In spite of reports suggesting Nigeria is already flattening the curve as regards the COVID-19 pandemic, the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has expressed fears that some states have deliberately refused to carry out adequate tests on COVID-19, and are therefore unable to ascertain the number of positive cases in their domains.
This attitude may cause an explosion of new cases if the right measures are not taken.
Ihekweazu said while on ARISE TV that Nigeria’s increased DNA testing capacity helps in flattening the COVID-19 curve, and can enhance the country’s state of readiness for possible future outbreaks or pandemics.
He however frowned at the situation in some states across the country that are oblivious to the number of cases due to their unwillingness to carry out tests.
But Ihekweazu expressed delight that his organisation can establish that fewer cases were being reported than it was in the last six months, adding that he was particularly impressed about the progress made in a few states, especially, Lagos.
“We are having fewer cases reported than we had in April and May, and the states we are most comfortable with are Lagos, FCT, Kano and Borno, because they are testing a lot, and are not finding as many affected people as they used to.
“A few months ago, we used to have a test positivity ratio of up to 20 to 25% in Lagos, and for example, 20% of all the samples we once collected were positive, but now that figure is down to 5%. So, we are happy with the progress made in Lagos,” the NCDC boss said.
He revealed that his organisation has been reaching out to states, adding that the national curve shown every day and every week were actually reflections of several sub-national curves.
He further added that some states have reacted positively and started testing more, citing Plateau State as an example.
Many states are not learning from that, and so are not testing enough and not finding enough cases, he revealed.
“I am very worried that we might find an explosion in those states, which would then affect the rest of the country again,” he lamented.