The Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria, IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum on Monday predicted that Nigeria may record over 100,000 cases of Coronavirus in the next two or three months (September) even as he urged the 36 state Governors to take responsibility in tackling the spread of the virus.
Speaking on a television programme, Dakum who said the country may not experience a second wave of the virus said the current rise in cases was just an exponential rise and not second wave.
He said: “It is extremely difficult to put a figure to it but from what we have now because from 5,000 a month, we get to another 5,000 a month and now you get 17,000. If we don’t do anything about the people that are infected because most of the new infections were a result of the carelessness of people, we are still going to see that as we move on.
“If we are not careful within the next two or three months Nigeria may get over 100,000 cases. It is just an estimate because the virus behaves the way it behaves. It is a new virus; it is like building a ship and sailing the ship at the same time. We are learning about it and taking action. Together, we will support everyone to take responsibility.”
Continuing, he said the rise in over exponential rise in COVID-19 cases requires an exponential response.
Dakum said: “We are not yet in the second wave. For Nigeria, my prediction is that there may not necessarily be a second wave but there may just be one big wave that is prolonged for a period of time. It is something we just saw coming and aggressive prevention measures could have slowed down but unfortunately, we are where we are now and therefore, we just have to deal with the situation the way we have found it,” he added.
He said presently, Nigeria requires extraordinary measures coupled with the already put in place measures to tackle the spread.
Specifically, Dakum said the 36 State governors have to take responsibility to tackle the spread by ensuring aggressively testing in each of the states.
Dakum said the state governments should take deliberate measures to ensure that every state has more than one testing centres to ensure that more people are tested.
“Another important measure in this aggressive drive is to be able to at some point narrowed this infection to communities and clusters and the only way we can do that is that except every state governor take responsibility in testing. Take responsibility for additional testing sites.
Spend the money as a governor and get additional centres. When you are fighting a war you need to concentrate on where the enemy is. This enemy is a virus we can find out by testing. We should rate every Governor on the COVID-19 by the number of tests they have carried out and now when we have now identified the positives, there will be clusters.”
The IHVM boss stressed the need for state governments to begin to implement some measure of enforcement of the guidelines, adding that combining both soft and hard measures would help drive the response.
“Sometimes unless people see somebody taking the brunt through some level of disciplinary measures it is difficult for them to relate to it.
He said although, there is knowledge about the disease across the country, many Nigerians are yet to get the message. “For example, standing on the pulpit and just say wear your face mask is not enough anymore.
But the message must go down to the little communities. Somebody needs to debunk the myths. We have done enough on the knowledge but the practice is very low. And to get that attitude we must go down to interpersonal communication,” he added.
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