A former member of the house of representatives from Plateau State, Hon Golu Timothy, has called on both the state and the federal government to increase the speed at which they were responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Golu, responses by both the federal and state governments to the coronavirus pandemic were poor, adding that if the speed of response was not improved, the nation may suffer more casualties.
Golu, a veteran journalist , who served as the chairman, House Committee on Budget and Finance in the 8th assembly, said the federal government should have moved faster to begin action against the disease when the outbreak was first reported in December 2019.
“But they felt it was not yet in the country and therefore relaxed until the first and other cases broke out. My concern has been the lacklustre attitude of the managers of our federal and state ministries of health.
“They are always not prepared for emergencies in spite of huge budgetary allocations. Public health departments are the worst. Now that we have started late, there should be massive and intensive training of health workers and volunteers, massive provision of medical equipment and surveillance kits.
“This will encourage health personnel to be mobilised at all levels down to our communities. There must be dedicated lines of communication just like we have of our security agencies across the states so that cases can be reported and attended to promptly by specially – assigned health personnel.”
Golu said that now that people had been kept indoors to mitigate spread of the virus, they must have a channel to report any case be it mild, moderate or severe to concerned authorities who should move swiftly when called upon.
“I support the total lockdown across the states, but the federal, state and local governments must suspend every form of developmental projects to attend to the basic needs of the people such as food and water. Without going out many people will die of starvation since many are on daily or weekly income. Health workers must be taken very good care of, to enable them to attend to the public. As first points of call, they must be properly kitted to avoid infection and discouragement. Adequate sensitisation and awareness is urgently needed,” he added.