President Buhari Plans To Shut Down Nigeria By January 2021 To Stop The Spread Of COVID 19

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari plans to shut down the entire country by January 2021 after 74 people died of Coronavirus. Deaths from Coronavirus in the country have risen sharply since the onset of the second wave late last month. Critical cases have also gone up as states continue to take stricter measures to halt the virus spread.

According to Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 74 deaths have been recorded from the virus this month (as at Saturday). There are 22 critical cases of people receiving oxygen at one Federal Capital Territory (FCT) isolation centre. The NCDC report stated that after a progressive drop in the number of deaths recorded from September to November, the death toll regained momentum this month. It went up from 27 last month.

The agency confirmed 74 deaths this month, with 15,949 new cases, but it is not the highest recorded. The highest death rate in a single month is 305 which were recorded in June 2020 after Nigeria had its first index case in February 2020.

This is closely followed by 289 deaths in July, 2020. There were 229 deaths in March 2020, 134 in August, 2020 and 99 in September 2020. It was 56 in April 2020, but dipped to 34 in October 2020 and 27 in November 2020 before the commencement of the second wave.

Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration Mr. Adesola Olusade, said besides the 22 people on Oxygen, the remaining 64 undergoing treatment at the isolation centers were stable. He said non-critical cases were being managed at patient’s homes. Only the Abuja University and Thisday Dome Isolation centers are in use for now, but he said the other isolation centers, which were shut down, might be reopened should cases continue to rise.

Workers at the Thisday Dome centre are grumbling over non-payment of their allowances. Olusade appealed to residents to take greater responsibility for their personal health He said there were 42 patients on admission at Gwagwalada treatment centre and 46 patients at the ThisDay Dome. He said that FCT might be compelled to reopen the shut down isolation and treatment centers such as the Idu Centre.

According to his words; “Ordinarily, we would not have wanted to reopen them, but if there is an upsurge, we will be compelled to reopen them. The Gwagwalada Isolation Centre is fully functional and operational; it has become a centre of excellence and reference point. “However, at Idu Treatment and Isolation Centre, because we were fortunate to have a reduction up to zero level in FCT, at one time, we no longer had patients there.

“But now, with the resurgence (second wave of COVID-19) we have to be prepared to restore the place to be operational. “We all know our health status. So if you have higher health risk, you need to take greater precautions, so that you would not find yourself battling with the health situation imposed by the COVID-19,” he said.

The Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture shut down Queens Park Event Centre on Victoria Island for flouting COVID-19 protocols. The government is expected to announce measures today through Health Commissioner Prof Akin Abayomi. On Sunday, Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso, said the doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers now have more experience on how to handle COVID-19 infection.

He further stated that the state had not demobilized any of its isolation centers, adding that the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) has not used up to 20 per cent of its capacity. According to the commissioner words; “We are ramping up advocacy. Residents are being advised to take responsibility and observe all the protocols. We are also carrying out enforcement and shutting down erring event centers to serve as deterrent. “We are telling Lagosians to take it easy; that this is not the time for partying; it’s not a time for jamboree and large social gatherings because the virus spreads more in large crowds.”

Edo State has reactivated its isolation and treatment centers. According to the governor, Godwin Obaseki statement; “In as much as the government will enforce the rules relating to COVID-19 in Edo State, it is important that each and every one of us take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us. We must abide by all public health and safety measures to ensure that we are safe.”

Governor Nyesom Wike of River State have threatened another lockdown of Rivers State from January to check the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Governor Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, after a thanksgiving church service in celebration of the 90th birthday of Mrs. Priscilla Nwanediye, described as worrisome, the failure of most churches and markets in the state to enforce the compulsory wearing of face masks.

He explained that his government initially relaxed the restriction on the number of persons in churches, but with the second wave, he would announce new measures to check the spread of the pandemic. According to the governor statement; “When you go to some churches, they don’t wear face masks. Go to markets, they don’t wear face masks. They believe COVID19 is not real. It is not real because it has not happened to you; nobody had died whom you know. When somebody has died and the person was close to you, you will know that COVID19 is real and truly exist.

“I want to appeal to all of you that we have to be more strict now because the second wave is more dangerous than the first wave. It is very, very dangerous. I know how many people we have lost since the second wave started.” Governor Wike implored the Diocese of Ikwerre to prevail on its members to always wear face masks, warning the church saying; “If you don’t comply, I will have no choice but to shut down the churches; Pentecostal, Catholic and Anglican,” he stated.

Austine Ikeru
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