The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Mohamed Tunis, has charged governments of West African countries to establish more COVID-19 isolation facilities and fit them with the proper equipment.
In a statement issued by the speaker in Abuja on Thursday, he stressed that the pandemic had taken a more threatening toll with more cases in the sub-region and seven deaths already.
According to him, the governments must also make efforts to protect those who are working round the clock to care for the sick by providing them with adequate protective kits.
While commending the governments for the pro-active steps taken to stem the tide of the virus spread, he charged both governments and citizens to do more to forestall further deaths or spread.
“I wish to use this medium to commend the proactive efforts of our governments in the sub-region. They have indeed acted fast, under the circumstances, by putting in place several measures that will help limit the spread of the virus.
“Furthermore, the immediate creation of isolation centers, shows the willingness to address the scourge head-on.
“There may, however, be the need to expand existing isolation facilities and get them fully equipped with additional beds, ventilators and other essential medical supplies.
“Furthermore, our governments need to make adequate provision to protect our first respondents; doctors, nurses and other auxiliary medical personnel, who put their lives on the line to respond to emergencies,” he said.
Tunis charged citizens of the sub-region to also join efforts to curtail the spread of the virus by adhering strictly to medical advice on prevention and avoidance of self-medication.
He reiterated the charge on personal hygiene, hand washing, social distancing, travel restriction and rejection of misleading myths about Covid-19 and the tropical region.
“To our citizens, I wish to suggest that we should first avoid any form of panic and face the situation boldly. We should also adhere strictly to medical advice, especially as it relates to the following:
“Avoid fake news especially unscientific theories to the effect that the Covid-19 virus does not affect Africans or that our tropical climate conditions have significant impact against it.
“Avoid self-medication, As yet, there is no proof that herbs and other forms of traditional medicines can cure the disease. Also there is yet no proof that chloroquine is a cure.
“Avoid comparing our ebola experience in 2014 to the current situation: While we are dealing with a virus, as in the case of ebola, the characteristics of the present virus differs significantly from ebola,” he stressed.
The speaker disclosed that he had suspended all political activities of the parliament,
He hinted that parliament was monitoring the Coronavirus situation to determine the appropriateness or otherwise of its 1stOrdinary Session which was usually held in May.
“Finally, I wish to encourage us all to be steadfast and forward looking. Let me remind us that our personal health should primarily be our concern.
“As West Africans sharing a common destiny, we should remain optimistic that together we shall overcome this scourge and come out of it even stronger,” he said.