Like ebola, Nigeria can contain coronavirus ― NOA DG

The Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari has said that Nigeria can contain the Coronavirus if it breaks in the country just the way it contained Ebola.

Dr Abari who disclosed this during a media chat with journalists in Abuja, said already, the government had put measures in place in case the disease breaks.

“When Ebola entered Nigeria, we fought it successfully, it came with a huge challenge, and despite the challenges in the health sector, Nigerians were properly mobilised, resources that were available were equally mobilised, and we fought effectively and checked the spread of Ebola in this country, that was a feat.

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“If the Coronavirus comes to Nigeria, I think collectively we will fight it and contain it. As for the issue of Lassa fever, as I said, it is a seasonal disease, and it has lived with us, in fact, am not praying, but I know that 2 to 3 months from now, we will begin to do sensitisation on meningitis which is also another seasonal disease.

“So, the issue is that we will continue with sensitisation and telling the people what to do. The bottom line is prevention by keeping a very healthy environment.

“As you are aware, our government has stepped up surveillance in our various ports of entry, especially airports, to ensure that those coming from countries with a high incidence of the disease are properly checked before they are admitted into our country.

“Government has also advised our countrymen and women not to go to some of these countries for now unless it is absolutely important”, he said.

On security, the DG expressed concerned over the rising security challenges in the country, he said efforts were being made by the government to address the situation.

“Another area that has been of concern to the NOA has been the security situation in the country.

“We are concerned by the rising cases of killings around the country, it is actually worrisome that at this period, killings are targeted at both young and old, religious and layperson.

“We acknowledge the tension in the country over security problems and hope that with all Nigerians, we will find solutions to the problem. Government is also concerned about the situation.

“Recall that the president has met severally with Service chiefs over the matter I believe soon, a comprehensive response will come into operation” he noted.

On banditry, Dr Abari said, “with regard to the spate of banditry in some parts of the country especially Niger State, the government has deployed the Airforce in addition to combat troops in the area”.

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