Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
In a bid to ensure the safety and welfare of Nigerians, a senior lecturer at the department of Anatomy, University of Calabar, Dr. Paul Odey has urged the federal government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, reopen every economic sphere to avoi a more terrible disaster than the coronavirus.
Odey made the call in a telephone conversation with TNN. According to him, Nigeria did not have what it takes to sustain her citizens in the midst of lockdown unlike other developed nations.
He said there was no need to continue the lockdown as there were other factors that could kill other than the virus.
“Lockdown cannot continue because we have the economy to face, we have families and other things that can kill somebody, not just the COVID-19 pandemic. If you lockdown, two things will happen; you will save yourself from coronavirus and die of hunger, especially in Nigeria. Nigeria cannot handle fervently the whole disadvantages that come with lockdown.
“Other countries sent palliatives; our own palliatives here are political palliatives. And of a truth, if you read the news, you will hear complaints from some states that they got expired rice and other food items to go and give to people.
“My take is this, we should open schools, we should open every economic environment and maintain the normal social distancing including the use of hand sanitizers and a whole lot of that.”
The scientist also bemoaned contradictory reports being given by the government on the whole issue as well as the recent report from the World Health Organization, WHO, that asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 were not infectious.
“I am a scientist without a laboratory or research institute affiliated with; otherwise I would have gone to do personal research. I am so furious at the kind of report we get. We get all kinds of contradictory reports and we don’t even know what to believe.
“Schools should open and we should try to maintain social distancing. The schools on their own should come up with protocols on how to keep safe. Maintain social distancing, avoid overcrowding, compulsory use of nose masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizers, proper hygiene and of course, we should be fine. The old people are not going to school, the ages we know that this pandemic affects more.
“Schools should open because you cannot keep locking people down otherwise they will die of hunger.”