The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that no state in the country can claim to be Coronavirus free.
It explained the only way states and countries across the world can be COVID-19 free is when a vaccine to effectively fight the virus is discovered.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who made these known in Abuja, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, urged states to intensify their efforts on strict compliance with preventive measures.
He said: “Concerning some States declaring themselves covid-19 free, because they were discharging patients, I will like to say no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one.
“No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any. We can’t separate ourselves from the rest of the country because we live in a context and viruses spread.
“That is why prevention is very important; if you can’t prevent, then you must detect. It is that detection that we call lab testing, and that is why we have to scale our lab test.
“We can only start talking about any state or community being disease free when we have an effective tool to fight that disease. That will come when we have a vaccine. Until then, there is no easy way to say this. We have to keep pushing on these preventive measures and we have to develop our laboratory capacity to test.
“I think there are six or seven states in the country that do not have a testing facility yet; there are some that are in progress using the GeneXpert technology. By next week, we will be able to say that the country is covered.
“The challenge will now be about how to convey the samples from one part of the state to the other depending on how big the state is. We want to make sure we have testing capabilities in every State in Nigeria.”