A Professor of Virology, Oyewale Tomori, says Nigeria is really lagging behind in the fight against COVID-19 compared to what other countries of the world are doing.
He believes the country has yet to benefit from the pandemic, attributing such failure to the inability of the authorities to be proactive as they ought to.
“In other parts of the world where the environment is conducive for good research, it was a great opportunity and things like these which you call obstacles are actually stepping stones to great achievements, but those are in areas of the world where they are ready to take advantage of opportunities,” said the virologist who featured as a guest on a special end of the year programme on Channels Television.
He added, “We are not there because we have not created the environment for us to make use of the opportunities that occur to us from these so-called obstacles, and we are just behaving helplessly, watching as they unfold.
“We are not as proactive as other parts of the world; as I used to say – we are solving the problem of yesterday tomorrow and that is why we don’t seem to have benefitted from this experience.”
Let’s Tell The Truth
Professor Tomori stated that some of the achievements being celebrated by the Nigerian government were things that should have been done several years ago.
Noting that COVID-19 has killed thousands of people in developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, he stressed that it does not mean Nigeria has tackled the pandemic better than them.
Although he commended the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for its effort in managing the outbreak in the country, the virologist insisted that more needed to be done.
He explained that it was important for the health agencies and experts to expose the problems in the sector and let the government know the truth.
Professor Tomori said, “Yes, COVID-19 is killing in Europe … It is what the virus has not done; that is why we are not having the problem they are having.
“We have not done the right thing; COVID-19 is new to everybody – in Europe, everywhere; they are learning as we are learning… the success they have made there, you cannot compare it to the success we have made here because the environment is conducive for our colleagues (health experts).
“It is important for you, our colleagues, let’s tell the truth to the government … so I think it is time for us to empower truth and move a step further and all these fancy things we are saying should stop.”