By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
As Nigeria grapple to curtail the spread of the novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease), the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba has urged Nigerians to abide by the stay at home directive by the federal Government.
The DG/CEO made the appeal in statement signed by Gloria Ogbaki, Head Press Unit, NBMA.
Ebegba said the Covid-19 pandemic has spread to many countries of the world including Nigeria and the federal Government is doing all in its power to ensure that Nigerians are safe from the adverse impact of this virus.
“The Federal Government has the interest of its citizens at heart, that is why every citizen should do its part by complying to the stay at home directives by the government.
“As a nation we can defeat this pandemic but it beholds on us to do everything possible to ensure that we fight together to win the battle.
Dr Ebegba said simple practices of staying safe, social distancing, ensuring proper hygiene through constant hand washing, using of hand sanitizers and keeping up with the basic directives laid down by the authorities will go a long way to curb the pandemic.
“The federal government is making very swift moves to ensure that the Coronavirus is properly contained, hence citizens should complement the Governments efforts by obeying directives,” he said.
“We seek the corporation of Nigerians in this fight and I want to urge that anyone who has recently returned from countries with high cases of COVID-19 or who has been in contact with anyone who has shown symptoms of the disease should present him or herself for the necessary tests and proper screening.
“The government has expanded the isolation centers to ensure that the spread is minimized as much as possible until the pandemic is contained and eliminated”.
Dr Ebegba said self-isolation is key to stop the spread of the disease and urged those with confirmed cases to make themselves available in the designated centers for quarantine and proper recovery process.
He said the NBMA is in constant talks with line ministries, departments and Agencies to chart the best way to eliminate this Biological Agent from the country.
“As an Agency we are working with line MDAs to come up with a harmonized national Biosecurity policy guideline and emergency response strategy. This strategy when in place will help to save humans and the environment from harmful biological Agents.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has called for the urgent need for this strategy and the need to urgently ensure that Biological Agents are controlled.
“Nigerians need not panic rather ensure to follow laid down procedures, people should stop the spread of fake and unverified news as it will further send panic to the people.
He assured that the government was committed to protecting the citizens despite the changes caused by the pandemic across the world.