The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Mr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has explained why the agency is not doing door to door testing for the COVID-19.
According to him, door-to-door testing is currently not a realistic strategy for the over 200 million Nigerians in the country.
The strategy, however, that has proven to be more feasible, is identifying people who meet the case definition within communities and getting their samples out for testing.
“It’s not really our strategy to go door-to-door to 200 million Nigerians,” Ihekweazu said while answering questions during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Friday.
“We have a strategy of looking for people who meet the case definition and even in communities where we are testing, we are not testing everybody. We are still asking “do you meet that case definition?” if yes, we collect samples,”.
Not A Silver Bullet
Addressing questions on the use of face masks, the NCDC DG said they only serve as an extra layer of protection from the COVID-19 but are not an all-in-one solution to the virus.
“The masks can only be used in conjunction with everything else,” he said, adding: “It is not a silver bullet and this is something we’ve been emphasizing as much as possible.
“It is just an additional measure to everything else we’ve been doing and so, we have to continue doing those things together.
“Yes, we’ve all started using masks whenever we are outside but please don’t stop washing your hands, don’t stop your physical distancing. Do all of them together. It is only by doing them together that we will get the effect that we want”.
In some states across the country such as Cross River, wearing face masks has become compulsory, failure of which serious sanctions will be meted out on defaulters.
In Lagos State which has become the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria, the Government says it will enforce the use of face masks from next week, in addition to the other measures being put in place.