Medical experts across the country are currently cautioning Nigerians over their lackadaisical attitude towards observing the Federal Governmentprescribed safety protocols against the spread of coronavirus in the country, saying that COVID-19 is real and taking its toll on people.
The caution is coming on the heels of the misconception that COVID-19 only kills the rich and spares the poor, saying that available statistics have shown that the virus does not discriminate against the rich nor poor but kills whoever makes him or herself vulnerable.
The medical connoisseurs, who handed down this warning, observed that many Nigerians do not wear their face masks in the public or observe required social distancing and regular hand-washing policy of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
They appealed to the masses to comply with all safety protocols for their protection and safety of others, who may be at risk due to their activities, as effect of the second wave of the COVID-19 is biting hard and sending many vulnerable to early graves.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there were 108,943 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,420 deaths in Nigeria, between January 3 and January 18, 2021. However, four days after, as at 5:57pm on Friday, January 22, 2021, according to the figures, there were 1, 225, 179 samples tested; 116, 655 confirmed cases; 21, 544 active cases; 93, 626 discharged cases and 1, 485 deaths.
Sequel to this, a consultant surgeon, Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Obiora, said all Nigerians and others living in the country must, as a matter of urgency, respect and observe all the safety precautions to ensure that the world’s most populous black nation wins the battle against COVID-19, saying that the disease is real and killing people indiscriminately.
She noted that many Nigerians across the board are reacting to the politicization of COVID-19 which has made a number of people doubt the authenticity of the disease in Nigeria and chose to rebel by not complying with any form of the safety precautions at their detriment.
Dr. Obiora challenged those who insist there is no COVID-19 in the country, or that the disease kills only the rich, saying that coronavirus is real and killing people irrespective of class strata, especially those that are vulnerable or made themselves vulnerable by their lifestyle.
“Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer among other medical conditions, are more likely to develop serious illness after a contact with the virus,” she added.
Corroborating her on the point that COVID-19 is real and kills across classes, whether rich or poor, Dr. Balogun Kule, said: “The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be informed about COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes, and how it spreads.”
He urged Nigerians to protect themselves and others from the infection by washing their hands regularly with soap or using alcohol based sanitizers frequently without touching their nose, eyes or mouth, which are the openings through which the virus enters the body.
“Maintaining required social distancing policy, compulsory wearing of face masks in public to prevent the transmission of the virus from one person to another Also, ensuring physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large group of people is a way to stay safe. Stay at home,” he added.
Also cautioning against the spread of coronavirus, medical lab scientist, Ndukwe Odinaka stressed that COVID-19 does not discriminate as long as the victim has a compromised immune system, saying that only strong immunity against the virus can save one.
“The virus is not afraid of the rich or the poor. It does not know class differences. It gains strength in a body that has a weak immune system and that is why we preach adherence to all safety protocols as no one knows the person with weak immunity.
Prevention is better than cure. I appeal to all Nigerians to stay safe and observe all the NCDC’s safety measures and we will overcome them,” she advised.