As Nigerians adopt preventive measures against the contagious Coronavirus following a confirmed case in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub the demand and price of some items are likely to hit the roof, checks by BusinessDay shows.
The most populous nation in Africa became the first country in the sub-Saharan region to report a case of Coronavirus after an Italian tested positive on Thursday.
The Italian citizen who works in Nigeria returned to the country on February 25 from Milan, Italy but fell ill a day after his arrival and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
The Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital confirmed that Nigeria’s most populous city now has COVID-19 after the foreigner was confirmed to have had the virus.
Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health, Lagos State has however assured that the state government have been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures,” Abayomi said while responding to the case.
To prevent the deadly virus which has symptoms like a low-grade fever, cough, fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhoea health experts have advised the use of some items and as such, the price of the products are likely to witness a surge due to increase in demand.
Hand-washing soaps and gloves
In the absence of a cure, the best way to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus is thorough washing of hands with soap and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching surfaces, shaking hands with people, going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing,” Alero Robert, Lagos-based public health consultant.
The price of antibacterial soaps and other hand washing products are projected to increase as the regular washing of hands to prevent the spread of the virus will lead to an increase in demand for the products.
Health experts have recommended the regular usage of hand sanitizer as a preventive measure against the virus.
According to the experts, if a person touches surfaces like doorknobs, car or bus handle, elevator buttons and other surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus and such a person uses the same hand to touch his/her eyes, nose or mouth, without sanitizing it, such a person can become infected.
The demand for the hygienic product is expected to, therefore, increase as Nigerians are taking position to ensure they don’t fall victim of the virus.
“All our hand sanitizers were bought by about 20 people this morning. The people that did not get placed orders for it. For now, we are not sure if we will be able to restock by Monday as the demand is high,” Tomisi Akinyemi, a pharmacist at HealthPlus Limited, Ikeja said.
If worn correctly, the medical mask can serve as a preventive measure for Coronavirus, health experts have said.
As a result, the price of the product will likely increase due to the expected surge in demand.
A week after the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, the medical mask became scarce as the country’s citizen went out in their numbers to buy the product.
China is the world’s largest producer of the medical mask, with a reported daily capacity of 20 million pieces, but by the estimate of its manufacturers, domestic demand alone has been around 50 to 60 million per day.
Industry sources have recommended that one medical mask should be used for at most one day but in a situation where masks are feeling gross, it should be replaced and disposed of.
Other Diverse products like, health personnel protective equipment, hand-held infrared thermometer, among others, to help check the virus.
With the confirmed case, Nigeria became the third country in Africa to record the virus after Egypt and Algeria.
The first Coronavirus case reported in Nigeria brings the number of people infected globally to about 84,000 and according to the National Health Commission report on Friday; at least 44 new coronavirus deaths have been recorded in China, the source of the virus, bringing it to 2,788 fatalities nationwide. Coronavirus has killed more than 2,800 people worldwide.