By Audrey Lotechukwu
MON, JULY 06 2020-theG&BJournal- With confirmed cases surging to record highs across states in the country, many health experts tell theG&BJournal that disregard by Nigerians to laid down preventive guidelines to check the spread of the coronavirus in the country clearly underscores the challenges the health authority face.
Experts also suggest the surge in number of infections in States other than Lagos is mainly due to the reopening of State borders, and may explain what is happening in Delta, Oyo, Edo, Rivers and Ogun States where the number of confirmed infections have gone up quite rapidly since the border restrictions were relaxed. Nigeria is also preparing to reopen the airports for flights.
‘’The urge to travel has definitely grown because Nigerians are family loving people, as noted by Dr Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the country’s top infectious disease expert, during the last Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19. The urge to restart wedding activities, burials and other postponed activities has grown as well. These will contribute to the escalation of the spread.
‘’With confirmed cases climbing to as much 1000 in as many states, the renewed travel across states and complacency is definitely helping to drive the country into deeper mess,’’ says Dr Sylvan Ebigwei, Consultant and Dental surgeon with many years of experience in the field of epidemiology. ‘’The most amusing part of the narrative is that many people still don’t believe the virus is real’’ he said.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced 544 new cases on Sunday bringing the total nationwide confirmed cases to 28,711 with 645 deaths, and showing more States with equally bleak picture. Ogun State, where the first index case was discovered, has recorded more than 1000 confirmed. Cases in the FCT have jumped to 2,181 from less than a thousand two weeks ago.
The high number of cases also reflects the daily number of tests with the increase in NCDC’s molecular laboratories-now in almost all States of the Federation. The total samples tested so far is 151,121 nationwide.
The 544 new cases are reported from 19 states. Lagos -199 topped as always with Ebonyi-65, Oyo-47, Ondo-46, Ogun-31 and Edo-30 States in tow with high numbers of new cases. FCT added 28 confirmed cases to bring its total to 2,181.
Katsina 25, Plateau-15, Bayelsa-11, Kaduna-10, Adamawa-10, Akwa Ibom-8, Gombe-7, Kano-4, Taraba-3, Rivers-2, Abia-2 and Ekiti-1 are States seeing unprecedented number of infections.
Meanwhile, according to the Africa CDC July 5 tally, confirmed cases of coronavirus in African Union countries have reached a new record level of 464,821 with 11,100 deaths and 223,421 recoveries. Southern Africa still tops the infection table with 194,900 confirmed cases 3,122 deaths and 94,050 recoveries followed by North Africa with 110,669 confirmed cases 4,666 deaths and 43,803 recoveries. Confirmed cases in Western African is now 83,469 with 1,411 fatalities and 47,281 recoveries while Central Africa have recorded 36,001 cases; 770 deaths; 19,278 recoveries and Eastern Africa reporting 39,782 confirmed cases 1,131 deaths and 19,009 recoveries.