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LAGOS / ABUJA – The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday declared that no state in the country is free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC Director-General, revealed this on Monday during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Ihekweazu made the statement while responding to a question concerning states who were discharg­ing patients and claimed to be COVID-19 free.

This is just as the NCDC is yet to officially report a case in Cross River State as at Monday afternoon.

“No state, no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one,” Ihekweazu said. “No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any.

“We can’t separate our­selves from the rest of the country. We live in a con­text, viruses spread, it’s the nature of them, so right now no state is COVID-19 free. That’s why we have to keep doing this work that we are doing, testing peo­ple, finding out if they have it,” Ihekweazu added.

Health Workers Neglecting Other Ailments Over COVID-19—FG

Meanwhile, Boss Mu­stapha, Secretary to the Government of the Feder­ation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, has accused health workers of neglect­ing other patients having ailments not related to coronavirus.

He made the accusation as the Federal Govern­ment made good its pledge of paying members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) N4. 6 billion as hazard and inducement allowances for the months of April and May 2020.

According to the PTF chairman, just like the country has overcome the wild polio virus and has gotten a clean bill of health, gains already made in controlling COVID-19 could be eroded if the trend continues.

He said these on Mon­day while giving an update on the national control of the virus.

“The PTF is pleased to express its appreciation to the National Associa­tion of Resident Doctors (NARD) for demonstrating the spirit of patriotism and understanding by calling off the industrial action its members embarked upon. Abiding by The Hip­pocratic Oath further gives us comfort that we would win this fight.

“The declaration of Ni­geria as polio free nation last week is a welcome de­velopment and we congrat­ulate all those that partic­ipated in the long-drawn battle to rid Nigeria of the disease. This declaration is a signal that overcom­ing COVID-19 and indeed any other infectious dis­ease is possible and shall be achieved. We use this opportunity to renew our call to the medical practi­tioners and hospitals not to neglect other diseases and ailments because of COVID-19.

“On the part of govern­ment, we would continue to ensure the welfare and safety of all workers will never be neglected. As we pursue the communi­ty engagement and risk communication strategy, the PTF has identified lack of information about case definition protocols, location of testing centres, inability to reach call cen­tres, as obstacles to getting needed help.

“The PTF has therefore directed that more aware­ness be created on the lo­cation of test centres and how to get tested especial­ly when you fit the case definition. The call cen­tres are also being re-ener­gised for responsiveness.

“Our messaging on risk communication and compliance by the pub­lic will also receive very strong attention. We must develop a national wave of awareness creation to drive home our objectives.

“I, therefore, urge Nige­rians to make use of these facilities and get tested. Similarly, I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test. Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test, especially when symptoms are evi­dent could result to death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full blown. The loss of any Ni­gerian is not only painful but most avoidable provid­ed we seek help early”.

He disclosed that two foreigners who tried to flout the lockdown direc­tive were apprehended over the weekend by men of the Immigration Ser­vice.

“The PTF is also not unmindful of the possibil­ity of imports especially through our land borders. For this reason, our men and women of the Nigeri­an Immigration Service re­main vigilant and this has resulted in the apprehen­sion of two foreigners who tried to enter the country illegally over the weekend. This commendable effort is appreciated,” he stated.


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