From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday urged Nigerians not to exhibit carefree attitudes to the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.
Ihekweazu in his address at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 reiterated that coronavirus pandemic is spreading fast, causing mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.
“We have now reported over 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria and this is a stark reminder of the reality we live in now.” he said.
Ihekweazu further added, “We cannot be too careful. The silent face of COVID-19 with which you cannot tell whether someone has the virus or not, the only option before us is to take protective measures at all times.”
Ihekweazu emphasized government’s readiness in putting an immediate end to the spread of the virus, “We are rolling out the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs) in five institutions in Abuja. This will increase access to testing and we then intend to roll out across the country in February”.
“This will make testing a lot more available to hospitals,“ he said.
“Notably, Covid-19 is circulating in every state of Nigeria and we all have to continue the hard work we have been doing,” he pointed out.
Regrettably, the country has reached “a critical level” where the hospital capacity would no longer be able to cope with more serious Covid-19 cases and health workers would be forced to make tough decisions.
However, “We need to protect our more vulnerable citizens, while we all have to take responsibility because this has gone beyond the NCDC, PTF or government, as all hands must be on deck.” He said
“By organising large gatherings indoors, you are not only putting yourself and guests at risk but also the staff who have limited choice but to serve.” Ihekweazu said.
“By going to clubs, you are putting your parents at risk,” he said.
Ihekweazu further added that we can stop the spread of Covid-19, “by adhering to health measures, wearing masks, washing hands, observing physical distancing, staying at home, avoiding large gatherings and poorly ventilated indoor space, we can prevent its spread.”
“Sadly, the 100,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths are not just numbers, but are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends whose deaths will be mourned and the pain of their loss deeply felt,” he pointed out.
Therefore, Ihekweazu urged Nigerians not to doubt Covid-19 and take responsibility in curtailing the spread of the virus in the country