In recent days, confirmed numbers of infections from the South East have been on the upswing and indeed expected to go further up as the states test more. If a minimum of 1000 samples are sent by each South East State for testing everyday we will get a clearer picture of the scary spread of the virus in the region. Unfortunately, some states are simply not sending enough samples for testing, hence, are living in denial while their citizens continue to live as if nothing is happening.
Personally, I wish statisticians will give us records of death within our states and sub region for April, May and June of 2019 and compare with that of same period in 2020. We will find that either something ominous is happening or we are doing just fine. My street observations suggest that we are already paying a price for our citizens not taking COVID-19 serious while others chose to stigmatize those who come down with the disease.
Regardless of the fact that nobody in Abia State has not heard about COVID-19, a visit to Aba in particular will reveal that more than 60 per cent of those walking the streets are either non challant about thier lives or believe that the disease is a mere ruse. As a result, infection rate in Aba is rising astronomically and with more testing, this fact will be revealed.
What needs to happen?
Many have come down with Coronavirus in the South East and were nursed back to good health. Fatality rate is extremely low in the region with Abia recording zero death from 97 confirmed infections to date. Until those people who were nursed back to good health start talking fearlessly about their experiences it will still be hard for others to believe. Moreover, the decision of survivors to keep quiet is not helping the effort to end stigmatization of patients. There is absolutely no reason for stigmatization of COVID-19 patients and until they start talking about it publicly, thereby removing the veil of secrecy and rumor mongering, others will continue to believe the lies and misconception peddled by doubters about the disease.
All the States in Nigeria should make deliberate efforts to carry out more tests. There is no benefit accruing from non testing and those who are avoiding tests because they want to be seen to be free from the disease will likely pay very high prices in human health, livelihood and fatality of their people. When you test more you are able to understand exactly where the problem is and focus efforts on taking it out and preventing further spread of the disease.
For those waiting for flattening of the curve in Nigeria soon, perish the thoughts, please. The real challenge is about to start in June, July and August being the peak. If we do a minimum of 1,000 tests per day in all the 36 states, we will be shocked out of our lethargy as a nation.
Test and management of COVID-19 patients is free in all states of the federation and the medical isolation process even avails you the opportunity to manage other existing ailments at no further cost. Why not test and know your current COViD-19 status?
Again, everyone MUST take personal RESPONSIBILITY for his/her protection and also know that your protection is the protection of your family and community, otherwise, we will suffer collectively.
I see danger ahead!
*John 1: 23a
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness……