Nigeria: No State in Nigeria Is Free of COVID-19 - NCDC

A situations report showing Nigeria's COVID-19 cases on June 21, 2020.

All states in Nigeria have recorded at least a case of COVID-19 ravaging the world, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu, said on Monday.

Mr Ihekweazu's statement is against the current background that Cross River is the only state yet to record a case of the virus.

As of June 21, Nigeria has recorded 20,244 cases in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

That made Cross River the only state yet to officially record a case even though some health officials believe the State government has not been transparent in COVID-19 testing in the state.

Despite claims that there is no trace of the virus in the state, a member of the state house of assembly, Godwin Akwaji, died at the COVID-19 isolation centre in the state on June 18.

Mr Ihekweazu's remarks on Monday suggest a case has likely been confirmed in Cross River.

Another state, Kogi, is still at loggerheads with the agency over the reported discovery of coronavirus cases in the state.

'No state is free'

Mr Ihekweazu while speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing said no state and country in the world is free of COVID-19.

"No state, no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one.

"No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand, that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any," he said.

He reiterated the agency's commitment to continue to test more people and put them on treatment.

"We can't separate ourselves from the rest of the country. We live in a context, viruses spread, it's the nature of them, so right now no state is COVID-19 free.

"That's why we have to keep doing this work that we are doing, testing people, finding out if they have it," he said.

Testing

Meanwhile, at the briefing, the chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, said it is important for Nigerians to carry out tests to ascertain their COVID-19 status.

He noted that the virus is not a death sentence.

"I, therefore, urge Nigerians to make use of these facilities and get tested. Similarly, I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test.

"Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test, especially when symptoms are evident could result in death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full-blown.

"The loss of any Nigerian is not only painful but most avoidable provided we seek help early," he said.

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