The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says COVID-19 in the country is now reaching a critical level where hospitals will no longer be able to cope with serious cases.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the NCDC, on Monday, said while Nigerians may be tired of dealing with the pandemic, the virus is taking advantage of the weariness and gaining momentum.
He said citizens need to do more by adhering to safety protocol and also protect the more vulnerable people in society.
“In the last 4 weeks, we‘ve recorded a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases,” he said.
“The virus is spreading fast, causing mild symptoms in some & severe illness/death in others. Many people continue to experience fatigue & other symptoms even after recovery. We can not be too careful.
“You can’t tell whether someone has the virus or not (so take protective measures at all times). Health care workers need to now maintain a HIGHER index of suspicion for COVID19. We all have to take responsibility.
“By organising large gatherings indoors, you’re not only putting yourself & guests at risk but the staff who have limited choice but to serve. By going to clubs, you’re putting your parents at risk
“To the public, if unwell, rule out COVID-19 before treating for malaria.
“We are reaching a critical level where our hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases & health workers will be forced to make tough decisions.
“While we may all be tired & fed up, the virus is taking advantage of our fatigue & gaining momentum. By adhering to health measures, masks, handwashing, distancing, we can prevent its spread. Stay at home, avoid large gatherings & poorly ventilated indoor spaces.”
The NCDC DG said the confirmed cases and deaths are not just numbers but people whose loss will be deeply felt.
He said the centre is committed to going over and beyond in response to the pandemic.
”The response starts and ends with the people of this country,” he said.
“Testing remains free in public health labs, sample collection centres are being scaled up by state governments & other measures.”
So far, Nigeria has confirmed 101,331 cases; 80,491 people have been discharged while 1,361 have lost their lives to the infection.