The Nigeria Center for Disease Control says the fact that some patients with coronavirus are seen in videos of playing and dancing on social media in isolation centers does not mean they are not sick.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the NCDC, said this on Thursday’s Sunrise Daily on Channels Television.
Ihekweazu said that COVID-19 is an infectious disease that, like other diseases, does not automatically weaken infected people.
He replied a query,
I think people really need to understand why people are being put in these centres. Normally, you only go into a hospital when you’re ill, get a diagnosis, and then you are sometimes admitted if you’re very ill.
“But in this case, following the experience from other countries, we made a decision as a country to also put people in isolation centres not just because they are ill on their own but in order to stop them from transmitting this virus to others.
“When I travelled to China in late February or early March, things were put in place for these people (in quarantine), so they could exercise and dance because it is not easy to be somewhere, in isolation for three to four weeks when you are not physically ill.
“So, these are things we have to use to reassess our decisions. It is very difficult to make decisions based on one viral video. One Whatsapp video does not represent the experience of people across the country. It is very important that as leaders we are not pushed down a decision path because one video happened to go viral. Many people in these centres around the country are complying.”
The NCDC boss said the government would have liked to keep asymptomatic patients away from hospitals and instead have them self-isolated so that those who are physically ill would have enough bed spaces but said that such an approach may not work because of the complex nature of Nigeria and the population.
He stressed the need for the Nigerians to take ownership of the response to COVID-19 to ensure its effectiveness.