By Moses Kolo
Prof. Abdulkareem Yusuf, the Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, has cautioned the public against depression and acute stress reactions due to the lockdown following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The expert told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Kaduna that prevailing circumstance was capable of generating psychological effects on people as such, people must guard against possible tendencies of anxiety.
Yusuf said COVID-19 was bound to be associated with psychological problems, both in people infected and those not infected, adding that “there is no doubt, the situation is causing a lot of panic including fear of death and getting infected”.
“These alone could cause acute stress reaction and other related mental health problems, but the fear is a step in the right direction as it would curtail its spread amongst other people.
“There’s no cause for alarm when people observe the necessary precautionary measures, including maintaining social distance, obey the law, maintain personal hygiene and stay at home,” he advised.
He said post-traumatic stress disorders could not be ruled out either in person lockeddown or those directly infected.
Yusuf said the psychiatric hospital in Kaduna had not yet recorded any related case of the effects of the lockdown on the people.
“The clinic is still running its usual operation, we receive emergency cases and attending to patients on admission including those who check in for their routine medication.
“This however is not to dismiss the fact that the development had no psychological effects on people,” he maintained.
He said people should try as much as possible to stay at home with their families, communicate through other means with loved ones and be happy,” he advised.
The expert disclosed that the hospital had put in place necessary measures, including provision of hand sanitisers at strategic positions, well equipped laboratory as well as qualified staff ready for any emergency.
“The hospital produces its own sanitisers in sizeable quantity for staff and patients,” he added.
Yusuf advised members of the public who notice symptoms of acute anxiety, depression of post-stress traumatic reaction to consult a professional or feel free to visit the hospital for professional assistance.