The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that it is following up 91 percent of persons that have come in contact with confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
It also revealed that there are early indicators of community transmission, noting that it hasn’t quite figured out from whom about 30 percent of the cases they are handling got the infection from.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, made these known in Abuja during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
According to him: “We can confirm that we know and are following up 91 percent as at yesterday of all the contacts of all the confirmed cases. So, as at yesterday, we had identified and are following up everyday 91 percent of all the contacts of confirmed cases that were confirmed up to the end of yesterday.
“We are seeing some early indication on a community transmission. That is why the last time I presented these figures, about 30 percent of patients, we haven’t quite figured out from whom they got that infection. That is an early indicator of community spread, and we are working extremely hard right. That’s the purpose of the lockdown”.
Ihekweazu apologised for the error in the reported two new cases in Bauchi State. He explained that the said results were repeat tests for previously confirmed
“Yesterday, we erroneously reported 2 new cases in Bauchi. Following further review, we can confirm that these were repeat tests for previously confirmed cases.
“We apologise for this error and remain committed to ensuring transparent and accurate reporting of test results.
“Every new confirmed case is followed up by testing every 48 to 72 hours. There’s no other way to know whether you’ve cleared the virus. So, sometimes when these forms and samples come to the labs, it’s not always easy because sometimes the forms are not complete to say whether this is a new case or a repeat test for an existing case. In this particular case there was a mistake. We corrected it and made it public. I think we did the right thing,” he said.
Concerning rumours that the NCDC has spent about N1bn in sending SMS messages to Nigerians, the NCDC boss said: “There was a fake news relating to us directly yesterday about how we spend N1 billion on SMS messages.
“We keep trying to debunk these messages and keep trying to focus on the work that we’re doing. There was no N1 billion spent on SMS; in fact, we have not spent a single naira on SMS messages.
“Every single SMS you get with NCDC messages have been supported by the private sector; paid for directly by some of the big TelCos. There wasn’t actually any transfer of cash and I actually don’t know what they have paid, that is, if they paid anything. I receive the text messages s just like you do”.