• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Coronavirus: Time to lockdown Nigeria,  says Academy of Science  

Nigeria’s Coronavirus case hits 224 as NCDC confirms 10 new cases

 

It is now time for a national lock down, especially now that the disease has invaded the highest level of our government, threatening our national security, says the Nigeria Academy of Science in a communiqué in responding to the global pandemic.

Regrettably Nigeria has during the last one week seen a dramatic increase in the number of Coronavirus: 46 confirmed cases.

 

the efforts of individual state governments are lauded, the lockdown should be national,

Whilewith uniform regulations, and led by the federal government.

 

 “A lockdown for four weeks will help to reduce the number of new importations and provide the environment and condition for clear thinking and planning. In 4 weeks, virtually all COVID-19 cases and contacts should have been discovered or should have recovered,” said Kalu Mosto Onuoha, President, Nigerian Academy of Science.

Onuoha suggested that a lockdown will help Nigeria reduce transmission and even give time for case management and recoveries.

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“Nigeria should use the lockdown period to re-strategise as we provide answers to the following questions on what do we do about new importations when we re-open the borders, how do we enforce self-isolation and or quarantine across the nation and also what treatment modalities should we adopt and standardize across the country?

“Which research areas and activities – drugs, equipment, containment measures, socio-economic recovery, should we fund? And what innovative socio-economic safety nets can be provided for the citizens of this country to ameliorate the current and coming effects of this pandemic,” he asked.

He further said that with a lockdown, all citizens are required (as much as possible) to stay at home leaving room only for essential activities that allow for basic functions such as feeding and accessing health care.

“Only workers needed to provide essential services, such as health care and electricity, will be expected to go out. No social gatherings would be allowed. Details of this will have to be worked out conscientiously,” said Onuoha.

Onuoha stated that most of the confirmed cases are imported, and with a few more being contacts of the imported cases, we are beginning to have cases with unclear infection sources. This suggests the possible existence of community transmission and needs to be curtailed early.

“Though the government and its agencies are working hard at containment, there are reports of people failing to self-isolate as advised. This is complicated by the very important personality’s syndrome that seems to characterise our country, with some refusing to be checked or to self-isolate on arrival into the country.”

“It is also complicated when the conditions that exist in many of our urban slums is considered. It is normally very difficult to trace and monitor contacts in a country like Nigeria with difficulty in tracking addresses, phones, and this becomes increasingly difficult the more the contacts that have to be traced,” he said.

In the statement, Onuoha emphasised that it was unclear how widespread the disease might be in the country given the evolving number of cases at this point, and the difficulty in tracking their movements and those of their contacts.