COVID-19: We have traced 8,932 people of interest – Task Force

The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19), says it has successfully traced no fewer than 8,932 people of interest and is still monitoring 220 others.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, who is a member of the Task Force, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja while giving an update on the activities of the Task Force on an NTA programme, “Good Morning Nigeria”.

In the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister said that the strategy of the task force in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is Trace, Test, Isolate and Treat.

“We are tracing people who have come from countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19, or those who have come into contact with them.
“We have recorded a lot of success in those who have travelled from countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19.
“We have been contacting the 8,932 people daily and monitoring their health status.

“If you have not developed any symptom within the 14 days of your arrival into the country or coming in contact with somebody that has it, we will let you go.
“As of two days ago, we had 220 people and these are people that we call daily and monitor their health status,” he said.

The Minister said that another area of contact tracing being handled involves those who came into contact with the people with travel history.
“These are the type of people who will not display any symptom even when they are carrying the disease.

“This category of people have become more difficult to trace and that is why we are saying that they should come out and be tested.
“By and large, we are working with technology and other agencies and I think that we are making some headway,” he said.
Speaking on transportation of COVID-19 into the country through the land borders, Mohammed said that under international laws and Nigeria’s Constitution, “Nigerian nationals cannot be denied entry into their home”.

“This is the challenge we have; Nigerians, who are coming from Togo, Benin Republic and the West Coast must necessarily be allowed to come in.
“What we have done is that while they come in, they will be quarantined.

“Both Ogun and Lagos states have acquired locations in their entry posts so that while they come in, they will come into contact with health officials and be isolated for mandatory 14 days where they will be monitored,” he said.

Mohammed commended the two states, particularly Lagos, for opening isolation centres across its domains in the likely event of a surge.
He called for the support of other state governors, especially those who have borders with neighbouring countries such as Cross Rivers, Kebbi and Sokoto, to be proactive and prepare to work with various health authorities in protecting their land borders.