We made it through the weekend and I am hoping that this week will be more exciting than the last. It will amaze you to know that the usual heavy foot-falls that characterizes bars and lounges in Lagos was almost absent. Boys still spent some time out but I guess most preferred the less busy neighborhood bars probably in avoidance of the dreaded Corona Virus.
Nigeria recorded her first death from the Corona Virus disease early on Monday 23rd March. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), a 67 year old male who returned to Nigeria following a medical treatment in the United Kingdom. The patient was said to have had underlying medical conditions – multiple myeloma and diabetes and was undergoing chemotherapy.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has ordered the compulsory restriction of all religious gatherings due to COVID-19.
“My dear people of Kaduna State, let us face this danger with utmost faith in Almighty God who has gifted us with the knowledge to make rational decisions. Let each of us do our duty to prevent coronavirus from spreading among us.“ -Malam Nasir @elrufai
— Governor Kaduna (@GovKaduna) March 23, 2020
I read earlier that the NCDC announced five new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, two in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), two in Lagos and one in Edo State. Of the 35 reported cases in Nigeria, two have been discharged.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s announcement of his son’s status via his Twitter handle was met with heavy backlash as many complained that the young man failed to observe the 14-day self isolation prescribed for foreign trip returnees or anyone who has come in contact with an infected person. Truth be told, we cannot blame Alhaji Atiku over his son’s ineptitude. See tweet activity:
My son has tested positive to coronavirus. @NCDCGov has been duly informed, and he has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment and management. I will appreciate it if you have him in your prayers. Stay safe, coronavirus is real. -AA
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) March 22, 2020
You might be tempted to ask why I am so concerned about this Corona Virus gist, the reason is not far-fetched; I like to have fun, and that required getting together with loads of people. Also, my job requires that I meet a lot of people and if I am to succeed at this; we all have to be in good health.
The reality is dawning on us now, as the government has ordered the immediate closure of schools, organizations and placed a restriction on public gathering.
In all of these however, how do we survive in an economy that has remained on the low for quite a while?
A number of folks in Africa earn their living per day, and now that they are barred to their homes; how do they earn a living? I think the government should actually double up on the COVID-19 awareness program, so that people can figure a way to deal with their businesses and work out a means of survival.
Intervention programs are also very important from government, injection of funds into the health and agricultural sector to create a buffer and keep the people going. Also, Government should take the awareness campaign to the doorsteps of those who might not be consumers of our common media.
I wonder what the coming days has in stock for us in Nigeria and Africa at large, however, stay at home and maintaining high level of hygiene may just be the best help we can offer ourselves besides the World Health Organization’s advisory.
Help preserve the world, share your knowledge of COVID-19 with someone to help them stay alive.