The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has re-emphasised that COVID-19 lockdown was not to end the disease but to keep people apart to stop its transmission to an extent and to build public health response efficiency.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, made the assertion while speaking on Sunrise Daily programme on Channels Television on Thursday morning.
“The goal of the lockdown is not to get to the end of this outbreak because that is not a realistic goal.
“On the goal of the lockdown, there are two things.
“Firstly, to keep people a little bit apart so that we stop transmission to some extent.
“And even though the lockdown has not been perfect, we have also some indicators to show that we are mixing a lot less,” he said.
“There are some analysis from Google that shows us that in many of the places that we need to congregate it is down by 60, 70 per cent .
“There is no doubt that there is less contact between individuals and that has hopefully had an impact on transmission.’’
On the second goal for the lockdown, Ihekweazu said: “It is to enable the public health response to build up its efficiency.
“That is what we are really focused on in the last two weeks and what we must work very hard on in the next 10 days is to make sure that we finalise.
“This is so that this whole chain can work seamlessly.
“So, this is just to let everyone to know that, we are not anticipating that in the next 10 days, we will get to zero .
“We are anticipating that we will have a public health response that can work while slowly people start going about their small businesses,’’ he said.
The NCDC director-general said it was unlikely that everything, including businesses, schools, markets, airports and others would reopen on the same day after the lockdown directive would have been lifted.
According to him, it will be a gradual, carefully, calibrated reopening of the economy.
He urged Nigerians to continue to wash their hands with soap and clean running water, use hand sanitisers, observe social distancing and other hygiene measures recommended to keep the virus at bay. (NAN)