition to automated temperature screening at points of entry, travelers are given a contact form to fill and asked questions upon arrival about symptoms of illness and travel history.

“Travelers without symptoms on departure but become unwell in transit are advised to self-report to the Port Health Services on arrival.

“Travelers from countries with ongoing local transmission, but who show no symptoms on arrival should self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival.

“If travelers from countries with ongoing local transmission feel ill with fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of arrival in Nigeria, please:

“Observe self-isolation immediately by staying indoors and avoiding contact with people.

“Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line IMMEDIATELY on 080097000010,” he said.

The NCDC also advised Nigerians to avoid self-medication, while stating that all non-essential travel to countries with ongoing local transmission should be postponed, until the outbreak is contained.

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