John Charles, Abuja
President, Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Innocent Ujah, says people coming into the country from epicentres of COVID-19 pandemic such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America are worsening the infection rates in the country.
Ujah stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Makurdi, while reacting to the death of 20 medical doctors within one week as a result of COVID-19.
He said that travellers from the UK and the US were compounding COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
The NMA president stated, “Government knows that they (travellers from the UK and the US) are the ones responsible for increase in cases and the results have shown that and government knows what they should do.
“The travellers should be quarantined for 14 days as they come; to allow for monitoring and evaluation and they should repeat the test and if they are positive, the people should be moved to isolation centres,” he said.
On the new strain of COVID-19, he said what was important was for Nigerians to comply with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control protocols.
He stated, “Whether the strains are deadlier or not, once we observe the protocols, we are not likely to have this avalanche of cases and deaths that are being recorded in recent times.
New strain will worsen deaths if we don’t comply with protocols – NMA
“It (new strain) will worsen death rate, but once the NCDC protocols are observed, they will prevent people from dying. The rule is to obey and comply with NCDC protocols.
“While doing this, we must continue to increase sensitisation. The National Orientation Agency and other organisations should come out with jingles in different languages in Nigeria. Some people still don’t believe that there is COVID-19, but the reality is that it is killing people in large numbers.”
The president of NANNM, in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday said, “As a professional association, we can only say government should take a very proactive measure by banning flights from an area whereby the new variant is available or commence treatment in form of diagnosis for anybody that is coming into the country.”
He also said government had not provided enough PPE for nurses.
A Professor of Virology, Department of Virology, University of Ibadan, Prof. David Olaleye, said that what was important for the citizens is to adhere strictly to preventive measures.
Olaleye, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The new strain has no direct implication on the citizens if people would adhere to the public health measures of preventing its spread. These are hands hygiene, use of face masks and physical distancing.”
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