By Kuni Tyessi
In the face of the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the globe, and with eight confirmed cases in Nigeria, the Guild of Medical Directors has called for more vigilance especially at the country’s airports.
The Guild in a statement issued by its President, Prof. Femi Dokun-Babalola, said testing should go beyond the usual temperature test, and that there should be a general warning that all travellers coming into the country must as a matter of necessity, self-quarantine for at least two weeks. He said this is because “it is possible and even likely that more cases of COVID 19 may have entered our shores un-detected.”
Emphasising that enhanced measures will go a long way in further protecting Nigerians from the ravages of the COVID 19 pandemic, he added that similar measures have been taken in Ghana, Sudan, South Africa among other nations in Africa.
According to him, “In particular, it is our opinion that restrictions should be placed on flights coming from meso-endemic and hyper-endemic countries. Nigerians coming in from the United States in particular should all be tested beyond the usual temperature check, and advised to go on quarantine for 14 days at home if negative.
“We suggest that Nigerians coming in from these countries should be quarantined for 14 days as required by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“At the moment, several Europeans are coming into the country only to embark on a journey to the United States by Delta Airlines.
“We also believe that a more robust protocol should be introduced for the detection of cases, including random tests in households where foreign trips have just been completed.”
At the moment, over 160,000 persons have been infected worldwide, of which over 6,000 have died.
Three hundred of the infected cases are found in African countries, many of which are either returnees from countries with significant cases of the virus or primary contacts of such returnees.