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NCDC predicts spike in COVID-19 cases due to gross violations of guidelines

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As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has predicted a sharp spike in cases of COVID-19 in the country due to gross violations of safety protocols.

This was revealed on Tuesday by the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu who said that Nigeria would next month pay the price of violating the protocols during the festivities.

Dr Ihekweazu, who stated this during the briefing of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, added that pictures and videos from across the country paint a very disheartening situation as people wantonly breach set safety guidelines to stem the virus.

According to him, events centres are full, social activities are full and so it is no surprising that cases are rising as the second wave of the pandemic sweeps across the country.

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He said; “We just faced the worst week since we started responding to this outbreak. We had more cases in Nigeria last week than in any other previous week since the beginning of the outbreak.

“Pictures and videos from across the country paint a very disheartening situation because it appears that our messaging, our appeals to Nigerians over the last few months have not been heeded and we have gone ahead with business as usual. Events centres are full, social activities are full and so it is no surprising that cases are rising.

“January will be a tough month, no doubt about it. So, we have to brace ourselves for the consequences of the activities that we have decided to carry out in December. Our colleagues, the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) are here today because of the pressures that we face across the country.

“Our treatment centres are filling up, we are struggling to keep up, and we are struggling to find the facilities and oxygen to manage. Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care.

“So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do, liaising with state governors to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have collectively agreed on. 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 consequences. This is the reality we face and so we have got to brace ourselves for January”, he stated.

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