From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Following the persistent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Dr Joseph Albasu Kunini, on Thursday urged the people to take precautionary measures to avoid a disastrous spread of the pandemic.
Dr Kunini, who spoke while interacting with reporters in Jalingo, said that the second wave and strain of the virus are real and that a lot more dangerous.
The Speaker regretted that people take the pandemic as a joke probably because of the conflicting conspiracy theories surrounding it.
He noted that it would be better if people abide by the prevention protocols prescribed rather than wait for drastic measures such as lockdowns by the government.
‘I feel saddened that you go to public gatherings and you see people going about without face masks. Most people don’t even bother to wash their hands or abide by any of the set preventive protocols. It is really very worrisome. I think the conspiracy theories surrounding the pandemic have made people now live in denial. But this is real. The numbers are skyrocketing daily. We are recording fatalities and losing loved ones to this virus,’ the Speaker remarked.
‘As a people, we can either fight this collectively or act indifferently and suffer horrendously at the end of the day. Corona is real and, irrespective of what anyone says, we are all at risk of contraction and becoming victims. The best we can do for ourselves and loved ones is to at least protect ourselves, for the sake of those we love.
‘We don’t have to wait until the government slams another round of drastic measures such as a total lockdown… I mean we are rational enough to do the needful without been forced.’
The Speaker further urged the people to be optimistic about the New Year and not to allow the down moments of last year to stop them from planning ahead for the new year and a brighter future.
‘2020 was a very tough year and it is obvious that it has a lasting impression on most of us. A lot of beautiful plans were truncated because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, insecurity, #EndSARS protests and a whole lot of other issues we had to contend with. These are bound to affect our activities this year. But let me assure you that we can not lose hope. We must keep hope alive and work towards a more prosperous year and future.’