The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said that the agency expects the number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria to continue to grow but hopes it would only be for the short term and said that he hopes his centre would be hope to continue to cope with the growth.
On Sunday night after the president had given a national address, the NCDC confirmed that the cases have hit over 111 cases, Mr Chikwe who had said before they expect the cases in Lagos to hit as high as 39,000.
In a national address by President Muhammadu Buhari late on Sunday, he ordered that Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun be locked down for at least 14 days to combat the spread.
Speaking during an interview on Channels TV on Monday, March 30, Ihekweazu said the infectious rate of the virus means the country’s cases will continue to rise.
“We’ve crossed the 100 mark and the reality is there’s a virus circling in our midst, and that is why Mr President came up yesterday to speak to Nigerians.
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“In the short term, we do expect the numbers to keep rising, but we also expect that we’ll be able to get on top of this,” he said.
He noted that Buhari’s extra measures are needed, and that it’s a call for Nigerians to rally together and support these measures.
“From today, we’ll appeal to Nigerians to bear the few weeks of pain that’ll come. Stay at home as much as possible,” he appealed.
Chikwe Ihekweazu also noted that Nigeria has been lucky so far with the virus as its cases have been mild to moderate with one death unfortunately recorded.
A major concern about Nigeria’s response has been its low number of testing conducted after one month which Chikwe Ihekweazu put at around 2,000 in total on Monday.
He, however, noted that that the agency is focused on increasing the capacity for testing.
“There are new test technologies that have just been approved. We’ve already started the procurement process for that. They should be in the country in the next couple of weeks,” he said.