Like so many other organizations, Netlink Environmental Conservation Organization is on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 during this unsettling time. Considering the global trend, it is no longer a news that the spread of Covid-19 is the most serious global and regional health threat in the last few months. So, to further on the discussion on Covid-19 pandemic, members of Netlink Environmental Conservation Organization/Environmental Conservation Club/Environmental Conservation Volunteer held an online forum on 31st of March, 2020. This was to highlight important issues and way forward in combating the novel virus across home countries of its members. Prior to the commencement of the forum, members of the organization were briefly enlightened on Covid-19 pandemic using citations from relevant literatures. Several of the literatures, including the recent WHO report, all suggested animal to be the most probable source of the Covid-19 which has infected tens of thousands of people worldwide and placed a strain on the global economy. In more scientific language, they described that Covid-19 could probably be a zoonotic disease – transmitted between animals and people. Bats were suggested to be the most probable carrier. However, certain others suggested a possibility of an immediate host that could either be a domestic or wild animal.
The forum focused on three major areas that are highlighted below;
1. Current information on Covid -19 prevalence across home countries of the participants
2. Precautionary and Preventive measures being put in place by members to curb the spread of the outbreak.
3. Appraisal of the impact of Covid-19 in diverse human endeavours.
Current Information on Covid -19 Prevalence Across Home Countries of Participants
From the information provided, there are indications that the participants have capacity to monitor the trend and the spread of the virus in their locality. The statistics and facts provided by members are validated with the information collected from credible organizations such as WHO, NCDC and others.
Precautionary and Preventive measures
In addition to the earlier precautionary and preventive measures suggested by the members in the last forum, a greater percentage of the participants now revealed that they regularly observed personal hygiene over the other two preventive measures (i.e. environmental and food hygiene). They chorused that the recent practice is largely due to restriction and lockdown orders declared by governments in several nations. Although, so many expressed dissatisfactions that the order has denied many people access to essential needs. However, the assertion is contrary to happening in countries like Sweden and South Korea where restriction order or lockdown is yet to be totally enforced. Hopefully, the spread of this pandemic will soon be curtailed. In addition to the earlier suggestions, the participants mentioned that regular drinking of mixture of garlic or granulated ginger soaked in water is another precautionary measure being put in place during the period. They explained that the drinking is intermittently dependent on the level of concentration of the mixture.
Appraisal of the Impact of Covid-19 Across Various Human Endeavours
It is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted several economic, religious, social as well as political activities all around the globe. Some notable impacts stated by the members are;
The restriction order has had positive impact on biodiversity conservation and other form of natural resources due to low consumption, harvesting, exploration and exploitation of these resources.
There is also low emission of carbon as a result of restriction on vehicular movement on roads, in air and on the sea. A mitigation measure that the world has found difficult to achieve in the past decades.
Low customer patronage has been observed in hospitality sectors especially in countries that depend on tourism industry as a major source of government revenue. Similarly, shopping in restaurants, supermarkets and malls have witnessed drastic reduction.
Scarcity of food in the nearest future is looming, except if governments can include farmers on the list of essential workers that are not restricted. Members predict food scarcity based on the fact that planting seasons of some farm produces might be altered. A situation that might lead to low yields and output in the nearest future.
Members observed that there is increasing demand for health personnel to combat the spread of the virus in some countries like USA. There is also increasing demand for health facilities to cater for patients. However, while these are lacking in some countries especially in Africa, it is inadequate in some other nations. Members commended the philanthropic gestures of some individuals, groups, corporate organizations, nations towards alleviating hardships and in the provision of essential facilities to curb Covid-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, members went on to express the need for the money and other donations received during the period to be judiciously utilized for the purpose they are meant for.
The level of awareness on preventive and precautionary measures to address Covid-19 pandemic should be intensified especially at the grass root level. There is possibility of gaps in research and transfer of knowledge as a result of prolong holidays, closures of schools, research laboratories etc.
The Organization thereby seek to collaborate with individuals, government institutions, corporate organizations in the following areas;
Perform study on phytochemical analysis of identified plants for the tradomedical precautionary measures to fight the pandemic.
Organize awareness and sensitization programmes especially at local community or grass root levels.
The forum lasted for 2 hours with the hope to re-convey coming week. Members wish themselves safe keeping and green regards.
Written by: Ghazaali AbdulWasiu
Edited By: Dr. S. O. Oladeji