COVID 19: NGO takes hygiene campaign to market places

• As U-DIREF fears 4000 cases may be roaming Nigerian streets

Self Isolation and social distancing remained the key to bring the scourge of the virulent COVID-19 to its knees in Nigeria, Chairman Chief Executive Officer of Universal Disaster Recovery Foundation (U-DIREF), Daniel Balarabe Gambo, had said on Thursday.

He said Nigeria may be contending with far more than it knows given the pattern of the virulent COVID-19 manifestation in the country so far.

According to him, there may be over 4000 cases of COVID-19 already in the country explaining that with the confirmed cases of 46 as at Wednesday, March 2020, more cases may yet manifest over time.

His words: “We will save more lives by doing the right and proper thing. Today Nigeria is saying that we have 46 confirmed cases; I can tell you that we have 460 cases in Nigeria.

“And if you are not lucky we may be having 460 X 10 because one person infected will take 14 days for it to manifest, that is the gestation period because every day you must have interacted with 10 people and may have deposited the Coronavirus on them,” Gambo stated

Oblivious of their exposure they will also spread it even when they have not shown sign of symptoms by then, they may have infected people.

Gambo who led a team of the foundation to Wuse and Utako markets in Abuja on a sensitisation exercise said that so much was needed to be done by the relevant authorities and Non-governmental organisations in the area of enlightenment with emphasis on hygiene.

According to him, many visitors to the market adorned themselves with a face mask and hand gloves but remained exposed to danger because they do not know how to dispose of the used items.

According to him, such people should familiarise themselves with the technique for washing their hands and removal of the face mask without compromising their safety.

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“The sensitisation discovered that after supplying the water sanitation and hygiene in these two markets, a lot of people were wearing mask and gloves altogether when actually it may not be necessary of them to adorn themselves with both of these safety items.

“Secondly, we discovered that they do not even know how to wear them and how to remove them. Thus, exposing themselves to a higher risk of infection, than if they have not worn them; wearing them gives them false self-confidence that I have gloves and I have a face mask.

“Meanwhile while trying to dispose of the safety items they further contaminate themselves with all the germs trapped by the face mask and the hand gloves.

He said enlightenment such as this would have exposed them to imbibe more culture of washing of hands with water and soap, this has to be done when you touch any strange object not disinfected.

“So whenever you touch anything that is not yours, like railings like you enter the shop and place your hands on their table because the coronavirus lasts for three days on any hard surface, it is airborne it can be carried by air to any obstacle and deposit itself on that obstacle and for three days it is alive.

“Wash your hands almost every 20 minutes with water and soap.

Nigeria has recorded 51 cases of COVID-19 with one fatality. The infection of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, has sent jitters nationwide and prompted public consciousness of the disease’s pandemic situation in the country.

Ifeyinwa Igwe said the effort was commendable and indeed “enlightening” as it has exposed her to a safer way to dispose of with used hand gloves.