NCDC Says No State In Nigeria Is COVID-19 Free

 Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says no state in Nigeria is free of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ihekweazu said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on Monday in Abuja.

He noted that some states might not have recorded any COVID-19 case at the moment, but they would eventually do. 

While giving an update on his visit to four states including  Akwa Ibom, Edo, Plateau and Lagos, he commended the state governors for aggressively investing in the COVID-19  response, using state resources.

He lauded Edo government for the innovative approach adopted such as the inclusion of Edo in the diaspora, in various universities around the world, to understand how they were responding. 

“We are really impressed by the work going on in Edo. 

“In Edo, we met a very dedicated team at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and the Stella Obasanjo Hospital and really saw a set of clinicians working very hard innovatively, to deal with the Challenges,” he said.

The director-general commended Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, for investing aggressively in the response and Public Health in general. 

He stated that Akwa Ibom had set up a new EOC, treatment centre and Laboratory.

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.

The NCDC said that the failure to take responsibility in limiting the spread of the virus was threatening the gains in the fight against the pandemic. 

The health agency noted that the increase in the COVID-19 cases in the country was due to the ongoing community transmission of the virus and increased testing capacity across states.

“Our advice to Nigerians is to stay safe by physical distancing, frequent handwashing and use of face masks,” he said.  

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