The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said there is need for a renewal of pact between goverment and citizens for effective adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures to take place.
Dr Ehanire noted that the collaboration would reveal reasons why many Nigerians are not adhering to public health advisories issued to curb the increasing spread of COVID-19.
He made the recommendation in a press release issued by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, Tuesday, at the concluding remarks of the lecture delivered to participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 13 of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He said: “COVID-19 reveals that collaboration and cooperation between the governed and governing is vital and has never been so important and desirable as with this outbreak.
“It appears that there is a relationship between infection and fatality rates on the one hand and the level of collaboration between state and population on the other hand, looking at the global picture.
“Therefore, we need to intensify this relationship so that the population takes ownership of the response”, Ehanire stressed.
The minister admitted that although Nigeria has a well written influenza pandemic response plan, but we were not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic just as no other country in the world was prepared for it, as global events have shown.
“We were not prepared… no one knew what to expect,” he added.
On the level of the country’s preparedness to handle the pandemic now, Ehanire stated that Nigeria is much better prepared and is still preparing and that the present situation is not out of hand.
“COVID-19 is still an unfolding global pandemic and Nigeria has not reached its peak of transmission.
” Our high population and population density, along with previous mentioned conditions and challenges, give reasons for apprehension but also make accurate predictions difficult”, he asserted.
Ehanire who expressed delight at the level of compliance to the non-pharmaceutical measures of social distancing and wearing of masks among the participants called for intensified efforts at curbing the virus as health is a national security issue.