TOGETHER WE CAN STOP COVID-19. – BY DR MICHAEL NWOKO
In the past, Humanity had overcome several public health crisis and survived. No matter how deadly and severe, humanity had survived them all, for example, the Spanish Flu of January 1918 to December 1920, the HIV/Aids pandemic of 1981 to 1990’s, the Ebola epidemic of 2014 to 2016, even the Malaria endemic battle that started in 1955. Humans have managed and stopped them due to adherence to guildlines issued by World Health Organization (WHO), on how their transmission mode can be broken and other precautionary measures to curtailing their spread.
Indeed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta State Government under the command of His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, have displayed exceptional commitment to curtailing the Spread of the pandemic in the State.
The administration has built and equipped four treatment and isolation Centres, at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, the Asaba Specialist Hospital (ASH), Asaba, Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara and the Central Hospital, Warri.
As the pandemic spread, Delta State government is among the first States of the Federation to proclaim a lockdown order, that is closure of borders, closure of all air and sea ports in the State and issuance of the stay-at-home order.
The State government also established three mobile Courts, one in each of the three senatorial districts, to handle cases of violation of the lockdown order.
The government has equally introduced proactive precautionary measures for all residents in order to protect themselves against the virus. The measures announced as contained in the lockdown order is in line with the guidelines of the Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) and it includes; social distancing, personal hygiene by regular hand washing with clean running water and soap or use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, avoiding public gathering and hand shake as well restriction of movement etc…
The government went further to announce dust to dawn curfew to further enforce restriction of movement.
All these measures are meant to protect all residents of the State against COVID-19.
COVID-19 is highly contagious and as it ravages the world, the United Nations Secretary General has declared the COVID-19 pandemic, “a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations”,
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic on the 11th of March, 2020 and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has recognized its virulent nature and have step up their utility and effectiveness to check the spread.
Government around the globe are racing against time to stop the spread.
We as residents of Delta State must play our part to stop the spread by adhering to the precautionary measures being announced by the government. We must consider the adherence to these precautionary measures as our own contribution to the FIGHT against COVID-19 as it is not a fight for government and the health care workforce alone.
The world we live in today is a globalized entity, people are becoming more and more integrated. The free movement of people, goods and free flow of information have transformed the world to a global village, hence any disease outbreak in any part of the globe can easily be transmitted across the world within few days, if it is not properly contained at the point of outbreak.
It is no gain saying the fact that lessons have been learned on account of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes the need to always embrace personal hygiene, display of selflessness the need to position the health care system to always prepare to deal with any public health crisis. Many well meaning Deltans have opted to be more humane, open and compassionate, by donating palliatives to the less privileged in our society, such gestures send a strong solidarity message that we are in this together. Such gesture also recognises the fact that the effects of the virus is more severe on the poor and venerable in the society.
Another significant lesson learnt from the COVID-19 outbreak is that anybody can be infected by it, regardless of gender, societal status, religion, nationality, race and ethnicity. This realisation may push Deltans and indeed Nigerians towards national solidarity. Nigerians, will now understand that we are chained under a common bound and we are likely to embrace greater national unity and solidarity in approach to collective goals.
Also another good lesson to be learned out of this pandemic is that people have realized that global health and the health of everyone on earth are indivisible and that pandemics have no religious, racial, ethnic and regional boundary.
As government grapple with precautionary measures to curtailing the spread of the pandemic, we at our individual level must take adequate measures to ensure we are not infected. We must practice personal hygiene, stay at home and wear protective face mask when going out to the public places.
TOGETHER WE CAN STOP COVID-19.
Dr. Michael Nwoko
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (Health Monitoring) and member, Delta State COVID-19 Enforcement committee.