COVID-19: Expert say Nigeria must replicate Taiwan’s model of prevention and elimination, to defeat virus

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By Abujah Racheal

Abuja, Oct. 30, 2020 Dr Gabriel Adakole, a public health expert, has called on the federal and state governments to intensify campaigns to replicate Taiwan, Vietnam’s model of prevention and elimination, to defeat virus

Adakole made the call in an interview with journalists on Friday in Abuja.

The expert opined that the non-pharmaceutical measures were better than the expected vaccine for COVID-19.

“There is need for some kind of campaign to help uplift people’s spirits so as to guide them through the outbreak.

“We have something better than a vaccine – the non-pharmaceutical measures.

“We need public health messaging that will help Nigerians through this, step by step,” he said.

The expert said that collective guard, especially in some parts of the country, was never particularly high and was overtly insufficient.

He alleged that state governors had emboldened citizens to disregard the advice and admonishments of the Presidential Task Force (PTF).

“The only effective approach is prevention and elimination, never mitigation. Taiwan, Vietnam and New Zealand are clear examples.

“Pretending to run after an invisible wildfire trying to predict its path, while it leaves unnecessary and irreversible devastation in its path, is absurd,” he explained.

He, however, explained that early response of not letting the virus in nor getting a foothold, was the least costly and most effective preventive measure the country could take.

“It also avoids politicising divisions. Mitigation, with or without the goal of herd immunity, equates allowing the virus free circulation. The outcome is ultimately the same and morally equally unacceptable.

“Lockdowns are still the best option to cut transmission chains, never a last resort.

“The virus is not tired of making us sick, even if we’re sick and tired of it. That is the plain truth and it is why we must continue to keep our guard up.

“Let us wear masks, watch our distance, and wash our hands,” he counselled.

According to him, the virus stays for half an hour. The droplets fall down within 0.8 meters, aerosols immediately evaporate while virus will float in the air.

He said that the accumulated virus in a confined room without proper ventilation also spreads the virus.

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