DONS EZE, PhD

THE RETURN OF COVID-19

When we thought that Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, had gone, that we had bade farewell to it, we now see that the disease has come back in intensity, that it is very much here with us.

News about Coronavirus pandemic, which they related to us within the past few days are not only uncomfortable, but also awful and frightening.

An Army General, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Major General Johnson Olu Irefin, was shot down by Coronavirus, killed, while 18 other senior military officers who had tested positive of the pandemic, have gone into isolation.

The Head of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and some members of his household, have equally tested positive and are in isolation.

Two state governors, Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna State, and Jide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, are also in isolation as a result of COVID-19.

Figures recently released by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) equally confirm an upward trend of Coronavirus cases in various parts of the country.

Sample these: on 03/12/2020 – 343 new cases were reported; 04/12/2020 – 324 new cases; 05/12/2020 – 310 new cases; 06/12/2020 – 318 new cases; 07/12/2020 – 390 new cases; 08/12/2020 – 550 new cases; 09/12/2020 – 474 new cases; 10/12/2020 – 675 new cases; 11/12/2020 – 796 new cases; and 12/12/2020 – 617 new cases.

In Enugu State, according to a release by the State Ministry of Health, on 07/12/2020, there were 12 new cases; on 08/12/2020, nine new cases; and on 09/12/2020, two new cases.

It appears that many Nigerians are not aware about this return, about the rising case of COVID-19, or that Nigerians are no longer bothered about the pandemic. Everybody has relaxed. Many people no longer wear face masks, no longer sanitize or wash their hands, no longer cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and no longer avoid social gatherings.

When Coronavirus was first reported in the country on March 27, this year, many people were apprehensive, fearful. They had seen or listened to news about how the disease was ravaging many countries of the world, killing people in their numbers. Nobody would like to see this happen in Nigeria. So, they began to take necessary precautions.

On its part, the government did not relax. It rose to the occasion, ordered a general lockdown of the country, and at the same time, embarked on sensitization of the citizenry, to educate the people on what to do to avoid contracting the disease, and against spreading it. With these measures, and particularly, with Divine intervention, Coronavirus soon subsided in Nigeria. And everybody was happy and relaxed.

While not advocating another general lockdown, due to rising cases of Coronavirus, we however would want the authorities to take this matter serious, embark on another exercise of sensitizing the citizenry about the upsurge of the pandemic and for the people to always take necessary precautionary measures against contracting and spreading the diseas.

Presently, many people are sick in the country, and some have even died. We do not know what was responsible, because these were people without “addresses”, in other words, no big men or women, not identifiable, while those who have “addresses” have been diagnosed of contracting Coronavirus and are now in isolation.

Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI

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