By Haruna Gimba
Medical experts gave advised the Nigerian government to close international airports for two weeks and increase COVID-19 testing capacities, in order to avert the third wave of the pandemic.
The President of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria, Professor Oladapo Ashiru, said the low-level transmission in the country was largely due to the lockdowns going on in Europe and some countries.
In a statement issued, Prof. Ashiru said there is urgent need to enforce the use of PTF regulations of social distancing, washing of hands, the use of hand sanitisers and the wearing of facemasks.
“In view of the current trends regarding the third wave, The Academy of Medicine Specialties and our Rapid-Response initiative group of the Academy of Medicine Specialties feel that we should close our international airports to all flights for at least two weeks. This third wave is affecting not only India but France, Germany and Italy. The Federal Government should be proactive.
“Nigeria cannot afford to have a third wave. Only a small percentage of the populations have been vaccinated. Furthermore, all the theories speculated for our immunity such as heat, sun, and other endemic immunities also apply to India,” he said.
Also, a medical virologist at Adeleke University, Dr. Oladipo Kolawole, in an interview with The Punch said, Nigerians should be warned to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent COVID-19.
“Everyone needs to be careful to avoid something like the third wave of Spanish influenza between 1918/19. However, testing has reduced, so we may not accurately picture what is going on.
“More COVID-19 tests should be carried out to understand the epidemiological trend to know the circulating variants in the country. International travels should be well monitored and coordinated, putting in mind countries affected by the third wave as it demands,” Kolawole said.