Second Wave: If Sick, First Test for COVID-19 Before Treating Malaria, NCDC Boss Tells Nigerians

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has advised that Nigerians when sick, should first ensure it is not COVID-19 they are suffering from before treating malaria.

NCDC Director General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle – @Chikwe_1 – on Monday.

He wrote, “We have now reported over 100,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases in Nigeria. This is a stark reminder of the reality we live in now – a virus that has affected over 100,000 lives and led to over 1,300 deaths within 11 months in Nigeria…with millions more globally

“In the last 4 weeks, we‘ve recorded a spike in the number of new #COVID19 cases. 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.

“The silent face of #COVID19.

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.

“To the public, if unwell rule out COVID-19 before treating for malaria.

“We all have to #TakeResponsibility – this is not for NCDC, PTF or Govt alone. 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.”

Noting that video evidence from different isolation centres across the country were proof that COVID19 is real, Ihekweazu charged Nigerians to take personal responsibility to protect themselves from the virus.

He went further to say, “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. We need to protect our more vulnerable citizens.

“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.

“MOST IMPORTANT of all, the 100,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths are not just numbers. These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends whose deaths will be mourned & the pain of their loss deeply felt. The response starts and ends with the people of this country.

“We @NCDCgov are committed to going over & beyond, working with other government & private organisations in response to this pandemic

“Testing remains free in public health labs, sample collection centres are being scaled up by State Govts & other measures.”

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