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Osun State University Supports Government Efforts Against The Spread Of Coronavirus Disease (covid-19.) In Osun State.

Source: JOSEPH BABATUNDE ODUNTAN.
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THE Vice Chancellor of Osun state university, Professor Labo Popoola on Wednesday 1st April, 2020 in Osogbo, Osun state Nigeria lamented that the outbreak of coronavirus disease(covid-19) and its eventual global spread has put Nigeria and indeed the whole world into a very dire socio-economic situation.

He made the remark in an interview with the regular host, ace broadcast Journalist and moderator, Mr. 'Femi Olanipekun in his weekly morning radio 'Frank Talk' program.

Mr. Olanipekun in his introductory speech, expressed the global threat and effect of Covid-19 to the world community population of about seven point five billion people.

Today in Nigeria, he says, the disease is spreading fast from Lagos to other states and parts of the country. He lamented how the spread of the disease is growing slowly in the state of Osun.

His first question to Professor Popoola was on what the academia in Nigeria and indeed his university is doing at this trying moment to check the global disaster caused by the plague and what can be done to reduce the crisis it has plunged the state, Nigeria and indeed the world.?

Professor Popoola in the interactive discussion with two other scientists, a Virologist and an Entomologist/public Health expert says the academia in Nigeria is ill-prepared for a quick and sudden solution to the outbreak of covid-19.

He however says the outbreak of covid-19 is not new to the academia or any scientist around the world. The world, he says has witnessed similar disease outbreak before in the past. "We know what a virus is and we know how to stem it down," he said.

The science world he says are working hard for the control of covid-19 ravaging the world. The solution for the control of the disease he said will still come, it may take some time and it will also need resources. He applauded the efforts of Nigerian Center for Disease Control(NCDC) and the six other laboratory testing centers in the country for prompt response and action since the start of the crisis in the country. He commends President Buhari for quickly providing money for research on covid-19 and to provide screening kits and other health care facilities for victims to enhance prevention and to check the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

On the question of what his university is doing on the outbreak, Professor Popoola thanked the state governor, Mr. 'Gboyega Oyetola and members of the different committee and task force set up to fight the spread of covid-19 in the state of Osun.

He says, UNIOSUN is intensively working to support state government campaign effort to sensitize the people in different communities in Osun state to create awareness, inform and educate the people on how to stay safe, prevent and check the spread of covid-19 in the state of Osun.

He says the university in addition to radio jingles, has made flyers and leaflets, written in English and three major Nigerian languages(Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa.) for distribution to people in villages, towns and cities in the state.

A Virologist, a senior lecturer at the university in his own submission on what Nigerian scientists are doing to solve the problem of covid-19 plagueing the world, he says a Nigerian Medical scientist at the University of Ibadan College Teaching Hospital(UCH) in 2016 did an extensive research on coronavirus as a disease causing pathogen. He remarked that the science world is one, united, networking and collaborating for solution to world health problems.

In the present day world of science, he says,scientists do not work in isolation, they may work as individual or group, they share their laboratory experiments and field testing findings and come together to brain storm on results before any recommendation for drug use. "We are not just sitting down folding our arms, work is on going in health research centers around the world on how to solve the present covid-19 crisis the world is facing," he said.

The third guest, an Entomologist and a public health specialist in his own contribution during the discussion says scientists are not clueless as to solution to covid-19 as many assume. He suggests developing a statistical model to help scientists study the thrend, mode and mechanism of covid-19 spread amongst people in the state or country to enhance developing measures or to ehance policy formulation by government for its prevention and to check its spread globally. The effectiveness of a model he says will however be based on different factors or variables such as: (a) Testing the compliance of the people to government guidelines for prevention,(b) How informed and educated were the people, (c) the literacy level of the people, (d) Age and health status of the people amongst other important factors and probabilities.

He warned Osun state citizenry not to flout government lock down order put in place now in its second phase with strong advice that they should also strictly follow World Health Organization(WHO) and Nigerian Center for Disease Control(NCDC) guidelines for the prevention and to check the spread of covid-19 in the state.

Covid-19 he says is a new and novel virus disease infection that needs to be well studied before an appropriate vaccine can be developed for its control and this will take time he says. He commends and highligted the efforts of scientists in China for the extensive research done on the origin, biology, mode of infection, the different strains of the virus and how dangerous and deadly they are to human respiratory organ to help other scientists elsewhere around the world on the development of a vaccine for its control.

In Nigeria, NCDC report indicate that to date, 493 cases were reported, 160 infected people were discharged after quarantine and treatment with only 17 deaths.

Latest report in the state of Osun indicate that of all the less than 100 reported cases, 27 of which are returnees from Ivory Coast, the affected quarantined victims have been treated and discharged and we are left with only 2 active cases. The second phase of government lock down order after the lapse of the first 14 days commence 17th April, 2020 to last another two weeks.