Declare coronavirus pandemic, Hon Oladele tasks WHO

• Applauds Nigerian government's response

A former member of the House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services in the 8th Assembly, Hon Kayode Oladele has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to officially declare coronavirus pandemic, in the face of the global crisis the world is currently facing as a result of the dreaded and highly infectious decease.

Hon. Oladele, who spoke with Tribune Online in Abuja, argued that to continue to regard Covid-19 as an epidemic, despite the transnational presence of the deadly virus across all the world, points to the fact that WHO is yet to realise that there is already a global outbreak of the virus even though, the global body itself had as at last week, issued its highest threat level – a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) warned that a global outbreak of Covid-19 could be imminent.

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According to Hon. Oladele: “There is already a global outbreak of Covid-19 and as at today, no nation is well equipped enough to contain the virus. From available reports, Coronavirus officially named ad Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) has spread to about 66 countries apart from China, it’s country of origin with over 85,000 confirmed cases of infection worldwide including over 3,000 deaths and still counting.

“Concerned about the global threat and spread, the WHO has recently declared it a global public health emergency and just few days ago, the global body raised the risk level and assessment to very high.

“Yet, the World Health Organization is reluctant to declare it a pandemic. Even medical experts are alarmed that the virus is yet to be categorized as such. This has gone beyond epidemic, in my view, it is pandemic,” he stressed.

On Nigeria’s response to the first Coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa, the former lawmaker noted that so far, no Nigerian has been reportedly infected with the virus but that the illness was diagnosed in an Italian, who was himself infected in Italy, the epicentre of the virus in Europe.

He also praised the Nigerian government for the quick response and urged both the Federal and State Governments to share information and synergise their activities, in order to contain the spread of the virus in Nigeria, warning, however, that people should not have the illusion that Africans are immune from Covid-19 infection.

“Nigeria’s prompt response to Ebola outbreak was well acknowledged all over the world and I have no doubt in my mind that both the Federal and state governments are working hard to ensure the prevention of the Covid outbreak in Nigeria,” Hon. Oladele concluded.

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