Dr Dakum being shown round the hospital.

By M. Peter, Jos

Until a vaccine is found, Nigerians have been advised to continue to play their part in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 disease and curb its spread in communities.

Chief among those who should play active roles in fighting the virus are gatekeepers like community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, among others by enjoining citizens to strictly adhere to preventive measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease.

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Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria Dr. Patrick Dakum who gave the advise, also advocated that as State governments continue in the fight against the COVID-19 disease, they should ensure strict compliance to safety protocols so that the curve of the disease can be flattened in no distance time.

Speaking shortly after inspecting facilities at the Human Virology Centre at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Dakum who is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland, School of Medicine Baltimore United States of America emphasized on the need for citizens to imbibe the use of facemasks at all times.


His words, “Until vaccine is ready, Nigerians need to be on guard, community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders and leader at all strata of the society must play active roles by sensitizing their subjects and followers that covid-19 is real and someone can be infected through close contact with an infected person. Even during this festive period, religious leaders have a role to play in this regard, sharing and eating of ram is good but we should be conscious of danger of crowding together.

“With the easing of lock down, we have to emphasis on compulsory use of facemasks. The issue of face mask is something that we have talked about severally. Apparently, people are yet to get the fact that the use of face mask is extremely important as far as prevention is concerned. So, we must figure out a way to involve community gatekeepers to accept the idea.”

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He cautioned against indiscriminate gathering in large numbers saying large gatherings portend danger because close contact is high adding that every state and community must be wary about large gatherings in market, mosques, churches, festivals and parties.

With the facility in place at the Human Virology Centre, Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Dakum maintained the centre is set to begin covid-19 testing along with the ones already established at the Jos University Teaching Hospital and National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Jos South local government area of the State.