Coronavirus: Nobody listened when we raised alarm says NCDC DG

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has disclosed that the agency subsequently had raised the alarm that diseases of the coronavirus nature could occur anytime, hence, there was need for preparation. The DG made this known to journalists on Thursday after defending the 2021 budget of his agency before the Nigerian Senate, noting that at the time they were raising the alarm, nobody took them seriously. Ihekweazu, however, acknowledged the National Assembly for enacting laws that set them up as a full-fledged agency of government, a development that made them have the capacity to deal with the pandemic and any probable virus related issues in the future. He called for sustained financing for health security, explaining that health funding is not only when there is problem but should be a preparedness against unforeseen circumstances. He said his agency is counting on the committee for more support and sustained funding for health security. “This year’s budget, everybody understands that the country is passing through a very challenging period. We all have to be moderate in our expectations in terms of budgetary circle, more than ever before, Nigerians have come to understand why it’s important to invest in preparedness. “The entire economy of Nigeria came to a standstill because of a single infectious disease and to prevent that from happening again in the future is to invest in the resources; in the human being; invest in equipment in our labs, EOCs, so that we can get on with our lives,” he said.

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