COVID-19: NCDC to follow up over 6000 contacts to curb spread of virus

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Chikwe Ihekweazu,

THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) working to identify 6,000  people who have had close contacts with persons infected to curb the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, disclosed this on Monday on Channels Television, Programme “Sunrise Daily”, while, speaking on COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Ihekweazu said: “In the short-term, the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are expected to keep rising, but NCDC also expects to be able to get on top of this.

“We expect cases of COVID19 to rise as we improve the capacity to detect and test. Our laboratories are activated to function 24/7.

We appeal to Nigerians to work with us in compliance with the measures instituted by President,” he said.

He said that there was a need to prevent further transmission of this virus. While noting that the President’s speech was a call for Nigerians to come together.

He added that the measures that have been implemented would work in curbing the spread of the virus.

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to bear the few weeks of pain that would come.

The NCDC boss said that Nigeria has been lucky to not have had too many severe cases of COVID-19.

He disclosed that NCDC has currently tested well over 2,000 people and has also increased the number of laboratories in its network.

“Everyday NCDC is improving the turnaround time. We are being bogged down by people who do not require the test. So we have to manage demand. We have to focus on those who need it the most.

“The duration between testing and results depends on several factors. But it is between 24 to 48 hours. Our target is to get results out in 12 hours,” he said.

The NCDC DG, said that the success of the measures put in place to contain COVID19 would depend largely on the willingness of Nigerians to work with the NCDC team.

“Our team is working round the clock to improve turn-around time for testing in all our six molecular laboratories”

“We aim to scale up to 13 labs in the next three weeks. In progress- Abakaliki, Maiduguri, Kano, Sokoto, Port-Harcourt, Jos and Kaduna States,” he said.

The NCDC DG said that the laboratories would also provide diagnostic support for a number of states in the country.

Ihekweazu acknowledged not knowing if people who recover test positive again. Adding that there was a lot of NCDC does not know yet about the disease.

He, however, added that the NCDC ability to flatten the curve of COVID19 will depend on all Nigerians.

“Our goal is to mobilise all available resources to tackle COVID19. We remain grateful for the support we have received so far from stakeholders and partners,” he noted.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that as at 9:30 pm there were 111 confirmed cases of COVID19 reported in Nigeria with one death.

Currently, Lagos has 68; Abuja- 21, Ogun – Three, Ekiti – one, Oyo – Seven, Osun, Two, Enugu – Two, Edo – Two, Bauchi -Two, while Benue, Kaduna, and Rivers have one case respectively.

Lagos State still has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country with 68 cases. The cases reported were from travellers who have just returned to the country. “Other cases were from people who have come in contact with infected people. (NAN)

– Mar. 30, 2020 @ 9:45 GMT |

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