COVID-19: Govt finds 3,550 contacts, concern as cases reach 190

The Federal Government on Thursday said it had succeeded in tracing 3,550 people who came in contact with patients infected with COVID-19 in the country.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this at a press conference organised in Abuja by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the 3,550 people were being monitored for symptoms of coronavirus.

The NCDC said this as there were concerns in the country over the rising COVID-19 cases, which increased to 190 on Thursday.

In Osun State, residents of Ejigbo, where six Cote d’Ivoire returnees tested positive, stayed indoor for fear of contracting the virus.

But in Abuja, the NCDC assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was fighting the virus.

Ihekweazu had, at a  press conference on Tuesday, said  government  was searching for  5,000 people who came in contact with COVID-19 positive patients.

The director general, who said there was an urgent need to get such people and prevent community transmission of the virus, said many of the contacts came from abroad and gave wrong phone numbers and addresses on the flights they boarded.

On Thursday, Ihekweazu was asked the extent government had gone in tracing the contacts following the two-week lockdown the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) ordered in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.

He responded, “We have traced and monitoring 71 per cent of all of them. By the end of today, that figure will increase. This is what this period of two weeks is for. Lagos has been transformational in the last few days. The teams have been able to move incredibly across the state to monitor all these contacts.

“The early cases had large number of contacts.  Many of them were on planes and we have to basically contact everyone. But everyone we identify now has a maximum of 30 or 40 contacts. So the number of contacts in confirmed cases is reducing because we no longer have people that were exposed to a plane.”

On the kits donated to the country by a Chinese billionaire, he said every state government was asked to come to Abuja to collect its share of the kits.

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