Coronavirus: 3 reasons Lagos lockdown may be impossible

Coronavirus: 3 reasons Lagos lockdown may be impossible

The coronavirus pandemic has become the greatest concerns to the world; from the superpower countries in Europe, North America, and Asia to the developing economies in Africa.

At the time of filing this report, data from the World Health Organisation states that there are 209,839 confirmed cases and 8,778 deaths in 169 countries.

Many countries, especially in Europe, have been instituting lock-down measures and banning public gatherings in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Coronavirus: 3 reasons Lagos lockdown may be impossible

Lagos state health commissioner, Akin Abayomi, inspecting facilities put in place over coronavirus pandemic. Credit: ProfAkinAbayomi
Source: Facebook

Within a few days, Nigeria's confirmed Covid-19 cases jumped from three to 12; 11 of the cases are in Lagos while the remaining one is in Ekiti state.

At the moment, many are still being tested as the Lagos state government said it is tracing about 1,300 people who might have had contacts with infected patients.

To avoid further spread, the Lagos state government is also attempting a lockdown of the city; the largest in Africa with 21 million people.

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The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed that schools be shut down while public gatherings of more than 50 people, particularly religious congregations, have also been banned.

It is suggested that the measures may become tougher if new Covid-19 cases are confirmed in the state.

Quartz Africa highlights some key reasons while the Lagos state government may experience difficulty in locking down the city.

1. Lagos as Nigeria's economic nerve centre, its population, and the overwhelming activities

Quartz Africa states it will be difficult for the Lagos state government to achieve a lockdown given its status as Nigeria's economic centre and the "unruly" cultural and behavioral nuances that come with it.

The huge economic opportunities also foster characteristic lawlessness as residents in the state troop out to 'hustle' for a living every day.

Achieving a lockdown will be indeed difficult in a state where observing “environmental” clean-ups on Thursday mornings has not enjoyed impressive cooperation from the shopowners.

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2. The powerful religious gatherings

Lagos hosts headquarters of many of the most popular well-attended mega-churches with hundreds of branches with millions of congregants every Sunday.

Stopping the Christian faithful from attending the gatherings may be a herculean task and may set up the Lagos state government against the powerful religious leaders.

This also applies to the Muslims in the city who troop out in millions every Friday to observe Jumat services.

3. Social benefits

The countries that have been putting their cities on lockdown provide numerous social benefits like suspension of tax and bills and cash payments as a form of palliative measures, to ensure the residents do not completely bear the effects of the loss of their income.

This will be difficult for Lagos to achieve based on two major factors. One, the Lagos government does not have adequate data needed to put in place such measures.

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It is also doubtful that the Lagos state government can afford such palliative measures for 21 million people.

For instance, in the aftermath of the recent explosion that rocked the Abule Ado area of the state killing many and destroying several buildings, Governor Sanwo-Olu launched a relief fund asking citizens to donate to pay off medical bills and relocation costs of those affected.

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Meanwhile, amid the coronavirus pandemic, there are concerns that Nigeria does not have enough testing centres to handle an outbreak.

Daily Trust reports that there are no testing centres in four out of the six geopolitical zones in the country. gathers that the southeast, the northwest, northeast and north-central zones do not have testing centres.

The situation is reportedly raising concerns among millions of Nigerians who are resident in the 19 states under the four geopolitical zones.

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There are currently five testing centres in the country located in the southwest and the south south. ( - We have upgraded to serve you better.

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