As the global battle to check the spread of the deadly Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19 intensifies, the Nigerian Biological Safety Association, NiBSA has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the various State Governors to enforce lockdown rules in order to stem the spread of the virus in Nigeria.
The association whose members are currently on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in the country, made this call in a press statement on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, where it further demanded that restricted movements be implemented in other States where COVID-19 is yet to be confirmed.
The statement titled, “Extend Lockdown To All States With Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19” and signed by the National President, Dr Abiodun Denloye, reads below.
“We received the Order of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for total lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory with effect from 11pm on Monday 30th of March 2020 as part of measures to curb the spiking occurrence of the Coronavirus in the states.
“We congratulate the President for taking the bold step announcing the lockdown since it is a global gold standard measure for clamping on the rising curve of the COVID-19 incidence as already exemplified in Wuhan, China and other places where the pandemic has occurred.
“Moving forward, we call on the President and State Governors to commence similar lockdown in each of every state of Nigeria where there are confirmed cases of the COVID-19.
“It has been observed since 27th of February when the index case was confirmed in Nigeria that the disease spreads within communities as there are many contacts that are associated with persons carrying the virus. Figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that the agency is currently tracking about 6000 persons in the country who are contacts of confirmed cases.
“The lockdown of each state with a confirmed case would therefore go a long way in preventing further spread of the disease and make possible the identification of cases for testing and further handling towards recovery.
“In addition to this lockdown we suggest that movement should be restricted in other states where COVID-19 does not exist within the federation.
“Our association, NiBSA has engaged in creating awareness on the need for bio-safety and bio-security in Nigeria and enhanced capacity in this direction by training personnel of the various ministries and agencies including Health, Environment, Agriculture, NCDC, NAFDAC and so on over the last 10 years.
“Many of such trained members are currently being deployed on the anti-COVID-19 frontlines and we are rallying our support for them from the sidelines. No stone should be left unturned in the fight against COVID-19 in our country.
“This call for extending the lockdown has become necessary because it is obvious how the facilities across the states might become overwhelmed by the situation already created by the pandemic locally in Nigeria.
“The NCDC has informed Nigerians that the country has only six testing Centres. This is far too small and grossly inadequate for Nigeria with population of about 200 million.
“Also with the foregoing is the need for more hands to join the men and women already on the frontline of controlling the spread of the pandemic. Among these personnel are the teeming members of this association across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Our serving members have been trained variously on the need to use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and dispose them correctly. All workers on the frontlines in this fight must be provided with sufficient PPEs across all the states.