Stop COVID-19 spread now – WHO warns Nigeria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned Nigeria to stop the spread of COVID-19 now that cases are still few.

The world body said it might be too late, too hard, or almost impossible to deal with a much bigger and wider crisis.

The Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday Nigeria should stop the virus from spreading by identifying and isolating those who had tested positive.

Nigeria has 70 confirmed cases and one death while three persons have recovered; about 4,370 persons who have had contact with positive cases are also being traced.

But Ghebreyesus said Nigeria might not be able to cope with a surge in cases should the community transmission starts.

He said, “We need to do the public health interventions effectively to test cases, to follow up contacts and isolate the cases so the problem doesn’t grow. Meaning, from the sporadic cases or cluster cases, they would not grow into community transmission.

“The problem comes when community transmission starts, when the number of cases builds; when that happens, then doing the solutions, follow up, quarantine and so on would be difficult if not impossible. At the same time, growing cases means the healthcare system could be overwhelmed too.”

The WHO chief said Nigeria should invest more in public health interventions and follow the body’s guidelines on COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Over 25,000 people have died from the coronavirus, more than 550,000 have been infected and over 127,000 have recovered globally.

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