The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has explained that Nigerians need to accept that life won’t return to normal even after COVID-19.
Ihekweazu further advised business owners to think of adjusting their business model such that it is compliant to social distancing and reduces the level of interaction among people.
According to the NCDC DG, all Nigerians must accept the reality that a return to the pre-COVID lifestyle; once the current restrictions are relaxed, could bring about a high resurgence of the infection.
He made this disclosure on Tuesday, April 20; while warning that the nation cannot afford to replicate its abandonment of the Ebola precautions when the outbreak was over with COVID-19.
“If I were any small or big business or anything that involves interaction; I will be carefully thinking about my business model and how to adjust them to some extent.
“But, let’s start with the basics. There were a lot of good practices we learnt during the Ebola outbreak that we dropped immediately the outbreak was controlled.
“I think some of those in terms of basic hygiene, using sanitisers, respiratory etiquette, we just have to continue.
“If I were managing a school, I will think about my break period. Do I really want to have one break period where I unleash the entire school population onto the playground? Or do I want to have a standard break period where you allow a few people out at hourly intervals?
“If I were running a restaurant that has a capacity for 100; I will be thinking of how to sustain that restaurant on 40 people to enable some social distancing. These are some of the processes we all need to think about in order to reopen and go back to normal.
“We can’t reopen and go back to normal. We will immediately have a huge resurgence of the infection in our country and that is exactly what you want to protect,” Ihekweazu said.
On the possibility of extended lockdown in some parts of the country, Ihekweazu said that the NCDC would be working over the next 10 days with the thinking that the current window was its last window to make appreciable progress.