The last two months have been a marathon of lockdowns in different Nigeria states and Africa in general. Even as we keep arming ourselves with facemasks and sanitizers like amulets, the increase in the spread of the coronavirus is rather frightening. As at May 8, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria alone is 3,526 cases, the total number of death is 107.
In south Africa , we have a total number of 8232 and 161 deaths. In Ghana, there are about 3,091 cases and 18 deaths. While in Kenya there are 607 cases and 29 deaths.
In Nigeria, we now count the number of the infected in hundreds each day and no longer in tens. This is indeed a great cause to worry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have equally warned of risks to Africa. They estimate that if no containment measures are taken, COVID 19 could cause deaths ranging from 83,000 to 190,000 in its first year. The above is enough to send cold shivers down ones marrows.
What then is the problem, why the increase, is it that the amulets we now use in the name of face masks and hand sanitizers are no longer effective or that we are not just doing enough as to contain the virus? What actually is the problem, such that each new day is deluged with an unprecedented number of cases? the funny part in the whole scenario or rather the sad side of it is that most Nigerians are not taking the pandemic seriously, not that they do not believe there is a pandemic, but they are yet to accept the fact that there is a pandemic in Nigeria.
Some see it as a mere ploy used by the government to embezzle money and inject fear into citizens. Some had come with the argument that if actually there is coronavirus outbreak in the country, that we need pictures of those infected and those who have died, and not just dishing out of figures by the minutes to scare people away.
The truth is that there is a pandemic. The corrupt nature of our system obviously is making it very much difficult for many who have lost faith in the country to accept the fact that there is a pandemic.
However whether this group of individuals who are of the latter stand believe it or not, it does not change the fact that there is a pandemic. We may argue on the fact of the exact number of people infected and the number of death and equally the number of cases in each state of the federation. One can clear such doubts, but the question of whether the virus is in Nigeria is not debatable, for it lives with us already.
The raging fierceness with the virus spreads raises concern. It is very necessary that at the moment the government makes sincere efforts to see to the containment of the virus. Once this effort is being made, it will help the Thomases to actually come to terms with the fact that there is a rampaging virus and so take the necessary precautions.
Nigerians should also bear in mind that the containment of the virus rests not on the shoulders of the government alone but also on that of the citizens, by keeping to all the necessary guidelines given. The government should also be careful in the easing of the lockdown, else it would do more harm than good.
The government should also ensure that the palliatives provided to cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic gets to its last destination and not be a thing that is politicized about. This is because the citizen can be placed on lockdown but we can’t place hunger on lockdown.
If the government is really interested in the affairs of the people, this is the best time to prove it and not during elections. This is the time to prove they are concerned about the plight of the people; this is the time to show that we are a democratic nation. If we must win the fight against the virus, then sincerity as regards issues pertaining the virus is the first major step.