The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) (Pyrates Confraternity), has warned Nigerians over their attitude of false sense security that the COVID-19 curve has been flattened.
The group, addressed by the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje to launch its COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention Project via Zoom said it would continue to raise the red flag to draw attention to the dangers hanging over the country with the hurried discarding of COVID-19 safety protocols.
According to him available facts from under testing to poor health facilities to unreported cases of asymptomatic patients indicates that Nigeria is not yet out of danger of a second wave.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this meeting is not to dismiss the efforts put up by the Federal Government, various state governments, the NCDC, private sector and the frontline health workers to combat this pandemic. Neither is our COVID-19 awareness and prevention project an attempt to downplay all what has been done to keep this viral infection at bay.
“Rather, as an organisation we are concerned about the unrealistic data being presented by government officials and have decided to keep raising the red flag that Nigeria is not yet out of the danger COVID-19 has foisted on us. The objective of this project, which is in three phases with different segments, is to keep Nigerians at alert on the risk when we lower our guards.”
Owoaje who lamented that Nigerians no longer adhere to safety and health protocols of the COVID-19 pointed out that “we have a moral obligation to educate our fellow citizens that the virus is still very much around and the need to adhere to the COVID-19 health protocols is a collective responsibility.”
In a presentation titled ‘COVID-19 Management and the Nigerian Health System Strategic Preparedness and Response for Epidemics,’ the NAS Medical Pyrate, Dr Charles Meribole expressed dismay with the low level of awareness being witnessed about the coronavirus infection in Nigeria.
He lamented that there was no aggressive test in Nigeria as was the case in other countries noting that without conducting tests you cannot get data for positive tests for COVID-19 infections so the flattening of the curve is deceptive.
Meribole who stated that Lagos State mounted the most strategic and pragmatic response in terms of case definition, testing, tracing and isolation decried the paucity of widespread community testing, contact tracing and unmatched response by the Nigerian government.
“In Nigeria, with four per cent of the nations’ budget in 2020 allocated to health, the challenges are not limited to under testing, inadequate spread/numbers of testing laboratories, poorly prepared healthcare facility and insufficient personnel, lack of case management and infection prevention skills, inadequate palliatives and economic stimuli to both families and businesses.
“With the primary healthcare system comatose, it is no news that the healthcare workers (HCW) in the secondary and tertiary tier are working under challenging situation and exposed greatly with little or no personal protective equipment (PPE), not well researched locally adapted screening and management protocol.”