By Stephen Inah Enyiene.
Provost of College of Health Sciences and Technology Idah (CHSI), Dr Nuhu Solomon Anyegwu has taken his extensive sensitization initiative to curtail the spread of coronavirus pandemic to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Idah Area Command.
At the Idah area command on Monday, Anyegwu admonished police officers to to practice safe health, uninterrupted hygiene and take necessary preventive measures.
As a professional and individual at the forefront of campaign against communicable diseases outbreak in Kogi state and beyond, Anyegwu explained that Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by viral infection.
He described all viruses as bits of “genetic code bundled inside a collection of lipids and proteins, which can include a fat-based casing known as a viral envelope. Destroying an enveloped virus takes less effort than their non-enveloped compatriots, such as the stomach-busting norovirus, which can last for months on a surface. Enveloped viruses typically survive outside of a body for only a matter of days and are considered among the easiest to kill, because once their fragile exterior is broken down, they begin to degrade.
“The common symptoms associated with the virus include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, sore throat, loss of sense of smell, and abdominal pain. Anyone experiencing such signs should not panic or see it as a death sentence but to immediately visit the nearest medical facility hospital,” he explained.
Dr Nuhu Solomon Anyegwu, the Deputy National President of Environmental Health Officer Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) and President Kogi State chapter, said the primary way people become infected with the coronavirus is from person-to-person transmission. This close contact in the form of a hug, handshake, or being in a packed public space enables infected individuals to easily spread their respiratory droplets, which are typically sneezed or coughed.
“But because respiratory droplets are heavy, they typically fall to the ground easily. Depending on where they land, they could persist on a surface before being touched by a hand that carries the virus to a nose or mouth, leading to infection.
“It spread through person to person close contact and via respiratory droplets produced when people cough or sneeze. Respiratory droplets may be produced during breathing and the virus is generally airborne aerosols – tiny airborne particles – for up to three hours, though larger respiratory droplets are more likely to be infectious in open-air settings or public places like supermarkets. People may also contract COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface and then their faces. Spaces that are commonly touched, like a stair rail or bus pole, door handles would contain a higher amount of the virus and present a greater risk for infection. It is most contagious when people are symptomatic, although spread may be possible before symptoms appear,” Dr Anyegwu said.
Anyegwu told the officers that time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between two and fourteen days.
“There is no other time than now, where we face serious challenges in our global and national lives as a result of this corona virus pandemic. The reasons are not far fetched with individuals, groups, nations contributing to the occurrence of these emerging and re-emerging infections, amongst these are; intra national rivalries leading to cold wars between nations, negligence to environmental health services, corruption at all spheres of our national lives, unorganized medical care, poor funding of the health sector, lack of fear of God, lack of sincerity and truth in whatever we do, and divergent anthropogenic activities amongst others.”
Anyegwu, in his lecture, admonished the officers of Idah Divisional Police Headquarters to practice safe health, uninterrupted hygiene and try as much as possible take cognizance of preventive measures while discharging their legitimate duties as security operatives in maintaining law and order, protecting lives and property.
“Washing of hands with soap, wearing of facemask, hand gloves, use of hand sanitisers, avoiding of crowded areas and handshakes are ways to protect oneself from the pandemic,” he added.
Dr Anyegwu entertained donated hand sanitizers and two buckets with tap for hand washing to the Police Division.