Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said that the country will experience an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases because of the disregard for safety guidelines put in place by citizens.
Residents in Lagos, Ogun and FCT poured out on Monday, besieging banks, markets and motor parks as government gradually eases the total lockdown it imposed on all three cities earlier.
Ihekweazu while speaking at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, said government may be forced to issue another lockdown if cases explode.
He said, “It is not the guidelines per se, it is the thinking behind it. How do we want to manage the risk of explosion and transmission? Today, we might forgive a little bit because it is the first day.
“We will have infection because of what happened today, no doubt about that. But how can we learn from the mistakes of today into tomorrow, next tomorrow so by Friday hopefully we have normalised some of these things.
“Yes, we knew today would be a problem because for the first time, people were let out of their homes but now they are out and we have seen the sunlight again, the challenge for us as a society is how do we now organise ourselves to mitigate these risks and limit transmission?
“We might have a few extra infection today and tomorrow but what we don’t want is an explosion of new infections.
“If we do have that infection, there will be almost no choice left for the leadership of the country than to ask all of us to go back into our homes.
“So, for the benefit of coming out to reopen parts of the economy, there is a price to pay which is to reorganise ourselves to do this safely.”