Just when Nigerians had begun to gain some confidence in the government’s control of the CoronaVirus epidemic in Nigeria, our bubbles were needled by the article released by David Hundeyin yesterday the 17th of March 2020. Published first on his Medium page, before getting deleted and republished on NewsWireNG, the base of the article reveals the danger we might all be in with the deadly virus.
A private company in Lagos is managing a suspected #COVID19 patient at risk of infecting 21 million people.
The heath ministry and the NCDC are having a civil war.
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) March 17, 2020
Even though Nigeria, like many African countries, had recorded very few cases of the virus and has also been able to successfully cure those who contracted the virus, the country failed to set up stronger travel bans against people visiting from highly affected countries. According to Hundeyin’s piece, a staff of Dangote who’d been to Egypt (one of the highly affected countries on the continent) was allegedly infected by the virus and was kept away by the organization, he writes, “this goes well beyond Dangote Group or its internal health policy. This is a story about how Nigeria is facing a dire health emergency, driven by a perfect storm of incompetent governance, crass politicking, ignorance and corporate insularity.”
Five new cases???? Hooowww??????
— ChudeeTheNerd Jay (@UtaziJay) March 18, 2020
In the piece, the source was especially keen to point out that despite the extant coronavirus threat, a temperature scanner was only installed onsite yesterday Monday 16 March 2020, “And, it created a severe bottleneck where many people have to cram into a small space to get screened daily, thus ensuring that the virus really goes round if one person has it.”
This is a concerning development as not just because Nigeria had just received a commendation from the W.H.O as one of the few countries that have been able to successfully manage the Coronavirus epidemic, but because our country is simply not capable of managing an epidemic of this scale.
Since the release of David Hundeyin’s story yesterday about the Corona Virus situation in the Dangote Oil-Refinery located in Ibeju-Lekki, the writer has received backlash on from pundits looking to coddle what is an obvious fact and has raised panic among Nigerians
In a statement released by Dangote Industries Limited, the patient is currently in isolation at the Mainland hospital, Yaba, Lagos. While he was said to have reported his symptoms, the bigger conversation now is the story in between, in the people he might have had contaminative contact with.
Right now, Twitter is grappling with the varied, dreadful possibilities of this situation and honestly, it is a fear that makes sense and all we are hoping for is that this would be controlled.
Nelson C.J is a culture writer with works in The New York Times, Xtra Magazine, OkayAfrica, Black Youth Project, AfroPunk, and a few other spaces. You can find him saving dog pictures on Twitter.