There have been warnings about a possible national lockdown in recent times as the novel disease, COVID-19 continues to spread restlessly across the country.
Since the beginning of the year, 2021, Nigeria has continued to record an average of 1000 cases every day amidst a very appalling testing record. As the surge continues, there are indications that Nigeria might return to a strict national lockdown as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020 during the early days of the disease.
Here are signs that another lockdown is imminent:
(1) Discovery of new variants of the virus:
The second wave of the coronavirus has been disastrous with the United Kingdom going into a third lockdown. The presence of more contagious variants of the virus as found in the UK and South Africa is alarming. To slow down the spread of the disease and avoid overwhelming the already fragile health sector, Buhari might announce a national lockdown.
(2) Failure of Nigerians to comply with safety protocols:
Nigerians have a lacklustre attitude when it comes to obeying coronavirus safety protocols. Facemasks are hardly worn in public spaces. Most Nigerians mostly facemasks improperly under their chins. Social distancing rules are not also obeyed as people attend large social gatherings without caution. To protect Nigerians from themselves, Buhari might announce a national lockdown very soon.
(3) Increasing death rate
So far, 1350 people have died of coronavirus in Nigeria. 8 died of the virus yesterday. Last year, Nigeria lost about 30 medical doctors to complications caused by the disease. From all indications, the disease is becoming more lethal every day. Buhari might intervene to slow down the death rate and a lockdown will be the immediate solution.
(4) High infection rate:
Medical experts believe Nigeria is not testing enough with about one million people tested within a population of over 200 million. They believe the record number of over 1,500 infections recorded in a day might skyrocket to 20,000 if adequate testing is done. To prevent a collapse of the health system, Nigeria might go the way of many European countries; lockdown!
(5) Oxygen shortage:
Nigeria has been battling with a challenge of oxygen shortage since last year. Medical oxygen hasn’t been readily available to critically ill patients. This has also put some coronavirus patients at risk. If the outbreak gets out of hand, people with aggravated complications might easily die without medical attention.
(6) Vaccines are far away:
The only way out of the current coronavirus pandemic is mass vaccination. That is the only way Nigeria can achieve herd immunity and break the rapid spread of the virus. Vaccines are estimated to cost Nigeria over N450 billion. This is not only very expensive, but they are also scarce. Most western nations that are wealthy don’t have enough vaccines and this means developing countries like Nigeria will not get them anytime soon while the virus spreads further. Buhari might have no choice than to announce a lockdown despite the feared economic implications.
What do you feel about my views? Are you ready for another lockdown? How do you think we can prevent another one?