Coronavirus cases spiking in the U.S. should tell Nigeria that the pandemic isn’t over

A viral video now featured on Aljazeera English of a frontline nurse in El Paso, Texas brings the conversation on COVID-19 to the top of the trend list on Twitter. The pandemic, which was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2020 is still on-going even as countries continue to relax restrictions that help in reducing the spread of the disease.

Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) continues to release daily updates of persons infected with COVID-19. The country has recorded over 65, 000 infection cases and more than 1000 deaths. Despite this, the general reaction to the pandemic as it stands is one of relaxed indifference.

Face mask adherence is at an all-time low since the lockdown was relaxed in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. The pandemic has been less severe in Africa compared to Europe and the Americas, but recorded deaths mean that whether in Africa or Europe the reality of COVID-19 must not be ignored.

The United States has overtaken Italy and India to become the worst-hit country by the Coronavirus with over 12 million recorded cases. The outgoing president of the US, Donald Trump, had said that cases are high in the country because the country has, “the best testing in the world.”

The assertion, while arguable, points to a disturbing reality. Nigeria could have way many more cases. But who is testing?

Nigeria seems relaxed about COVID-19 since the lockdown was lifted, but as nurse Lawanna Rivers noted there are realities better not to experience. More Nigerians need to be cautious so that the nation does not end up as another cautionary tale the way the United States has.

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