By Alex Monye
Sports medicine practitioner, Dr. Adebukola Bojuwoye has advised the Federal Government against heeding calls fro some quarters to sanction to the resumption of sporting activities in Nigeria, saying it would be dangerous to do so when the vaccine for the COVID-19 has not been found.
Recently, some European and American countries announced dates they would resume sporting activities to ease the backlog of competitions affected by the global shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
But Dr. Bojuwoye, who is the team doctor of the national rugby side, Black Stallions, said Nigeria would be making a grave mistake if it decided to emulate the more advanced countries, who have devised means of controlling the pandemic.
He noted that the lack of COVID-19 vaccines and also the country’s inability to effectively test Nigerians is a serious issue that must be addressed before relaxing the ban sporting activities.
“We should not emulate the advanced countries that have fixed dates to start their leagues when there is no confirmed cure for the virus. “These advanced countries are toeing a dangerous line because having an empty stadium does not guarantee safety from the virus.
“In Nigeria’s case, the government should not think of taking the step like the western world. Issues in Nigeria are different. Apart from lack of vaccine, we have not been able to find ways of testing our people effectively.
“The social distancing order is not well followed by the people…so, bringing people to take part in sports is not right, especially the contact sports.
“Sports requires 100 percent concentration and focus…if an athlete is conscious of a pandemic, such athlete will not be psychologically motivated to perform to high expectations despite even if he and his opponents have been certified free from the virus. These days you cannot even know who has the virus because some people don’t display symptoms. Before sporting activities will begin, the athletes need time to train, condition their minds to compete without having any negative issues at the back of their minds and other procedures.”
He advised the country to focus first on ways top eradicate the virus, adding that government can only start thinking of the lockdown if it finds the solution to the pandemic.
“If the Madagascar herbal drug passed through all scientific tests and is approved by the relevant medical authority, it should be accepted for use.
“But before then, Nigerians and athletes should keep washing their hands and following the guidelines given to them to stay safe,” he counselled.