Coronavirus: NCDC DG, Ihekweazu quarantined after China trip

The Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has been quarantined for 14 days as part of measures to stop the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from spreading into the country, it was learnt on Tuesday.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this in Abuja while briefing the leadership of the Senate on efforts being made to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.Ehanire said that the DG had to self-quarantine since he just returned from China after partaking in the World Health Organization (WHO) delegation that was in Wuhan, China to understudy the behavioral pattern of the COVID-19.

The Minister said that the 14-day self-quarantine for the NCDC DG was in line with established safety procedure against the Coronavirus.Ehanire said: “We were honored that one of the scientists that WHO (World Health Organization) had chosen to go to China to study the disease was the DG of NCDC.

“We are very proud and honoured that he was the only African who was among the experts.“They went there for nine days, during which time they carried out investigations.“But we have already established rules here that anybody who has been to China will go to self-quarantine.

“Chikwe has gone (to China) and come back and has done the test. It is negative, but we have insisted that he must undergo the 14-day of quarantine which is why he is not here today.“He is not allowed to come out until after 14 days, because if you make rules, you must also obey them, which is to set example for Nigerians that the head of NCDC is self-quarantined as we speak. He’s very well but he has to follow the rules.”

The Minister also briefed the Senate leadership on the efforts being made by the Federal Government to treat the confirmed case in Nigeria as well as prevent the disease from further spreading into the country.Also yesterday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said he would personally lead a Senate delegation to inspect facilities at the isolation centres for those who have contracted the disease at the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja on Wednesday.

Earlier in his remarks, Lawan said that the invitation of the Minister of Health and the DG of NCDC brief the Senate leadership was meant to acquaint Senators with the present situation and efforts at curbing the COVID-19 in the country.He said that the Senate wants to be part of the National efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the disease in the country.

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