COVID-19 Can Spread Through Air – Chikwe Ihekweazu

Speaking at the Presidential Task Force briefing on Monday, Ihekweazu said the World Health Organization (WHO) had acknowledged this reality and had also updated its guidelines to accommodate this emerging fact about COVID-19.

The NCDC DG, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Consultant in Public Health Medicine / Photo credit: guardian.ng
The NCDC DG, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Consultant in Public Health Medicine / Photo credit: guardian.ng

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday said that findings and emerging evidence were pointing to possible airborne transmission of COVID-19.

Speaking at the Presidential Task Force briefing on Monday, Ihekweazu said the World Health Organization (WHO) had acknowledged this reality and had also updated its guidelines to accommodate this emerging fact about COVID-19.

READ ALSO: As COVID-19 Deaths Hit 709, Lagos Reports New High Of 224 Single Day Cases

He said, “As I often say we are learning about this new virus. Understand the modes of transmission of any new virus is very critical for defining response strategies. For COVID-19, from the very beginning our understanding was that spread was primarily through droplets excretion from the respiratory tract.

“However, as we have studied transmission, we saw an evidence from clusters of infection that shows that droplets transmission do not seem to be the only mode of transmission.

He said finding in the last weeks were pointing to possible airborne transmission of COVID-19, adding that it was a call to adapt safety guidelines to emerging evidence.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Near 32,000

Ihekweazu said, “Over the past few weeks, increasing evidence have emerged that in addition to droplet transmission we cannot rule out airborne transmission of COVID-19. The World Health Organisation has updated it’s guidelines saying exactly the same thing: that we cannot rule out airborne transmission.

“So we have to act in a precautionary way assuming that this is also possible hiving the new evidence that is emerging. Why is this important? It means that staying together in closed places in clusters such as restaurants, small rooms with poor ventilation. Indoor activities are risky than outdoor activities, especially when there are many people in the room and we don’t adhere to social distancing and wear mask.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s COVID-19 Deaths Now 740

Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to adhere to social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings as the NCDC was working to adapt its safety protocol to accommodate emerging evidence on the transmission of the virus.

“What does this mean for response? It means we must speak in louder voice on things that we have been saying. We have to strength further the avoidance of mass gatherings, or gathering of any nature.

“We have to pay attention to social distancing, wearing mask, avoid overcrowded places. We will keep adapting our guidelines inline with emerging evidence”, he said.

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State / Photo credit: Guardian.ng

35 Kwara Doctors Infected With COVID-19

The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party has been enmeshed leadership crisis since its national was removed by the appellate court / Photo credit: The Nation

The Ruling Party And Drama Of Different Parts