The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday, raised the alarm that Nigeria had reached a critical level where hospital capacity could no longer cope with more serious COVID-19 cases.
According to him, health workers may be forced to make tough decisions.
“The country has reached a critical level where the hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases and health workers would be forced to make tough decisions.
Dr Ihekweazu gave the warning in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He also urged those in the frontline to maintain “a higher index of suspicion for COVID-19.”
The NCDC boss added that health workers should not rule out COVID-19 even while treating malaria patients.
“We need to protect our more vulnerable citizens. We all have to take responsibility, this is not for NCDC, PTF or government alone,” Ihekweazu said.
Dr Ihekweazu warned that the virus was spreading fast, causing mild symptoms in some and severe illness/death in others.
He said many people in the country had continued to experience fatigue and other symptoms even after recovery from the virus.
The NCDC DG regretted that in the last four weeks, Nigeria recorded a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases.
“We have now reported over 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
“This is a stark reminder of the reality we live in now: a virus that has affected over 100,000 lives and led to over 1,300 deaths within 11 months in Nigeria, with millions more globally”.
He said those organising large gatherings indoors were not only putting themselves and guests at risk, but the staff who had limited choice but to serve.
“By going to clubs, you are putting your parents at risk.
“The 100,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths are not just numbers.
“These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends whose deaths will be mourned and the pain of their loss deeply felt.
“The response starts and ends with the people of this country,” he said.