The Niger state stakeholders against the spread of Coronavirus have raised the alarm over the possibility of more Nigerians dying of starvation if government both local, state, and federal levels hoards palliatives from the people,
The warning by the concerned residents follows the outbreak of the second wave of the Coronavirus in Nigeria.
The stakeholders comprising religious leaders, traditional rulers, health workers, market leaders, and the media, among others, said the Federal Government must do its best to ensure that the second phase of COVID-19 does not get out of hand.
The participants at a Coronavirus awareness and prevention program organized by the Niger State USAID E-WASH in Minna and the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) complained that during the first phase of the Coronavirus outbreak, many Nigerians suffered starvation/hunger and untold hardship as a result of lockdown.
“Governments at both local, state and federal levels hid palliatives meant for the masses and allowed us to suffer and die of hunger. They are coming up with another plan to make us suffer again.”
The Ward Head of Fadikpe, Alh. Danladi Musa Jibrin called on federal governments to act fast to save the poor Nigerians from the second wave of Coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 Second Wave will consume us, especially the poor. The Government must act fast to ensure the disease does not escalate. What happened with the palliatives during the First Wave should be avoided.”
“As religious and traditional leaders, we are telling the government to reach out to the genuinely needy and not politicize anything.”
Hadiza Mohammed Saba, another participant, also said it would be quite difficult for people to adhere to the Federal Government’s directives to stay at home when they have no food to eat.
“Government is not sensitive to the sufferings of the people. Why should people comply with the directive to stay at home when they have no food to eat.”
Dr. Hauwa Kolo, the Director Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, in a keynote address, urged people of the state to adhere strictly to Coronavirus rules and regulations to prevent the further spread of the infection.
Dr. Hauwa Kolo said that presently, out of the over 5,000 persons tested for COVID-19 in the state, 338 persons have tested positive of it with 12 deaths across the state’s entire local government areas.
Dr. Hauwa Kolo also said that tests were conducted on all the samples at the state Microbiology Laboratory without transporting the samples any longer to FCT, Abuja.
“We advise anyone with symptoms of the disease to visit our laboratory to run a test for Coronavirus. And it is free of charge,” she added.
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