A Professor of Public Health/Community Medicine, Adesegun Fatunsi, has urged the Federal Government to increase surveillance to stop the fresh spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Fatunsi described the surge of COVID-19 in China as unfortunate, even as he reminded Nigerians that the coronavirus had not completely gone.

He made these remarks in an interview with Saturday PUNCH while reacting to the Federal Government’s stance not to impose restrictions on travellers from China despite the ongoing upsurge of COVID-19 in the Asian country0….

Earlier, the Federal Government said it had not considered imposing mandatory COVID-19 testing or restrictions on travellers from China until there was a need for it.

The Federal Government, however, admitted that Nigeria was at risk of a fresh surge of the virus, even as it advised Nigerians to go for vaccination.

Fatunsi noted that the government could choose to act either by closing up the borders, watching carefully while ensuring that the incidence is closely monitored, or becoming more passive by being complacent.

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He observed that though the guards had been let down on restrictions and measures, Nigeria was currently in a place of close and careful monitoring for subsequent decisions.

He said, “Keeping close surveillance measures put in place and ensuring that there are proper checks at the borders and airports to monitor temperature changes before anyone comes into the country is a better approach than planning an entire ban.

“An entire ban on China for instance will only focus on the Asian country, leaving others who might come from other countries with the virus unchecked, infecting others and putting the whole country in trouble. The government should also maintain surveillance at the ports.”

He further said, “The best measure to prevent a recurrence is to ensure that our standard measures are maintained, making sure no one enters the country without being checked. This will help curb the inflow, spread or upsurge of the virus.

“I will recommend the careful watch to contain the spread of the virus. This is important because looking at the way COVID-19 cases had been fluctuating in China, the spread of the virus would have been contained with that.”

By Vision

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