Lockdown of 3 states critical to Stop spread of Coronavirus – UI Medical Geographer
A University don, Tolulope Osayomi noted on Sunday that the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja is needed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus to other parts of the country.
Osayomi who is of the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan, also urged the government to ensure that inter-state vehicular movement is stopped except for transportation of essential goods to check transmission.
The Medical Geographer, who has been mapping the transmission of the virus in Nigeria since the Italian index case, stated that the lockdown in the affected areas will ultimately halt transmission.
To achieve the desired effect in Ogun, Lagos and Abuja facing total lockdown, Osayomi advised that governments must pump enough palliatives to the vulnerable in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to encourage observance of the stay at home directive.
In a released entitled “Understanding the Geography of Transmission of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Osayomi, who holds a PhD, stated that there should be equitable distribution to the indigent and vulnerable population.
“Lagos, the country’s economic capital has over 50 percent of country’s cases while the administrative capital, the Federal Capital territory (FCT) accounts for a little over 20 percent of the total. In the light of the fact that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease, it is very likely that significant proportion of the country ‘population will be susceptible to infection. Thus, a careful examination of the geographical distribution and the possible underlying factors of COVID-19 in Nigeria is fundamental to its prevention and control.
“Given its immediate public attention and the very strong sense of urgency the matter deserves, the paper makes an attempt to comprehend the spatial epidemiology of this newly emergent disease in. Preliminary findings show that the disease incidence is increasing in states with large population size, with urban settlements, high vehicle ownership, relatively good transport networks.
He said these findings might justify the lockdown extension in some states particularly Lagos, Osun and Ogun states, and enforce the implementation of physical distancing and other safety measures and provision of palliatives to enable people to stay at home.
The don therefore said that an order on large gatherings and heavy vehicular movement should be strictly enforced in the entire country.
According to him, NCDC, in partnership with mobile service providers, should provide a three-digit toll free number for the public to call or text in any event. Enforce a limit on the number of passengers that public transport operators can convey free and mass distribution of face masks and hand sanitisers.