The director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu while speaking during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday alerted Nigerians to be prepared for more confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ihekweazu also noted that the recent increase in cases and gaps in contact tracing are critical aspects of the national response to the pandemic. The NCDC DG, who expressed shock over allegations that the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 were being rigged, said Nigeria is doing about 2,000 tests daily because the labs are working at about 20 per cent capacity. “As we’ve eased the restrictions and continue to increase testing capacity, it’s likely we’ll see an increase in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. Whether that increase continues or not will depend on our collective action. “We can test about 10,000 samples daily. We are challenging states to bring samples for testing. Between last week and now, we have distributed many PPEs.”
Disclosing that there is no global collaboration to deceive people about COVID-19, Iheweazu noted: “It is sometimes difficult to know when someone contracts the virus, but it is real. “States with the most number of cases are struggling to keep up. There are people behind those numbers,” he asserted. He stated that there are people behind those numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases. “We have announced it severally to expect an increase in numbers. So, this increase in numbers is not unusual as we increase testing and ease the lockdown. Whether that increases continue or not depends on our collective actions. Sometimes, these numbers are necessary to remind us of that reality. While the numbers of death as a proportion might appear small, these are people that we know. “We see a lot of suspicion around the numbers and we sometimes wonder whether the people saying that are not watching what is happening around the world. “Are we all collectively with India, Brazil, the US, and the UK? Is there some form of global collaboration to deceive Nigerians?”, he asked.