Let’s join hands to fight COVID-19, Nigerians urged
• Youths mount hand-washing points on streets to keep community safe
The Nigeria Academy of Medicine (NAM) has urged Nigerians to join hands with the federal and state governments in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the country. Secretary of the group, Prof. Oluwole Atoyebi, noted that the rising number of infected persons in the country is worrisome.
He, however, commended the measures put in place so far by various state and federal authorities in containing the deadly viral disease. He said: “In Nigeria, the number of cases rose from three to 12 within one week and 111 cases have been confirmed positive as at 10:40 p.m. of March 29. Mathematical modelling suggests that the actual figure globally could be 10-20 times more than the number of confirmed cases.
“At all levels, Nigerians must demonstrate a high level of leadership by playing their roles and ensure we prevent escalation of the outbreak. We commend government at all levels, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force charged with the containment of the coronavirus pandemic in the country on steps taken so far to stem the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We, however, note, as others have done globally, that this is a war that must be fought by all and on all fronts if we are to come through with minimal damages and scars. COVID-19 has shown itself as not only a health emergency but also an economic emergency. Our key tool remains prevention. This is on account of the sheer size of our population, our resources and the challenges currently being faced by our health system. Now that we have reached the stage of community transmission, a lot needs to be done in the form of health promotion, health protection and prevention in order to reduce the quantum of patients needing hospital care.”
Meanwhile, the Alabata Central Youth Progressive Forum, Egebda, Lagos State, has mounted hand-washing points all over the nine streets and junctions making up their community, as part of measures to support government effort in combating COVID-19 pandemic. Residents and passersby were also sensitised on the importance of regularly washing their hands to prevent contacting the virus.
Speaking on the initiative, ex-president and member, Board of Trustees, Folarin Kehinde, said it was germane for youths in the community to secure the residents from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the number of cases keeps rising in the country and around the world. He said the youths had to task themselves rather than waiting for the government, as the virus could spread its wings into the community.
“The measure is an initiative of the youths in the community. We did it for the benefit of the community. Our children, spouses, parents and elderly who are prone to the harmful effects of the virus, as well as those who do not reside in the community but are passersby.
“Just like a case was found in Mushin, we are thankful no case has been reported in this community, but we can’t wait for that to happen before raising awareness on the pandemic. We pray God will protect us from having such case in our community, while we do our own part by ensuring a hygienic environment,” Kehinde said.