NCDC disagrees with health minister, denies quarantine of director general

By Isa Amodu, Abuja

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says Chikwe Ihekweazu, its director-general, is under self-isolation and was not any point quarantined as suggested in some quarters of the media.

Writing via its Twitter handle, the NCDC also said Ihekweazu tested negative for coronavirus.

The agency said this while reacting to the furore caused by the comment of Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, who said Ihekweazu was under quarantine after a trip to China.

While updating the senate on the activities of his ministry to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country, the minister had said the NCDC DG was under quarantine as a standard procedure

“We have already established rules here that anybody who has been to China will go into self-quarantine. Chikwe has gone and come back.

“He has done the test, he is negative but we have insisted he must undergo the 14 days quarantine which is why he is not here. He is not allowed to come out until after 14 days. Because if you make the rule, you must obey it which is to set the example in Nigeria.”

But writing via its Twitter handle, the NCDC clarified that Ihekweazu is under self-isolation and not under quarantine.

The agency wrote: “The news that Director General @Chikwe_I is in quarantine over #COVID19 is false.

“While he was part of @WHO high-level mission to China, he returned healthy, has tested negative and has no symptoms

“He’s in self-isolation for 14 days in accordance with NCDC’s advisory.”