A LOCKDOWN AT A NEAR KNOCKDOWN – BALA IBRAHIM
LOCKDOWN AT A NEAR KNOCKDOWN – Reports have it that the Kano state government has officially announced the confirmation of five additional cases of the coronavirus, which brings the number of reported infections to nine. | Bala Ibrahim
On Tuesday 14-04-2020, the government announced a one-week lockdown, effective from tomorrow, Thursday, 16th April.
The order is coming after the total number of reported cases in the state has risen to nine, within one week.
For the period of the lockdown, movements in and around the state would be restricted, while security operatives were directed to apprehend violators.
Laudable as the step is, it’s seen by many as a belated step, taken much later than when it should have been taken.
With the highest population in Nigeria and a similar degree of public compactness, Kano was expected to be the first state to implement the lockdown order, long before any state in the country.
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STILL ON A LOCKDOWN AT A NEAR KNOCKDOWN – BALA IBRAHIM
Lagos State, from where the battle with the virus started in Nigeria, has been under lockdown since when the Government noticed the exponential increase of infection.
Although the state is recording progress in the fight, with encouraging results of discharges, deaths are still being recorded periodically.
On Wednesday, Lagos announced the death of one more COVID-19 related patient, less than 24 hours after the sixth death was recorded. Additional 25 new cases were also recorded, bringing the total confirmed cases in the state to 217.
As things stand today, Lagos has almost 300 confirmed cases, of which about 140 are active, while nearly 70 had recovered, and were discharged.
For a virus that has a high rate of spread, it is extremely important to take into consideration, the implications of permitting free movement, as well as the imperative of implementing a robust public health measure, that would properly respond to the behavior of the virus. The coronavirus is said to cause a wide range of illnesses, from mild cough, fever, through to severe diseases and death.
Experts on infectious diseases have been advising on improved public health measures, such as general cleanliness, with special attention to hand hygiene and good respiratory discipline, in a way that would reduce reckless and unprotected coughing in the public.
The leadership in Kano ought to have acted faster than now, particularly because it had the experience of the Lasa fever, which came to the state with some serious fatalities.
Looking at the speed of spread of the Coronavirus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, but spread rapidly in China and around the world, such that as at today, the virus has led to more than 50,000 illnesses and 1000 deaths in China alone, while the world is getting closer to being knocked down.
If Lagos, with a population less than Kano, and more than double the sensitization and sanitary obedience capacity of Kano, can foresee the danger and accept a lockdown, I see no reason why Kano should wait until the disease begins to knock down people before it acts.
It is not even the belated action that is the issue, but whether the public would see the seriousness of the issue, by respecting the sayings of the leadership, which seems lackadaisical.
LAST PHASE OF THE WRITE UP (A LOCKDOWN AT A NEAR KNOCKDOWN)
We are talking about less than ten reported cases in Kano today, if care is not taken, and the public continue to disregard the warning on hygiene, going by the speed of spread of the virus, we shouldn’t be surprised, God forbid, if by this time next week, the figures become frighteningly higher.
All along, the government should have been very pragmatic, by acting sensibly and realistically, based on the practical experience it had with other infectious diseases, rather than subjecting itself to the mercy and manipulations of questionably weak religious leaders, that are accused of playing politics with public life, through selfish religious rhetorics.
Many Islamic scholars of repute, have spoken seriously about the significance of social distancing, citing relevant quotes from the Quran and Hadith, including the circumstances that compelled Saudi Arabia to suspend the umrah, or lesser hajj, over fears of the coronavirus spreading to Islam’s holiest sites and cities.
The lockdown is welcomed, but it’s coming at a time the state was about to be knocked down by the virus, because of mislead. People are refusing to respect the call for decongestion and the need to reduce congregation.
Still, it’s better late than never, provided it wouldn’t be lateness with laxity.