The centre has reported that the nation has recorded a consistent increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the beginning of December 2020 to January 2021.
New data disclosed that Nigeria reached the “100,000 cases milestone” on the 10th of January 2021, with 100,087 confirmed cases and 1,358 deaths hence the imperativeness of issuing a public health advisory to alert the public of the dangers of non-adherence to public health and social measures to limit the continued spread of COVID-19.
Quoting the publication posted via NCDC’s official website, “the average number of daily confirmed cases recorded in the first week of January 2021, was higher than the cumulative cases recorded the last week of December 2020. Following the festive season, and in view of the increase in the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria, the NCDC and partners, with leadership from the Federal Ministry of Health and Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 is putting in place measures to strengthen the public health response to the pandemic.”
While calling for the general public to take the pandemic with utmost seriousness, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, DG, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control also assured Nigerians that the NCDC would continue to work with other agencies under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, in leading public health response to the outbreak while adding that the agency continues to play a pivotal role in the “multi-sectoral response, within the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19), established by President Muhammadu Buhari,” and provision of laboratory and medical supplies as well as other response activities.
Ihekweazu urged state governments to be more active with their response and maintenance of COVID-19 surveillance structures, laboratory diagnosis and testing.
“NCDC has significantly scaled-up the national testing capacity by expanding the number of laboratories for COVID-19 testing across states. Testing remains one of the best tools we have in our fight against COVID-19, as it enables prompt clinical management and helps in preventing further transmission. The cumulative number of samples tested in the country has increased significantly, and some states have sustained higher levels of testing. Although the country has yet to meet its total testing capacity, this remains a major priority for the response.
Sample collection sites have also been established in many LGAs, making public health testing more easily accessible. Testing in public laboratories remains free of charge (unless for travel purposes in private laboratories, where pricing structures vary),” he added.
Finally, he reiterated the need for healthcare professionals to maintain a high index of suspicion, especially when treating patients with breathing difficulties and also present with symptoms common to COVID-19.