Coronavirus not deadly as painted by media - NCDC boss

Coronavirus not deadly as painted by media - NCDC boss

- Nigeria has been battling Lassa fever as China and some countries have been battling coronavirus

- The director-general of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, says Lassa fever is deadlier than coronavirus

- Ihekweazu stated this on Tuesday, February 4 while addressing members of the House of Representatives committee on health services

The director-general of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has said that despite global concern over the outbreak of coronavirus, the disease was not as deadly as the media has painted it.

Ihekweazu who stated this on Tuesday, February 4 while addressing members of the House of Representatives committee on health services, stated that Lassa fever was more deadly than the coronavirus.

Coronavirus not deadly as painted by media - NCDC boss

The NCDC boss is more concerned about Lassa fever that coronavirus Photo credit: The Guardian
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He also said there was no need for travel restriction to and from China.

He said the Nigerian government has put in place measures to identify cases of the coronavirus, adding that airport authorities and other relevant agencies of government have intensified screening.

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Speaking further on Lassa fever, he sais about 364 cases has been identified across 23 states in the country with 47 deaths recorded so far.

He also said there might be more of such cases as a result of environmental issues in the country.

He said at the moment, there was no vaccine for the control of Lassa fever, but he informed the lawmakers that the NCDC is working with some development partners to develop a vaccine for the disease.

He warned that as long as Nigerians don’t evacuate their waste very well, they will always attract rats to their homes which is the cause of Lassa fever.

The NCDC boss said their centres in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states were overstretched and filled to capacity, adding that at the moment, they have only five test centres across the country.

Meanwhile, the Lagos government on Monday, February 3 launched an incident command system in the state to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria's commercial capital.

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A statement by Gboyega Akosile, spokesman to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, revealed that the health emergency structure is being set up to help with containment in the unlikely event of outbreaks of the virus in Lagos.

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