COVID-19: Wrong time to drop guard – Vanguard

The worst-case scenario may be here soon. We are approaching the saturation or breaking point in our war against the coronavirus pandemic. Things are simply not falling into place towards the flattening of the infection curve.

More and more people are abandoning the core rules of social distancing and sanitation. In the markets, malls, worship centres (where such has been reopened) and political rallies, people are increasingly throwing caution to the wind and reverting to our old lifestyle.

Many who still bother wearing face masks do so more as ornaments than protective shields. Resident doctors have just resumed work after a week of strike action.

The bans on interstate travels never really worked because people and security agencies conspired to sabotage it.

Governments at the Federal and state levels are, in all honesty, doing their channelling dwindling resources to the anti-COVID-19 war. The frontline health workers are suffocating under the burden of the pandemic with no end in sight.

On Monday, June 22, 2020, the national picture of things showed 20,919 confirmed cases with 7,109 discharged and 525 deaths. Out of this, Lagos had 8,864 cases with Taraba bringing up the rear with 18.

The lockdown on movement of people from the North had skyrocketed the South East infection rates which used to be the lowest in the country. Kogi and Cross River states continue to maintain their largely undocumented status.

The situation in the nation’s foremost epicentre of infections – Lagos State – is emblematic of an emerging national doomsday scenario.

The Lagos State Chairman of the Association of General Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, AGMPN, Dr. Tunji Akintade, summarised the situation sobrely last Monday: “The state government is overwhelmed, the country is overwhelmed, all the government hospitals and isolation centres are filled up in the state”.

Governments are increasingly being forced to adopt the home isolation and treatment option. As we go into the cold, rainy season the situation could get worse.

Brazil, which shares the same equatorial climate with West and Central Africa, has become the emerging world epicentre of the disease after the United States with over 1.1 million confirmed cases and more than 51,000 fatalities.

Everything appears perfectly lined up in favour of an explosion ahead which the foreign missions foresaw and evacuated their nationals early in March and April.

We have now entered a phase where governments may not be able to do much to protect the people because of the sheer magnitude of the situation and dwindling resources.

Government can’t even return to the lockdown option because it cannot afford to fund it.

What it means is that we have to increasingly take responsibility for our own lives and safety. Our lives are now in our hands. It is time for self-defence. Defend yourself.

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