842 views | Dr. Biodun Ogungbo | March 17, 2020
South Africa has closed its doors!
Ghana has shut down the gates!
Kenya has locked up!
Uganda begs you not to come visiting!
Ghana is closing its borders to travellers from countries with more than 200 cases of the coronavirus as the West African nation seeks to prevent contagion of the disease. The government is asking airlines to stop affected travellers from boarding flights, while citizens and resident-permit holders will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
South Africa has imposed the most severe restrictions on its citizens since the end of white-minority rule after reporting its first local transmission, increasing the number of cases to 62.
In an address to the nation on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national disaster. “Initially, it was people who had travelled out of the country, especially from Italy, who had positively tested for the virus,” he said. But, once they started seeing local transmission, they decided to shut the borders.
Uganda has restricted visitors from some countries with what it terms high cases of coronavirus, including China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Spain. “Government has decided to ask travellers from the affected countries not to come to Uganda because the high cases they are reporting can easily be imported into the country,”
The country’s health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said those who insist on visiting the East African nation from these countries would have to self-quarantine at their own cost for 14 days either at home or at a government facility. Ugandans in affected countries are not exempt from the travel restriction.
All travel from any country that has disclosed a single case of the virus is banned.
United States of America
President Donald Trump recently introduced severe restrictions on travel to the USA from all of Europe and many other countries. Many states in the US are also considering closing schools, bars and restaurants.
So, many people are taking this virus very serious and acting in a pre-emptive manner.
What is Nigeria doing?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has used Nigeria as a case study on how best to handle the spread of coronavirus across hard-hit zones. Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan made this known while addressing pressmen at a coronavirus response conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
However, WHO is also stressing that all countries should take this pandemic seriously and do everything to prevent the person to person transmission of this virus. The WHO is pushing that screening tests be conducted to find those infected whether symptomatic or not and isolate them.
Reducing a person to person transmission also means reducing the number of people who could potentially bring the infection into the country. This is the main reason why countries are locking the gates and doors.
The major reason for these preventive strategies is this: The healthcare system cannot cope with a large number of sick people. The number of intensive care beds is limited and difficult to expand in a short space of time. This is why China built brand new hospitals to cope with the huge number of cases that appeared overnight.
Okay, the population of Lagos State is about 20 million. The number of people who might need hospitalisation is roughly 14 to 17%. Let us use 15% for ease of mathematics. So, we might need about 3 million beds for sick patients. We do not have this number of beds in all the hospitals in the whole of Nigeria combined.
We also do not have trained medical personnel to manage these cases.
It, therefore, stands to reason for Nigeria to immediately close its borders and ramp up a total closure of all businesses and group activities within the country. People should stop going to mosques, churches, school and other gatherings right now. This will reduce the person to person transmission.
This is not a joke and not something that wishful thinking or prayers can push away. We do not have a choice and we must be smart by acting promptly.
Coronavirus is coming to Nigeria: Lock the doors now!