My COVID19 Thoughts And Why The Government Needs To Step Up Testing By David Echem

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    As far as Covid-19 case is concerned in Nigeria, we have ‘just started’ and only God almighty can help us because going by statistics, if what hit other countries hits us, it will take only the grace of God for us to contain it. I pray it doesn’t get to that stage.

    Why am I saying this? The government needs to do more to step up testing nationwide because as it stands and taking the words of Channels TV analyst yesterday (19/04/20) during the news, Nigeria has scored F9 in this regard. This is so because test kits are not available and with the little achieved already, when compared to the statistics of other countries, you will understand the gravity of what we are sitting on. Let me shock you.

    As at today, South Africa our fellow African country according to africannews.com has conducted a total number of 114, 711 tests with 3158 persons testing positive for Covid19 and a total of 54 deaths. Now let’s compare these stats to our dear country Nigeria.

    Nigeria has so far has been rumored to have conducted less than 10,000 tests and as at almost midnight yesterday (19/04/20) the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported as a total number of 627 confirmed cases and 21 deaths. To imagine that this outcome is only from about 10,000 tested, there’s a need for all to be concerned.

    A dear friend of mine who’s a nurse in the UK told me recently that she hopes and prays that Nigeria does not even record half of what they have in the UK because based on what she has experienced, she’s scared and concerned that we cannot contain it. I am also very much concerned and so is the Lagos State government.

    Yesterday the Lagos State government had announced that they will begin community testing because they can’t afford further spread of the virus to various communities across the state. Meanwhile special shout out to the governor of Lagos State H.E Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the excellent work and steps so far in containing the spread of the virus. Other state governments (irrespective) should also take cue and step up measures to avoid widespread especially in states like Kano with 36 confirmed cases already and other states in the North with large population. Kano recorded their first case days after Lagos and Abuja and they’re catching up.

    Personally, I’m concerned because what this means is that as the government continues to scale up testing, more cases will be confirmed, more deaths recorded and H.E Muhammadu Buhari the president of the federal republic of Nigeria might just be forced to extend the lockdown.

    If this happens my greatest concern will now be focused on the ‘poor’ masses, the average Nigerian. What becomes of him or her? So, what may play out is that more people will be hungry because no food to feed the family and no way to go out and make money. This will now force people to go out of their houses to look for any means possible to fend for their households. You know what this means? Stealing will increase, robbery will increase (already started), fraud (especially online) will shoot up, don’t forget suicide too, yes, many people will take their lives. Most unfortunate is that there will be complete anarchy, not even the elite (including me writing this…😉) will be saved. And I pray daily it doesn’t get to this stage.

    WHAT CAN WE DO?
    There’s hope so let’s keep praying, let’s volunteer in ways we can, let the government work with volunteering based NGO’s to quickly get more hands on the field, let government together with NCDC step up the employment of adhoc staff and ultimately much more should be done in terms of providing relief materials for those in disadvantaged positions, those who can easily spark an unrest.

    To end this piece, I take solace from the holy book of Romans 1:12b and in furtherance join my faith with that of the G. O

    of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adeboye who had said “The return journey to normalcy might not be very rapid or sudden. It might be gradual but it will be steady…”

    Let’s continue to #stayhome, #staysafe and practice social distancing when necessary. Thanks for your time and please share.

    Yours sincerely,

    David Echem

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