The Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has appealed to residents of Lagos, FCT and Ogun to be patient while the lockdown order over the outbreak of Coronavirus is being enforced.
Speaking on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’, the NCDC DG stated that the objective of the lockdown is not to end the outbreak but to stop transmission to some extent.
Chikwe further revealed that the second goal of the lockdown was to enable the public health response to build up its efficiency.
“The goal of the lockdown is not to get to the end of this outbreak because that is not a realistic goal; the goal of the lockdown was to keep people a little bit apart to stop transmission to some extent.
“The second goal was to enable the public health response to build up its efficiency and that is really what we have focused on in the last two weeks and what we will work very hard on in the next 10 days to make sure that we finalise.”
Chikwe who disclosed that tackling COVID-19 was easier said than done in a complex country like Nigeria which has population density and unique challenges, insisted that there were indicators that there have been fewer contacts among individuals by 60-70 per cent.
“We have a big problem ahead of us … we must focus on the problem at hand and that is really what we are encouraging all of us to do at state, federals.
“We can get ahead of this but we can’t do that if we keep disputing lab results and fighting over details of things that are not really relevant in the big response.
“Life will never be the same, it will not be the same and Nigerians have to prepare for a different type of life once the lockdown starts and that’s really my big message today; life will not be the same as we knew it before COVID-19 – a lot of changes that we have introduced into the society will have to continue in the short term.”