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Published On: Wed, Mar 4th, 2020

CoronaVirus: NCDC Boss Chikwe Ihekweazu Quarantined – Health Minister

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

Anxiety over Coronavirus infection has taken a new dimension in the country with the quarantining of the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) , Chikwe Ihekweazu.
Ihekweazu was quarantined shortly after his return from China to Nigeria said the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire who made the disclosure to the leadership of the Senate on Tuesday.
According to him , quarantined NCDC Boss will remain in self isolation in one of the rooms of his house for 14 days.
The NCDC boss had visited China on the request of the Chinese government to understudy and conduct reaserch on the behavioural pattern of CoronaVirus.
He was immediately quarantined as soon as he returned into the country.
NIGERIA’S Health Minister said the action was in line with the safety proceedures by the Ministry of health.
On Nigeria’s level of preparedness, the Minister said the Ministry has established isolation centres in four cities where Nigeria has international airports.
The cities, he said are Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
He added that these were in addition to scanners discretely mounted at the 4 airports that capture body temperature without the passengers being aware.
Earlier in his remarks on the level of preparedness of the health ministry against the scourge in Nigeria, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan expressed concern about the idea of having only four Isolation centres.
He called on the Ministry of Health to immediately “step up” the plan to create more isolation centres all the states of the federation or at least having one in each of the six geopolitical zones.
“We need to do something dramatic”, he said.
Lawan also queried arrangement by the Ministry of Health to set up additional isolation centres in four teaching hospitals.
This was as the Chairman Senate Committee on Public Health, Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe called for the establishment of permanent standard Isolation centres in the country to respond to emergency.
The Federal Government has so far released N600m to prevent an outbreak of CoronaVirus disease in Nigeria but a federal Lawmaker, Chukwuka Utazi(PDP) representing Enugu North, said the amount is too little to count.
He therefore called on government to immediately release N1 billion to the Ministry of Health.

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