The Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, weekend warned Nigerians of an imminent rise in positive cases should they continue to abuse the public health and social measures put in place to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Ihekweazu in a chat with Vanguard also cautioned Nigerians that the ease of lockdown does not mean the virus was no longer in Nigeria.
According to him, ”the number of positive COVID-19 cases will rise if Nigerians do not adhere to appropriate public health and social measures.
He said the ease of lockdown by the federal government was to ensure the continuity of the economy and the lives of the people while staying safe.
He said:” The number of positive cases will rise if Nigerians do not adhere to appropriate public health and social measures.
”As we ease the lockdown, we have provided relevant guidance to ensure people can stay safe. The risks of the surge in cases cannot be reduced to zero, but we can minimise this. ”
He lamented that while the Presidential Task Force, PTF, has made the use of facemasks mandatory, many Nigerians go around without facemasks.
”We have advised that people maintain a distance of two metres yet this is not obeyed in markets and other places.
”Without a vaccine, we remain at high risk of recording COVID-19 cases. But, we can stay safe by taking individual responsibility- wear a mask if you are in a public setting, do not host parties or gatherings at this time, avoid non-essential travel, wash your hands frequently with soap and running water.”
Ihekweazu further assured Nigerians that the Government was working very hard to strengthen the testing capacity and other response measures.
Speaking on COVID-19 case fatality ratio, CFR, he explained that Nigeria's observed CFR of 2.8 per cent was on the lower end of the range and varied across states as well.
”There is a wide range of COVID-19 case fatality ratio among countries, ranging from 0.1 per cent in Singapore to 16.2 per cent in Belgium.
”The majority of deaths that have occurred are in adults aged 61-70 years which is similar to the experience in other countries given that this is a new virus and therefore no specific treatment for the disease, we rely on the management of symptoms and the ability of a patient's immune system to fight the virus.
”Our health workers continue to work very hard to provide the best available care to patients. This is a pandemic caused by a new virus and we are unfortunately limited in terms of therapeutic and diagnostic options. Despite this, we will continue to improve our capacity based on scientific evidence and validated interventions.” he started.