Over 800 Nigerian health workers have contracted the novel coronavirus since the first case was confirmed in February, local media reported on Wednesday.
“We have had 812 health care workers infected, they are not just numbers, 29 of these work for NCDC, they are people I know, they have families, wives and children,” Chikwe Ihekweazu, director general of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said.
Eight of them are in Idu treatment centre, Ihekweazu said, speaking at the daily briefing of the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force in the capital Abuja on Tuesday.
This came after the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors said they will embark on an indefinite strike if the government fails to address their demands within 14 days.
On Tuesday, Federal Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire urged all resident doctors not to go on a strike, but to use the avenues of communication to discuss the issues they are facing at the ministerial level.
He assured them that they will be provided with all the materials they need to work including personal protective equipment.
“As we enter into the next phase of the eased lockdown, it is very important to know that, this phase is in the hands of the people, wear your face mask, practice good hand & respiratory hygiene & maintain social distancing,” the Federal Ministry of Health quoted Ehanire in a tweet.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 10,819 with 314 deaths and 3,240 recoveries, according to official figures.