The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has begun an online course on COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control.
This is coming as 812 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses have been infected with the rampaging virus across the country.
NCDC says the country on Saturday logged additional 603 new cases of the virus which automatically shut up the national tally to 28,167 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Six deaths were also recorded in the last 24 hours thus bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 634 in 35 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The disease control centre, however, notes that the online course is available to the public, but targeted at healthcare workers, pointing out that it is aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of the virus and other infectious diseases while administering healthcare in Nigeria.
According to NCDC, “about 812 health care workers, as at Thursday, June 2, have been infected in-country with over 230,000 infected globally. The national strategy in response to COVID-19 has been multifaceted.
‘’In the absence of a vaccine or cure, compliance with IPC measures remains one of the most effective interventions to control the ongoing outbreak. NCDC has made efforts to rapidly strengthen the capacity of frontline healthcare workers in infection prevention and control wherever health care is provided.
‘’Since the first case in Nigeria was confirmed in February, NCDC has supported the training of about 17,436 health workers in IPC and works in collaboration with the Departments of Hospital Services and Food and Drugs of the Federal Ministry of Health.
“This is to ensure that health workers are provided with the required personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of health workers’ infection.
“The online course is also designed to document vital information to monitor IPC compliance across health facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both in public, private and faith-based facilities in Nigeria.
‘’Infection, prevention and control measures cut across all other components of the COVID-19 response in Nigeria. They are critical for strengthening national health security.”
Continuing, NCDC says it remains committed to protecting the health of Nigerians and accordingly urged the citizenry to remain aware of the risks of COVID-19 and adhere to the preventive measures advised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health.
On Saturday, July 4, it went on, ‘’603 new confirmed cases and six deaths were recorded in Nigeria.”
This is even in spite of the disturbing issues coming out of Cross River State where the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) hints on likely COVID-19 cases. But the disease control agency said on Saturday night, “no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.”
It explains, “till date, 28167 cases have been confirmed, and 11462 cases have been discharged’’, pointing out that of the 603 new cases reported from 19 states, Lagos came up with 135 cases, Edo – 87, Abuja – 73, Rivers – 67, Delta – 62, Ogun – 47, Kaduna -20, Plateau -19, Osun -17, Ondo -16, Enugu -15, Oyo -15, Borno -13, Niger –six, Nasarawa –four, Kebbi –three, Kano –two, Sokoto and Abia one case each.
In the meantime, the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the second time has discontinued Hydroxychloroquine clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19, claiming it has no positive effect on patient recovery.
The UN health agency said on Saturday that the decision to discontinue the research was due to recommendation from its International Steering Committee on Solidarity Trial, adding that it has also discontinued trial for lopinavir and ritonavir.
“The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the July 1 and 2 WHO Summit on COVID-19 Research and Innovation.
“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect”, WHO says.
According to it, for each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality, adding that there were however some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on discovery trial, a participant in the solidarity trial. These, it said will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.
”This decision applies only to the conduct of the solidarity trial in hospitalised patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalised patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19. The interim solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication”, the UN agency said.