By Abiodun Azi
Prof. Chris Bode, Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Wednesday said COVID-19 second wave was ravaging our land and claiming many lives.
Bode, who made the assertion at a news conference in Lagos, said: “The resurgence of COVID-19, through the newly mutated form, is ravaging our land, claiming many lives.
“Unlike what we witnessed in the first wave, this one is even more easily transmitted and deadlier too.
“It is, therefore, imperative for everyone, first and foremost, accept that COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we must prepare to confront it all over again.
“What we see on the streets, worship centres and social interactions, parties and daily activities call for concern.
“In a period when the `enemy’ has doubled back and is attacking us ferociously, we seem to be celebrating a false victory and denying the danger is still around us.
“We need to observe all the basic rules we have been following all along and wake up to the present reality.’’
The chief medical director, however, advised the public to shelve all forms of social engagement, for now, no parties, churches, mosques, meetings. Tell yourself it was better to stay alive.
“Wash your hands frequently and before you touch the face, eyes and mouth.
“Wear face mask obligatory (most important), maintain a social distance of at least six feet away from others where you must be with anyone.
“Do not hold face-to-face meetings with others, go virtual for now; if you love your aged relations, insist on these tenets for now. Do not go visiting them until the pandemic goes away.
“We have seen an upsurge in the number of people who keep treating ‘malaria’ instead of going for the COVID test.
“Many such then start using all sorts of steam inhalation and home remedies for their cough and chest congestion.
“It is not helpful to do this, especially if you are also diabetic, hypertensive or with a number of other health baggage or above the age of 60,” Bode advised.
Commenting, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, said everyone taught that the pandemic was over.
Adeyemo said that there were periods in November that the hospital had zero admittance in its wards.
“We planned to move to a smaller place, which we actually did, but had to come back to our 120 beds facilities; we never shut down the centre.
“We did not only witnessed increased numbers, but the severity also increased.
“Before now, we are not talking about vaccine, but about myths that COVID-19 was not real,” he said.
Adeyemo appealed to the media to enlighten the public, in terms of conspiracy theory noting that it was important we all keep to the rules and help each other.
Also, Dr Iorhen Akase, Head, Infectious Disease Unit, said that the hospital observed increased mild cases in the first wave, pointing out that the second wave was severe.
Akase said most of the cases in the first wave occurred in the elderly and morbidity, but the second wave had cases among 20 years old patients.
He said that as long as the new infections kept coming, a time would reach when hospitals could no longer admit any patient.
In her remarks, Mrs Esther Imafidon, Head, Nursing Theatre Services, reiterated that the media should enlighten the public about the second wave of COVID-19.