Breaking: Confimed covid-19 cases in doubt, as over 5000 contacts are nowhere to be found

This is seriously not looking good.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

/ by National Pivot
Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu.
There has been fears that the actual reported Covid-19 cases in the country is far from being accurate due to lack of enough testing centers and kits across the country.

Another issue is the lack of trust in the Buhari administration as Nigerians claim the Federal and State governments could take advantage of the current situation to divert funds for their own personal benefits.

The failure of the Buhari administration to provide palliatives for Nigerians who have been confined to their homes in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country, is another major problem. This has forced many families struggling for survival, to violate government's 'Stay at Home' directives, and risk spreading the virus as the go about seeking to make ends meat.

Adding more credence to the claim of underreported Covid-19 cases in the country, is a recent statement by the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, saying about 5000 contacts with the potential to spread the highly infectious disease in the country, are nowhere to be found, but that the agency has been making efforts to track them down.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja at the second joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

He said that the strategy that NCDC were still applying nationally is one of containment.

“It means that we’re still at a point where we think we have a window of opportunity to identify all the cases, confirm them, and bring them into care. Confirm all their contacts, follow up each of them, make sure they don’t have the disease and if they do have the disease, bring them into care,” he said.

He noted that this was a tedious process, because NCDC is following about 5,000 cases all over the country.

“Do we have to really meet? We will be destroying the efforts we’re making collectively. It is only by doing this and bearing this pain for a few weeks that we have a small chance of containing this outbreak,” he said while commenting on the government’s “stay at home” directive.

He said that an updated case definition was taken into account for the epidemiology of the virus and the transmission pattern seen in the country.

“The major update to the current case definition, is that any patient with acute respiratory illness within the last 10 days, fever and either cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; and in absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation and residing or working in the last 14 days in an area identified by NCDC as a moderate or high prevalence region will be treated as a suspect case.

“This is in addition to the already existing case definition where the focus was on symptomatic patients, fever and either cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, who are recent international travellers within 14 days of arrival or contacts of confirmed cases,” he added.

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