Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has said that the first case of Coronavirus recorded in the country is an opportunity for all Nigerians to unite against a common enemy threatening the good health and life of the people.
Saraki gave the statement sequel to the first recorded case of the deadly virus which has killed over a thousand in China and a few others in other countries.
Saraki, in the statement, enjoined the government to “install and operate top of the line screening equipment at our airports, seaports and land borders while implementing a policy of stronger screening of people arriving our shores from countries with high prevalence of the virus.”
According to him, “The occurrence of Nigeria’s first case of Covid19 must be seen for what it is – an opportunity to unite behind a common objective to overcome a threat to the health and wellbeing of our beloved country and her peoples.
“At this time, I appeal to the Federal Government to install and operate top of the line screening equipment at our airports, seaports and land borders while implementing a policy of stronger screening of people arriving our shores from countries with high prevalence of the virus.
“I appeal to FMoH and NCDC to step up its awareness campaign by transmitting information about the disease and the steps that can be taken to prevent it in as many Nigerian languages as possible. It is also necessary to appeal FMoH to update Nigerians daily on events to help curb the spread of fake news and misinformation about the virus. I appeal to media houses to support this awareness campaign as much as possible.
“Finally, I appeal to Nigerians not to panic and to avoid spreading sensationalist or false information about the virus.
“I have always believed that Nigeria and Nigerians can overcome any challenges before us when we unite behind a common purpose. I believe we can do so now”, he added.
…Kwara level of preparedness low – Health consultants
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has called for the establishment of a modern on-testing laboratory for any outbreak of infectious diseases like Coronavirus in Kwara.
Dr Stella Filani, the National Auditor and Kwara Chairman of MDCAN, made the appeal on Friday in Ilorin.
She spoke against the backdrop of the announcement, on Thursday, of the spreading of the virus to Lagos by an Italian national working in Nigeria.
Filani said that samples of dangerous diseases are usually taken to Lagos or Abuja for testing and diagnosis. She added that results of such testing often take between five and six days to come out.
“Our level of preparedness is low and a lot has to be done. However, consultants in the state have the pre-requisite training to contain the scourge. All hands must, therefore, be on deck to contain the spread of any disease outbreak,” she said.
Filani advised that governments at all levels must put in place necessary provisions in the isolation centres and step up training of manpower in the management of patients and the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Also speaking, the MDCAN branch Chairman, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr Adebayo Mohammed, corroborated that there was no laboratory testing facility for dangerous diseases in Kwara.