Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said that Nigeria is more than capable of dealing with coronavirus as this has been proven in the manner in which the country handled the Ebola virus epidemic in 2014.
Ihekweazu in an interview with CNN today, said:
“Nigeria is ready. We successfully managed Ebola and we manage outbreaks all the time and are currently managing Lassa fever. We have a strong team that is used to doing this.”
Speaking on how the Italian who has been confirmed with Coronavirus, came into the country without being detected at the Lagos airport, Ihekweazu said temperrature scanners at the airport could not detect the disease because the man had no symptom when he arrived Nigeria.
“We are very hopeful for his full recovery. Screening is not a fool-proof method as the virus has an incubation period of four to five days,” he added.
Ihekweazu spoke on how prepared Nigeria is to tackle the viral disease that has claimed the lives of so many people in other countries.
“The system worked. We identified this case, diagnosed and isolated within 48 hours of it entering the country. In other countries like Iran and Italy for instance, by the time the first case had been confined, there was widespread contact.”
He told CNN that efforts are now being made to identify all the passengers on the Turkish flight the Italian man boarded to Nigeria and all the people he may have come in contact with in Ogun state where he visited a cement factory as a consultant.