+Why COVID-19 Cases Will Continue To Rise In NIGERIA
As you read this, there are many rich people who are down with Covid-19. Whilst some have chosen to Self Isolate, others have gone to the hospital for treatment and are on admission. But because of their social status, they want their treatment done in strict confidentiality. Some have not been so lucky.
Some of them have died in the process. Over the last 2 months, about 10 prominent and rich Nigerians have died as a result of Covid-19 related ailments.
And the big question is: why are the rich people dying despite the privileged lifestyle they live?
City People spoke to a few doctors and they revealed that it’s because many of them do have underlying issues like BP, Diabetes etc. And they live a sheltered life, with no regular exercise. They also live in AC houses, work in AC offices and get chauffer driven in AC cars. Many of them because of the Sweet things they eat and drink often suffer High Sugar Levels.
We discovered that despite the fact that many of them have Gyms at home they don’t have the discipline to make use of the facilities they themselves put in place.
About a month ago, Nigeria rejoiced at the downward slope of the COVID-19 pandemic and many isolation centers were shut down in Lagos and other major cities across the country. However, the last two weeks have seen to an increase in the number of cases recorded across the country amid news that the second wave had started again from the western countries. As at 21 December, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 78,434 cases, compared to 66,228 one month earlier on 21 November.
The UK, US and Spain are already experiencing a massive new number of cases and Africa, especially Nigeria is not exempted. With the yuletide season already here, 2021 may come with another shocker of the pandemic which may lead just the way 2020 started. I know may will say God forbid but the reality is that if certain precautious steps are not taken, we may be back to square one in no time.
WHY THIS TIME IS SO DELICATE
A big part of the challenge is that Covid-19 spreads before people start showing symptoms. So anybody can show up feeling the picture of health only to unwittingly spread the virus to those they come into close contact with. And this season is a period where people gather together showing love to one another without taking cognizance of what is at stake. We must also remember that this particular virus frequently spreads just before someone develops symptoms (as well as from people who never develop symptoms at all). So, feeling fine provides little to no measure of safety.
The activities at various market places have tremendously increased, of course, that is expected but not without precautions. Precautions have been thrown to the gutters. Everybody goes to the market mixing, contacting and relating as if it’s a normal world. The new normal is not a term known in most markets in Lagos. They are extremely overpopulated, people go about without face masks or at best, poorly worn.
POROUS BORDER IS A BIG CHALLENGE
We have not really learnt from previous experiences. People have been flying into the country from the UK without any care whereas many other countries have banned flights from there. If we must stop the quick spread of this second wave of COVID-19, there is a need to be very strict with these rules. The big question is that will the government act at the appropriate time before it is too late?
RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARE GUILTY TOO
Religious houses are very much opened with little attention to COVID-19 precautions. A Professor of Virology, OyewaleTomori, says the government has not been able to shut down worship centres amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic because the government is afraid of religious leaders in Nigeria.
Tomori, who is the Chairman, Expert Review Committee on COVID-19, also advised religious leaders to obey government directives aimed at guaranteeing public health safety. “At the beginning, the government tried to speak with religious leaders but the problem we have in this country is that we are not speaking with one voice – the Federal will say one thing and states will say another thing.
“In the beginning, when the federal said let the churches be closed, some states said, no, we are going to open the mosques. We neither spoke with one voice in the country and that is why it has been difficult to make any tangible decision.
“Some of our religious leaders said the government has no right to determine who comes to their churches but even our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Covid control is in the hands of the government. Give to the government and follow their control. He said.
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO NOW
First and foremost, we must understand that we cannot afford a total lockdown now that the country is in another recession, we must act as swiftly as possible to reduce the spread of this second wave of the coronavirus. The first thing the federal government needs to do now is restrict movement from some countries where the coronavirus is very volatile. For example, there should be no flight coming in from the UK and some states in the USA.
Some states in the country are have already taken the right steps by banning crossover services. A right step in the right direction to start with. But beyond that, what happens to gatherings in homes, beaches, bars and all to celebrate Christmas and new year. There must be a willingness from the government to ensure the enforcement of safety rules.
All public transporters should immediately revert to fifty percent capacity to give room for physical distancing in commercial buses and tricycles.
Markets should be rotated just as it was at the beginning of the pandemic to reduce the number of commuters at bus terminals, market places and stalls. These steps should be strictly adhered to in other to save our community from the impending danger.
WHAT INDIVIDUALS SHOULD DO
If eating and/or drinking are non-negotiable, “Consider having tables spaced around outside and people within bubbles or family units seated together.” If you decide having people together indoors is the only option, there are several things you can do to decrease the risk of turning your event into a Covid-19 outbreak. Most of the usual advice applies: Ensure people keep their masks on at all times and remain physically distant. Keep the event short, and limit the number of people attending. And increase air circulation by opening windows, turning on fans, and cranking on the central AC or heat. If strict distancing seems like it will be challenging, one option is to have everyone test and quarantine beforehand. It’s not a perfect strategy, but it can decrease risks a bit.