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Frequently Asked Questions and Answer on COVID-19 in Nigeria.

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Questions and Answer on COVID-19

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?,

What is the source of COVID-19?,

Is COVID-19 airborne?,

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?,

Are countries with hot weather immune to COVID-19?,

Are there any cases in Nigeria?,

Has anyone died from the disease in Nigeria?,

What is Nigeria doing to control the spread of the disease in the country?,

What does self-isolation mean?,

What does social distancing mean?,

How are social distancing and self-isolation measures being implemented and monitored?,

How do I report a person who has refused to self-isolate?,

Is there a restriction of flights coming from affected countries?,

Does Nigeria have the capacity to diagnose COVID-19?,

How do I get tested for COVID-19?,

Is there a cure for COVID-19?,

Where are the treatment centres in Nigeria?,

Can I visit a nearby health facility if I develop symptoms?,

Should I travel to another state where there is no case of COVID-19 to stay safe?,

What do I do if I cannot get through to NCDC via their numbers?,

What should I do when I return to Nigeria from a country with a confirmed case(s) of COVID-19?,

Questions and Answer on COVID-19

What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first reported to WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

What is the source of COVID-19?
Scientists and public health officials are working hard to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The initial transmission appeared to be from an animal source, but there has been person-to-person transmission in countries.

Is COVID-19 airborne?
When a person with coronavirus coughs or exhales, droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
People can also catch coronavirus if they breathe in these droplets. This is why it is important to stay at least 2 metres away from a person who is coughing or sneezing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    1. •  Cough
    2. •  Fever
    3. •  Breathing difficulties

People who have recently travelled outside Nigeria or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should immediately contact NCDC on 07032864444 or 080097000010 (toll-free) if they feel unwell.

Are countries with hot weather immune to COVID-19?
From the evidence so far, the virus causing COVID-19 can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.

Are there any cases in Nigeria?
Yes. Nigeria has recorded confirmed cases of COVID-19. Most of the cases were imported from high risk countries with community transmission of COVID-19 while some are contacts of confirmed cases. Measures have been put in place to ensure all confirmed cases are isolated and receive treatment, while intense contact tracing is conducted.

Has anyone died from the disease in Nigeria?

Yes. Five deaths have been recorded from COVID-19 in Nigeria.

What is Nigeria doing to control the spread of the disease in the country?
The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health has activated an NCDC-led national COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate response activities and has initiated a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to provide high-level strategic national response to the disease in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Health is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to review response activities and to institute measures to protect the health of Nigerians. Recently, the Federal Government imposed a lockdown on the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States for an initial period of 14 days effective from the 30th  of March to slow down the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

The NCDC has also launched a communication campaign themed #TakeResponsibility. This is a call to all Nigerians and residents in the country to join forces and to be proactive in taking greater individual and collective responsibility in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

All updates and resources on the disease can be found on www.covid19.ncdc.gov.ng.

What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation is an important way of controlling the spread of COVID-19. It means that anyone who is returning to Nigeria must stay at home and in strict isolation from their families for 14 days. This is to limit contact with people, protect yourself and loved ones. Check the NCDC guidelines.  Questions and Answer on COVID-19

What does social distancing mean?

This is an effective strategy to reduce physical interaction between people towards delaying and reducing the wide spread of COVID-19 in a community.

This measure involves strict adherence to;

    1. •  Non-contact greetings (avoiding shaking of hands and hugs)
    2. •  Maintaining at least 2 metres (5 feet) physical distance between yourself and individuals and;
    3. •  Closure of activities that will cause any form of gathering including schools, houses of worship, and social events.

How are social distancing and self-isolation measures being implemented and monitored?

States Governments, at all levels, are deploying various strategies to ensure compliance with these directives.

How do I report a person who has refused to self-isolate?

It is expected that every Nigerian resident takes responsibility for controlling the spread of COVID-19. State Governments are also adopting various mechanisms to ensure compliance with instituted measures by the Federal Government including self-isolation. If you know anyone who is not complying with these measures, call your state hotline to enable further investigation.

Is there a restriction of flights coming from affected countries?
Yes. The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a ban on all international flights effective from the 23rd of March 2020 with the exception of emergency and essential flights for an initial period of time.

CQuestions and Answer on COVID-19

Does Nigeria have the capacity to diagnose COVID-19?
Yes. Currently, there are nine laboratories in Nigeria can diagnose COVID-19. These are the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, FCT; Defence Reference Laboratory, FCT; Virology Laboratory of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos State; Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory, Lagos State; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo state; Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos State; Virology Laboratory of University College Hospital, Oyo State; Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State; and African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Osun State. They are all in the NCDC molecular laboratory network.

Health officials are advised to call 07032864444 for sample transportation and related advice if they have a case that fits the national case definition.

 Questions and Answer on COVID-19

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

In line with the new case definition the following people can be tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria;

    1. •  Anyone with travel history outside Nigeria, who presents with fever, cough or breathing difficulties within 14 days of arrival; OR
    2. •  Anyone who has symptoms and is a contact of a confirmed or probable case; OR
    3. •  Anyone with either cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath in an area of moderate or high COVID-19 prevalence with no other explanation for the symptoms

For people in either of these categories, you must self-isolate and call your state hotline or the NCDC toll-free line immediately on 080097000010. The State Ministry of Health supported by NCDC will arrange for sample collection and transportation to the laboratory.

Is there a cure for COVID-19?
There is no specific cure yet for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition but supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

Where are the treatment centres in Nigeria?
NCDC has conducted rapid assessments of treatment centres. This assessment focused on identifying gaps and developing plans to rapidly ensure that we are prepared to manage cases of COVID-19. Every state in Nigeria has identified a treatment centre with minimum capacity needed to manage a case. This capacity is being scaled up rapidly.
Healthcare workers from identified treatment centres are being trained on how to manage COVID-19 cases using approved guidelines.

Can I visit a nearby health facility if I develop symptoms?

No. It is important you stay indoors and avoid contact with everyone to limit the spread of the disease. The State Ministry of Health supported by NCDC will arrange for sample collection and transportation to the laboratory.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, immediately contact your state hotline or NCDC on 07032864444 or 080097000010 (toll-free) for further guidance.

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