CORONAVIRUS IN NIGERIA

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Coronavirus

· Coronavirus was confirmed in Nigeria last week. The development has sent shockwaves and fear in the minds of Nigerians. It was reported that an Italian national who flew into Lagos from Milan had developed symptoms of the disease in Ogun State. He was screened and confirmed positive in Lagos where he is currently being attended to in an isolation centre and responding to treatment. Coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan province of China. However, the deadly disease has been spreading speedily across many countries. The symptoms of the disease include: runny nose, pneumonia and fever. The Director General Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu stated that concerted efforts are being put in place to detect the disease and stop the disease from spreading.

· The case of coronavirus has come at a time when the country is battling with the outbreak of Lassa fever. Nigerians need to worry about the emerging case of coronavirus for two or more reasons. First, the disease has no preventive vaccine and can be contacted through mingling with people who have been infected. This raises fears in our markets, parks, institutions and social gatherings. Second, our health sector is deficient and can hardly provide an emergency response to victims. I have read in national dailies that the affected Italian national had complained about the poor condition of the Lagos isolated centre where he was initially kept.

· With the recorded case of the disease, there is the need for government to embark upon preventive measures. This calls for screening in our airports, seaports, in addition to aggressive sensitisation campaigns, free distribution of face masks and sanitisers. Our health personal should also be on red alert. These measures will go a long way towards detecting and curtailing the spread of the disease.

· Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna State