Lockdown: Getting To The End Of COVID-19 Not A Realistic Goal – NCDC

NCDC Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has urged Nigerians to be patient with the government, especially the residents of Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where the lockdown is being enforced.

The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the appeal on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He stated that although the government was working hard to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the objective of the lockdown was not to end the outbreak.

Dr Ihekweazu, “The goal of the lockdown is not to get to the end of this outbreak because that is not a realistic goal; the goal of the lockdown was to keep people a little bit apart to stop transmission to some extent.

“The second goal was to enable the public health response to build up its efficiency and that is really what we have focused on in the last two weeks and what we will work very hard on in the next 10 days to make sure that we finalise.”

Although it has not been perfect, the NCDC boss insisted that there were indicators that there have been fewer contacts among individuals by 60-70 per cent.

He stressed that tackling COVID-19 was easier said than done in a complex country like Nigeria which has population density and unique challenges.

According to Dr Ihekweazu, what the health agency is trying to achieve in the short term is not to stop transmission because that will be very difficult to do as no country in the world has achieved that.

He also reacted to the differences in laboratory test results and called on the authorities in various states to mall disputes and face the challenge

“We have a big problem ahead of us … we must focus on the problem at hand and that is really what we are encouraging all of us to do at state, federals.

“We can get ahead of this but we can’t do that if we keep disputing lab results and fighting over details of things that are not really relevant in the big response,” the NCDC boss said.

He added, “Life will never be the same, it will not be the same and Nigerians have to prepare for a different type of life once the lockdown starts and that’s really my big message today; life will not be the same as we knew it before COVID-19 – a lot of changes that we have introduced into the society will have to continue in the short term.”


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