Here’s everything you need to know about latest cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria

Panic is rising over Coronavirus in Nigeria’s mega city of Lagos, as official figures for recorded cases of the virus rise to 8 in a recent update.

The new update coming in this morning from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) involves 5 newly discovered cases. Four of the cases were Nigerians including a six-week-old baby while the fifth was a foreign national who came in through the land border.

Of the five new cases, one is in Ekiti State and the other four in Lagos State.

This announcement by the NCDC is coming in the wake of heightened tensions as citizens repeatedly asked why the government had yet to ban travel from the countries with the highest cases. It makes sense then that immediately after the case report, the federal government announced travel restrictions from countries with more than 1000 recorded cases, which put China, Iran, South Korea, Germany, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Japan in one list.

What this means is that any person arriving in Nigeria who might have visited these countries 15 days prior to such arrival will be subjected to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days. It is good to see the government take proactive actions against the spread of this virus.

However, this alone isn’t enough to address people’s concerns. Reports from the Nigerian citizens who have been quarantined so far have not been good. The first one being the cab driver who was in contact with the index case, an Italian visitor brought Nigeria’s first recorded case, the man escaped from quarantine citing poor living conditions. Now a family member of the one Nigerian from these 5 new cases, has come online to share the terrible conditions in which their brother was transported to the isolation centre. The centre itself looks, in a now deleted video shared by the twitter account, like a dilapidated building furnished with rusty metal beds, and hardly any bedding.

This begs the question therefore, ‘is the government ready to enforce its new policy? And if so, how?’ That Nigeria’s existing ICU capacity won’t survive a full on Corona outbreak is no news, so our excitement over this travel ban may be short-lived. The ban doesn’t prevent returnees from these countries from returning home, only requires supervised isolation. This means that quarantine resources that could be used otherwise for citizens, will be reallocated to taking care of visitors who could be another country’s concern. It gives credence to the anxiety people are expressing on Twitter and other online platforms. What happens when the NCDC ‘s capacity gets overwhelmed at the point of entry?

The only thing to do at this point is to keep calm and stay vigilant. Self-isolate as much as necessary and keep tip-top personal hygiene.

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