Following the continued rise in number of confirmed cases of the Corona Virus, also known as Covid-19, in some parts of the country, the FCT Administration recently ordered the closure of all public and private schools as well as the suspension of large public gatherings.
This directive came amidst calls by notable persons in the country for the closure of all points of entry into the country, mostly the airports and other land borders. It was also on the heels of similar closures of schools by states like Enugu, Benue, Niger and Nasarawa, among others.
This move by the FCT Administration is seen as a plus and rightly so because Convid-19 is quite a strange but very deadly virus which for now has proven very difficult to contain, as confirmed by the World Health Organisation. So any measure taken to break its chain of transmission is quite a welcome development.
There are reports indicating that the spread of Covid-19 may not have reached a pandemic level, had the authorities in China where it purportedly emanated, taken adequate steps to isolate infected persons as advised by medical experts in the country. But the Chinese government chose to downplay the outbreak of the disease and the whole world is now suffering the consequences of this mistake.
Other countries also that may have dismissed the virus as a Chinese problem, such as the US, Italy, France, to mention but a few, are now the wiser of for it, having been hit hard by the spread of this virus.
Back here in the FCT, the decision to close schools and suspend large public gatherings is indeed a good one. Yes, it could be said to be a preemptive one, considering that there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the FCT at the time of writing this report. But the decision still shows enormous responsibility by the FCT Administration. The FCTA has chosen to brave the odds, for the safety of lives and properties which is the number one responsibility of government as outlined in the constitution.
As responsible citizens however, there is need for FCT residents, as a good show of patriotism to the national cause, to adhere strictly to the regulations that have been issued by government, especially the aspects of shunning large gatherings, be it academic gathering, religious gathering, family gathering or other social gatherings like night clubs, market places, among others.
Other safety measures against the spread of Covid-19, as explained by the World Health Organisation also include the regular washing of hands and disinfecting with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, practicing good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze and cough and proper and immediate disposal.
Again, residents who may also experience such symptoms as fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, have been advised to seek early medical care in order to begin early treatment or for possible isolation, in the event that it is confirmed to be Convid-19 or any other disease for that matter.
Residents are also advised to stop the spread of fake news, especially the reports that Covid-19 could be cured by Chloroquine. Also to be avoided is the urge to engage in self-medication like the use of Chloroquine because this drugs is said to be quite toxic to the eyes and ear drums. Residents must equally discontinue the panic buying of food items, as the authorities have confirmed that it has not gotten to that stage.
In the same vein, religious organizations must rise to the occasion by compelling their members to adhere strictly to the guidelines outlined by government and other health organizations. Any idea to try to play God or assume that Africans and indeed Nigerians are immune to the spread of the virus should be discouraged at this time.
Lastly, the claim that Covid-19 is weakened by high temperature or heat, for now, is still in the realm of conjecture as there is not empirical evidence to prove this to be the case.
––Danladi Akilu, Durumi II, Gudu District, Abuja.