THE BIGGER PICTURE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA

Advertisements

It is no longer news that in December 2019, the world woke up to the report of a novel viral infection, coronavirus (COVID-19), with its first case reported in China’s Wuhan territory. The upper respiratory tract virus has since been called a global pandemic after cases were recorded in most continents.

coronavirus

Advertisements

 

Though the mortality rate is less than 5% of over 209,000 confirmed cases, the statistics are quite scary; and with a number of preventive measures advised, there is no vaccine or treatment yet.

Currently, only the symptoms can be managed based on the records of recovered patients. This is besides reports claiming that the US president revealed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found cure prospects in a certain antimalarial drug, chloroquine. Paradoxically, the FAQs on WHO’s website reveal that “possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation.”

Africa recorded its first case in February 2020, and already has 28 countries with incidents of the infection. Of the 367 reported cases – 12 of which Nigeria accounts for – there have been 7 deaths.

Getting this pandemic under control has proven quite challenging as the world awaits a cure. And considering the spread rate, more drastic measures have come into play. The most effective measure thus far has been self-isolation or social distancing, with remote work as a subset.

As these measures are being trialled around the world, it is important to explore how applicable they would be in a society with a seemingly unstructured system – one where major industries would not survive if their staff have to work remotely.

Advertisements

Banking is a good case in point. If this isn’t true for the country’s level of financial literacy, it would be for the industry’s over-dependence on human-facing activities. And that’s not considering the inadequate and clearly congested transport system in a city like Lagos.