The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA)Dr Rufus Ebegba has met with the management and staff of the Biosecurity department of the Agency over the outbreak of coronavirus.
The DG/CEO while speaking at the meeting held today (February 5, 2020) Said the department of biosecurity should come up with public awareness mechanisms such as logos, pamphlets among others, containing information about the disease and what the citizens should do and who to contact in the case of suspected infection.
He said this will help in creating awareness about the disease and what the Agency is doing.
He said the essence of the meeting is to ensure that coronavirus and any other harmful Biological Agent does not take the country by surprise.
“We need to be adequately prepared and take proactive steps about these harmful biological agents and to ensure that they are properly contained so that they do not cause harm to humans and the environment”. He said
Dr Ebegba said “We need to be conscious of what is on ground and how to tackle it and to work with other sister agencies to ensure that this virus is well tackled. Biosecurity has now become part of the mandate of the agency and there is the need to develop this mandate.”
Biosecurity is a serious issue and we must prove our relevance in this sector. As an agency in charge of biosecurity we must rub minds on how best harmful biological Agents can be contained and eliminated”. He said.
The DG/CEO restated that Nigerians should take precautionary measures such as proper hand washing seeking adequate medical care in case of any flu or symptoms similar to flu and avoiding centers where the outbreak is prevalent.
“This coronavirus, can affect the lungs and symptoms include common colds and flu and can spread person to person by coughing and sneezing. Its symptoms include difficulty in breathing, fever and coughing and can lead to organ failure, pneumonia and death. The best way to combat it is to avoid close contact with people who might be sick or carrying it”. He said.
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He also restated the federal government is doing everything possible to ensure that the corona virus does not come into our borders and advised citizens to avoid countries already confirmed to have cases of coronavirus.
He said the safety of Nigerians is a priority for the federal government and is doing everything possible to ensure that harmful biological agents are properly contained and eliminated so that they do not cause harm to humans and the environment.