Chairman of the Medical Guild, Lagos branch, Dr. Olujimi Sodipo, has called on the government to put in place a mechanism that will ensure that persons arriving in the country from overseas are observing the mandatory self-isolation.
Sodipo said this will help curtail the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
Recall that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Monday said there has been an increase in COVID-19 positive cases from inbound travellers.
“Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise as Nigerians in Diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos,” Abayomi had said; warning, “It has come to our attention that a number of people are patronising individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results.”
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Sodipo said everyone has a role to play in the fight to limit the spread of the viral infection.
“If we are very attentive, we will see that the second wave seems to be similar to the first wave, in terms of what caused it and that means the influx of people coming from abroad.
“We have that same challenge before the first wave and in spite of alarm being raised, nobody did anything about it.
“We are having a similar situation now. We know that there is a new strain of COVID-19 which is very contagious and we know that we have a large population of Nigerians in the United Kingdom.
“The government should become serious in ensuring that isolation mechanism are observed and testing for those that are coming back into the country,” he said.
Sodipo also noted that the government needs to ensure that COVID-19 tests are being carried out promptly for everyone.
“This will help to notify people that are ill about their test results and you begin contact tracing immediately
“Government needs to become more serious in terms of properly monitoring people coming into the country and ensuring that the proper tests are being done; ensuring that we have their correct information.
“That was what happened the first time; people came in with the wrong addresses, wrong phone numbers. We only thank God for the resilience of the health care workers and the grace of God.
“It seems clear that we have not even learnt our lessons from the first wave.”
He also urged Nigerians to take responsibility for their health as the second wave ravages countries.
“Nigerians must take responsibility for their health. The unfortunate thing about COVID-19 is that everybody sees it as their own individual illness but because of the contagious nature of the infection, one person’s action may affect 100 or 1,000 people.
“We need everybody to stick to the safety protocols, use your masks, practice hand washing, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings.
“One of the challenges of COVID-19 is that it is testing the resilience of everybody to be able to obey instructions,” he said.
The guild chairman also urged the government to come up with a plan for the vaccine and a plan for deployment especially to the most vulnerable.
Recall that the World Health Organisation and partners said that the COVAX facility, created to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, is expected to begin delivering vaccines early next year.
“The arrangements announced today will enable all participating economies to have access to doses in the first half of 2021, with first deliveries anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2021,” WHO said.
Meanwhile, Sodipo said the government needs to have a plan for the deployment of the vaccine, especially to the most vulnerable.
“As you know, Nigeria’s immunisation has always focused on children but now, we are going to be targeting adults and most the most vulnerable,” Sodipo said.
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