Why Nigeria may record more coronavirus cases by NCDC

Medical experts, including the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, have provided reasons why the country could record more cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

They argue that although the nation was not yet testing as much samples as the laboratories could carry, the NCDC is, nevertheless, examining and discovering more incidents.

The professionals, however, said it was too early to draw a conclusion on the disturbing development, as the situation might be an outcome of an increased testing capacity and upsurge in community transmission or awareness among people.

The other specialists comprise a consultant public health physician/epidemiologist and a member of Lagos State COVID-19 Response Team, Prof. Akin Osibogun, and a Permanent Secretary in Delta State Ministry of Health, Asaba/National President, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Dr. Mininim Oseji.

Also, a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing evidence, commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and published in The Lancet, yesterday confirmed that physical distancing of two metres could prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Besides, a personal, handheld device emitting high-intensity ultraviolet light to disinfect areas by killing the novel coronavirus is now feasible, according to a study by researchers at Pennsylvania State, the University of Minnesota, United States, and two Japanese universities, published yesterday in Nature Group publication Physics Communications.

Yet another research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research said pregnant women, who take extra choline supplements, may mitigate the negative impact that viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19, could have on their babies.

Choline is a vitamin B nutrient found in various foods and dietary supplements, and is critical to fetal brain development.

Moreover, a new report showed that lumefantrine, a drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to combat malaria, could enhance the effectiveness of the primary drug used to treat aggressive form of brain cancer, Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

The study was published Wednesday in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and Medical News Today.

The NCDC boss, Ihekweazu, told The Guardian: “At the beginning of the previous week, our major target was to increase the number of samples collected for testing in all states. Although we are still not testing as many samples as our labs have the capacity for, we are testing and finding more cases. Every case is of concern to the government of Nigeria, as these are fathers, mothers, sometimes children, colleagues or friends within our society.”

In a related development, researchers have demonstrated how slow easing of lockdowns is better for the global economy in the long run.

The investigators, from the University College London (UCL), United Kingdom and Tsinghua University, China, in a paper published yesterday in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, concluded that a cautious approach to easing lockdown restrictions that reduces the risk of later shutdowns might be better for the global supply chain in a long while.

The move is the first peer-reviewed study to comprehensively assess the potential global supply chain effects of the novel coronavirus lockdowns, modelling the impact of lockdowns on 140 countries, including countries not directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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