OPINION: COVID-19 in Nigeria – Dr. Nicholas Okoye

I have been thinking about COVID-19 in Nigeria ….

I am not sure this shutting down the Nigerian national economy will end up being the best approach. It may end up being a very bad idea.

Our Nation has over 100 million people living on less than a dollar a day. They have had no income now for two weeks now. They are getting restless. And I can’t blame them. The so called palliatives are not getting to the Nigerian poor people.

The lockdown has seen nine deaths due to police and military brutality compare that with about 10 deaths from COVID-19. Very interesting statistics. The Nigerian Police is competing with the Virus to see who can kill more Nigerians.

I have not seen any COVID-19 infection projections or modeling done by neither the Federal Government nor any State Governments which is supposed to be the basis for this lockdown. So what are we really working with??? A few advisory comments from World Health Organisation ( WHO )?? Which we seem to have adopted hook, line and sinker.

THERE IS NO LOCAL CONTENT in our Strategy. This means no Strategies which take into account our peculiar conditions. Not sure how this will play out. Our President just extended the lockdown by another two weeks.

Can the NCDC tell us how many people are we expecting to get infected across Nigeria??? Is it one million infected??? Or is it ten million to be infected??? , or is it ten thousand???

Please be advised that total infections across the entire World are yet to hit two million ( 1,835,544 cases as at today ) And total deaths are 113,119 as at today. So what is the Nigerian model based on? Who is doing our own modeling???

A model should be based on Current cases times possible contacts, times an acceptable ratio for potential infections.

So on what basis can we even predict one million cases in Nigeria? However lets assume 1 million cases is our expectation, the current pattern shows that 80% will get better. And 20% will get sick. That’s 200,000 people. However only 10% of the 200,000 will require hospitalization. So we need to cater for 20,000 serious cases. And this is across the Country. So roughly 540 people per State including FCT. …. THIS CAN BE MANAGED IF YOU ASK ME. And the numbers can be adjusted upwards if the number of infections exceeds one million.

So we have SHUT DOWN an already challenged National economy on the basis of a possible 20,000 cases or 540 sick people per State, that could have been treated. This requires deep reflection for thinking people.

By the way, Malaria killed 4 million children in Africa last year, 10% of that was in Nigeria. I know malaria has a cure, only its unaffordable for Nigeria’s poor population so they die in huge numbers.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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