Doctors in Coronavirus gears

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has called for the establishment of a modern on-testing laboratory for any outbreak of infectious diseases like Coronavirus in Kwara.

Dr Stella Filani, the National Auditor and Kwara Chairman of MDCAN, made the appeal on Friday in Ilorin.

She spoke against the backdrop of the announcement, on Thursday, of the spreading of the virus to Lagos by an Italian national working in Nigeria.

Filani said that samples of dangerous diseases are usually taken to Lagos or Abuja for testing and diagnosis.

She added that results of such testing often take between five and six days to come out.

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“Our level of preparedness is low and a lot has to be done.

“However, consultants in the state have the pre-requisite training to contain the scourge.

“All hands must, therefore, be on deck to contain the spread of any disease outbreak,’’ she said.

Filani advised that governments at all levels must put in place necessary provisions in the isolation centres and step up training of manpower in the management of patients and the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Also speaking, Dr Adebayo Mohammed, the MDCAN branch Chairman, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), corroborated that there was no laboratory testing facility for dangerous diseases in Kwara.

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He observed that the state “is not adequately prepared’’.

“We urge the Federal Ministry of Health to brace up and contain the possible spread of the virus into the state,’’ he said.

Mohammed advised people to avoid crowded areas and increase handwashing with soaps.

He also urged people to maintain a distance of about 2.5 metres away from anyone with symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.

The MDCAN Unilorin boss also advised people to wear masks and be courteous about shaking hands with other people.

He warned against touching the eyes and picking the nose without washing hands.

The novel coronavirus, code named COVID-19, has spread to 56 countries and territories around the world.

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Nigeria is the third African country to record the disease after Egypt and Algeria.

China, the epicentre of the deadly disease, as of Friday, has recorded 44 new fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,788 from COVID-19.