No state in Nigeria is free of COVID-19, says NCDC

Yusuf Bello| The director-general of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu on Monday said no state in the country is COVID-19 free.

Ihekweazu who made the disclosure at the presidential task force briefing said a state can only talk about being COVID-19 free when it is testing and have the effective tool to fight the disease.

According to him, the states need to start testing now as the agency is working to develop its laboratory capacity to test more.

Ihekweazu said, “No state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free. No country in the world is COVID-19 free.”

“That is why we have to keep doing this work we are doing, testing people, finding out if they have it. Even if some of us are lucky and get away with having asymptomatic infections, we have to test more.

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“We can only talk about a state being disease free when we have an effective tool to fight the disease. That will come when we have a vaccine. Until then, there is no easy way to say this. We have to keep pushing for these preventive measures. We have to develop our laboratory capability to test.

“Either you start testing now or you start testing later. But eventually, we will all test. That’s for sure.”

Cross River is the only state in the country yet to officially record COVID-19 case but in a statement on June 13, the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said there has been an increase of unusual deaths from an acute respiratory disease in the state.

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