Nigerians are wont to wish each other “Happy New Month” at the beginning of the month but not Coronavirus yesterday 1 June 2020; the virus attacked 416 new persons nationwide and killed 12 across seven states.
The escalating numbers of Covid19 cases over the past three days forced President Buhari’s Task Force managing the spread of the virus to decide to cautiously advance into the second phase of the national response to the virus.
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Team leader Boss Mustapha announced yesterday that the Task Force has removed strict lockdown restrictions imposed in Kano State and moved the State to Phase 1 restrictions while the rest of the country advances to Phase 2,.
The decision to move the nation cautiously to Phase 2 was dictated by science and data gathered from studying patterns of spread around the world, Mustapha, who is Secretary to the Federal Government, said.
He specifically pointed to the way that the epicenter of the disease has been shifting geographically, first from China, moving through Europe on to the USA, and now advancing towards South America.
“This shift to South America with virtually similar climatic and demographic similarities with Africa, is a cause for concern when we consider the fact that earlier projections pointed to Africa as likely to be the worst hit continent, by the pandemic.”
He also noted that Nigeria has had its worst case of the virus on Saturday 30 May when she confirmed 553 new cases, the highest single-day number ever.
These factors compelled the Committee to make recommendations and obtain Presidential approval to cautiously advance to Phase 2 of the national response which will involve
- targeting “areas of ongoing high transmissions;”
- interfacing with state and local governments to improve “compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities;”
- relaxing restrictions placed on places of worship based on guidelines from federal and state authorities,
- Enforcing prior guidelines governing gatherings of more than 20 persons outside the workplace, access to markets, interstate travels, use of masks and various medical and personal protection protocols, and
- embarking on massive publicity campaigns to further educate Nigerian citizens and residents.
Yesterday’s 416 new cases reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) came from 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with Lagos State predictably leading the pack with 192 cases, followed by Edo (41), Rivers (33), Katsina (31) and Kaduna (30), among the top five.
The number of Nigerians infected by the virus now stands at 10,578, out of which 3,112 persons have fully recovered and were discharged while 299 persons could not make it.
Imo and Abia boost South East Cases
Eight cases were recorded in the South East yesterday, from neighboring states of Imo (5) and Abia (3), thereby propping up total cases in the region to 123.
Only one state (Abia) discharged four cases while no deaths were recorded across the five states.