The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said the coronavirus pandemic will spread to every state of the federation because it is a respiratory virus.
The NCDC DG made the claim while speaking on a Channels TV programme. According to him, the Centre expects the disease currently in 22 states in the country to spread to other states in the coming days.
Ihekweazu, while making a comparative analysis between COVID-19 and the Lassa Fever outbreak said the Nigeria was able to easily contain the latter without shutting down the country because it was not as viral as the former.
He explained: “We have responded to Lassa smoothly and nobody shut down the country because it wasn’t necessary, the response was fairly efficient.
“Now, COVID-19 is on a much larger scale – at the moment in 22 states but it will grow to every state in Nigeria, there is no reason why it won’t – it is a respiratory virus.”
He also explained various measures being trawled by the Centre in combating of the killer virus.
He continued: “We just activated the lab in Kano a few days ago. So, these are the results of the increased testing capacity that we are providing for the country.
“The tests are fairly robust; I can’t say 100 percent but they are as close to that as possible. We had the highest number of positive cases in a single day.
“Since the onset of the outbreak, we are testing a lot more (and) that is beginning to show. It is only so much we can do from NCDC; we are working with the state governments.
“They actually own the response at the state and local levels, and we need all of them now. We really have to face the reality that this is an outbreak, this is a virus.
“It will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt and our responsibility as a country is to prepare more, to be able to detect, isolate, treat, list contacts, and stop transmission.”