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COVID-19: FG reveals why more Nigerians are dying from pandemic

The federal government on Friday, May 15, detailed reasons behind the possible cause of rising cases of reported deaths since COVID-19 started spreading in the country.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who stated the reason for the deaths could be because many people no longer go to hospitals or health workers refusing to attend to patients due to fear of the COVID-19.

According to him the rising cases of deaths might not be as a result of the dreaded virus; but the fear of it which is stopping people from visiting hospitals and some health workers from attending to those who visited.

Ehanire spoke during the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “We do worry that some deaths may have occurred not directly in connection with the coronavirus” but due to “a person couldn’t go to get help in a hospital because of the fear of coronavirus or doctors refusing to attend to such persons.”

In order to buttress his point, Ehanire explained that the latest statistics from the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) shows that Out-Patient visit dropped from 4 million to about 2 million; Antenatal visits from 1.3 million to 655 thousand; Skilled Birth attendance from 158,374 to less than 99,000; while immunization services dropped to about half.

He added, “All these have as yet undetermined consequences which the easing of the lockdown should hopefully address.

“However, the downside of easing the restrictions needs to be balanced with a collective determination by all of us; not only to comply with protective and prophylactic advisories but to encourage relatives, friends, neighbours and customers to do same.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning over the possibility of an inflammatory disease similar to Kawasaki disease in a few countries; including the United States and Italy.

This was disclosed on Friday, May 15, in a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove; head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

The WHO announced initial reports hypothesized that this syndrome; which can cause high fever and swelling in blood vessels, may be related to COVID-19.

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