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COVID-19: To curb spread experts canvass awareness, adherence to safety measures

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French policemen dispere people sitting on the stairs in front of le Sacre Coeur in Paris, on May 16, 2020, on the first weekend after France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

As death and cases of COVID-19 rise in the country, authorities have continued to emphasise on the need to strictly adhere to safety guidelines, as prescribed by experts.

Especially as community transmission of the virus has been established and is said to be on the increase, such basic hygiene measures as regular hand washing and mandatory wearing of face mask, among others, are necessary.

Experts said these and more are essential at community level to curb the spread and reduce the number of people coming down with the virus.

Family Health Physician, Dr. Chukwuma Ogunbor said adults and older people, in particular, should pay extra attention to the measures, as they are more vulnerable and are likely to succumb to the virus.

In his view, all possible steps should be taken to curb local transmission of the virus.

He said: “These measures should decrease transmission, reduce the overall impact on people’s health, as well as address the risk factors.”

Executive Director, Centre for Health, Equity and Justice (CEHEJ), Timothy Adewale, said: “This is a time for all to come together and collectively prevent the spread of the disease. It is important that government continues to raise public awareness, provide more support and adequate insurance to our healthcare professionals and health institutions. There is also need to urgently increase the number of intensive care units, beds and ventilators, while transparently managing resources ear-marked for fighting the disease.”

He noted that to effectively battle the disease and curb spread among the citizens, it is imperative that government at all levels build trust between them and citizens.

He said: “In the meantime, we need not only to test massive number of people, but also track and isolate all those people who came into contact with everyone who tests positive.

“Currently, the level of compliance with safety measures is low with respect to environmental sterilisation for disinfection. So, we need to do more to sterilise and disinfect communities, where especially there are more cases of the disease. For example, Lagos Mainland and Eti-Osa Local Government Areas.

“We need to improve quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the disease. The cases of Nigerians that have tested positive to COVID-19 escaping from quarantine centres are detrimental to the fight against the virus.

“It is important that our health officials improve on sharing experiences on case management and treatment approaches, both for severe cases or light symptoms, as well as sharing new technologies or strategies to contain transmission between states and private hospitals managing COVID-19 patients.

“Also, government needs to do more to sensitise citizens against stigmatisation of infected people. This will give infected people or people having symptoms of the virus the courage/confidence to reveal their true status to medical personnel, thus preventing the spread, unlike what we are experiencing in some private hospitals in Lagos.”


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