The federal government announced yesterday that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was progressively on the decline in the last five months.
Presidential task force on COVID-19 noted that it continued to study the CFR, which it said had been on a steady decline over the last few months, adding however that there is a need for caution.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the PTF, the chairman taskforce and secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha gave the progressive decline of the fatality rate as follows: April 30- 3 per cent; May 31- 2.8 per cent; June 30 – 2.3 per cent; July 31- 2.0 per cent and August 22 – 1.92 per cent.
“We are however convinced that our sample collection is still low. We, therefore, encourage States to ramp up their testing and to declare correct results because early detection will ultimately translate to treatment and ultimately leveling of the curve,” he said.
According to him, with the statistics standing at 52,227 cases, 1,002 fatalities, and 38,945 recoveries, Nigeria maintains the 4th highest cumulative cases on the continent.
“Sadly, the global cases have increased by another 1 million from 22.5 million on 19th to the current 23.5 million in about four days,” he noted.
Meanwhile, as the country prepares to open the international airspace, the federal government has disclosed that airlines will be fined $3500 per passenger for airlifting passengers without negative COVID-19 test results.
This was revealed by the coordinator of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Dr Sanni Aliyu, at the daily briefing of the PTF.
Speaking on the new protocols that will commence on August 29, 2020, the coordinator said it was expected that every passenger coming into the country must present a PCR COVID-19 test result conducted within seven days.
He also explained that when a passenger arrives in Nigeria and presents a PCR negative result, the passenger is expected to self- isolate for
seven days, and submit his or her COVID-19 test before being allowed to enter the community.
Aliyu, however, raised concerns over cases of passengers coming into the country with a negative COVID-19 test result and testing positive in
Nigeria, noting that the PTF was studying the situation and will take a decision when the need arises.
He also stated that health workers would monitor passengers on self-isolation, and if any passenger fails to present his or herself for testing after seven days, the immigration will assist and proper sanctions will be meted out.
The minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had revealed that the country would ban flights from countries that have placed bans on flights from Nigeria when the international flights resume.
He explained that notice of meetings had already been communicated to the affected international flights where these decisions have been revealed to them.
The minister, while speaking on preparation so far, said, “We are almost there. Just a few things to be done but we will be ready in the coming days. By Monday, we will have comprehensive details for the resumption.”
About 1,280 passengers will be allowed on a daily basis in Abuja and Lagos airports, which have been billed to commence first when international flights resume.
FG Evacuates 241 Nigerians From China
Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday commenced the evacuation of about 241 Nigerians stranded in China.
The president of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (East China), Elijah Odii, stated this in a statement.
The statement sent from the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing, China, entitled ‘Re: Evacuation of Nigerians from the People’s Republic of China’ reads: “Further to our press release of June 4 and July 24, 2020, and communications with prospective evacuees, on the above subject matter, the Embassy wishes to inform that the scheduled date of departure from Guangzhou to Lagos via Air Peace Flight 5N-BWI (B777-300) is Monday, August 24, 2020.
“In this regard, prospective evacuees are advised to conclude all arrangements, including taking COVID – 19 tests and securing necessary exit visas against the date. Travellers are further advised to arrive Guangzhou at least a day to the journey to avoid complications.”
Odii further said there was a possibility that not all those currently at the airport would be allowed to board as some were yet to complete checking in.
He said, “Our embassy here in China is executing the evacuation of stranded Nigerians today, August 24. The evacuees will leave Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Air Peace.
“They are currently at the airport. But I’m informed that not all 241 may leave as they are yet to complete checking in. It may be possible that something may make a few persons not to be allowed to fly but now not sure yet.”
He also stated that some Nigerians who went for studies in China were concluding their graduation, saying the Nigerian ambassador/consul-general has been congratulating them.
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