By Idowu Abdullahi,
Worried by the spike in cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, the President, Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, has raised concerns over the testing strategies being used by the Nigeria Center Disease Control for the coronavirus pandemic within the country borders.
She said the concerns had become imperative following several projections that there would be an increase in cases of coronavirus while the agency’s testing capacity had yet to increase since the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria.
Okei-Odumakin, while calling on the NCDC to increase the daily testing capacity to guide the country’s response to the novel virus, called on government at all levels to take a cue from other countries and seek local remedies as a cure for the deadly respiratory disease.
The activist, through a statement released to newsmen on Friday, said since the country has crossed the five thousand landmark in the recorded cases of coronavirus, it is imperative for stakeholders and governments to seek indigenous remedies to tackle the viral infection.
She noted that if a country like Madagascar can look inwardly to come up with an organic touted to be effective in the treatment of coronavirus, Nigeria with all the arsenal at its disposal in terms of scientists and research institutes has no excuse not to come up with effective local remedies.
“The embarrassing aspect is that smaller African countries with a fraction of the population of the self-advertised “giant of Africa” are doing more tests than Nigeria. This necessitates the call, once again, for the authorities to put their acts together and increase the number of tests per day. We cannot continue to crawl in this very important respect while the rate of infection travels at a faster speed.
“Whether locally or on the international scene, everyone is scampering to provide home-grown solutions. We must not be left out of this. Our penchant to depend on importation of all manner of craps while producing nothing must now stop. From hand sanitizers to other Personal Protection Equipment to the search for a cure, we must now take the lead and look after ourselves.
“It is sad and embarrassing that it is Lilliputian Madagascar that is taking the lead in this respect for giant Nigeria to shamelessly follow. Yet, it is not as if we could not have done better than Madagascar. We are not short of talents but, unfortunately, short in the leadership qualities needed to harness the bountiful potentials always available in this country. The human, natural and capital resources have always been there. Effectively managing them for progress has been our bane.
“As we battle the Covid-19 pandemic, these lapses have, unfortunately, reared their hydra-headed ugly heads once more. This has been one important reason why many Nigerians find it difficult to put their trust in their government to obey directives meant for the good of all. This, then, is a vicious circle that must be broken for us to get out of this bind and make meaningful progress,” the statement said.
Okei-Odumakin, however, advised Nigerians to obey all health experts’ advice and protocols in supporting the government efforts in mitigating the spread of coronavirus, adding that breaches of laid down protocols will aid the community transmission of the virus at an alarming rate which poses more danger for the country.