By David Royal
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, while speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday, revealed that the deadly coronavirus pandemic will get to all the 36 states in Nigeria.
Vanguard reported on Wednesday that 407 people in the country already contracted the disease which has spread to 22 states. While 128 persons had been discharged, 12 people have died from the virus.
Dr Ihekweazu noted that states would have their share of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the NCDC was more prepared for it.
“We have responded to Lassa smoothly and nobody shut down the country because it wasn’t necessary, the response was fairly efficient.
“Now, COVID-19 is on a much larger scale – at the moment in 22 states but it will grow to every state in Nigeria, there is no reason why it won’t – it is a respiratory virus.”
He said NCDC will continue to be transparent with its operations and emphasised that the virus “will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt.”
“We just activated the lab in Kano a few days ago. So, these are the results of the increased testing capacity that we are providing for the country.”
“The tests are fairly robust; I can’t say 100 per cent but they are as close to that as possible. We had the highest number of positive cases in a single day.”
“Since the onset of the outbreak, we are testing a lot more (and) that is beginning to show. It is only so much we can do from NCDC; we are working with the state governments,” Mr Ihekweazu said.
“They actually own the response at the state and local levels, and we need all of them now. We really have to face the reality that this is an outbreak, this is a virus.
“It will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt and our responsibility as a country is to prepare more, to be able to detect, isolate, treat, list contacts, and stop transmission,” he noted.