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70% of Nigeria’s COVID-19 deaths had hypertension or diabetes – Minister

The majority of COVID-19 deaths recorded in Nigeria were as a result of complications arising from underlining ailments such as hypertension and diabetes.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

He said about 70 per cent of fatalities recorded were persons over 60 years of age.

”The morbidity of fatalities we have had with COVID-19, 70 per cent of them had hypertension or diabetes and the rest were kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis and other challenges.

“​A finding from the analysis of the death pattern shows 30 per cent of male and female around that ratio and about 70 per cent of fatalities were persons over 60 years old while majority of positives were persons between the ages of 29 and 49,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.

Also, older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

As of Wednesday, 6,677 cases had been recorded in Nigeria. Out of these, 1,840 have been discharged and 200 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

No symptoms

Mr Ehanire said nearly half of the 200 COVID-19 deaths recorded in the country occurred at home.

He noted that about 50 per cent of persons who died as a result of the virus at home did not display any symptom.

He appealed to everyone who tests positive to immediately report for treatment.

He advised those who have taken the test and awaiting result to heed the advisory to ”self-isolate from friends, wear face masks and observe hand and respiratory hygiene until their result was released.

”By so doing, their family, friends community would be protected from contracting the virus, ” he said.

Testing capacity

The minister said only 1,500 tests were being conducted daily despite the capacity to conduct 2,500 tests daily.

This he said is due to inadequate surveillance and contact tracing in states.

He urged state governments to increase the number of surveillance teams, so that more testing could be conducted in the laboratories.

He noted that new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been developed to help track surveillance strategic directions and programmes.


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