The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 has been on the increase in Nigeria, spreading to various states of the country. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) 42 cases of the virus have been recorded in Nigeria with one death.
In a brief interview with the Nigeria Regional President of the Occupational Safety and Health Association United Kingdom (OSHAssociation UK – Nigeria Region), Dr. Dalhatu Mohammed, he advised the President Buhari led Administration to lockdown activities in the country. He stated realistic reasons why it is time for Nigeria as a country to have a total shutdown because of the pandemic, at least for a week, to enable relevant institutions concerned to arrest the cases already at hand and watch out the situation and development.
He made this briefing in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja when interviewed by the Safety View Team as regards the Coronavirus crisis. He further said that the Nigerian Government needs to wake up to reality and act fast before it goes out of hand because it is gradually going beyond control, especially now that so many top government officials have tested positive, therefore the occupational safety of their staff and the general public is at high risk. To curb the spread of this virus, there is need to stop personal contacts, because the impact of this virus on the economy cannot be compared to its mass destruction, infections and deaths, if we continue in partial shutdown, the virus may keep spreading in thousands without symptoms yet, and many Nigerians are still joking and not serious about it, so total lockdown is the answer now.
Dr. Dalhatu went on to say that from the look of things, Nigeria do not have the capacity and manpower to contain the COVID-19 if it goes beyond this level. Imagine what is happening in the State House, some state governors and staff already infected, can you imagine how many people they might have passed the virus to considering there are no effective and adequate testing equipment on ground.
He advised Nigerians to stay at home in this challenging time, and if you must talk to anybody outside your house, ensure you wear your nose mask and be conscious of what you touch, the best way to defeat the pandemic is by staying safe at home. “We may end up having a similar case to that of Italy where the number of deaths increase by the day, if we continue to joke and play with this killer disease, without doing the needful”, he said.
The Indian Government has locked down the whole country, including some other countries, everyone is indoor and safe, Nigeria should follow such steps, that is the wise step to take at this level, partial shutdown will not help in this case, “NO MOVEMENT” should be the answer, although hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and critical personnel of government institutions and concerned agencies as regards the matter at hand should be granted movement. If all these measures are taken, then the pandemic will abate sooner than expected.
He concluded by applauding the Nigerian Government at every level for their response so far, but further adviced them to take the above stated advice, “that is the best response for now, as we watch the development further”.
OSHAssociation is an international professional body in the field of health and safety, the Association has been on the gear of public advocacy in various countries and all our International events which were to hold during this period have been suspended and postponed till further notice, the various regions will communicate to our members and general public in due time, to ensure the safety of everyone.
“Following the directive from our UK office, we are already creating proactive awareness on the Covid 19, and we are ready to voluteer and partner with the Government at all levels for necessary campaign and awareness to ensure the health and safety of Nigerians”, the Nigeria regional president of the Association said