By Ntia Usukuma
The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed eight states In Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory as having a high risk of coronavirus outbreak. The international organisation wants those states to be prepared effectively against any outbreak of the deadly disease which has killed many in China. According to WHO, the assessment took this direction because of the frequent travels of Nigerians from those states to China. The WHO mapped out the 8 states – Lagos, Kano, Cross River Akwa Ibom, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Delta and Bayelsa – as top priority areas for preparedness against the strange coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria.
Commenting on the possible outbreak of the disease in Nigeria, the technical officer on health emergency programme for WHO, Dhamari Naidoo, while speaking to journalists at a media training for reporters on coronavirus outbreak said Nigeria was self-assessed as high in a risk assessment by the organisation. She said: “Nigeria was self-assessed as high in a risk assessment by the World Health Organisation, primarily because of the frequent travel between China and Nigeria.”
Naidoo noted that while the WHO is working on strengthening surveillance at ports of entry by supporting temperature screening, and visual observation, airlines have also been informed about travel forms to enable the monitoring of travellers coming in from China. She added that the WHO has deployed a surge team comprising of experts from the African region to support the work of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health
She said the team will also help in planning and preparing the country against the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Anambra South senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate, Ifeanyi Ubah, has raised alarm over the illegal exportation of facial masks to China. Senator Ubah said the illegal exportation of facial masks from Nigeria is currently booming as over 100 million face masks have been illegally exported to China since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease.