The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control yesterday urged Nigerians to stop doubting the released COVID-19 figures, this is just as the NCDC Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the centre was receiving samples with fictitious names and addresses making it difficult for the states to track down the positive cases for isolation and treatment.
He expressed concern over what he described as the increase in high-risk behaviour by Nigerians which was leading to more transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
Ihekweazu admonished Nigerians to learn from what was happening in Brazil which had the second-highest COVID-19 deaths in the world.
Commenting on the challenges facing the agency and the standard of COVID-19 tests at its labs, Ihekweazu stated, “Samples come to us with fictitious names and we get samples with fictitious addresses, so if the state now has a positive result, they go to look for the person, but can’t find the person.
“So, there are many challenges we have to deal with every day in our country which is reflective of other things but we keep trying to improve this, but in terms of the testing, we are doing the same standard across every lab. There is a very stringent quality assurance process.”
As of Saturday, the NCDC has carried out 92,924 tests across the country.
The NCDC boss observed that there were many undetected positive cases in the country, warning Nigerians to take responsibility for their safety by adhering strictly to the coronavirus prevention guidelines.
He added, “We have seen many people pass away. Prominent people have been infected, including four governors who announced they have been infected; so what else is there for people to doubt about the numbers we release.
“For all intents and purposes, we don’t think we are finding all the cases in Nigeria, so there are many more cases out there that we are unable to find.
“I really urge everyone to take those numbers very seriously; behind each of those numbers are people. Each time we announce those results, the next morning, somebody is going to get a result across the country. Every one of them would get a call to tell them about their status.”