Nigeria

COVID-19: One in 4 calls we receive is hoax — NCDC chair

COVID-19: One in 4 calls we receive is hoax — NCDC chair
COVID-19: One in 4 calls we receive is hoax — NCDC chair
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC DG.

By Chioma Obinna

The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday, said one in four calls the NCDC received last week was a hoax.

Speaking during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, Ihekweazu who said the quality of their call centre had improved from what it used to be, lamented that 26 percent of the calls they receive were all hoax.

His words: “We have improved on our call centre, but last week one in four calls we received was a hoax call. Again, 26 percent of all calls we received at the call centre are all hoax calls.”

Speaking on the transmission of COVID-19 testing results, he said the Agency was currently working on an online platform that would ease challenges of transmitting results to patients.

“With this,” he said, “we will no longer rely on state government or hospitals to transmit results. There is a process in transmitting results. We want to alter it with technology.

“There is a bigger challenge which we are addressing. Right now, there is an online platform we are setting up to transmit results online and you can walk in and check your result with your code and be sure that everyone with the positive result has been notified.”

On the evacuation of patients, he further explained that NCDC does not pick up patients at home or involved in the clinical management of patients.

Besides the NCDC hoax calls, he noted that “our role is to connect you to the state. NCDC never picks up patients, but connect you to state that picks you up. As a public health institute, NCDC is not involved in clinical management. It is not our role to evacuate patients.”

Ihekweazu, who further noted that it was too early to determine the actual effect of COVID-19 on victims, said open wounds do not transmit COVID-19.

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