Since it was announced on Friday that Nigeria recorded a case of the novel Coronavirus disease, many Nigerians have been having sleepless nights over the development. As a knee-jerk reaction, people stormed pharmacists to buy out the hand sanitizers and face masks to prevent being infected by the deadly virus which has a fatality rate ranging between 2% and 4%.
Well, here are some reasons why Nigeria might not suffer the fate of China which has regrettably lost over 2,600 people to the outbreak which started in December, 2019:
(1) Swift response of the Nigerian medical team:
The index patient, an Italian was immediately tested and quarantined by medical officers who rightly suspected he might have the infection when he visited a clinic in Ogun State. This has limited the spread of the disease to a large extent.
(2) Contact Tracing:
The Federal Government in collaboration with the Lagos and Osun State governments have started the contact tracing exercise aimed at gathering people who came in touch with the Italian while he transited from Lagos State to Ogun after arriving on a Turkish airline. As at yesterday, the Ogun State government announced it had traced 28 persons and they have been quarantined. There is a search for 200 more people.
(3) Closure of construction plant index patient visited:
The factory the unnamed Italian visited has been closed down for disinfection and the authorities of the cement factory involved is cooperating with the medical personnel on ground. This will go a long way in cleaning up any objected the European must have infected.
(4) Effective public sensitization programmes:
We have to salute the Nigerian government for level of transparency it displayed as it quickly went public about the first case of the Coronavirus in Nigeria. It has also opened hot telephone lines for Nigerians who need help or have any information about the virus to contact constituted authorities. Short video clips, images and other banners have been released to educated people on how to stay safe from the virus. This has been heavily disseminated on social media.
(5) The Nigerian weather:
A medical expert named Elizabeth McGraw believes that the virus might not spread easily in regions of higher temperatures compared to the lower ones in America, Europe and Asia. According to her explanation, the virus relies on tiny droplets to spread and this might not be easily achievable under heated atmospheric conditions as experienced in Nigeria.
(6) Vaccine Development:
An Israeli company recently announced that its close to developing a vaccine to tackle the novel disease. Some other companies in the U.S and across the world have made similar progress in medical research which is set to undergo clinical trials. This might also help in curtailing the outbreak in Nigeria and across the world. One of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates even announced that a vaccine could be ready later in June this year.
(7) Historical antecedence of Lagos State:
Lagos State which is like the centre of excellence in Nigeria has a history of reliability when it comes to containing infectious diseases. It did against the Ebola virus in 2014 after it was imported by a Liberian. The Lagos State Government presently has a health facility of 100 bed spaces set up in the Yaba area to treat infected patients. As long as the infections are detected early, patients will easily get treated here and the sporadic spread will be highly limited.