Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has explained why some COVID-19 patients are seen dancing and playing in videos of isolation centres which have gone viral.
Speaking on Channels Television‘s Sunrise Daily, Ihekweazu said the disease may not necessarily weaken infected persons like other diseases.
“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 country 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.
“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.
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“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. It is very important that as leaders 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.”
Ihekweazu said the government would have liked to keep patients without symptoms away from hospitals and rather have them self-isolate but for the complex nature of Nigeria and its population.