The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chike Ihekweazu, has declared that Nigeria will experience a high rise in the transmission of COVID-19 with the reopening of schools and airports.
Ihekweazu said this while Speaking on Monday during a media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja. He stated that all over the country, the only states that have been consistently carrying out a high volume of COVID-19 tests are Lagos, Federal Capital Territory, Ogun and Kano states.
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Ihekweazu specifically stated that testing rates had declined drastically in Taraba, Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa and Yobe states.
The DG observed that Nigerians were not responding to the plea to come out for testing, adding that the testing needed to be sustained in order to combat the pandemic.
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He added, “I am very confident about what is going on in Lagos, FCT, Ogun and probably Kano and a few other states. Having said that, it doesn’t mean they should let down their guards completely.
“In fact, with schools and airports opening, we have to increase the level of our testing because inevitably, there would be more transmission. So, how are you able to mitigate the impact of that moving forward, given that we have learnt so much about this virus in the last few months.”
He, therefore, warned against complacency and the belief that infection rates were declining.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said that in the area of testing for COBID-19, Nigeria has been performing below target. He followed this up with a warning for Nigerians against a potential for the nation to witness a second wave of the pandemic.
In Aliyu’s words, “The PTF remains seriously concerned about the current low testing rate we have in the country. Nigerians are not getting tested for COVID-19 but we must test to track, in order to slow the spread of the virus even further and to stop any more preventable COVID-related death.”