Coronavirus in Nigeria: what can be done to keep it from spreading?

he Ministry of Health in Lagos State has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and reported it to the Federal Ministry of Health. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020. Since then, according to reports, there has only been one other case of the virus in Nigeria. Following care, the second patient has then tested negative twice for the virus and has been discharged from the hospital. Hence, as of today, there are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria!


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Although we may be excited that Nigeria has seemingly been able to control the spread of this virus, we must keep in mind that it is still spreading all over the world at an alarming rate! So far, the virus has killed over 6,526 people and infected more than 173,023 people worldwide. To ensure Nigeria remains coronavirus free, our Government has to be intentional and proactive. Here are a few things the Federal and State Government should engage in:

  1. Conduct thorough screening of everyone coming into the country or state at the airport;
  2. Increase funds and medical equipment for health professionals;
  3. Ensure our rural communities are being sensitized to avoid the virus;
  4. Increase investment in health preparedness and response. We need to be prepared to prevent the virus from entering the country.

One challenge Nigeria will face is the spread of fake news. Already, there has been false news being spread about the coronavirus, which has inspired fear among many locals in their communities. To avoid the spread of misinformation, the government will have to be very transparent in their battle to fight the virus. They will need to keep the public informed on all happenings as it occurs. The more facts given to the public by the government and our health agencies, the less people believe in false information. It will be the job of all lawmakers in every community to keep their citizens calm and properly informed.

SHIFT is a non-partisan organisation that builds support for transformative leaders in communities across Nigeria.

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