COVID-19: Don Tasks Religious Leaders - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Thursday, 9 April 2020

COVID-19: Don Tasks Religious Leaders

A University Don, Dr. Tayo Popoola, has asked religious leaders in the country to enlighten their followers on the urgent need to cooperate with government measures put in place to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Speaking while reacting to media news reports that some residents in Lagos are defying lockdown measures put in place by the government, Dr. Popoola who is a Senior lecturer in Mass Communication, University of Lagos said everything possible must be done to enforce the lockdown and through that prevent a repeat of a similar pandemic that took place in Nigeria in 1918 which claimed thousands of lives.

Said he, "one of the courses l teach at MSc level in the University is called 'Interpreting Urban Problems'

"We exposed students to the various urban problems in Nigeria and identify how the mass media could be used effectively in tackling them".

Dr. Popoola who is also the head pastor of Divine Favour Prayer Assembly Ministries, Mowe, Ogun State stated that from historical archives, it was discovered that the  origin and spread of CONVID 19 were almost the same with that of 1918 pandemic.

It came outside Nigeria through international travellers. Overcrowded cities in Nigeria  such as :Lagos, Ibadan, Onitsha, Calabar, Ogoja, Zaria, Ilorin, Benin, were more affected while thousands of people died within six more.

Poor sanitary conditions of our large cities aided the spread of the pandemic.

Quoting a paper titled: Diffusion and psychological responses to the Influenza pandemic of 1918-19 in Nigeria, published by the Social Science Medicine, Dr. Popoola said on September 14,1918, an ocean liner, SS Bida arrived Lagos with passengers already afflicted by the Influenza.

Some of them were said to have boarded the ship in Accra, Ghana.

Upon arrival in Lagos, they passed the disease to Lagosians. It later spread to other parts of Nigeria through railway.

On the number of deaths, Dr. Popoola said conflicting figures made this somehow difficult. While noting that the US Atlanta based Center for Disease Control put the number of deaths at about 500,000,at a time when the population of the country was put at 18millionanother archiaval information put the deaths at 199,325 while Nigeria's population then was put at 8 millions.

As part of measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic then, Dr. Popoola said worship centers were closed down by government and therefore urged religious leaders in the country to show understanding with similar measures put in place in the country at the moment and appropriately advice their followers.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Don, this is a good research of history repeating itself


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