The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday, said that no state in the country is free from the COVID-19.
Ihekweazu, said this at the 45th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, a state can only talk about being COVID-19 free when it is testing and have the effective tool to fight the disease.
He said that states need to start testing now as the agency is working to develop its laboratory capacity to test more.
“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.
“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,” Ihekweazu said.
Speaking on the PTF team that visited Akwa Ibom, Edo, Plateau and Lagos states, he commended the states for their efforts, but expressed worry that many people were not wearing masks.
He said, “We still saw a gatherings of too many people in the place at the time and we know that across the country we are struggling with this and I really want to encourage all Nigerians that we can’t treat our way out of this, we simply can’t, we have to prevent, it is the only chance we have so as we work hard, as we congratulate those treating, we must take responsibility for prevention. It’s in our hands.”
Nigeria on Sunday recorded 436 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 20,244 from 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Cross River is the only state without any confirmed case.