Covid-19: NDDC predicts spike in Jan as Nigeria records 749 new infections

Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu

The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) has predicted a significant increase in coronavirus infections in Nigeria by January, 2021.

The Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu, speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, at the Presidential Task force (PTF) National Briefing, said Nigeria would in January 2021 pay the price of violating the COVID-19 protocols during the festivities.

“We just faced the worst week since we started responding to this outbreak. We had more cases in Nigeria last week than in any other previous week since the beginning of the outbreak.

“Pictures and videos from across the country paint a very disheartening situation because it appears that our messaging, our appeals to Nigerians over the last few months have not been heeded and we have gone ahead with business as usual. Events centres are full, social activities are full and so it is no surprising that cases are rising.

“January will be a tough month, no doubt about it. So, we have to brace ourselves for the consequences of the activities that we decided to carry out in December. Our colleagues, the Chief Medical Directors CMDs are here today because of the pressures that we face across the country,” he said.

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Ihekweazu added: “Our treatment centres are filling up, we are struggling to keep up, we are struggling to find the facilities and oxygen to manage. Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care.

”So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough, but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do, liaising with state governors to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have collectively agreed on.

“We have seen some of them doing that but many of the states in the country haven’t and pretend as if there will be no consequences. This is the reality we face and so we have got to brace ourselves for January.”

The NCDC boss noted that in terms of the new variant of the virus, there was no change in the presentation of symptoms, except that it was more transmissible which would mean more cases, including critical ones, and the possible increase in fatalities.

NDDC reports 749 new Covid-19 infections

Meanwhile, the NCDC has registered 749 new infections of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The NCDC made this known on Tuesday.

With the new figure, Nigeria, has so far tested 937,712 people since the first COVID-19 confirmed case was made known on Feb. 27.

The public health agency said that the new infections were recorded in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the total number of infections in the country was now 85,560.

The NCDC stated that 71,937 patients had recovered from the virus and discharged as 580 new patients were discharged from isolation centres across the country.

It noted that the death toll from the virus increased by three, raising the total number of deaths to 1,267 nationwide.

“Our discharges today include 279 community recoveries in Lagos State and 106 community recoveries in the FCT,  managed in line with guidelines,” it said.

Of the new infections, the NCDC stated that Lagos State recorded 299 new cases, followed by Plateau with 131 cases and Kaduna with 83 cases.

The FCT recorded 74 new infections, Kwara, 35;  Sokoto, 26;  Edo, 18; and Kano had 17.

Katsina got 16 newly infected people;  Delta, 11; Nasarawa,10;  Ondo and Bauchi had nine each  Rivers, five;  Akwa Ibom, three;  Jigawa, Osun and Ekiti had one each.

The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level Three, was coordinating the response activities nationwide.

The agency noted that to date Week 52 had the highest number of infections.

“The analysis shows that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out are positive. We are also seeing increasing transmission among younger people and this is not considered good and safe.

“We must, therefore, exercise utmost restraint by taking responsibility,” the NCDC stated.