The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has predicted that January 2021 would be a tough month as the Nigerian government renews its efforts in fighting the scourge of COVID-19 in the country.
NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this on Tuesday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
For Ihekweazu, Nigerians have refused to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, causing the national response to pass through a challenging phase.
“Unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us,” the NCDC boss said. “Event centers are full; our treatment centers are filling up. We are struggling to keep up, we are struggling to find the facilities to manage, the oxygen to manage.
“Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care. It will be tough but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do by liaising with the executive governors of states across the country to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have agreed on collectively.
“We have seen some of them doing that. But many of the states in the country haven’t and pretend as if there will be no consequence.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, has announced that effective from January the 1st, 2021, the name of passengers who miss their post-arrival PCR Test would be published in the national dailies.
Mustapha said the passports of the first 100 passengers that fail to take their test will be published in the national dailies and be suspended till June 2021, as a deterrent.
“With effect from 1st January 2021 the passports of the first 100. passengers that failed to take their day seven post-arrival PCR test will be published in the national dailies,” he said.
“The passports, as deterrence, will also be suspended till June 2021. At the beginning of my remarks, I underscored the issue of oxygen availability as critical to the success of case management.
“There is an on-going review of the chain for the supply of medical oxygen for our medical facilities across the nation.
“While we work on immediate measures, we wish to express our appreciation to Mr. Raj Gupta and Abuja Steel Mills for bridging the gap in oxygen requirements in Abuja with at least 100 cylinders of medical oxygen daily for the next three months, as part of the contributions of CACOVID.”
Mustapha, who is also the PTF Chairman, asked the sub-nationals to reopen all laboratories and begin scaling up testing, while condemning delays in results and the inability of laboratories to function optimally, in spite of available funds.