The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is following up with no fewer than 6,000 people suspected to have had contact with the 111 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, revealed this on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
He said, “These few weeks will help our teams, the Lagos State team to have access to the contacts that are living around Lagos and FCT. We are following over 6,000 contacts of these 111 confirmed cases across these two cities.”
“Every time we have a new case, we add about 50 to 60 contacts that we then have to follow every single day for 14 days.
“We can’t do this if we don’t have access to these cases, so this is really one of the reasons why Mr President took this very difficult decision,” Ihekweazu added.
The NCDC boss made the disclosure a day after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerians over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In his speech, the President listed some of the measures put in place by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of the disease and mitigate its effect on the Nigerian economy.
He also ordered the restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In his remarks, Ihekweazu stated that the decision to restrict movement in Lagos and Abuja was a tough but necessary one for the President.
He believes the curfew will help Nigeria buy some time to get ahead of COVID-19 and ease the stress on health workers tracing suspected contacts of confirmed cases.
“It is not just to stop movement, it is to enable us and our team, Lagos State team, FCT team to reach the contacts, keep them at home, make sure they are supported and see whether we can really use this time to buy some time to get ahead of the case and ultimately, we will see that curve start going down,” the NCDC boss said.