The Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said the the patients in the video looking active does not mean they are not ill.
He stated this during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
According to Ihekweazu, coronavirus is an infectious disease which may not necessarily weaken infected persons the way other diseases do.
Responding to a question, he explained;
I think people really need to understand why people are being put in these centres. Normally, you only go into a hospital when you’re ill, get a diagnosis, and then you are sometimes admitted if you’re very ill.
But in this case, following the experience from other countries, we made a decision as a nation to also put people in isolation centres not just because they are ill on their own but in order to stop them from transmitting this virus to others.
The NCDC DG stressed that;
When I travelled to China in late February or early March, things were put in place for these people (in quarantine), so they could exercise and dance because it is not easy to be somewhere, in isolation for three to four weeks when you are not physically ill.
So, these are things we have to use to reassess our decisions. It is very difficult to make decisions based on one viral video. One Whatsapp video does not represent the experience of people across the country.
He added that;
We are not pushed down a decision path because one video happened to go viral. Many people in these centres around the country are complying.
The NCDC boss said the government has considered home care for asymptomatic patients, to free up bed spaces for those physically ill, but said due to the complex nature of the country in terms of population, such an approach may not work.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to take ownership of the coronavirus response to ensure victory over the pandemic.
Watch viral video of coronavirus patients in isolation centre below;
Covid-19 patients dancing inside an Isolation centre.
Watch and RT. pic.twitter.com/Cbq6mVN9xp
— T. Bolanle Cole Esq.🇳🇬 (@BolanleCole) May 18, 2020