The outbreak of the world Pandemic Coronavirus as the leading deadly diseases in the world with a contagious high vicious circle has turned life of most Nigerians in seclusion, isolation and confined to a restricted activities.
This was when the Federal Government disclosed in a Press statement signed by the minister of Health,Dr Osagie Ehanire on Sunday, 22nd March,2020 in Abuja, confirmed 10 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The update on the convid-19 as announced by the Nigerian Government soared to 81 cases with two persons discharged and Many on active observation. It is seen imposed fear and grief in the minds of Nigerians.
Many people in cities like Lagos,Abuja,Rivers, Ibadan and Adamawa resorted to wearing nose and mouth mask to avoid being infected with the virus. In cities like Kaduna was a total lock down by the government which slammed a dusk to dusk curfew with a serious security networks Manning the Knocks and crannies of the city to arrest any defaulter of the order.
The nose on coronavirus or covid-19 has eruded the Cities, towns and Villages of Nigeria. Becoming the talk of the Town by people refraining from shacking hands or getting close one another person for fear of not contacting the virus.
The Government However said to have placed measures to fight the outbreak.
The measures include a tighter lockdown that closed all borders and banned all incoming and outgoing flights in the country.
Ehanire said that out of the 10 new cases, three were from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja while seven were from Lagos State, adding that this brought the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22.
“All 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals; nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.
“They returned to the country in the past one week; the 10th case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.
“The three cases in the FCT are being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, while the seven new cases in Lagos are being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Yaba,” he explained.
The minister said that all 10 new cases had mild to moderate symptoms and were currently receiving treatment.
“As at March 21, 2020, a total of 22 cases have been confirmed, two cases have been discharged and there has been no death from COVID-19 in Nigeria,” he said.
He stated that the federal government remained committed to working with states to provide optimal care for all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
He noted that contact tracing was ongoing to identify all persons who had been in contact with the new confirmed cases.
Ehanire said the Port Health Services of FMOH had heightened screening at all air, land and sea points of entry into Nigeria and adapted the protocols to reflect the travel guidance issued by the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19.
He added that the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) supported by partners have continued to coordinate response activities and strengthen preparedness capacity across states nationwide.
“An intensive national risk communications campaign is ongoing to inform Nigerians about COVID-19.
“FMoH, working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19, continues to review response activities and institute measures to protect the health of Nigerians,” he said.
He, however, noted that it was important that Nigerians strictly adhered to social distancing and other necessary precautions in place.
Ehanire said that the measures included taking the following precautions below to protect themselves and their families:
•Wash hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if no water and soap is available. Social distancing is crucial to reducing the spread of COVID-19
•Use of no-touch greetings
•Maintaining at least two metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
•Staying home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Immediately call NCDC’s 24/7 toll-free number, 0800 9700 0010. Do not self-medicate.
.Avoiding or postponing events with large gatherings of people including schools, workplaces, places of worship, crowded supermarkets and pharmacies, social and sporting events
•Persons with a persistent cough or sneezing, should stay at home until they recover.
•Make sure you and people around you observe hand and respiratory hygiene by covering your nose with tissue when sneezing or coughing.
•Immediately dispose of tissue in a covered bin and wash your hands with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based sanitiser if no water and soap is available.
•Coughing or sneezing into the sleeve of your bent elbow if no tissue is available
•Avoid all non-essential travel to all countries.
But the confirmation of new cases in Nigeria and the spread of the virus extending to other States like Edo,Ogun,Ekiti, Lagos is staging a lot fear in the minds of people.
The fear in the minds of Nigerian Masses was glaring shown during the last Friday Mosque Juma’at prayers by the Muslims faithfuls. The Sultanate, under the leadership of Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar who is the supposed leader of all Muslims in Nigeria gave an official statement that Mosques and worshipers should not be over crowded.
Adherence to the instructions by the Sultanate was carried out in some Mosques, while other mosques were deserted with only few worshipers. The central mosque was recorded to have a low turn out of people
Anur Mosque in Wutse two area was closed down on Saturday after the Juma’at prayers low turnout of worshipers. The usual greetings and salutations our reporter observed people were distancing themselves and the customary way of Shacking hands is being neglected.
Churches in state like Adamawa were asked to be under lock and keys,the state Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Dami Stephen Mamza through a Press Conference suspended all church activities, including weddings, vigils and other weekly programs like Prayer meetings and Bible studies.
With a stagnant death toll of one casuality,the former MD of PPMC Suleiman Achimugu who got back from UK three weeks ago. But with a constant high rate of people contacting the virus on a daily basis,the increase is alarming with top Goverment officials confirmed positive for the Virus.
The Chief of Staff of President Muhammadu Buhari,Alhaji Abba Kyari is one of the top senior Government official through a statement from the Minister of Health has been contacted with the virus. Kyari’s present Condition has indicated many Government officials are suspected victim of the covid-19 haven attained official functions together. Many Governors,Senators,Top Business Mogul, Security chiefs are all suspected victims of the Virus.
The Pronouncement of the Executive Governor of Bauchi state,Sen Bala Mohammed to be a carrier of the virus has further plundered the country to be in a great ewe of the diseases. Bala who returned from a trip in Germany some few weeks ago and exchanged pleasantries with Mohammed Atiku,Son of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who has been quarantined because of the confirmation of having the virus through his Father’s (Atiku) Twitter handle.
The covid-19 contact to this few Nigerian elites has put tension and fear to many Government officials because directly or indirectly they have in one way or the order exchanged pleasantries.
The country is in serious confusion,the eonomy low down that might have a likelihood of a lock down is very imminent.
A meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 ended up today and marked the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Taskforce National Pandemic Response Centre.
I think it is important to know and it’s clear that the country is about to witness turbulent times induced by the pandemic coronavirus. We may soon be hard hit. The reason for this is that, the Nigerian Government, delayed in taking proactive action at the onset.
The assurance is however that that the government is serious about taking necessary steps to curtail the level of casualties. Well coordinated measures are about to be put in place from a broad, diverse spectrum. All the necessary Working Groups have been inaugurated today. International bodies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, CDC, World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the private sector, civil society groups are partnering the Taskforce, providing technical and financial assistance and support.
Donations are quite streaming in. From Global Fund we got $33m, another $3.3m came from another body. Max Air donated $200,000, the Chinese firm, Huawei, doled out #100m. There are a number of other handsome donations.
The Government officials have been holding meetings with some foreign experts. Suggesting that in the next few days, more concrete action will become manifest. Relevant institutions are also being mobilized for action to tackle the scourge. The taskforce is also galvanizing the State Governments to ensure there is effective collaboration and cooperation.
More importantly, it is Crystal clear and glaring that a complete lockdown of the country is imminent. Soon, very soon, perhaps, this weekend, this will take effect and may last for at least 14 days.
Wrote this from Yola