Dr. Lanre Olosunde, an Infectious Disease expert with the University of llorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), on Tuesday in Ilorin advised Nigerians to continue to practice preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olosunde told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that “this new strain of COVID-19 may already be here in Nigeria since it’s been in existence since September.”
NAN reports that a newly identified variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to be more contagious than established ones.
Research is still going on to confirm if the new strain is more dangerous and if it causes more severe illness and more deaths than the preexisting strains.
Olosunde, who is the former President of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), UITH, said that with the unrestricted movement from UK to Nigeria, the likelihood is higher.
He said that the Federal Government can however decide to limit the spread of the new variant of the COVID infection in the country by also placing travel ban just like other countries are doing.
“What is most important are the preventive measures that citizens need to continue to practice to prevent spread. I think the government has done the needful in issuing guidelines on how to prevent the spread but it’s left for citizens to follow these guidelines.
“It’s going to be very difficult to go on another lockdown because of the enormous negative economic implications. However, government may have to insist on some forms of restrictions that can further reduce the spread,” Olosunde said.
The expert in infectious diseases reiterated that preventive measures still remains critical, such as use of face mask, frequent hand washing and social distancing in preventing the pandemic.