Nigeria Cannot Isolate Herself In The Fight Against Covid- 19 ---------- Ncdc Boss

Director General, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekwazu has said Nigeria cannot isolate itself in the fight against Covid-19 since "it is a global outbreak."

Ihekwazu spoke in Abuja Thursday.

His words, "It has become clearer to all of us that we will have to live with this virus for a long time to come and living with it means not only saving lives from the virus but also saving lives from all the other things that afflict us. 

"So, we must keep our primary healthcare working. The work of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has become more important than ever before.

"Over the last few days, there have been a lot of very emotional and actually, correct to some extent, statements about looking inwards. 

"There is nothing more important that we should do than look inwards but we must also remember that this is not a Nigerian outbreak.

"It is a global outbreak and we have to engage globally. That global engagement starts from Science and understanding the factors driving this outbreak in Nigeria and globally.

"Slowly, we are rethinking our response at the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC from one of just going around and trying to subdue the impact of the outbreak to one that is increasingly science-led; evidence-led. 

"We want to dig deeper into what is driving this outbreak in certain parts of the country and use that to inform the response. So, how has this changed our work? Over the last few days, we are beginning to focus a bit more on the research side of things. 

"We brought together TETFUND, the NUC and under the Minister of state for Health to start thinking about what the research priorities are for us in Nigeria and how we can drive this research not just in the long term but also in the short term and how we can now use this to improve our own guidelines, our training and make it a point of reference for our own response."

Ihekwazu spoke as the Health Minister asked Nigerians to stop asking him about the Chinese doctors who came to help the spread of the pandemic.

According to Dr Ehanire, he would really be grateful if Nigerians stopped asking him about the whereabouts of the Chinese medical team.

"On the Chinese doctors, I want to first of all explain that I think not all of them were doctors and I think that I heard that some of them are technicians but they are staff of CCECC. 

"The Ministry of Health is not their host. So, we cannot always explain what happened to them or where they are. 

"There seems to be a lot of interest in these doctors but they are staff of the company and I think they are on the company visa. So, I will be very happy if you do not ask me about where they are because they are not really our guests in that sense. 

"But we have been able to learn some things from them by interacting with them on their experiences in their country. We have shared experiences as to what they did in their country, how they managed their Covid-19".

The PTF had on April 6, 2020, defended the coming of the Chinese team, saying every country needs all the help it can get and that even the "almighty United States of America USA" is seeking external help.

The PTF stated then that, the Chinese will only offer their experiences and expertise as they are not accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to ply their trade in the country, pointing out that no country on earth has greater experience than China when it comes to managing the Covid-19.