Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chike Ihekweazu, has said that the curfew imposed by state governments to halt the looting of warehouses and destruction of property have slowed down testing for COVID-19.
He said posting of results on the centre’s social media handles was halted out of respect for those who lost their lives as a result of the incidents of the past days.
Speaking at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, Ihekweazu said the nation must be careful about the expected spike in COVID-19 cases on account of the nationwide street protests.
He said, “Forty to 60 per cent of our testing cases are reported from Lagos. Our labs in Lagos have not been able to perform as they normally would for the past two to three weeks.
“As we move into the next two weeks, it will not take a rocket scientist to know that we have to watch the numbers very carefully.
“The reasons are obvious; we have gathered in our masses for whatever reason and for now, we have to keep our eyes open for the potential consequences. Those consequences are not inevitable; we can still do our part to prevent them.”
Encouraging Nigerians against despondency, the DG said, “We cannot let down our guards; we cannot afford to add this to the many challenges that we have. Many states have done well by raising their testing capacity. So, we must stay on the ball.”
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has condemned the ongoing nationwide looting of warehouses, where COVID-19 palliatives are stored.