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NCDC denies rumours of lockdown over monkeypox outbreak

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said the monkeypox outbreak is not going to cause another lockdown in the country.

Recall that the Federal Government, during the peak of COVID-19, declared a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic in Nigeria.

As a result of reported monkeypox cases in non-endemic countries and recent updates from the NCDC, there have been concerns among Nigerians on the possibility of another lockdown as was seen with COVID-19 in 2020.

The NCDC director-general, Ifedayo Adetifa, on Tuesday at an online media dialogue on monkeypox spread, infodemic and public health response in Nigeria said the country would not experience another lockdown as a result of the monkeypox outbreak.

Speaking at the event, Adetifa said the NCDC has continued to be transparent with reporting of information regarding diseases that are under its purview, and in the last five years, published reports regularly and made them publicly available on its website.

“Despite that, we still have some disinformation on monkeypox especially since the appearance of cases in non-endemic countries this year,” he said.

“Monkeypox is not a plot by anybody to cause a lockdown or to disrupt our lives as we saw with COVID-19.

“SARS-COV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was a novel pathogen. We didn’t know anything about it and we had to learn and constitute efforts to curb it.

“However, monkeypox is not a novel disease; it has been around. The virus itself was identified for the first time in 1958 and the first human cases were identified in 1970 and 1971.

“So far, based on the information we have from our cases in Nigeria, we’ve not seen any change in transmissibility of the virus or in its clinical manifestation.

“We continue to work hard to gain some insight into the areas that we do not have enough data on such as which animals are reservoirs of this virus.”

Also, incident manager, national monkeypox emergency operations centre, Lateefat Amao, said Nigeria is seeing an increasing number of reported monkeypox cases in 2022 due to increased surveillance and report driven by the global concern.

“We have progressed in preventing, detecting, and responding to the disease. However, the knowledge gap on monkeypox requires more research and global response efforts,” she said.

According to the NCDC’s latest monkeypox situation update, there have been 62 confirmed cases of monkeypox .

“Overall, from 1st January to 26th June 2022, there have been 204 suspected cases and 62 confirmed cases (44 male, 18 female) from nineteen (19) states – Lagos (10), Adamawa (6), Bayelsa (5), Delta (5), Rivers (5), Cross River (4), Edo (4), FCT (4), Plateau (4), Nasarawa (3), Kano (2), Imo (2), Taraba (2), Abia (1), Katsina (1), Niger (1), Oyo (1), Ondo (1) and Ogun (1).

 “One death was recorded in a 40-year- old man with co-morbidity that was receiving immunosuppressive treatment,” the report reads.

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