From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
DR Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) says to win the battle over the highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic will require collective efforts from Nigerians, particularly for Nigerians to abide by the stay at home directive by the Federal Government.
He said adhering to the recommendations would keep Nigerians safe from further spread of the disease.
“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,” Ebegba said in a statement made available to journalists at the weekend in Abuja.
“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.”
He 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 COVID-19 is properly contained, hence citizens should complement the government’s efforts by obeying directives.
“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 centres to ensure that the spread is minimised as much as possible until the pandemic is contained and eliminated,” he added.
The DG described self-isolation as vital to reducing the virus spread and urged those with confirmed cases to make themselves available in the designated centres for quarantine and proper recovery process.
According to him, 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 harmonised 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 stated.