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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Covid-19: The Impending Danger Facing An Unprepared Nigeria

Covid-19: The Impending Danger Facing An Unprepared Nigeria

Coronavirus pandemic is real going by it's prevalent rampage globally. Presently, the disease is reportedly taking it's toll in Nigeria. It is unfortunate that the Nigeria government is yet reeling in ignorance and lack of pro-activeness in it's handling of the terrific disease. It is currently ravaging the populace and yet being treated with kid gloves, politics and corruption.

This is a country that is geographically demographed into 36 states with Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The least populated of all the states after the 2006 census as people were made to believe, was Bayelsa. Nigeria had a total population index of 180 million. Birth rate eversince then,  has grown astronomically, except in recent times that many deaths were recorded due to terrorism related activities. One would then begin to imagine what the population stands at, exactly 14 years after. The population it is believed, has shot up to approximately 230 million. It is noteworthy to state however, that Nigeria government's effort aimed at containing the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, is terribly appalling.

Out of the 36 states of the federation, the deadly virus has reportedly spread to 27 states and the question is: "Why is the entire country having only 15 covid-19 testing/evaluation centres? Can this therefore be said to be realistically adequate in a country with such number of inhabitants? It was stated that each of these centres has testing capacity for 1,500 cases daily. But are the personnel involved actually doing that?

Few weeks ago, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. (NCDC), released a publication on it's website, that just a total number of 500 persons can be tested daily, quite contrary to the initial information. This is totally unacceptable for a country whose human population is at least 200 million citizens, who are forcefully locked in amidst hunger, anger and frustration. This lockdown policy has been in place for almost a month running now with absolutely no concrete plans streamlined to stem the spread of the virus. All economic/social activities of individuals are on standstill.

Prior to the viral publication of the epidemic arrival in Nigeria, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States had already been shut down to businesses. One then begins to wonder how the pandemic escalated to other states and cities, beyond bounds with combined team of government security operatives and other concerned agencies, fruitlessly patrolling everywhere without  enforcing movement restrictions of potential carriers.

News had it that these officials were  engaged on routine patrol checks on 24 hourly basis to curb the invasion of the deadly virus into other places. But surprisingly, the number of index cases, deaths and recoveries keep increasing, with no evidential publication of pictorial/videos clips of victims. If the Nigerian youths really want to prove this government wrong that they are not truly lazy as claimed by the President, this is the right time to arise and truly determine their future. The economy has nosedived with high inflation rates. Businesses both private/public are on standstill. People are angrily disappointed being ordered to stay at home and complaining against the non-challant attitude of government, concerning their wellbeing/welfare under very difficult circumstances.

Written by Ifeanyi Chibueze James

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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