FG bans interstate movement of COVID-19 patients

277 COVID-19 patients are being treated across Nigeria, says Health Minister

All persons diagnosed with COVID-19 will henceforth be treated in the state where the diagnosis was made except there is a medical indication to the contrary, the Federal Government has declared.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated this was to avoid the high risk of exposure of other persons in the course of transfer.

He also said Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and Pharmacists have been prohibited from attempting to treat persons diagnosed as or suspected to be COVID-19 patients.

He said that any PPMVs that attempts to treat persons diagnosed or suspected to have COVID-19 would have their operating licenses cancelled.

Ehanire disclosed these at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 updates in Abuja.

The Minister said that the decision was taken during an Emergency National Council of Health (NCH) meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health with State Commissioners of Health and the Acting FCT Secretary for Health in attendance via teleconferencing.

He said the meeting was to review status and align all response to COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Ehanire said: "All persons diagnosed with covid-19 be henceforth treated in the state where the diagnosis was made, rather than be referred to their states of origin except there is a medical indication to the contrary.

"This is to avoid the high risk of exposure of other persons in the course of transfer.

"Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and Pharmacists be forthwith prohibited from attempting to treat persons diagnosed as, or suspected to be COVID-19 patients, or else have their operating licenses cancelled.

"Private hospitals desiring to manage COVID-19 patients apply to their State Ministries of Health for permit, meet standard IPC standards and be accredited by a FMoH certified State team after compliance with Protocols, before being granted.

"States should notify FMoH of their isolation and treatment centres for inclusion on the COVID-19 HMIS Platform to ensure a well-coordinated national response."

The Minister noted that Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have been deployed to Abia, Gombe and Sokoto states by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to support the COVID-19 response.

Ehanire noted that active case finding was ongoing in communities with evidence of person – person transmission.

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