Don calls for inclusion of local experts to tackle COVID-19

The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) says there is need to engage local experts in ensuring the country is spared the socio-economic disruption COVID-19 outbreak may unleash on the nation.

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President of the Academy, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, in a statement in Lagos on Friday, called for transparency and strengthening of evidence-informed measures to contain the disease.

“There is need to engage local experts in ensuring that Nigeria is spared the socio-economic disruption that an uncontrolled outbreak can unleash on our nation.

“The Academy will also like the general public to know that the containment of COVID-19 will require the cooperation of everyone with the government authorities at all levels – Federal, State, and Local governments.

“Individuals have a most important role to play by complying with official guidelines and directives put in place by the government to control the disease,” Onuoha said.

The don said with cooperation, the academy would  facilitate effective surveillance, as well as early detection and treatment of cases.

He warned against panic,stating that with outbreaks of new or relatively unknown diseases, it was important to guard against the spread of rumours and scientifically unfounded stories, including those of cures and of preventive measures.

He said some of these included the claim that chloroquine was a drug of choice for treating COVID-19, and the use of alcoholic drinks to wash hands to prevent the infection.

Unuoha recommended effective measures like regular washing of hands with soap and water.

He said others were the use of sanitisers and keeping a safe distance from someone coughing or sneezing.

He said with the spread of the disease to 113 countries, it was imperative that screening at the ports of entry must be stringent and more comprehensive.

The academy commended the government on the steps taken so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease to and within the country.(NAN)

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