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Kwara Lost Over 85,000 People During the 1918 Spanish Flu — Ilorin Emirate Chief, Magaji Nda

A prominent traditional chief in Ilorin emirate, the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Salihu Woru Muhammed, has spoken of how Spanish Influenza claimed lives of over 85,000 persons in Ilorin province in 1918.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the state capital, on Wednesday, Muhammed urged the people to observe all safety measures on COVID-19 in order not to have a repeat of what happened in 1918.

Muhammad, who said that there are good lessons which the people of the state should learn from the 1918 Spanish influenza, added that “the Spanish flu hit the whole world suddenly and spread like wide fire. It killed about 50 million people across the globe. Again, like coronavirus, there was no cure. The only remedy to the virus was isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants and ban on public gatherings.

“Today, over 100 years after, the world is faced with similar threat from a similar virus. Again, without any cure, nations and leaders are resorting to the same remedies: isolation, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, ban on public gatherings, among others. This historical experience urges us to take these preventive and control measures against COVID-19 most seriously.”

The traditional chief said that the gains of adherence to the safety measures far outweigh the current hardship such measures have inflicted on the people.

“The truth is that the hard and painful decisions the Kwara State government had taken to prevent and contain the incursion of the virus into our community were forced on the government purely by circumstance beyond its control. Moreover, these measures have been applied with good results by other countries that have suffered the scourge.

“I appeal to you once again to cooperate with government in its efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our state,” he said.

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