With the continuous increase in the number of cases in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has admitted that the country might just be starting to experience COVID-19.
NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this while speaking at the House of Representatives on Monday when members of the PTF appeared before a joint committee of the House to account for the funds allocated and donated to the fight against the pandemic.
“We are still in the middle of a very, very bad outbreak. In fact, it is most likely that we are at the beginning of a very bad outbreak. This is the honest truth.
“And as we dig into the details of what we have done, I really crave your indulgence to please, bear in mind that we do this work together because we really have a collective responsibility to our people,” the NCDC boss said.
Ihekweazu also denied claims that the NCDC had spent millions on text messages to sensitise Nigerians.
The PTF lamented that Nigerians were avoiding being tested; a situation he said was responsible for the low testing ratio to the population.
Chairman of the PTF, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, expressed uncertainties over the pandemic, urging the lawmakers to help extend the campaign to the grassroots.
He said, “I must say that the virus is still very dangerous. We have not peaked; we have to meticulously plan. There is no timeline; that is why money is not being thrown at it just because it has been released.
“We don’t know how long this will take us. Even the budget that the National Coordinator mentioned is for a period of six months. We do not know how long it will take us. But by the grace of God, we shall overcome.
There is no medicine or vaccine for this virus; Humanity is simply overwhelmed by it. Everything has been turned upside down. Today, we are all masked up. We never used to know it like this. Please, honourable members, there is a lot you can do for us; a lot of legislative actions that can be taken, looking into the future. We are dealing with it today; the next pandemic must not catch us unawares. We must prepare for it.”
A total of 12,801 confirmed cases have been recorded in the country so far.