OPINION: Kwara: Are we all looking at the COVID-19 cases? By Prof. Aisha Gobir.
Kwara has for the first time recorded the highest number of daily cases, 71. Those are higher than the cases the state recorded in the first two months of getting on the pandemic table in Nigeria. I predict as exponential increase more so as the state accredited testing centre takes off. The handwritings have been on the wall for a long time.
Kwarans have largely gone about their daily lives as if COVID-19 doesn't exist. I will limit myself to examining the simple preventive measures that we are all advised to adhere to. These measures are the use of facemasks in public, observing physical distancing of two metres, washing hands frequently and use of hand sanitiser, and avoidance of crowds.
Just go round the towns and pass your verdict on these measures. A sincere observer like me has written about the nonchalance of the people. Government gave us the responsibility but we have failed. People don't wear facemasks. When you do see a face mask on individuals, mostly its not worn appropriately and therefore as good as not wearing one. The use of facemask stops the inhalation of infected droplets, and also prevents you spreading the disease if you have it. One method, two advantages. As a matter of fact, people who wear facemasks are taunted and laughed at.
Do I need to say anything about physical distancing? We simply don't see any need for it. People sit together chatting and playing nonsense games. Social gatherings are going on unhindered. Some with mammoth crowds. So where is the physical distancing in a crowd? And people stay in those places for hours in the name of weddings, funeral/burial and naming ceremonies. We just find one reason to gather and we do without any conscious. What of the places of worship??We simply don't think we are responsible for anything as
Nigerians that's my point. Are we waiting for government again? Government has guidelines in place but I have not seen much enforcement in kwara. Perhaps, government expected much more from us as citizens. Now that we have not been so responsible and responsive, perhaps, government will start more enforcement. Why not enforce the guidelines?
Anyone caught in social gatherings should be sanctioned. Even when we knew people died of COVID-19, my people still went there. What for?
The figures will keep climbing, and who knows who will not survive it.
It is wisdom, love for self and others and patriotism to obey the COVID-19 guidelines. These measures will help reduce transmission and flatten the curve. The scientific community is getting to know the disease better but still needs plenty answers.
Until a known cure is found, stay safe. Together we can.
Aisha Gobir, is a Prof of Peadatrics, College of Medicine,Unilorin, Consultant,UITH.