The state governments of Lagos and Osun have threatened fresh lockdowns amid increasing COVID-19 cases in the states and the country.
Fresh 684 COVID-19 cases were recorded in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Friday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, bringing the total number of cases to 23,298. While 8,253 discharged patients had recovered, 554 deaths were recorded.
Lagos, Oyo, and Katsina had the highest number of cases at 259, 76 and 69, respectively. Delta, Rivers had 46; Ogun, 23; Edo, 22; Osun, 22; and Ebonyi, 21.
FCT had 20; Kaduna, 16; Ondo, 10; Imo, 9; and Abia, 9. Gombe had 5; Plateau, 4; Bauchi, 4; Ekiti, 2; and Anambra, 1.
Due to the rising number of cases each day, Lagos and Osun state governments have threatened fresh lockdowns if the people failed to abide by government protocols such as social distancing and wearing of face masks in the public.
Speaking at a media briefing monitored by one of our correspondents on Friday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said even though the state had been able to draw a balance between the public health crisis and ensuring livelihoods were not in jeopardy, the government would not hesitate to impose another lockdown if the things (cases) got out of hands.
“We believe we are managing a delicate balance between the public health crisis and the economic livelihood of Lagosians. If things are getting out of hand, we will certainly consider another lockdown,” he said.
The commissioner added that the state had yet to reach the peak, noting that cases would continue to rise in the next one or two months.
Abayomi said, “We are in the middle of the outbreak and we have not even peaked yet, and so the cases are still rising. We still expect to see a lot more cases in the next one month or two. I would use this platform to remind Lagosians that we have not yet peaked and Lagos is still going through the active community transmission of COVID-19.
“I think what may be giving you a false sense of security or confidence is that we say most people have mild to moderate disease. While that may be so, between three and five per cent of Lagosians that catch this infection have an extremely severe to critical form of COVID-19 and the risk of dying in that percentage is extremely high.
“Two to five per cent may seem like a small percentage, but even one per cent of 25 million people is a lot of Lagosians. We are not prepared to lose 250,000 Lagosians and we certainly will not even like to contemplate that number.
“So I appeal to Lagosians, particularly people who we believe are in the vulnerable category; anybody over the age of 50 or 55 with underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity or any other medical condition that interferes with their immune system, they are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, in a statement, said residents had continued to flout the government guidelines.
“On Thursday, we announced the discovery of 17 new cases in our dear state. Sadly, today (Friday) again, we have 22 new cases. Considering where we are coming from, this is worrisome. We must, therefore, take responsibility. The battle against coronavirus is not over yet.
“Government may be forced to impose another lockdown on the State if residents and citizens continue to flout the lockdown relaxation guidelines.”