Low Rate in COVID-19 due to Low Test Coverage –  NCDC DG

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The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu on Monday said the present drop in the cases of those who test positive for the Coronavirus is not a sign that the virus is lessening and cannot be celebrated yet as it is attributed to low test coverage.

The NCDC DG while making specific reference to the reported drop in reported cases of the virus to 97 and three deaths arising from the disease on Sunday, said Nigeria is not yet out of the woods, as the country is still threatened by the Coronavirus.

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Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

He warned that although the country has recorded a decline in number of Coronavirus cases, it’s not yet time to jubilate as Nigeria has not tested adequately and therefore risks a resurgence.

Ihekweazu, informed that the country recorded a 36 percent decline nationally in August compared to July, while the positivity ratio dropped from 20 per cent in June to 7 per cent in July.

“You might think that that is good news and we should he celebrating, unfortunately, we cannot celebrate this until we test sufficient numbers in every state in the country.

“One critical issue is the number of test being done and yes the number of test has actually declined, but another important indicator that we look at is the test positivity ratio nationally”, he said.

According to Ihekweazu, “the only states that can celebrate decline in cases confidently are Lagos and Kano states as well as the FCT, because they have tested high numbers, but the same cannot be said at the national level because some states are but testing”

He decried that the NCDC cannot make any interpretation on the data in Taraba, Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, jigawa and Yobe states.

“We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where are we.

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“So we have to work together, in summary, it’s way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not, some interpretation can be made in Lagos, FCT, because they are testing enough, but we can’t do this in a national level”.

The DG noted that countries that seem to have seen a decline are seeing resurgence of cases.

He further announced that the NCDC and the NIMR have launched a COVID-19 household Seroprelevence surveys in selected states in Nigeria to better understand the burden of the virus in the country.

He said the surveillance will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos states.

As at 21 September, NCDC announced that Nigeria has recorded 57437 cases have been confirmed, 48674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

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