COVID-19: Doctors urge strict adherence to WHO guidelines

Some medical Doctors on Sunday, urged stakeholders and the general public to adhere strictly to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for preventing and containing the dreaded coronavirus outbreak.

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In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the doctors also called for massive awareness campaigns to educate the general public on actions that could lead to contraction of the disease and the possible preventive measures.

Also, the Nigeria Representative, WHO, Dr Clement Peter, urged the Media to ensure dissemination of truthful and helpful information concerning the disease.

Peter said that there was need for creation of massive awareness campaigns, saying that a lot of people have not gotten the right information about the coronavirus disease.

According to him, at a time like this, there are bound to be lots of rumours and false information as already observed in the social media.

“People should be mindful of the information they circulate on the social media; False information that triggers panic should not be encouraged.

“The current medical emergency of coronavirus disease cannot be controlled by fear or panic.

“The media is a vital instrument at this time and it should not allow itself to be used to disseminate false information or information that may be adding ‘salt to the injury’.

“The WHO stipulated preventive measures are clear; everyone should uphold the hygienic practices of regular hand washing with soap and water.

“Both private and public health facilities should conform with expected universal precaution when attending to all clients.

“The general public should ensure that any individual that is sick with fever must promptly seek medical attention in recognised health facilities or report to the government,” Peter said.

The WHO Representative, therefore, urged the Federal Government to ensure the capacity to detect, treat, manage or even refer any case of the disease at any time.

Similarly, a Medical Imaging Scientist, Dr Livinus Abonyi, urged workers at all entry points of the country to be extra vigilant.

Abonyi, a lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences at University of Lagos College of Medicine, urged the government to ensure that anybody entering into the country be quarantined and monitored for at least five days to be sure that he or she was certified free of the virus.

He said the quarantine mechanism should not be limited to people from the established coronavirus index countries but should cut across everyone coming into Nigeria; irrespective of his or her originating  country.

He, therefore, called for continuity of efforts in the tracing of contact persons of the Italian coronavirus patient and said that tracking them was a first step in preventing spread of the disease in Nigeria.

Abonyi also advised that the current medical situation in Nigeria calls for extreme practice of personal hygiene by everyone at all times.

Contributing, the Medical Director, MercyWay medical centre, Ejigbo Lagos, Dr Omogbohun Patrick, called for grassroot sensitisation of the general public on the symptoms of coronavirus disease.

Patrick said that a lot of people particularly at the rural areas have not gotten adequate information about the symptoms or preventive measures of the disease.

“Information is key in a development like this; if there is lack of information and people are ignorant of the precautions; they can easily fall victim.

“But when people have first-hand information on the symptoms and preventions of the disease; it becomes easy to manage and nobody will die as a result of the disease,’’ Patrick said.

He, however, decried the scarcity and hikes in the price of facemask at this period when it was needed most in the management of coronavirus disease. (NAN)

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