There’s no cause for alarm, coronavirus not deadlier as Lassa fever ― Mamora

Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, on Sunday, cautioned Nigerians against panic over the discovery of coronavirus in Nigeria.

Coronavirus was discovered in China last year and has presently spread to over 50 countries infecting over 83,000 individuals and killing at least 2,800 persons so far.

Speaking during an enlightenment campaign at the First Baptist Church, Garki Abuja, Mamora said going by statistics, Lassa fever kills more than coronavirus.

“Most people who catch COVID-19 will recover on their own.

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“For instance, if there are 100 patients of COVID-19, about 98 will recover without any treatment. I am just trying to let you know that it is not as deadly as what people think.

“Whereas if 100 people have Lassa fever, between 15 and 17 of them will die, which means that it is even more dangerous. It is therefore important to get the facts right.”

According to him, the first thing about coronavirus is:” let there be no fear. Let there be no panic. And let there be no hysteria.

“Yes, we have an unwanted guest in our midst in Nigeria today which COVID-19 . Even common cold belong to the same class and family as coronavirus.

“But this one is new and designated COVID-19. The concern is the ease of spread.

“Since the outbreak in China. It has spread to about 50 countries now. Malaria kills more than COVID-19. Cancers kill more than COVID-19. Heart diseases kill more than COVID-19. I gave these facts to let you know that it isn’t anything to worry about as such.”

He advised that it was important to observe basic personal hygiene in the form of frequent hand wash with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitisers.

“When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with handkerchief and dispose of it immediately. If you don’t have handkerchief, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

“Restrict handshake for the time being because If you observe these personal rules of hygiene, how are you sure that the other person does? And that is the problem. You should also reduce hugging at this time.

“If you then observe that you are having symptoms of the disease, persistent cough, sneezing, fever, report to the doctor so that he can examine you but don’t find excuses for your symptoms. See the doctor and let him determine your state of health.

“Helplines of Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) are also available at 08009700000 up to 10 lines.

“And if you have someone around you who is manifesting any of these symptoms, advise the person to report to the hospital immediately and keep your distance from the individual.”

Also speaking, Dr Titi Egbuson of the FCT Health Insurance Scheme warned against self-medication saying that the disease was still new and had no known cure so far.

She warned against relying on social media for information as most of the information about COVID-19 are fake news.

“Hand sanitisers have become so scarce but if you can get it, use it often. Refrain from touching your face because the virus affects the respiratory tract.

“And you don’t have to wear face mask unless you are infected or suspect that you are infected and don’t want to spread it around.”

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