COVID-19: Lagos, FCT, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano for WHO drug trials

Posted by News Express | 12 May 2020 | 1,397 times

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By JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja

The Federal Government on Monday said that Lagos, FCT, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano states have enrolled on the World Health Organisation (WHO) treatment regimen on solidarity drug trials.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made this disclosure at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The four drugs that will be monitored in the solidarity trial are Remdesivir; Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine; Lopinavir, and Ritonavir.

According to the minister, the Federal Government is cooperating with the WHO on treatment regimen Solidarity trial in the six states.

This is even as he said that as at Sunday the country has ramped up testing by additional 1,127 to make a total of 27,078 tests, which yielded 4,399 cases in 35 States, with a gender ratio of 70 to 30 percent for men and women.

He also said 778 persons have been discharged and that the nation sadly recorded 143 deaths, giving a case fatality rate of three percent.

“The new cases breakdown are Lagos 81, Jigawa 35, Bornu 26, Kano 26, Bauchi 20, FCT 13, Edo 12, Sokoto 10, Zamfara seven, Kwara seven, Kebbi four, Gombe two, Taraba two, Ekiti two, Ogun two, Osun and Bayelsa one each.

“Kogi and Cross River states have not reported any cases, but we are optimistic that we can work with the State Health Ministry to validate this in due course, when we engage the state authorities. A team from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), made up of experts from various specialties, including NCDC, is on standby to proceed to Calabar (Cross River) as soon as travel arrangements can be made, taking with them, resource to support the health system,” Ehanire said.

He added that senior management of the FMoH and clinical case managers in the hospitals, Monday morning participated in a multinational teleconference with Chinese medical and academic experts in Beijing, where much insight was gained into the treatment strategy of China and other matters of common interest were discussed.

“The learnings from this intervention are invaluable in re-examining our methods. It is important that our response to COVID-19 be a concerted national, collaborative drive, to stand a better chance of being effective. This requires synergy cuts across tiers of government, levels of care and builds on partnerships to get it right for Nigeria.

“It must be sustained and or extended, with room for interstate collaboration. So far, our efforts are yielding result as shown in states where panic and scare were initially rife, but now subsumed,” he added.

Giving an update on Kano, Ehanire said the Ministerial Task Team deployed to the state to assist in the containment effort and provide direction in managing the COVID-19 situation has made significant gains.

According to him, the team recorded enhancing community confidence; continuous training and capacity building to increase the pool of trained healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, hygienist, etc), food handlers; over 100 ambulance drivers and patient handlers have been trained, who have since been rendering service.

He added that the surveillance and Epidemiology pillar organised a training session for state workers who have commenced field work and the investigation into unexplained deaths in the state is yet to complete its work.

He also said the Presidential Task Team lead by Dr. Gwarzo and three experts including Infectious disease specialists visited Katsina state for situation analysis and were able to offer support.

He said a detailed report is awaited and is expected to provide a roadmap to addressing the challenges in line with the response pillars.

He said a contingent of the FMoH team in Kano will also visit Bauchi State on a fact-finding mission, and engage the government to map out needs; while a team will later visit Sokoto at the invitation of the state authorities on a similar mission.

He added, “With our entry into the community transmission phase, there is an increased role for the NPHCDA, who shall now play a stronger role in the health sector response architecture. This will include activities from case finding to case management of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases.”

He also said that the ThisDay Dome treatment center, a project of the Coalition Against COVID-19 (Cacovid), is complete and ready for commissioning on Tuesday with the FCT Minister expected to participate in the event.

He said the centre is fully self-contained, coming with a PCR Laboratory, a fully equipped ICU and an incinerator and that this over 260 bed facility adds tremendous boost to the FCT capacity and capabilities. (Daily Sun)


Source: News Express

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