- NCDC says it is following over 6,000 people that have been in contact with the 111 confirmed coronavirus cases
- The NCDC boss said the lockdown of FCT, Lagos and Ogun states would allow the agency to have access to the contacts
- President Buhari had ordered a lockdown of the states in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus
Amid the global pandemic called coronavirus in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said it is following up on not less than 6,000 people suspected to have been exposed to the 111 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC director-general stated this while speaking on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, March 30.
During his appearance on the TV programme, the NCDC boss said President Muhammadu Buhari's order on the restriction of movement in Lagos will allow the agency's teams to have access to the contacts that are living around the state and FCT.
He said: “These few weeks will help our teams, the Lagos state team to have access to the contacts that are living around Lagos and FCT. We are following over 6,000 contacts of these 111 confirmed cases across these two cities.”
“Every time we have a new case, we add about 50 to 60 contacts that we then have to follow every single day for 14 days. We can’t do this if we don’t have access to these cases, so this is really one of the reasons why Mr President took this very difficult decision.”
Ihekweazu in reaction to the president's decision to restrict movement in Lagos and Abuja said it was a tough but necessary one. According to him, he is of the opinion that the imposed curfew will help Nigeria buy some time to get ahead of COVID-19.
He also added that this would ease the stress of tracing suspected contacts of confirmed cases on health workers.
Ihekweazu added: “It is not just to stop movement, it is to enable us and our team, Lagos state team, FCT team to reach the contacts, keep them at home, make sure they are supported and see whether we can really use this time to buy some time to get ahead of the case and ultimately, we will see that curve start going down."
This is coming a day after President Buhari finally addressed Nigerians on the coronavirus pandemic in the country and other parts of the world.
He prayed for the quick recovery of infected patients while noting that they are getting adequate care.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the president has stopped all movements in the FCT, Lagos, and Ogun states in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
President Buhari gave the directive in a presidential broadcast on Sunday evening, March 29, adding that the directive will be for an initial period of 14 days. The president said that the lockdown will take effect from 11 pm on Monday, March 30.
He said: "Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020."
In other news, following the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Lagos state, Professor Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health has said that the state may witness a rise of up to 39,000 in a worst-case scenario.
Abayomi revealed this on Friday, March 27, at a press briefing in Lagos state. He said in the coming weeks if residents fail to comply with preventive measures such as social distancing put in place to curb the spread of the virus, the figures might increase.
According to the commissioner for health, the figure will be limited to 13,000 if Lagosians practice good social distancing.
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