By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,NCDC,said yesterday, that contrary to ongoing media reports,its Director General,Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,was not quarantined over possible Coronavirus infection.
Rather,the agency said Ihekweazu,who just returned from a trip to China, chose self isolation for 14 days as recommended in NCDC’s public health advisory that travelers from countries with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 proceed on 14-day self-isolation, whether well or not.
A statement released to newsmen by the agency’s communication’s unit on Tuesday in Abuja, clarified that the DG who was part of a high level delegation deployed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take notes from China, only though it wise to self isolate himself for 14 days as recommended by his own Agency to travellers from infected countries.
They added that the DG on his arrival to Nigeria, tested negative to coronavirus but decided to practice what he has been asking other international travellers to do once they get back into the country whether they were infected with the virus or not.
The Statement reads: “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is aware of reports from the media stating that Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu is in ‘quarantine over coronavirus’. This is false.
“Between the 16th and 24th of February 2020, the World Health Organization deployed a high-level mission to China. The joint mission had 25 national and international experts, including the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu. He also made this known via his Twitter account.
“The Mission met with counterparts in China to understand their response to COVID-19 and how the global community can learn from this. As recommended in NCDC’s public health advisory, travelers from countries with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 are advised to proceed on 14-day self-isolation, whether well or unwell
“The Director General has adhered to this, to protect himself and the public. He has been tested since his return, and has shown no symptoms of COVID-19 infection. He remains in good health.
“The Honourable Minister of Health is very proud of Dr Ihekweazu’s contribution, which reflects the high-level recognition and respect the global health community has for Nigeria.”