Coronavirus: Experts back Buhari on lockdown extension

Coronavirus: Experts back Buhari on lockdown extension

- Medical experts have given backing to President Buhari on lockdown extension

- President Buhari had on Monday, April 13, extended lockdown by 14 days

- Ismail Lawal, the chairman of NMA, said the extension became necessary to trace other cases lurking around in the country

Following the extension of coronavirus lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states, some experts have expressed their concerns.

Buhari had on Monday, April 13, given reasons for extending the restriction by 14 days. gathered that the decision to extend the restriction has attracted applause by health experts and professionals, while some residents of the FCT, Lagos and Ogun kicked against it.

The chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Ogun state, Ismail Lawal, has backed the extension of the lockdown.

He told Daily Trust that since new cases of COVID-19 were being recorded on a daily basis, the extension became necessary to trace other cases lurking around in the country.

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Coronavirus: Experts back Buhari on lockdown extension
President Muhammadu Buhari
Source: UGC

“I don’t have a problem with the extension. I think it is necessary. If you look at the sciences and the circumstances surrounding the transmission and if we are still getting new cases, there are a lot of contacts out there that need to be traced. Those contacts need to be prevented from moving around,” he stated.

A public health and family medicine specialist, Kunle Megbuwawon, said community spread would become an issue when the present lockdown was relaxed, noting that the extension would be of immense benefit.

He said if someone that has the virus failed to isolate and mingled with people in the community, it could worsen the rate of infections. “For every time he speaks, he coughs or he sneezes, he is spreading the diseases,” he said.

According to the report, a virologist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof Sunday Omilabu said: “Government should look around partial lockdown that will be more effective so that the healthcare workers that are treating the cases within the community will go round. At the same time, people will be able to make their daily earnings to feed their families.”

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Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo, an economist and chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training (FERT) in Lagos, said it was right that the president followed the advice of experts.

“However, he should look at the impact on the unemployed, the underemployed and those who earn a living daily. “Everything boils down to the effective distribution of the palliatives. Most adult Nigerians have a bank account and using the bank verification number (BVN).

"Let the government pay between N5,000 and N10,000 to its citizens. We may say people with the account are employed but they are just a working poor,” he said.

The founder and managing director, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Johnson Chukwu said there were ways the government could reach out to the critical mass at the end of the ladder.

“We can use their telephone lines to determine who is poor and through the amount they recharge their phones, this can be easily determined,” he said.

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A public affair analyst, Malam Abdulraheem Isiaka, said the lockdown as being observed in Nigeria might not achieve its targeted objectives because there was a deviation from the global practice.

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“The way the lockdown is being observed in other parts of the world is different from ours. In Spain, England, Italy, the US and many other countries, people are indoors day and night but in our case, you see people crowding at local markets,” he said.

Meanwhile, had previously reported that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 20 new positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

It was reported that the NCDC disclosed this in a tweet on the evening of Monday, April 13, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 343.

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