The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on today said that it would continue to support state governments to put in place measures to strengthen health security. The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the assurance in an interview with Newsmen in Abuja. Ihekweazu said that since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Nigeria on Feb. 27, the Federal Ministry of Health through NCDC had continued to employ diverse strategies to control its spread. “As of March, 25, 46 cases have been reported in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Oyo, Osun and Bauchi states. “The gradual increase in the number of states affected by COVID-19 makes it more pertinent to strengthen state-level preparedness and response for the disease,” he said. He said that states should invest resources in establishing standard treatment centres and molecular laboratories for testing, adding that this would be supplemented by efforts of the Federal Government. The NCDC boss noted that the centre had organised a ‘COVID-19 States Preparedness and Readiness Workshop. Ihekweazu said that the next phase of the workshop would accommodate participants from states yet to participate. According to him, the objective of the workshop was to ensure that states would use the Incident Management Systems (IMS) to respond to COVID-19 outbreak. He said that in the last two years, NCDC had supported 23 states in the country to establish Emergency Operations Centres and trained them on IMS. The NCDC boss said d that an important outcome, following the workshop, was the development of the pre-IAP by all participants in attendance. He said the NCDC had supported states to develop their pre-Incident Action Plan (IAP) for COVID-19, adding that the plan would require financial investment by the states. Ihekweazu also said that the aim was to share the pre-IAP with the state governments and partners toward prompt establishment of structures and measures for enhanced state-level COVID-19 preparedness and response. He hailed the efforts of state governments especially those of Lagos and Ogun, and called on all state governments to expedite mobilisation of resources for the implementation of the pre-Incident Action Plan. Recall that there are currently 46 coronavirus cases in Nigeria with Lagos recording highest , 30, and Abuja following with eight. One death has been recorded and two patients fully treated and discharged. As in other parts of the world, the number of cases may rise as testing increases. The COVID-19 is affecting 196 countries and territories around the world as well as one international conveyance, the Diamond Princess cruise ship harboured in Yokohama, Japan.
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Wed Mar 25 , 2020