The Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu has noted that with the current spread index it is becoming clearer that Nigeria is heading to a maximum intolerable limit of COVID-19 spread.
The Director, has therefore enjoined Nigerians to intensify self-responsibility to pre-empt the spread of COVID-19, saying the country is headed for critical times.
Ihekweazu disclosed this in a series of tweets on Monday, adding that further increase in the COVID-19 cases may become overwhelming for health workers and the hospitals.
“We are reaching a critical level where our hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases & health workers will be forced to make tough decisions,” he said.
The NCDC boss noted that despite the turn out in the number of recoveries, many still experience fatigue & other symptoms even after recovery. “We cannot be too careful,” he said.
Reiterating the need to adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures, Ihekweazu said: “you can’t tell whether someone has the virus or not, so take protective measures at all times”.
He said: “The country has In the last 4 weeks, we‘ve recorded a spike in the number of new #COVID19 cases. The virus is spreading fast, causing mild symptoms in some & severe illness/death in others.
“Health care workers need to now maintain a higher index of suspicion for #COVID19. To the public, if unwell don’t rule out COVID-19 before treating for malaria.
“While we may all be tired & fed up, the virus is taking advantage of our fatigue and gaining momentum. By adhering to health measures, masks, handwashing, distancing, we can prevent its spread.
“Most important of all, the 100,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths are not just numbers,” he said.
Nigeria has recorded over 100,000 confirmed cases and 1,358 deaths as of Sunday, January 10, 2020.
“These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends whose deaths will be mourned & the pain of their loss deeply felt. The response starts and ends with the people of this country,” he said.
Iheakweazu further affirmed that the agency is committed to working with other government and private organisations in response to this pandemic.
He said testing remains free in public health labs, and that sample collection centres are being scaled up by state governments, among other measures.