The Ummah Support Initiative (USI) has called on Nigerians to shun conspiracy theories on COVID-19, saying this will hamper the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Thursday, the Executive Director, USI, Danjuma Abdullahi said those peddling all kinds of theories around COVID-19 should know that the virus has killed several lives around the world, even in Nigeria.
He said: “If you find someone around you who don’t believe in COVID-19, educate them on social distancing, hand washing, coughing using tissue or elbow, as well as staying safe at home
“We need to mobilise and sensitise our communities on the reality of the virus. We are not safe until all are safe. Our singular focus should be working in our different ways to serve all people to save lives and stop the pandemic quickly.”
He called on government at all levels to commit resources into educating Nigerians at the grassroots so they play their role in curtailing the novel virus.
The executive director said the global spread of the virus has overwhelmed health systems, disrupted the global economy, and has led to widespread societal disruption, adding that fatality rate was estimated to be 10 times higher than influenza.
“This pandemic is much more than a health crisis. It requires a whole-of government and whole-of-society response, especially religious leaders, community influencers and civil society organisations.
“COVID-19 has shown us the damage it can mete out to people of the world irrespective of race, colour, and religion, among others.”
He called on Nigerians to follow the directive and advices of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“We must follow instructions on lockdown as it is for public health interest. Health should come before economy. It is true the world economy has lost over $6 trillion; the economy can recover, but we can’t recover 100,000 lives already lost and those that we will be lost.
“As a people and community, our role is to obey government and health workers as they battle the virus to stand still,” he added.