The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has asked professional groups and faith-based organisations, including churches and mosques, to submit guidelines for reopening to the NCDC to review and advise.
The NCDC DG stated this in Abuja at the press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said: “This is what we’ve been advising every society, organisation, community, be it faith-based, cultural based, professionally based, to come up with guidelines for themselves. We are happy to advise and engage, but this needs to be led and owned by the leaders of those organisations.”
The NCDC DG further advised Nigerians to observe all necessary precautions as the virus is real and could turn fatal if all hands are not on deck to combat it.
He said, “An issue that has led to a bit of conversation and consternation in some places are visuals of people in treatment centres in relative comfort, and the anxiety that has led to discussions, comparing those images to the images we also see on TV of very severe cases in different parts of the world.’’
“This is an imagery we don’t want to see in Nigeria, but if we have to, we will deal with it. It’s always important to remind people of the full spectrum of clinical presentation we see with this new virus.’’
“We see a new disease that, in 80 per cent of cases, people are mildly or completely asymptomatic, i.e. they don’t have any symptoms at all. Under normal circumstances, there won’t be any reason for these people to be in hospitals and isolated.”
The NCDC DG added that every stakeholder in society needed to take responsibility in preventing the spread and reporting suspected cases of the virus to the NCDC.