Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu on Thursday advised Nigerians to expect a change in their usual way of life after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General believes various activities in the country will gradually return to the way they used to be.
Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he noted the lockdown has affected commercial activities in some places where the lockdown was being enforced.
He said, “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.”
Dr Ihekweazu noted that states would have their share of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the NCDC was more prepared for it.
He added that the Nigerian government was making efforts to curb the further spread of the disease, although it has been a tough task.
“We have responded to Lassa smoothly and nobody shut down the country because it wasn’t necessary, the response was fairly efficient.
“Now, COVID-19 is on a much larger scale – at the moment in 22 states but it will grow to every state in Nigeria, there is no reason why it won’t – it is a respiratory virus.”
He also reacted to the differences in the figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases released by the NCDC and the numbers in some states, especially in Lagos and Kano.
Dr Ihekweazu stated that the health agency has been working hard to tackle coronavirus while the authorities in various states have their roles to play.
He insisted that Nigeria cannot run away from the outbreak and the NCDC would continue to be transparent with the results, to stimulate more response from various aspects of the government.
The NCDC boss said, “We just activated the lab in Kano a few days ago. So, these are the results of the increased testing capacity that we are providing for the country.
“The tests are fairly robust; I can’t say 100 per cent but they are as close to that as possible. We had the highest number of positive cases in a single day.”
“Since the onset of the outbreak, we are testing a lot more (and) that is beginning to show. It is only so much we can do from NCDC; we are working with the state governments.
“They actually own the response at the state and local levels, and we need all of them now. We really have to face the reality that this is an outbreak, this is a virus.
“It will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt and our responsibility as a country is to prepare more, to be able to detect, isolate, treat, list contacts, and stop transmission,” he added.
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