There are fears that Nigeria could soon be hit with the second wave of COVID-19 following rising daily cases and the abandonment of safety protocols by states across the country.
For instance, Nigeria recorded 937 cases last week as against 923 the previous week.
Between Monday, November 2 and Friday, November 6, there was a steady increase in the number of confirmed cases, with 72 recorded on Monday; 137 on Tuesday; 155 on Wednesday; with the figure rising to 180 and 223 on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
The figure, however, dropped to 59 on Saturday, but this was because there were fewer tests conducted on Saturday.
The fear of the second wave of the virus is also reinforced by many state governments that have abandoned the enforcement of safety rules.
It has been observed that there were no security agencies enforcing safety protocols, which were being freely violated.
Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, has said that the country risked being hit by a second wave of COVID-19 if the disregard for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s guidelines by the citizens continued.
Onuoha stated, “Nigerians are behaving as if there is no more COVID-19; even in churches now, nobody is using face masks again. If you wear a face mask now, you will look odd.
“I foresee a very serious problem if we don’t become serious again. And the more important and alarming issue is that we’ve opened travels; so, people are coming in from Germany, the United Kingdom and other high-risk countries. Even if it is their own strain of the virus that is problematic, they will bring it here.
“There seems to be weariness in testing; if you go to many of the test centres, you won’t see anybody. You don’t blame the NCDC; I think they are doing their best. We don’t have to behave as if COVID-19 has gone. Truly, God has been merciful to us, the worst never happened but that doesn’t mean that we should let down guard. We should continue to obey the NCDC guidelines.
“We need to be careful; everybody has to be on guard. The National Orientation Agency, the NCDC and state governments have to drum it into people’s ears that in as much as nobody is advocating that the economy should be shut down again, it can come back to that as it is happening around the world.”
Meanwhile, a virologist at the University of Ibadan, Prof. David Olaleye, attributed the rise in COVID-19 cases in the last one week to the recent #EndSARS protests.
Olaleye, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, said the number of positive cases reported by the NCDC was a function of the number of people being tested.
He stated, “The number of cases in the last one to two weeks may partly be as a result of the #EndSARS protests. Large numbers of youths gathered without wearing face masks. It was an opportunity for a super spreading phenomenon. I’m not talking of whether people can protest or not, but the way it was done that time, not minding that we are in the middle of a pandemic, may have contributed to what we are seeing now.
“The number of positive cases is a function of the number tested. If we test more people, we are likely to have a large number of positive cases. It is also a fact that if there is an increase in the number of cases reported, it should be a source of concern. You have to test to identify positive cases; this is when cases will be isolated.”
The virologist also lamented the deliberate disregard for COVID-19 guidelines by Nigerians, adding that it might have contributed to the rising cases in the country.