‘No state in Nigeria free of Coronavirus’ – NCDC says
NEWSMAN, Abuja – Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has declared that no state in Nigeria is Covid-19 free despite claims by some state governments that they were free of the pandemic.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on Monday in Abuja, Ihekweazu, noted that some states might not have recorded any COVID-19 case at the moment, but they would eventually do.
“No state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free and no country in the world can confidently claim to be COVID-19 free. It is a global pandemic and we can’t separate ourselves from the world”, Ihekweazu noted.
“It is not a shame to have positive cases in your state; denial will only make the issue more difficult. If we do not know the status of your people, you are indirectly putting the lives of your people and that of health workers at risk. The implication of that is the likely collapse of your health system”.Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu Stated.
While giving an update on his visit to four states including Akwa Ibom, Edo, Plateau and Lagos, the NCDC boss commended the state governors for aggressively investing in the COVID-19 response, using state resources.
Ihekweazu said the purpose of the visit was to understand their response, encourage them to develop new strategies and share experiences with other states.
The director-general, however, expressed disappointment that Nigerians were grossly not adhering to the preventive measures against the disease.
He noted that the case fatality ratio in Nigeria was higher than that of South Africa and Ghana, despite being relatively low in global context.
Upholding his views, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, urged Nigerians to avail themselves for Covid-19 testing as early detection save lives.
“I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test. Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test; especially when symptoms are evident could result in death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full-blown. The loss of any Nigerian is not only painful but most avoidable provided we seek help early”. Mustapha said.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said testing capacity would be beefed up, as the community transmission remains a challenge, while still urging communities to play active roles in initiating state specific action plan.