NCDC reiterates commitment to protect health of Nigerians

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reiterated commitment to protect the health of Nigerians, in response to the first COVID-19 case detected in Lagos.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC. [bellanaija]

Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to discontinue the spread of false/unverified information, and advised that “anyone with credible and relevant information on COVID-19 in Nigeria should call NCDC’s toll-free number: 080097000010.

“The NCDC toll-free number is available 24/7 for enquiries. Due to the volume of calls being received, there may be a delay in reaching one of our call attendants.

“But please be rest assured that your calls are important to us and we are here to respond accordingly.”

He said that the NCDC had expanded its case definition in view of new knowledge and ongoing community transmission in countries other than China.

The director general added that NCDC had also strengthened its surveillance to include follow up with travellers from these countries within 14 days of arrival into the country.

He said “our capacity to detect and confirm a case in Nigeria within a short turnaround time is an indication of our improved health security structure in the country.

One of our major areas of focus now is strengthening infection prevention and control across the country to quickly control spread of the virus.”

He, however, noted that “finding a case in Nigeria was not a sign of failure. The virus had spread to nearly 50 countries in two months.”

Ihekweazu added that NCDC was set up for situations like this, had built its capacity for emergency response and would continue to work round the clock with relevant agencies in the country.

He called on health facilities to remain on high alert, while urging Nigerians to take the basic protective measures against COVID-19.

He emphasised that “frequent washing of hands, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, practice respiratory hygiene and if anyone has fever, cough and difficulty breathing, should seek medical care early.

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