Covid-19 Update: Nigeria crosses 40,000 threshold
by Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
With 555 new cases of the coronavirus infection reported last night by the NCDC, Nigeria has eventually crossed the 40,000 threshold.
The total number of infections now stands at 40,532. Discharged cases are 17,374 while deaths recorded stand at 858.
Ironically, as the spike in infections continue, the dread of the virus among Nigerians appears to wane.
Many Nigerians go about their life as if unmindful of the existence or viciousness of the virus.
Virtual all aspects of economic life have been opened fully or partially, including schools and places of worship in many states of the federation.
The initial tough stance of the Federal Government in its handling of the pandemic has also waned.
So also has its breathing down the neck of State Governments ceased.
States now have assumed the Independence to take steps to open up their states at their discretion, often at variance with FG directives or opinions on the matter.
States, too, are not coordinated in their respective decisions, leading to divergence of views and decisions from State to State.
Analysts are of the opinion that these uncoordinated approaches are reasons for the spike in the case of infections.
Other reasons adduced include the lack of good examples by those in leadership positions in that they blatantly violate the Covid-19 protocols for all to see.
It is not surprising, therefore, that many highly placed citizens have been known to have contracted the virus.
While many of them have survived, a few high profile fatalities have been recorded.
Getting accurate data is problematic as cases of infections and fatalities are usually concealed or attributed to other sources.
Many, both high and low, still regard it as a stigma to announce that someone close to them died of Covid-19.
All over now, the COVID-19 protocols, especially face masks, and the observance of physical distancing, are not strictly adhered to.
Laws have been enacted for enforcement but these, too, have been exploited in the main by unscrupulous officials to further fleece the people and feather their own nests.
These, then, are sure recipes for further community spreading of the virus.
Efforts at lockdown having failed owing to its fainthearted implementation as well as outright sabotage by those meant to enforce it, the authorities appear in a quandary on how to prosecute this war.
The poverty level on the side of the vast majority of the people coupled with the lean resources of government to provide palliatives make another nationwide lockdown a nightmare even as the country is yet to get to the plateau of infections.
There is, therefore, no denying the fact that in the days and weeks ahead, the country will continue to witness a spike in infections even as the authorities wobble and fumble along trying every knee jerk solution.
With costs of treatment on the rise, facilities and equipments getting inadequate, and many who cannot find space in designated isolation centres or cannot afford the cost resorting to self help or treatment at home, the last has not been heard on the Covid-19 pandemic on these shores.
As far as the figures released to the public shows, Lagos State remains the epicentres of the pandemic with 14,456 followed by FCT 3,481, Oyo, 2570, Edo 2,167, Rivers 1652, Kano 1520, Delta 1464, Kaduna 1364, Ogun 1301, 0ndo, 1061, Plateau 834, Eboyi 759, Enugu 741, Katsina, 733, Kwara 711, Borno 611, Gombe 571, Bauchi 583, Abia 536, Imo 465, Osun, 433, Benue 337, Bayelsa 327, Jigawa 322, Niger 168, Sokoto,153, Adamawa, 140, Anambra 132, Ekiti 113, Zamfara 77, Yobe 66, Taraba 54, Cross River 40 and Kogi 5.
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
Women Arise for Change Initiative &
Centre for Change.