Our Reporter

As the fight against COVID-19 pandemic continues globally, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says there is need for Nigerians, especially businesses to start now to plan for life after the pandemic.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, gave the advice while speaking on Sunrise Daily programme on Channels Television on Thursday.

He said: “There will be a new COVID-19 era that we will not be the same as the pre-COVID-19’s.

“And I really encourage every small business, every community to be thinking about this because at some point, President Muhammadu Buhari will have to reopen the country slowly.

“I think there will be a gradual, carefully calibrated reopening of the economy.

“I don’t anticipate where everything will be opened at once, schools, markets and airports will reopen on the same day,” he said.

Ihekweazue noted that secondly, the people’s behaviours in shops, schools and some of the social distancing we have introduced must continue; every business right now should be prepared.

“They should be thinking of how do I run my business differently, how do I run my restaurant differently, how do I organise my school and teaching differently in the context of COVID-19.

“And at the same time, we have to keep trying to prevent transmission, so we have to find a middle path between a locked down country and the one that is able to respond to the big public health challenge that we have facing us.”

Meanwhile the NCDC has established a testing laboratory at the University of Maiduguri to enhance effective surveillance, detection and response to the pandemic in the Northeast.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, said henceforth, the samples of suspected cases of COVID-19 in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other neighbouring  states, can be tested and conducted at  the facility.