The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday covertly indicted President Muhammadu Buhari over the continuous spread of coronavirus in Nigeria. The Centre raised alarm that the biggest risk in the spread of coronavirus is coming from people returning to the country from overseas. The risk may have been averted or minimized if President Buhari had acted early to shut down Nigerian international borders, banning travels in and out the country. Perhaps, such prompt action would have prevented coronavirus carriers from importing the infection into Nigeria.
Meanwhile, NCDC’s Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, was gathered to have decried that the biggest source of risk faced by the country is from people returning to Nigeria.
Ihekweazu, on Channels Television morning programme – Sunrise Daily on Monday, stated that the Centre has been following up with returning travellers in self-isolation, as part of the preventive measures of the Federal Government. Unfortunately, till this Monday, foreign airlines were still brining in travelers and conveying others out of the country. However, the airport authorities had said that the ban on foreign flights will take effect from 11.00pm on Monday.
The NCDC DG, Ihekweazu, said: “Yes, we are following up on all contacts and really, we have identified a handful of cases from those contacts.
“Our biggest source of risk at the moment is people returning to Nigeria from countries that have a large volume of infections.
“Most of these are Nigerians, there is nothing wrong with coming back to your country
“But we are asking every Nigerian that has come back to please do what we have asked them to do – stay at home for two weeks … you can save us a lot of work by doing this.”
The NCDC boss added that the health agency has extended its functions from giving a daily briefing on the disease to a real-time release of information.
He emphasized that the primary containment strategy was to identify all cases as quickly as possible and bring them into treatment centres, list all their contacts, and follow up all their contacts daily for 14 days.
Ihekweazu, however, lamented that a large number of contacts were registered daily, adding that the exact number of contacts being monitored is yet to be ascertained.
He noted that it is not an easy exercise but the NCDC and other partners are working hard to ensure the contacts are followed up.
“We all know the right thing to do; we don’t need to police anyone self-isolating, but we will do our very best.
“The human resource requirement for the scale of work we are required to do at the moment in the containment phase is incredible because every day, the number of people coming back is increasing exponentially and we cannot increase our workforce exponentially,” Ihekweazu declared.
The federal government had waited till last weekend before placing ban on foreign flights, and merely placed travel ban last week, at a period the virus was already permeating states outside international entry points.
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