The war against coronavirus in Nigeria is being fought on all fronts. Various governments – federal, state and the local councils; corporate organizations and private individuals, etc., are involved. The aim is to ensure that the disease, which has already entered the country, does not escalate, or will have minimal effects.
Nigeria does not have facilities like such countries as China, Italy, Spain, the United States of America, etc., where thousands of people have been infected with the disease, and where thousands have also died. The fear is that if coronavirus is allowed to spread, millions of Nigerians would be on the death row.
Coronavirus is no respecter of persons, big man or poor man, man or woman, young or old, etc. That is why all hands are now on deck, why everybody is involved in the fight against the scourge, and why there is multi-purpose approach to the fight the virus.
The federal government had led the way by belatedly closing the country’s borders, and imposing travel bans on some countries. They are however to be blamed for bringing coronavirus into the country by making some people sacred cows and not screening them when they came back from their overseas trips, but only chose an Italian as index case.
For instance, if people like Abba Kyari, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Atiku Abubakar’s son, senators, etc., who returned to Nigeria from overseas, were screened, they would have been detected for carrying coronavirus, and the disease would not have festered.
Now that the deed had been done and scores of people have tested positive of coronavirus, with the figure keep rising every day, many people are afraid. They do not want the disease to escalate, because it could affect many people, directly or indirectly.
State and local governments have taken some actions aimed at containing coronavirus, like shutting down schools, markets and government offices, so that people could stay at home and not contract or spread the disease.
Some religious organizations have closed or scaled down their activities. Corporate organizations and private individuals are also not left out. Some of them have donated money or have embarked on some preventive measures aimed at containing the scourge.
In Enugu State, for instance, a group known as African Development Institute for Research Methodology (ADIRM) is currently embarking on public sensitization exercise against the dangers of coronavirus.
The group, made up of some notable academicians and other professionals, has already recruited and trained about 150 volunteer staff, including health practitioners, who are currently going round the nooks and crannies of Enugu State, educating the public on what to do to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, and how to prevent it from spreading.
Some corporate organizations like Golden Royale, an Enugu based company, has leveraged on that philanthropic act, by donating to the group, a 600 bed-capacity facility, for use as isolation centre, in case there is a serious outbreak of the disease in the country.
Other companies have also donated to the group, different items like Veronica buckets, hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks, etc., which is based on public awareness being created by ADIRM through various organs of mass communication like radio, television, newspapers and social media handles.
In sum, every Nigerian now sees the war against coronavirus as his own war, which they all must join hands to ensure that the pandemic is rooted out of the country sooner than later.
… Now that Coronavirus has entered Enugu State
Now that two cases of the deadly coronavirus has been confirmed in Enugu State, the immediate reaction should not be to begin to panic, or spreading unnecessary rumours about the disease, but to adopt all necessary precautionary measures to ensure the early containment of the epidemic, and prevent it from spreading.
First, all those who were suspected to have had contacts with these two cases should be identified and reported to relevant authorities so as to be quarantined.
The two people who were said to have voluntarily reported themselves to the hospital on their return from the United Kingdom and tested positive, should be openly commended for their patriotism.
This will make other returnees from outside the country to copy from their example and report themselves to relevant authorities for testing.
Then, all those exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus, should equally report themselves to the authorities to be equally tested and quarantined.
It is good that the Enugu State government has announced the closure of various markets in the state as well as its land borders with effect from March 31, but the government should go further to ensure strict compliance to its already issued regulations, like avoiding public gatherings, non-attendance to weddings and burial ceremonies, as well as the number of persons allowed in buses and other public transportation systems, etc.
If people of the state were to comply with the sit at home order issued by government and maintain social distancing, coronavirus epidemic will eventually leave the state, and the country at large, in no distant time.