As the globe is evolving into a global village, the economic impact of COVID-19 epidemic cannot be overemphasised. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a worldwide concern since its outbreak in China last year December. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the COVID-19 outbreak is “worse than 9/11” for airline industry.
The virus is said to belong to the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which claimed hundreds of lives in 2003 and 2012, respectively, according to experts’ report. According to Dr. Khin Maung, Coronavirus cannot spread in warm weather only in cold countries. The Chinese doctor alluded that Coronavirus is not heat-resistant and will be destroyed in a temperature of 26-27 degrees.
Like all well-meaning Nigerians and other International groups, Omituntun Initiative in the Diaspora (OID) is not unaware of the global dismay that coronavirus is causing. The virus is killing in thousands and, consequently, causing several advanced economies to gradually shut down.
Going by the weighty issues associated with coronavirus, Oyo State OID Coordinator, Dr Aaron Ola Ogundiwin affirmed it is timely and necessary to launch a campaign of public awareness and encouragement based on available facts at our disposal, that Oyo State is coronavirus free as Governor Seyi Makinde led administration, has put in place combative medical and public health mechanism that is adequate to make Oyo State unconducive for the virus to thrive. Governor Makinde approved about N54m for a free medical health outreach to cover all the local governments in the State and has earmarked the sum of N1 billion for the upgrade of all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) across the Oyo State.
Also, in keeping with the World Health Organisation guidelines, Oyo State government has been thoroughly sensitizing the general public on the steps to take should they experience any of the symptoms of the virus such as coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing. These steps include first, self-isolation before calling the designated medical helplines for assistance.
Following the promise of Governor Makinde “to provide quality healthcare for people of the state and create a healthy enabling environment for investment”. Dr Ogundiwin reassured international investors who have expressed their desire and have chosen Oyo State as their investment destination, through the unprecedented investment drive of Governor Seyi Makinde, that the state is free of coronavirus.
The Coordinator of the group in Australia, Mr Adeniyi Adetoro, urged the people of Oyo State and indigenous citizens living in the Diaspora to support Governor Makinde’s quest to transform the Pacesetter State into an attractive, and compelling destination for foreign and local investors.
Dr Emmanuel Fagbo, a medical practitioner points out that only two cases have been recorded in Nigeria which was well managed by the medical professionals to curtail the spread of the virus and the first patient has recovered. While the second patient tested negative, which implies that there is no known coronavirus case or death in Nigeria.
Fagbo advised the general public to practice proper hygiene and follows the medical guidelines:
Always wash your hands properly and regularly with water and soap or use hand sanitizers as well.
Cover your nose while sneezing and your mouth when coughing with the elbow or tissue and disposed of it properly.
Avoid unprotected or close contact with sick people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
If you notice any of the symptoms stay away from other people and immediately alert the relevant health authorities.
Mr Siji Ganiyu, Provost, Oyo State College of Health Sciences and Technology, advises the public to avoid panic or assume everyone that is feeling unwell has the virus. He further emphasised that Oyo State government in collaboration with other health centres has made the following facilities ready and functional should there be any emergency: Ring-Road State Hospital Ibadan, University College Hospital Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho, Military Hospital, Odogbo Barracks, Ibadan, to mention but few. The Provost urged medical practitioners and scientists to speed up COVID -19 vaccine research that will fight the deadly disease and reduce its widespread globally.
In a statement signed by OID spokesperson, Ayotomiwa Adebayo Esq., he stated the group is committed to playing an active role in making Oyo State take its leadership position among the States in Nigeria, and will continue the OID Medical Outreach programme initiated to support Governor Makinde’s Medical Projects to ameliorate the suffering of masses.