Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
People with health challenges such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, HIV, cancer and tuberculosis accounted for 70 per cent of COVID -19 deaths in Nigeria.
About 70 per cent of the fatalities were persons of 60 years old and above.
50 per cent of them died using home treatment without showing any symptom of the virus.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire stated these during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 on Thursday.
As of the time of this report, Nigeria has recorded 200 deaths in 25 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) from the deadly virus.
The Minister said analysis of the number of deaths so far recorded as a result of the virus showed that 70 per cent were males while the remaining 30 per cent are females.
Ehanire also said that majority of positive cases recorded so far were between the ages of 29 and 49; those are the most active ages in life.
He said: “The core morbidity of the fatalities we have had to Covid -19, 70% of them have hypertension, or diabetes, and the rest were kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis and other sundry challenge.
“A finding from the analysis of the death patterns shows 70% to 30% for male and female around that ratio and about 70% fatalities were persons who are 60 years old while majority of positives were between the ages of 29 and 49; those are the most active ages in life.
“A curious finding from the analysis of the deaths shows that nearly half of them died at home. Of those who died at home, about 50% did not show any symptom. This underscores my earlier emphasis on the need for those who test positive to report for treatment.
“I would also advice those who have taken the test and are awaiting result to heed the advisory to self-isolate from friends, wear face masks and observe hand and respiratory hygiene until your result is out so that your community and those around you will not necessarily be exposed.”
The Minister cautioned against lowering guard as the people observe the coming holiday.
According to him, Nigerians must continue to be as vigilant as possible as the deadly virus was not on holiday.
He said: “As we mark these holy days coming and prepare for the holiday coming, we must not forget that we are in the middle of a massive global pandemic which has taken many lives and where the virus will not be taking a holiday.
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“We must therefore not let down our guard. We must continue to be as vigilant as possible. If you look at the figures of other countries, we shudder and shake.
“We have been lucky to have been spared such bad figures so far but most not take anything for granted.
“As far as our country is concerned, our surveillance and contact tracing and testing capacity is increasing gradually in all states as more laboratories come aboard.
‘’I will like to use the opportunity here to call on all our state governors, leaders and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) to increase the number of surveillance teams and isolation and treatment capacity to keep pace.”
He said the government has scaled up training and retraining of health workers on infection prevention and control.
According to him, this has reduced the rate of infection among health workers who are in the front line fighting the pandemic.