The Periscope reporter
onversation on “Wuhan-flu,” by the Periscope interpretation, generally known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, is the most trending than any other conversation in recent history, globally speaking: worshipping places, Institutes and institutions are shutdown, schools are closed down to be able to be in tune with social distancing, the panic narration, the panic buying and all that.
Some people have conceived the phenomenon; the COVID-19 scare to have resulted from the media exaggerations than anything else depicting reality, going by the total number of those infected and the death casualties around the world in comparison to the total population that are free from Coronavirus.
The point however is that COVID-19 is real and not a mere fable, creatively crafted; countries in Asia, Europe and America, have suffered and are suffering from the devastating effect of the disease. It is projected that Africa will eventually be the worst to be hit, owing to the health system that is summarily isn’t any brilliant, even though an unscientific notion has it that “COVID-19 isn’t African virus, hence can have insignificant effect on black people; the point however is to search for preventative measure before the disease to could get to overwhelm the cure.
These and more are joined to form the background of the Periscope conversation in Diaspora, with Dr. Abdulaziz T.B. on COVID-19 and prevention.
Dr. Abdulaziz Tijjani Bako a Nigerian in Diaspora, a graduate of Medicine from Bayero University Kano, who had his Master Degree in Public Health from Texas A&M University in America and currently doing a PhD programme in Public Health at Indiana University, School of Public Health in the US, was in COVID-19 conversation with the Periscope Global Publishers from Indiana. The expert has given his take as a preventative measures against the spread of the Corona Virus Disease, code named COVID-19, which the Periscope considered as “The Wuhan-flu,” where he called on the Nigerian government to enforce social distancing as a remedy to the spread of the disease.
The following is the excerpt from the Periscope -Indiana COVID-19 conversation.
Doctor, we want to have a broader abroad experience really, regarding COVID-19 that has terrified the world and is still terribly frightening. People have been hearing about it abroad through the media; “this is actually the effect of it; this is how they are able to address it”. At the level of the states in Nigeria, we want to take the angle of prevention and so how do we get to go by it? Meanwhile, let’s go back however brief, to the background; what is this COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new disease that is not been seen in the past and it is believed to be originated from animals especially, birds. It originated, as you might know, in a city called Wuhan in China. It mainly affects the respiratory system, ranging from symptoms, which include fever, dry cough and difficulty in breathing.
It might come with some symptoms of running nose, from other symptoms like diarrhoea and vomiting. These are symptoms that could occur but the three main symptoms are fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing.
Another thing for now, because it is a new disease, there is no specific treatment for it. And as you might know, Coronavirus is like a family of Coronaviruses; there are other Coronaviruses, for example SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus that occurred way back and we have MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). These are the main Coronaviruses we have that infect human and also infect animals.
So, given that there is no specific treatment for now, the most important thing about controlling or prevention it is to limit its spread.
We need to limit its spread because, it spread even faster than the common flu.
That is why the main aim of prevention is to limit its spread so that many people will not get it at once; in other not to overwhelm the health system in the country.
We don’t have enough hospitals or enough facilities or doctors and other health workers in Nigeria, to take care of overwhelming patients presented with particular disease.
Some people earlier, attached genetic and environmental connotations, to the effect of Coronavirus; that it is more to Europe, America and some parts of Asian countries, it couldn’t have much effect in and to Africans. How authentically scientific is this claim?
Actually, a lot of people think that Coronavirus does not have effect on black people, which is absolutely a misleading sentiment. There are a lot of black people that have been infected; of recent is a Nigerian doctor working in Canada who was infected and died of the disease. There are a lot of black people that have died of the disease.
Therefore, our genetic does not prevent us from getting infected with the disease or having a severe scourge of the disease.
Another thing is that people believe that somehow, temperature has an effect on reducing the transmission of the disease. This is not a sentiment that is well founded or well grounded in research.
Research has shown that this disease can be transmitted to both places that are temperate: that is, in places that are cold and in places that are hot; giving example with Australia, we know their temperature is high, they have a high rate of infection too.
So, I think that the health experts are warning people or asking people to be conscious of thinking that somehow, Coronavirus has no effect in Africa or on black people.
Now let’s talk about the age grade conception. Some people are saying that Coronavirus actually affects only older people and in fact, to the point of death than the youths and perhaps children, What your take on that?
Consistent research has shown that Coronavirus has much more effect on people who are older and people with some health conditions, for example people with diabetes, people with hypertension and other diseases. It affects them and it is more severe on those people but that doesn’t mean that younger people are not getting it or younger people are not experiencing severe symptoms.
A lot of young people have died of the disease. So, we have seen that the disease infects both young people, though it kills older people more than the younger people.
Now coming back to the facilities doctor, there is the constraint in terms of medical personnel and there is the constraint associated with the facilities in the hospitals, how do you think about managing Coronavirus casualties at home, is it possible? Can it be done?
It depends on the symptoms. A lot of time, people asked how comes do we we see patients recovering from the disease. The explanation of it is, the disease affects some people and it doesn’t bring them down. They might have very mild symptom. Some people infected by the disease can have severe symptoms.
For those people who have mild symptom, probably they might not bring the issue of Coronavirus. They might not even think about it.
But the main thing now that we have the academy going on, whenever a person has symptom like this or symptom presented with cough or fever and so on, they need to isolate themselves.
So, management at home is good for people with mild symptoms but once the symptoms are really hard enough; someone has fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, they need to go to the hospital and confirm whether or not they are infected with Coronavirus.
We talk about hygiene virtually everyday; avoid handshake, observe social distancing, frequent washing of hands with soap and clean water as some of the preventive measures; worshipping places, talking about Churches and Mosques are, for the most part closed, schools, are for the most part, shutdown in most states of the country. However, in many instances, we see markets being operated; buying and selling and other activities negating social distancing, are markets immune from Coronavirus?
Having shutdown the worshipping places, schools closed down but allowing markets to recklessly operate can not be a good idea in the face of Coronavirus outbreak. People going to market and coming close together, will still have an opened source of infection. The reasonable idea is to shutdown the markets as well, if we really want to contain or mitigate the effect of the spread of this disease.
Finally, what’s your call to that effect?
My call is to the authorities; to make sure that we institute and implement this social distancing policy. It is the most important policy that will limit the spread of this disease among a large number of people that might at the end of the day overwhelm our hospital resources and healthcare resources in general.
So, Social distancing is very important. It has to be enforced by the government; because people if left alone, will not abide by any kind of advice in terms of social distancing.
You are welcome.