By Willie Etim
Worried about the reports of increase in the number of persons infected with rampaging Corona Virus in the country, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority NDBDA,, Engineer Tonye David West, has called for increase sensitisation campaign across all strata of the society.
Already, the country has recorded about thirty-Six confirmed cases of persons who have tested positive while one person has been reported death.
Engr West who spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on the impact of the virus, said the pandemic which is ravaging the entire world has posed a severe global health and economic challenges and therefore advised citizenry to take the fight against the scourge seriously.
To minimise the spread of the virus, the NDBDA Managing Director, urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to government’s directives to shut down schools, places of worship, crowded place as well as maintaining social distance.
Most importantly, he urged government agencies, parastatals, and the private sector operators to provide hand sanitizers and disinfectant in their respective work places.
According to Engineer West, Italy is worst hit by the scourge because citizens of the country paid deaf ears to early warnings by experts to stay clear from social gatherings and indulge more in the culture of constant washing of hands with sensitizer and other such precautionary measures.
Apparently taking a cue from his boss,the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu who had years kicked off campaigns in schools and other social places to sensitize people on the need to take the issue of hand washing seriously, Engineer West said another way of curbing the menace of Coronavirus is to end open defecation.
“I want to commend my boss, the Honorable Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu for the foresight of going from school to school campaigning on the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of hand washing years before the outbreak of this Covid-19.
” He warned seriously against the uncivilized habit of open defecation which is very dangerous during the season of airborne diseases. If Nigerians had listened to the Honorable Minister then, this coronavirus scourge would have been easy to tackle.
“It is very instructive that we adhere strictly to the instructions of health experts as it concerns how to stay safe from contacting the deadly virus. Nigeria has a large population of about 200 million people. Everybody must be involved in ensuring that we carry out the instructions given by both states and federal governments.
” I want to call on multi national organizations and privileged Nigerians to support the effort of government by supplying such items as disinfectants, senitizers, sufficient test kits at the airports and land borders and surgical masks to ease the job of the health workers at the front line.
“According to national center for disease and control, NCDC, it is alarming that as at 23 March, 2020, a total of 36 cases has been confirmed. Out of this, 33 is said to be active cases, two persons discharged and one reported dead This is quite worrisome. I want to plead with Nigerians therefore to do well in abiding to the various warnings.
” As I speak to you, staff and management of NDBDA have complied fully with the guidelines given by the federal government. As you can see, in this premises, we have provided hand sensitizers at designated points for both staff and visitors. Others should take a leaf from the NDBDA”.