Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says COVID-19 will outspread to every state in the country.
While speaking on channels TV, Ihekweazu said the disease has rolled out to 22 states, adding that other states will record cases.
The NCDC boss stated that Nigeria was not shut down during the lassa fever outbreak because the fever is not on the same level as the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have responded to Lassa smoothly and nobody shut down the country because it wasn’t necessary, the response was fairly efficient,” he said.
“Now, COVID-19 is on a much larger scale – at the moment in 22 states but it will grow to every state in Nigeria, there is no reason why it won’t – it is a respiratory virus.”
Ihekweazu said the health agency has established a testing centre in Kano state to boost testing capacity.
“We just activated the lab in Kano a few days ago. So, these are the results of the increased testing capacity that we are providing for the country,” he said.
“The tests are fairly robust; I can’t say 100 percent but they are as close to that as possible. We had the highest number of positive cases in a single day.
“Since the onset of the outbreak, we are testing a lot more (and) that is beginning to show. It is only so much we can do from NCDC; we are working with the state governments.
“They actually own the response at the state and local levels, and we need all of them now. We really have to face the reality that this is an outbreak, this is a virus.
“It will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt and our responsibility as a country is to prepare more, to be able to detect, isolate, treat, list contacts, and stop transmission.”
On March 30, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory for a period of 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.
The president later extended the lockdown by another two (2) weeks.