By Eric Elezuo
Today marks exactly 100 days since the incursion of the dreaded coronavirus disease into Nigeria. The advent of Coronavirus, nicknamed COVID-19, in Nigeria on February 27, 2020 took many by surprise, but to many others, it was just the consequence of weeks of official indecision. The disease finally entered through the airport via an index-Italian, whose name is still unknown.
COVID-19 was first discovered in the Wuhan Province of China, and made public on December 31, 2019. It has been reported that the origin story of coronavirus says that someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal. All fingers have been pointed at pangolins; a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it spread to humans.
The rest is still an undeveloped history, but the fact of the matter remains that the spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed over 315,000 people so far, globally.
In Nigeria, after 100 days of the first infection, the spread of the novel Disease continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal there are about 12, 000 confirmed cases. Presently, with the 300 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths recorded on June 5, 2020, the country seems far from flattening the curve.
The NCDC said, “On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
“No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
“Till date, 11844 cases have been confirmed, 3696 cases have been discharged and 333 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The 328 new cases are reported from 14 states- Lagos (121), FCT (70), Bauchi (25), Rivers (18), Oyo (16), Kaduna (15), Gombe (14), Edo (13),Ogun (13), Jigawa (8), Enugu (6), Kano (5), Osun (2), Ondo (2).”
- Total Number of Cases – 11,844
- Total Number Discharged – 3,696
- Total Deaths – 333
- Total Tests Carried Out – 71,336±
The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 5644, followed by Kano (975), Abuja at 862, Katsina (400), Edo (364), Borno (322), Kaduna (320), Oyo (334), Ogun (363), Rivers (308), Jigawa (282), Bauchi (281), Gombe (184), Kwara (127).
Delta State has recorded 116 cases, Sokoto (115), Plateau (113), Nasarawa (90), Ebonyi (80), Zamfara (76), Yobe (52), Osun (49) Imo (47), Akwa Ibom (45), Adamawa (42), Niger (41), Ondo (38), Kebbi (33), Bayelsa (30), Ekiti (25), Enugu (30), Taraba (18), Abia (15), Benue (13), Anambra (12), while Kogi state has recorded only 3 cases.
Of the COVID-19 related deaths so far recorded, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, late Mallam Abba Kyari, remained the highest official to bow to the disease. The likes Bauchi State government, Bala Mohammed, Kaduna State governor, Nasir, el-Rufai, Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, Chairman, Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, and his family among others have remained some of the big shots that tested positive to the disease, but got ‘cured’.
While trying to contain disease in the last 100 days, President Muhammadu Buhari, among iterating the regular safety measures as authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT and Ogun State for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. The lockdown was renewed for another 14 days at the expiration on April 13, 2020.
On April 27, 2020, when the second 14 days expired, President Muhammadu Buhari took different measures. He declared an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9am. The movement restrictions was partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4.
By June 1, 2020, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Boss Mustapha, announced that business activities as well as places of worship would reopen, but at the instance of the state governments, who were expected to implement the guidelines following.
Consequently, Lagos, the epicentre of the disease, has declared Friday, June 19 for the reopening of religious centres with special emphasis to churches and mosques. The reopening is inundated with strict guidelines.
Analysts believe that Nigeria may have fared well in 100 days in comparison to most European countries whose blew out of proportion within weeks of their index case. Others have however, said the situation in Nigeria could be worse if adequate testing is being carried out.
So far, Cross Rivers State remains the only state in Nigeria yet to record a COVID-19 case 100 days after.
See Full List of 14 Countries Lagos Placed on COVID Watch List
The Lagos government has placed 14 countries on its COVID-19 watchlist as a measure to prevent a third wave of infections in the state.
Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said this on Wednesday at a media briefing to highlight the state’s COVID-19 third wave mitigation strategy.
He noted that the Lagos state government is outlining measures that will guide the management of inbound passengers of interest (POIs) from other countries.
The commissioner explained that travellers coming from other countries into Lagos have been classified into three groups — the red countries, the amber countries, and the green countries.
According to him, India, Brazil and Turkey where new variants of COVID are causing an increase in infection rate are as the ‘red countries’.
“From the Lagos perspective, we’re also looking at what we describe as Amber Colour countries, where we know that mutants are circulating. And this is important for us to be able to define how strict our monitoring of your isolation at home and how your testing is performed. We are monitoring countries where we know the mutants are circulating, but the situation is still severe,” he said.
According to him, the ‘amber countries’ are Canada, US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
He listed the ‘green countries’ as countries with no records of variants from red countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.
“Our protocol for management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include: a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a 14-day isolation in a government approved facility paid for by the passenger,” he said.
“Passengers of interests from the Amber Countries are also required to do PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED teams.”
Former Defence Chief, General Joshua Dogonyaro Dies at 80
Lt. General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro (Rtd) is dead.
The officer, who heralded and read the coup speech that ended the regime of Nigeria’s current President, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) and brought General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) to power on August 27 1985 died in Jos, Thursday morning after a brief illness.
He turned 80 on 12 September 2020. General Dogonyaro was a former Chief of Defence Staff and is survived by his wife Zainab Esther Dogonyaro and seven children.
Let’s Pray Against Kidnapping, Banditry – Buhari Urges Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliation, to pray against kidnapping and banditry.
In recent times, there has been a spate of killings, kidnapping and banditry in different parts of the country.
The president, in a statement to celebrate the Eid festival, noted that the country can overcome its problems if Nigerians come together.
Buhari urged Nigerians to ignore those using religion as a tool of division for their own “selfish advantages”.
“On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all,” Buhari said in a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential aide, on Wednesday.
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.
“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”
The president advised Nigerians to continue to observe the COVID-19 measures, amid the celebration.