COVID-19: States Recording Low Infection

Yemisi Izuora

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has observed a sliding trend in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in some states.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the NCDC,  listed the states to include Lagos, Kano, FCT, Plateau and Borno state.

The DG has attributed the development to increased testing.

He said, “It is only through testing the numbers of people that may have the infection that we can actually understand how widespread that infection is. The state that gives us the biggest indicator of where we are is the data of Lagos State. Lagos has consistently made the effort to test as many people as possible.

“They have been responsible for 50 per cent of the cases initially; which is now down to about 30 per cent in the country.

“What we have seen in Lagos is that they have consistently tested high numbers…We have seen a reduction in the positivity rate from close to 30 per cent at a time. That is, one in every 10 people tested were positive for COVID-19; to about 10 per cent or less in the last few weeks.

“What does that tell us? Fewer people are turning out positive among those tested in areas that are testing sufficiently. We can say that with confidence in Kano, FCT, Plateau, and Borno.

“States where they are really testing sufficient numbers, we can come to some conclusions of where they are. In states that are not testing enough, it is very difficult to analyse and interpret their results with confidence.”

However, the NCDC DG also cited difficulties in some states with respect to COVID-19 testing.

“The figures are what they are. Nigerians need to understand that there are no incentives for increasing or decreasing figures. We are a science-led organisation at the NCDC and will present the figures as they are.

“There have been challenges in some states in testing sufficient numbers. I want to congratulate the government and people of Cross River State…They have turned around their approach to testing and are now doing what every other state should be doing in testing as many people as possible.

“Seventy per cent of Nigerians access their health care in the private sector. There is a reason for that and so we need to work very hard. People are not coming forward in sufficient numbers to get tested for all sorts of reasons.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Ihekweazu said the NCDC was working very hard to bring the COVID-19 sample collection centres closer to the patients; adding that they are working with secondary and tertiary facilities across the country to this effect.

According to him. anyone that comes into a hospital can have their test done if they need to.

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