COVID-19: Key steps Nigeria, others must take during lockdown – WHO

President Muhammadu Buhari

On Sunday, President Muhammmadu Buhari announced ban of movements in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT as part of measures to control the growing cases of #COVID19 pandemic in the country.

The President announced the lockdown as cases of Coronavirus in the country hit 111 as confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.

According to the President, the period of the lockdown which will last for two weeks will be used to track all the contacts of the confirmed cases, especially in Lagos and Abuja, the epicentre of the epidemic in Nigeria.

But how can the lockdown help in helping Nigeria end the incident of Coronavirus?

According to World Health Organisation, shutdown of cities will not extinguish the virus.

Speaking at a recent press conference, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said, “We understand that countries are trying to assess when and how they will be able to ease these measures.

“The answer depends on what countries do while these population-wide measures are in place.

“Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems, but on their own, these measures will not extinguish the epidemics.”

But he agreed that the action will enable the execution of a more precise and targeted measures that are needed to stop transmission and save lives.

He therefore advised all countries that have introduced so-called “lockdown” measures like Nigeria to use the time to attack the virus.

To make it work, the WHO recommends  6 key actions that must be carried out to ensure that the lockdown help to curtail the spread of the virus.

See the six points below:

1. expand, train, and deploy your health care and public health workforce

2. implement a system to find every suspected case at the community level

3. ramp up production capacity and availability of testing

4. identify, adapt, and equip facilities you will use to treat patients

5. develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts

6. refocus the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19

“These measures are the best way to suppress and stop transmission so that when restrictions are lifted, the virus doesn’t resurge.

“The last thing any country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence, ” WHO said.