Okei-Odumakin highlights challenges of war against COVID-19 as Nigeria crosses 10,000-infecton mark

Posted by News Express | 2 June 2020 | 599 times

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•Centre for Change President, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin

President, Centre for Change, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, has said that the last is yet to be heard of Coronavirus in Nigeria and the response to it at national and state levels as the pandemic crosses the 10,000 line.

A statement on Monday by the woman activist said that the figure of Nigerians infected with coronavirus keeps surging, “meaning that we are yet to reach the plateau of the pandemic”.

According to her, “Last night, the figure hit 10,162. Lagos still leads on the chart of new infections with 188 cases, followed by the FCT with 44. Thirteen other states recorded new cases of infection ranging from 1 to 19.”

She noted: “It is, however, not pessimism all the way as 3,007 cases have been successfully treated and discharged. The death toll has climbed to 287, which is less than three per cent of the total number of infected, including those discharged. But viewed against a touted total national population of between 180 and 200 million, this percentage is massive.

“As state and federal governments contemplate more relaxation of the lockdown so that life can return to normal, apprehension mounts about the continuing spike in the number of infected persons.  Another total lockdown appears ruled out for economic and security reasons.

“The impact of previous lockdowns on individuals and the economy has been massive. Besides, its effectiveness in combating the pandemic has also been called to question. The capacity of government to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected continues at snail’s speed.

“Testing kits and reagents as well as PPE equipments and materials are said to be in short supply, in addition to their prices hitting the roof. Governments are running short of beds in the available isolation centres and treating less severe cases at home is being considered an option.

“In addition, citizens with other ailments requiring visits to hospitals have been crowded out of our health facilities. Fatalities arising from hospitals and health workers refusing to admit and treat emergency or sick patients on the suspicion they could be COVID-19 patients is on the rise.

“More worrisome is the fact that security agencies meant to enforce the lockdowns in operation all over the country have generally compromised and allowed movement of goods and persons for pecuniary gains. The unwise dispersal of almajiris in some Northern states, many of them trooping into the South, has also not helped efforts to combat the virus.

“The high rate of new infections in Lagos has been put down to this influx, in addition to its being the economic life wire of the country where all paths meet. Managing the pandemic until a vaccine or other means of treatment is found or herd immunity is attained appears to be the unstated hope of the governments and the agencies tasked with managing the crisis.”

Source: News Express

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