Nigerian Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has asked Nigerians to help the government by identifying returnees who have failed to observe self-isolation since their arrival into the country.
Those who are also to be reported are individuals who returned recently without submitting themselves for routine checks at the airports and are yet to be tested for COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus, which has continued to defy science, infecting thousands of people daily across the world.
Ehanire, at the national press briefing on the pandemic, on Thursday, in Abuja said this has become pertinent as most of the confirmed cases of the virus in the country are from recently returned travellers.
While confirming the number of cases reported in the country so far, Mr Ehanire said a higher percentage of the cases are imported.
The minister urged those in that category not to wait to be reported but to be patriotic in ensuring their safety and that of others by submitting themselves.
“Please report yourself. Give us the date and time of your arrival so you can be tested and quarantined if the need arises,” the official pleaded.
Despite several lockdowns and preventive measures, Nigeria has seen a surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The NCDC had announced on Thursday that it recorded 14 new cases, including six on vessels, which takes the total number of confirmed cases to 65.
It is the highest number of cases confirmed so far by the body in a single day.
“14 new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 2 in FCT, 12 in Lagos,” NCDC tweeted at 8.35 pm.
“Of the 14, 6 were detected on a vessel, 3 are returning travellers into Nigeria & 1 is close contact of a confirmed case,” NCDC said.
Many Nigerians have criticised persons, including leaders, who returned from high-risk countries without observing isolation but rather chose to expose more people to the virus.
Ehanire said the country is intensifying contact tracing to identify and test those who might have been in contact with infected people.
He said it was an irresponsible act that some of the people who flew into the country are not abiding by worldwide advisory of self-isolation.
The health minister’s address builds on that of his colleague, information minister, Lai Mohammed, who also on Thursday criticized Nigerians for not cooperating with safety protocols for coronavirus.
The minister noted that Nigerians are busy with “meaningless” criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe.