Tuesday, 28 April 2020

You can't hide Covid-19, NCDC warns C'River, others

DG of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu


The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has called on Cross River State governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade and his counterpart in the three other states yet to have confirmed case of Covid-19 to collect more samples and carry out more test so they can dictates the virus early enough in their states. 

The DG of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who stated this said the four states of Cross River, Kogi, Nasarawa and Yobe who are yet to register any case in their states have the lowest rate of test carried out in Nigeria.

He therefore warned that, Covid-19 cannot be hidden, therefore, these states should carry out more test so as not to be taken unawares. According to the DG, eventually, it will emerge. And it is better to understand what is happening early than leave it till we start hearing stories of death.

Iheakwazu also asked states to collect more samples from people who meet the case definition for testing, saying there was no need playing with figures.

"We are looking at the number of samples collected from these states. We are not satisfied with the number of samples collected.

"We need to test more, but to test more, we need to collect more and that collection part is the responsibility of states and their Public Health teams.

"We want to really encourage every state in Nigeria, you cannot hide this. Eventually, it will emerge. It is better we understand what is happening early than leave it till we start hearing stories of death. So, we are really encouraging the Public Health Teams in these states to push out their people that have Pneumonia, acute respiratory infections and others. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Please, collect samples and send them to us, let us test and know whether you have this thing circulating in your states and mount an appropriate response. If it is not there, it is not there, but we cannot know if we do not test", he added.