Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association on Monday has called on the Federal Government to back local efforts in their quest to find the cure for Coronavirus.
The senior advocate of Nigeria stated that the virus had “exposed” the nation’s fragile health system, the government should explore available quinine medications in the fight against COVID-19.
According to Agbakoba, the government needs to develop a Nigerian strategy in managing the pandemic and economic diversification because of dwindling oil revenue.
This was contained in a statement titled: COVID-19 in Nigeria: Time to think globally and act locally.
Agbakoba said: “On the need for a Nigerian strategy on COVID-19, I call on the Federal Government to interrogate available quinine medications and to engage Nigerian virologists and infectious diseases specialists, public health professionals and traditional and herbal medicine Institutions with a view to exploring local Nigerian solutions to COVID-19.”
According to him, this approach, which is in line with the local content policy, will also enhance Nigerian specialists’ capacity.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on April 13, 2020, renewed a two-week stay-at-home order on Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said the extension was the right thing to do to contain the spread of the pandemic.
But Agbakoba said total lockdown may no longer be sustainable, adding that a relaxation was necessary.
“While commending the Federal Government for the COVID-19 measures taken so far, I am concerned with the sustainability of the lockdown policy in view of lack of social welfare system and scarce financial resources.
“I, therefore, call on the government to lift the strict lockdown restrictions and allow some flexibility so as to allow some level of work and economic activities within some parameters,” he said.