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COVID-19: Danger Looms As Nigerians Jettison Safety Measures

Medical experts have warned that Nigeria could experience dire consequences in the rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths if people continued to violate protective measures against the disease. They said it was worrisome that many people violated wearing of face masks, physical and social distancing, and hygiene measures such as hand washing and use of hand sanitisers among others across the country.

Dr. Ejike Orji, Chairman, Medical Sub-Committee, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 said that there would be a spike in cases, and that the country would be in serious trouble if the violation continued. He said, “It is already happening. Abuja has been recording an average of 42 cases per day in the last two weeks.

“The isolation centres at the National Hospital, Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Asokoro District Hospitals are filled up. “If we continue this way, we are going to be in serious trouble.” He said a lot of people in Nigeria were asymptomatic to the disease because its population was largely youthful. “70 % of our population is under the age of 30, that is also what is helping us. “The disease is serious in people who are older and have co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension.

“So young people can have it and feel nothing is wrong with them but be endangering their parents and older people around them.” Dr. Omo Izedomwen, a public health expert said the country was already experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the only way to break it currently was to adhere to safety measures and restrictions instituted by the government .

Izedomwen, who is also the Coordinator of the Abuja Centre of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) warned that disregarding the public safety measures comes with a cost, which people could regret later, adding “We can make choices but unfortunately cannot decide the consequences of these choices. And the consequences are very dire.”

He said the United States of America for instance had recorded over 100, 000 deaths already, saying these were people who once laughed and spent time with their loved ones.

Dr. Audu Onyemocho, an epidemiologist and an associate Professor of Community Medicine said the poor level of compliance by the public does not augur well for curbing the spread of the disease.

“The public should note that everyone is susceptible to COVID-19. “It doesn’t show on the face, so the only way is to protect yourself and people around you,” he said.

As of yesterday, Nigeria had recorded 15, 682 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of the number, 5, 101 cases have been discharged and 407 deaths recorded.

Findings by Daily Trust revealed that doubts about the existence of COVID-19 was still widespread among Nigerians in spite of the increasing number of cases. This is happening three months after the country recorded its first case of the disease.

Our reporters gathered that some of those who initially believed in the outbreak of the disease have grown complacent and abandoned hygiene measures to protect themselves.

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