The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on August 17 has attributed increased testing to the reduction in COVID-19 infection rates across the country.
Speaking with Channels TV during Monday’s COVID-19 update, the DG said that the increased testing at state levels, especially within Lagos State, has led to a fewer number of people testing positive after evaluation.
The DG urged Nigerians to understand that the figures are real and not manipulated, adding that the world is in a new era of information where every bit is analyzed. This, he said, has enabled a global response as the world has never experienced a virus with this magnitude of economic impact.
Speaking further, the DG said that labs are not the reason for the initial low testing capacity. Instead, the low testing environment is way beyond NCDC’s capacity, as testing challenges include organizing and transporting samples for test, and sending the results back to Nigerians.
He noted that Nigerians have trust issues with the system and stressed the need for confidence in the public health sector. He then called for a bottom-up approach in fixing state healthcare with stakeholders from the public and private health industry.
The DG acknowledged that the reduced deaths is a result of the hard work of the Presidential COVID-19 Response Team and highlighted two strategic goals of the team which includes controlling the pandemic and upgrading health infrastructure.
The NCDC boss confirmed that Nigeria is working with the African Union on a vaccine strategy to ensure global vaccine access. He furthered that Nigeria has delivered life-saving vaccines for the eradication of polio and has the necessary experience in delivering vaccines to rural and urban areas.
Nigeria is currently on its way to recording 50,000 cases with 49,895 cases so far. There have been 37,051 recoveries and 981 deaths.