We’re yet to see worst of COVID-19 pandemic, says NCDC


Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has predicted that the worst of COVID-19 is yet to manifest as a result of the poor attitude of Nigerians towards the pandemic.

NCDC Director General, Dr. Chike Ihekweazu, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Conference of Applied and Field Epidemiology (NiCAFE) in Abuja, suggested a new approach that would be more effective in educating and sensitizing the people against COVID-19 and other epidemics in Nigeria.

NiCAFE conference which had as its theme: “Building back better.”  COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks brought together public health professionals, laboratory scientists, field epidemiologists, researchers, health care professionals and members of the public.

It was evident in the rise in confirmed cases, which might had heralded the third wave that came with Delta variant said to be more lethal because of its high transmissibility.

The participants reflected on the response to infectious disease outbreaks, reviewed gaps in epidemic preparedness and response and brainstormed on innovative solutions to strengthen health security.

Dr. Ihekweazu said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has, undoubtedly, turned our lives upside down with over 190 million infections and four million deaths, globally. In Nigeria, we have had over 170,000 infections and more than 2,000 deaths.

“However, it’s painful to say there is a possibility that we are yet to see the worst of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are not only faced with COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria but multiple concurrent disease outbreaks. In the last month alone, we have been responding to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, outbreaks of cholera in several states and the panic associated with the detection of a monkeypox case in the US with travel history from Nigeria.

“Every week, we detect cases of yellow fever, Lassa fever, measles, and other infectious diseases that are endemic in Nigeria. The reality is that our tropical climate, population density, poor socio-economic factors, leave us at risk of annual, multiple, concurrent disease outbreaks. Therefore, we must be one step ahead of these pathogens.

“We must also think of the other public health challenges that lie ahead of us. Our population is growing at a rapid phase and this will have an incredible impact on our health system,” Ihekweazu added

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