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NCDC: Many health workers still doubt existence of coronavirus

Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu addressing the press at the presentation of 15,000 COVID-19 test kits to NCDC by UNICEF in Abuja on Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020. [Twitter-@NCDCgov]

Oladipo Ogunbode, assistant director, department of prevention programmes and management, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says it is surprising that health workers still doubt the existence of COVID-19.

According to newsmen, Ogunbode stated this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at a conference to mark the 2020 health week, themed: “Outbreak of Disease in Nigeria: Are We Ready?”

Ogunbode said it is hard to understand how health workers who had come in contact with victims of COVID-19 in the line of duty, still doubted the existence of the virus.

Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu addressing the press at the presentation of 15,000 COVID-19 test kits to NCDC by UNICEF in Abuja on Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020. [Twitter-@NCDCgov]

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“Health workers should create awareness on COVID-19, but many of them still doubt its existence. We must work hard to remove such doubt,” he said.

“It’s amazing and inexplicable for medics to doubt the fact that the pandemic was a reality. To handle the doubt, there is the need to increase the level of awareness on the virus.

“As health workers, there is no one of us that does not know at least one person that has not been confirmed COVID-19 positive.”

Ogunbode also lamented the attitude of Nigerians to safety protocols, and urged frontline health workers to be COVID-19 ambassadors by educating people about the virus.

On his part, Olaolu Aderinola, head, response division, department of health emergency, preparedness and response, called on stakeholders involved in the fight against COVID-19 to do more to limit the spread of the virus.

“You find patients shaking hands even in the laboratory. But the message is for us to wear face masks consistently, and in doing this, we must ensure social distancing,” he said.

“Health workers must lead by example. NCDC has come up with a travel advice on our website; we need people to stay at home until it is very essential to travel.”

As of December 9, 2020, Nigeria had confirmed over 70,000 cases of the coronavirus, but over 65,000 people have recovered.

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