The Nigerian Medical Association, Rivers State branch, has appealed to all citizens of the state and stakeholders to work together and prevent any outbreak of the Coronavirus infection ravaging other parts of the world.
NMA Chairperson in the state, Dr Obelebra Adebiyi, who made the appeal at a press conference in Port-Harcourt recently to address the issue of Coronavirus said that it was important for everyone to be involved in preventing outbreak of the disease in the state.
Dr Adebiyi said: “Although Rivers State has no recorded case of Covid-19 infection currently, all hands must be on deck to prevent an outbreak in the state and maintain high level of surveillance”.
She urged people of the state to take seriously guidelines provided by the Federal Ministry of Health through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control against the disease.
She said: “Specifically, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health has issued protocols and guidelines for travel and gatherings during the outbreak. These guidelines are to help break transmission and ensure health and safety and are to be taken very seriously”.
Quoting Federal Ministry of Health, she said that people organizing events should use the events to reinforce the message on hand and respiratory hygiene and stay safe against the infection.
The NMA chairperson advised citizens of the state not to panic but implement steps being announced by the State Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
She advised against misinformation and causing panic about the Coronavirus saying that the bid to prevent an outbreak of the disease in the state should be seen as collective responsibility.
Dr Adebiyi commended the state ministry of health for steps already being taken to prevent an outbreak of the disease in Rivers State.
Dr Adebiyi said: “Rivers State Ministry of Health has also embarked on sensitization and education of different groups in our society. The NMA Rivers State is advising all citizens not to panic but adhere to all protocols laid out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Rivers State Ministry of Health especially as it concerns hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing. We urge the general public to maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places as this will help to break transmission. The State Ministry of Health has placed appropriate measures at the entry points into the state aimed at detecting and curbing any spread of COVID-19 virus in the state”.
She said that people with symptoms such as fever, cough, catarrh, chest pain and difficulty in breathing should report to health facilities to be tested stressing that those who recently travelled to countries with high prevalence of the disease should also self-isolate for at least 14 days.
Rivers State currently has no case of Coronavirus but globally there are 395, 579 cases with 17, 234 deaths. Nigeria has 42 cases of the Coronavirus with one recorded death.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the NMA commended the governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, for appointing NMA members into his cabinet, saying that they will be “super performers” in the administration.
Dr Adebiyi said: “His Excellency has once again shown by this appointment that doctors in the state are capable of effectively contributing to the new Rivers project “saying that the group assures its members will be “super performers in their ministries and departments”.